U.S. Staff - Portsmouth NH

Tug boats in the Portsmouth Harbor

Bess Palmisciano

Founder and Executive Director

Bess Palmisciano went from West African tourist to partner when she founded RAIN in 2001.  Previously an attorney, Bess has spent the last decade dividing her time between Niger and the Seacoast area of New Hampshire. She was named by New Hampshire Magazine as one of the state's "Remarkable Women of the World" for 2011.


Bonnie Welch

director of individual giving

RAIN is thrilled to welcome Bonnie Welch as Director of Individual Giving. Bonnie comes to us with a global dossier, starting with a successful career in healthcare management. She relocated to Nigeria in 1993. The poverty she observed there inspired her to apply her leadership, fundraising and organizational skills to assist humanitarian organizations. Bonnie then worked with a USAID funded agency, served as President of the American Women’s Association, and founded Small World, the largest fundraising event in West Africa, bringing 50+ countries together on International Women’s Day to promote peace and raise funds for Nigerian NGO’s. Back in the U.S., Bonnie has worked with CARE USA, among other organizations, as a Major Gift Fundraiser. We’re truly fortunate to benefit from her leadership as we enter an exciting new phase of RAIN’s history.

Julia D'Orazio

Communications & Social Media

Julia has a writing and acting background in international theater and film. She holds a B.A. in Fine Arts from San Diego State University and studied with The Actors' Studio in NYC. She is a certified MT and began her non-profit career with the San Diego Repertory Theatre in 2007.



Jenny Lloyd


Jenny holds a BS in Business Finance from the University of Utah. She worked in the banking and finance industry for over 20 years - most recently with the training and consulting organization Franklin Covey, implementing leadership programs for New England elementary and middle schools. Jenny resides in Portsmouth NH with her husband, son and coterie of pets.

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RAIN for the Sahel and Sahara is a nonprofit 501(c)3 working to make a lasting difference in Africa.

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