DOT’s YouthLAB is a group of young leaders from across Africa and the Middle East who play a key role in capturing new insight on youth realities. They help inform and guide DOT’s current and future programs.
DOT’s country leadership team leads operations in the countries and regions where we work. One of DOT’s core values is localization: we support local social innovators, local communities, and local staff.
Caroline Somers is an investor and chair of an angel investor organization, the Capital Angel Network. She sits on the boards of the Ontario Centres of Excellence and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute. Caroline works as a coach for entrepreneurs as they grow their companies and overcome startup challenges.
Jean Schnob is the Regional Vice President for Eastern Ontario and an Assurance Partner at Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton LLP. He has twenty-five years experience in assurance, tax and business advisory services and corporate transactions. He is a member of the Board of Governors of Grant Thornton International and many of its sub-committees. He is member of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) and the Canadian Tax Foundation. He is also President of the Jean P. Dallaire Foundation and a part-time professor at the University of Ottawa and Universite du Québec.
Meg Beckel is the President & CEO of the Canadian Museum of Nature. She is the former Vice President of External Relations at the University of Waterloo and has held senior positions at the Bank of Nova Scotia, the Royal Ontario Museum and the University of Calgary, among others. Meg has also served as director on the boards of the National Ballet School of Canada and TheMuseum in Kitchener, Ontario.
Margo Crawford is the Founder, President and CEO of the Business Sherpa Group, a management consulting firm that specializes in small and mid-sized enterprise (SME) business services. She is a successful business leader with over 20 years experience in private, public and nonprofit environments. Margo is the co-founder of one of Ottawa’s most successful start-up companies, Meriton Networks, where she played an instrumental role in raising and closing over US $75 million in equity financing over eight years.
Patrick Gossage is the founder of Media Profile, one of Canada's leading media relations firms, where he serves as Chairman. A communications, media and government relations specialist, he has served as Press Secretary to Prime Minister Trudeau and as an advisor and media coach to senior bureaucrats, ministers and politicians. He is a published novelist and the author of the historical reflection of his time in the Prime Minister's Office, "Close to the Charisma". A frequent columnist and television panelist, he serves on the board of several Toronto arts and culture organizations.
John Greenwood is a Branch Manager & Investment Advisor at CIBC Wood Gundy. He is a successful financial advisor and wealth management professional with expertise in capital markets, tax and legal issues gained from twenty-five years serving affluent clients. He has offered his financial expertise as a board member of several community organizations.
Peter Lloyd has extensive experience as an executive in the public service of Canada. He worked primarily in the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, both as a diplomat and as the senior official in charge of communications. During that time, he served as Canada's Consul General in Seattle, and was the High Commissioner (Ambassador) of Canada to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Prior to his time in the public service, Peter worked for more than a decade as a print and television journalist on Parliament Hill. Today, Peter is an Ottawa-based consultant.
David Johnston is the Governor General of Canada. Prior to becoming Governor General in October 2010, David Johnston served as the President of the University of Waterloo, one of Canada's most innovative universities and a leading global institution in e-learning and information technology. A graduate of Harvard, Cambridge and Queen's Universities, his academic specializations are securities regulation, corporate law and information technology law. He has served on many provincial and federal task forces and the boards of Canada Trust, Alcatel, Seagram, EMCO, CGI and Lifestyle Furnishings. He has chaired the Board of Overseers of Harvard University, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, the Neuroscience Network Centre of Excellence, the Federal Government's Information Highway Advisory Council and its Blue Ribbon Panel on Smart Communities, the National Broadband TaskForce and the national e-Business Roundtable. David Johnston is a Companion of the Order of Canada.
Tomas holds a BA in sociology and is earning an MA in developmental studies. He works as a community facilitator with Relief Society of Tigray. Tomas brings rich experience in community development and a passionate vision for youth leadership in the digital age.
“As a member of DOT’s Global Youth Advisory Board, I plan to promote DOT to youth in my community. I am sure that if enough youth get access to DOT’s services they will create better and stronger societies. Youth have the power to create a better world for themselves and others, because youth are the backbone of development.”
Mira holds a BA in biology and currently works as a digital champion with DOT in Lebanon, where she coaches teachers to use technology in their classrooms. Mira brings strong youth leadership from her experience with War Child Holland and as a Global Ambassador with A World at School.
