Evelyn Brown has dedicated her life to serving others, both domestically and overseas, and she has a passion for helping others. She has long been involved in public service, with a career in government that spanned more than 40 years. Evelyn got her first taste of working in the international arena while working as Director of Accounting at the International Trade Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce. As such, her responsibilities included financial management of both domestic and overseas operations that supported 75 domestic and 126 overseas offices co-located with the U.S. Department of State, in support of U.S. trade and related activities.
One of her first encounters with the less than optimum conditions often experienced by women was during a trip to Namibia and South Africa she took with her sister. Evelyn recalls a group of small school children brought into their hotel to dance for the guests, for donations. Their knees and legs were scarred from practicing on concrete; their little skirts were poorly hand stitched; their shoes were twisted over. But the most memorable part of their performance was the pride and determination on their faces, resulting from their desire to perfect their performance and to change the course of their lives. She clearly remembers the pride and gratitude on the faces of the children when given a donation to help them continue their performances. When Evelyn returned home, she asked her sister about her involvement in The International Alliance for Women (TIAW). Her sister explained the mission and vision of the organization, its programs, and its activities and she told her sister that she wanted to help.
Thus began Evelyn’s affiliation with TIAW. Since joining the TIAW Board, she has participated in discussions and planning for the TIAW programs and worked to raise funds for the organization, from selling TIAW micro pins and empowerment pins to actively spreading the word about the good works of the organization to soliciting donations from others, as well as personally donating funds. Evelyn attended her first TIAW international conference in Bulgaria in 2005 and has continued to attend subsequent TIAW conferences in Jacksonville, FL, Atlanta, GA, Palms Springs, CA, Toronto, Canada, and Washington, D.C. It was at the conference in Jacksonville, Florida celebrating the 25th anniversary of TIAW that Evelyn was asked by Donna Heivilin, past president of TIAW, if she would consider becoming the treasurer for two years. That two-year commitment as treasurer has lasted six years. During that time Evelyn has always generously provided her expertise and advice to three TIAW presidents along with the staff at TIAW headquarters
When Evelyn learned of the TIAW Microenterprise Development Program, it immediately captured her heart. She reviewed the reports/videos of the women and their families and saw the difference that the small micro loans made in their lives. Evelyn, her sister, and a friend co-sponsored a village bank in Uganda, and she has continued to contribute time and resources over the years in support of TIAW and its programs.
Evelyn has found the donor trips associated with the micro-enterprise program a unique experience. Evelyn has traveled to Ghana with Virginia Robinson where they met with the TIAW Micro Finance Institution partner there and saw firsthand the women in action repaying their loans and depositing funds into their savings accounts. She visited one of TIAW’s village banks in Mexico and recently traveled to Haiti with the Micro Program Chief Financial Officer to meet with a micro finance partner with whom TIAW will be working to help the women of Haiti, a first for TIAW presence in the Caribbean.
Evelyn is the current national president of the Association of Government Accountants (AGA), an association that supports the careers and professional development of government finance professionals working in federal, state and local governments as well as the private sector and academia and in the international arena. She is a past national treasurer of AGA, past AGA Chapter President of the Washington DC Chapter and ended her second term in 2011as an AGA Regional Coordinator for Chapter Development and Assistance for the Capital Region, helping to develop and mentor newly formed and ailing chapters needing assistance. She has served on the National Executive Committee and numerous other committees in AGA. Evelyn continues to serves as a mentor for the Capital Region in the organization to help develop future leaders that will help support and continue the legacy of an organization founded in 1950 and still thrives today.
Her community service activities include a 14-year stint with the IRS' Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. She also served as an instructor and counselor for the Department of Commerce’s Small Business Development Program assisting minority businesses in the DC area. She has been a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity in New Orleans, Atlanta, and San Diego and is currently active in the mentoring and Early Careers Program for the Capital Region.
Evelyn continues to be active in Executive Women in Government (EWG), a TIAW member network, and will always provide her strong, greatly valued support for TIAW.