Meet Our Trainers: Libby Spader

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August 02, 2016

Meet Our Trainers: Libby Spader

Libby delivering a training in Nairobi, Kenya.

By Jameson Spivack

Marketing Assistant InsideNGO

This is an installment in the “Meet Our Trainers” series, where we get to know InsideNGO’s trainers beyond the classroom. In this blog post, we highlight Libby Spader, our Program Director and experienced master trainer.

Q: How long have you been working in the international development sector? How did you get your start?

A: I have been working in the international development sector for over 15 years. I got my start as an independent contractor, providing data analysis and event support services.

How did you get involved with InsideNGO?

Our founder and former CEO hired me to analyze compensation and benefits data, and then to take on logistics support for InsideNGO’s workshops—I believe there were about 10 each year at that time. Soon I was able to draw on my background in education to become involved in designing and delivering our learning programs. When I think about my work I believe it combines the greatest of my passions: service, travel, people, and learning.

Where in the world have you travelled, and which has been your favorite?

I have been lucky to travel many places including Peru, Kenya, Mozambique, Ethiopia, South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Tunisia, Egypt, Ghana, Jordan, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Indonesia, Philippines and much of Europe. There are things I love about each of these places but I have to admit a special love for Kenya: its people, its places, its animals, and its light.

What's a project you previously worked on that you found particularly interesting or rewarding?

When I was a young mother, living in the suburbs for the first time, I took one day each week to return to Manhattan, sit in a coffee shop, and co-write a book for Japan Times on how to move a family to America. It’s in its 10th edition in Japan and has also been translated into Chinese. (You can find Libby’s book here).

When you aren't travelling or working, what do you like to do?

I love music, dancing, reading, cooking, sailing, swimming and, most of all, being with my family and friends!

Are there any particular moments from previous workshops that stick out to you—a funny story, an "a-ha!" moment, or anything else you remember well?

Each and every workshop has its lovely moments. Those that stand out are the joyous ones, particularly some of our more exuberant graduation ceremonies, which have, on occasion, involved spontaneous music and dancing!


Libby Spader, Program Director at InsideNGO, has been with InsideNGO since 2000 as a master trainer, facilitator, and curriculum designer. Previously, she worked as a medical education event facilitator for pharmaceutical firms and for many years as a teacher, specializing in the training of trainers and discovery/participatory learning techniques. Would you like to train with Libby? Check out our Training of Trainers course, which specializes in participatory delivery of technical information. She can also be found at many of our USAID Rules & Regulations workshops. Rules & Regulations is being offered in August in Boston and Kampala; as well as in Istanbul, Kenya, and Kigali in September, among other locations. Check out the full schedule here.

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