“I really trust one thing: that all youth have potential and ability but what differs is their opportunity. This is a major issue that I look forward to working on through my role on DOT’s Global Youth Advisory Board.”
Ng’walu holds a BA in economic development and currently works on programs to support adolescent girls. Ng’walu brings a critical gender-sensitive lens from her valuable experience working with vulnerable women and girls in Tanzania.
“As a member of DOT’s Global Youth Advisory Board, I hope to bring attention to the importance of youth voices. I have a passion for youth advocacy and engagement and I feel that with the resources I have from my generation, I can help youth further their participation in youth leadership.’
Samson holds a BA in computer engineering and currently works at Uganda’s Bureau of Statistics. Samson is passionate about using digital technology for social impact, especially in the area of agribusiness, where he has worked with youth and women to improve their livelihoods.
“Through my role on DOT’s Global Youth Advisory Board, I am most excited about the opportunity to conduct and produce research on youth issues.”
Kamau holds a BA in sociology and is earning an MBA. At Kuza Biashara, he builds partnerships with the private sector to empower youth and women livelihoods. Kamau is a social entrepreneur and founder of Kazi Chap Chap, a service that connects youth to employers.
“I am particularly concerned about the opportunities available to youth for decent employment. DOT’s Global Youth Advisory Board puts me at the centre of experiences around what can be done to tackle youth unemployment."
Regine holds a BA in engineering and is currently earning an MSc in economics. She is an experienced facilitator in the areas of ICT and economic empowerment training. Regine has served as a youth leader through initiatives with Change Rwanda and Rwanda Youth Alliance for Climate Action.
“As a member of DOT’s Global Youth Advisory Board, I am excited to work on realities of youth in my community and uncover new truths from the research that I will be conducting.”
Janet Longmore is the founder and CEO of Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) and a champion for technology-driven, community-owned, and youth-led solutions in rapidly developing regions of the world.
Under her leadership, DOT has developed a global network of thousands of young people who are invested in their communities as leaders of change and digital social innovators. In communities across Africa, the Middle East and Indigenous Canada, these young people are creating solutions to local challenges, starting businesses, and creating jobs.
A passionate believer in the power and potential of youth and technology, Janet works tirelessly to promote respect for youth as a source of creativity, energy, and talent. As a member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Emerging Multinationals, she shares insights on how skills and talent development is occurring among young people in emerging economies, and ensures that youth voices contribute to global dialogues.
In 2016, Janet was decorated with a Meritorious Service Cross by the Governor General of Canada, which recognizes her as a strong example of social leadership and innovation bringing considerable honour to Canada.
While guiding DOT’s steady growth, Janet has built long-term partnerships across private and public sectors, including with Cisco Systems, IBM, The MasterCard Foundation, and agencies such as Global Affairs Canada (GAC) and USAID.
Janet is a frequent speaker at international conferences, where she inspires new thinking about social impact, innovation and entrepreneurship, and youth-led development. Janet has been recognized by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship and as a Senior Ashoka Fellow; she is a recipient of the CATA Alliance Sara Kirke Award for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (2011), and recognized as a Trailblazer and Trendsetter by the Women’s Executive Network Top 100 Women in Canada (2012). Janet is an alumni of Queen’s School of Business.
Chinyere leads the implementation of DOT’s monitoring and evaluation (M&E) strategy across all major projects and program areas. She supports the M&E functional teams in East Africa to design and develop M&E tools, collect and analyze data and provide accountability to donors through reporting. In addition, Chinyere coordinates and contributes to project specific research and evaluation studies commissioned by DOT.
Prior to joining DOT, Chinyere worked as a research consultant with E.T. Jackson and Associates and the Carleton Centre for Community Innovation on various projects including: A comparative analysis of global and Canadian social innovation funding models (Employment and Social Development Canada); An impact evaluation of Rockefeller Foundation’s Poverty Reduction through Information and Digital Employment initiative and; A social returns on investment analysis of the African Women in Agricultural Research and Development program in Kenya. She has co-authored several evaluation reports and has had her research on micro-entrepreneurs building economic resilience in Southern Ontario published by the University of Toronto Press. Chinyere hails from Lusaka, Zambia and, holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration with a concentration in International Development from Carleton University and a Bachelor’s Degree in International Politics and Economics from Middlebury College in Vermont, USA.
Drawing upon more than ten years’ experience living and working in Kenya, Liberia, and Ghana, Natasha brings hands-on experience managing and implementing programs in Africa. Most recently, she served as the Regional Program Manager of West Africa at Right To Play, where she oversaw a diverse range of programs addressing youth leadership, education, gender equality and child rights. In this role, Natasha supported the capacity development of country program teams in results-based management and reporting. She also has an extensive background in monitoring and evaluation, training, and community-based research. Having witnessed first-hand the energy and innovation of young people who are empowered to become agents of change in their communities, Natasha was excited to join the Program Operations team at DOT in December 2016. She holds a Masters Degree in Medical Anthropology from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Science from the University of British Columbia.
Kathy brings more than fifteen years of experience in the field of international development, with particular focus on program development and management, monitoring and evaluation, capacity development and gender equality. She has lived and worked in more than 10 countries globally, including three years as Deputy Country Director on a DFATD project in Ghana and four years as an advisor to DFATD on multilateral and governance issues. Kathy has led global results and gender initiatives at DOT since 2011. She holds a Masters of Integrated Studies, Work, Organization and Leadership from Athabasca University, a Bachelor of Social Work from McGill University, and a Bachelor of Commerce from Queen’s University.
As a member of DOT’s business development team, Glennys works to build and strengthen DOT’s vibrant partnership ecosystem in support of youth-led social innovation in Africa, the Middle East, and Indigenous Canada. She also supports DOT’s contributions to local, regional, and global dialogues on best practices and research in youth leadership, social entrepreneurship, digital skills, and gender equality.
Glennys brings over five years of experience working on issues of access to employment and skills development, with a focus on overcoming barriers for youth and other marginalized populations. She has facilitated youth livelihoods programs in East Africa and Canada, most recently at the Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre, where she worked to secure employment opportunities for newcomer, justice-involved, and low-income youth. Glennys has also conducted ethnographic research in Kenya and has published her work on the structural barriers to sustainable livelihoods among street vendors and other micro-entrepreneurs in Nairobi. She holds a Masters of Political Economy with a specialization in African Studies from Carleton University.
Elizabeth leads business development for DOT, supporting multisectoral partnerships and funding growth for the DOT network. A passionate advocate for community-led development and gender equality, Elizabeth has worked for community organizations in Canada and abroad. Since joining DOT in 2011, she has worked to build innovative partnerships with key stakeholders in support of DOT's work to empower young people and transform communities. She also contributes to DOT's broader work in gender equality, strategic planning and communications.
She has an undergraduate degree in international studies from the University of Ottawa and a master's degree in international political economy from the University of Kent.
Jane is a dynamic executive with extensive experience in international development, corporate social responsibility, inclusive business and strategic partnerships in emerging markets. She has worked in over 40 emerging economies in her career and has been based in Turkey since 2005. Jane has held multiple management and executive positions in DOT since 2004, including development and oversight of DOT’s innovative corporate partnerships programs, business development, tri-sectoral collaboration initiatives and the MENA region. She is a former Canadian diplomat and holds an M.A. in International Relations.
Christine is an Instructional Designer at DOT. She has over 10 years of experience in Instructional Design working with a variety of organizations such as the Canadian Space Agency and the Canadian Wildlife Federation. In her role, she fosters the DOT global community of practice in learning experience design. As part of her role, she coaches the global organization on how to apply instructional design methods to design experiential learning. Christine champions human-centred design methodologies and co-designs learning experiences including DOT's Youth Leadership Program as well as DOT's Youth Unconference. She also develops experiential learning course content and works with learning consultants to grow DOT's learning catalog. Prior to joining DOT in 2015, Christine developed deep experience training a variety of audiences including astronauts, academics, pilots and the Canadian public. She is passionate about evidence-based design, research and creative communications.
Christine holds a Masters Degree in Educational Technology and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Concordia University.
As a Project Manager at DOT, Masuma supports the implementation of multi-country, youth-focused development innovation projects, and works with DOT country teams to assist their program management efforts and strengthen their planning and management processes. She champions effective project management practices across the organization, providing coaching and introducing new project management tools and practices.
A certified Project Management Professional (PMP) with over 10 years experience, Masuma has had an eclectic career path well-suited for DOT's unique blend of youth-led innovative development in the digital space. She began her career with a degree in Computer Systems Engineering at Carleton University and two years as a developer at large high-tech organizations such as Blackberry. She then transitioned into the non profit space - as an IT advisor to local and international development clients before working as a consultant for Deloitte for 7 years. As a consultant, Masuma advised local and international public sector and private organizations on their information management and business transformation projects and programs.
Roy is an accomplished relationship builder, organizer, and leader who has lived and worked across the world. With a career in education that started as a high school teacher, Roy worked throughout North America as an independent Microsoft Certified Trainer during the mid-90s. Since 2000, Roy has held senior positions as Director of the LearnQuest College for Advanced Technology, Founder and President of Cadmian Inc. and Senior Director of Learning & Collaboration at Trustwave, an information security firm. He holds a master's degree in Education from the University of Ottawa.
Andres is DOT’s Senior Program Manager based in Ottawa and member of DOT's Corporate Partnerships team. Andres joined DOT in 2014, and supports the management of DOT’s relationships with private sector partners such as IBM and Google. He manages the planning, implementation, and evaluation of private sector partnership projects in 17 countries.
Andres has a comprehensive understanding of the development sector in developing and emerging economies, with 12 years of professional work experience in Latin America, South Africa, and Central Asia. He is an experienced international electoral observer who has participated in more than 10 election monitoring missions as an observer, team leader, or mission management member.
Andres is native to Peru, and holds two Master's Degrees in International Development and Cooperation Assistance from Ruhr-Universtiaet in Germany and University of Western Cape in South Africa.
Travis is a senior finance professional and strategist who specializes in financial reporting on international projects and financial capacity building. A true international professional, Travis has held management roles on projects based in Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Ukraine and Vietnam.
Previously, Travis held a lead audit role with Deloitte’s Ottawa office where he specialized in auditing international projects funded by the Government of Canada.
As DOT’s Digital Engagement Specialist, Sharon works with teams across the global network to build digital communities of youth in Africa, the Middle East and Indigenous Canada, and maintain online platforms.
Prior to joining DOT, Sharon was a social media manager for online communities in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Sharon comes from a social activism background, and has five years of experience writing and community organizing. She is a regular contributor to Rabble.ca, organized the Ottawa chapter of the global Bring Back Our Girls campaign, and has been a member of the board of directors at Amethyst Women’s Addiction Center since 2015, responsible for human resources and strategic planning. Sharon holds a BA in Communications and Post-Colonial African History from Carleton University.
Sharon continues to be active in community matters in her home community of Kakamega, Kenya, and consults with the county assembly on youth and women engagement.
Anne leads communications and digital engagement at DOT, overseeing brand, communications, and digital engagement strategy, and coordinating communications and digital engagement teams across DOT’s countries of operation.
Anne brings more than 10 years of experience as a writer, editor, designer, digital strategist, and facilitator. Prior to joining DOT in 2010, she worked as a program manager and media liaison with the Social Planning and Research Council of Hamilton, leading its Geographic Information Systems (GIS) social enterprise, and with the Social Development Centre Waterloo Region as a social impact researcher. She was one of the founding editors of Popular Anthropology Magazine, and has been a consulting web developer, designer, and communications strategist since 2005, supporting non-profits and community-based organizations to tell stories with data. Anne is a Technovation Challenge mentor, supporting teams of girls to develop apps for social good, and sits on the Board of Advisors of Keela.co. Her work and writing have been featured in The Guardian, CBC Radio, Globe and Mail, Huffington Post, Ottawa Citizen, and the Hamilton Spectator. She holds a Joint Honours BA in Anthropology and Geography from the University of Waterloo.
Donnalu is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), and has been a Chartered Accountant (CA) since 2000. During her nine years with KPMG in Ottawa, Donnalu worked extensively with non-profit organizations and registered charities. Donnalu joined DOT after five years as a Director of Attest Audit at the Office of the Auditor General of Canada. She has a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Accounting with High Honours from Carleton University in Ottawa.
Formerly DOT’s Vice President, Strategic Development, Grant continues to work closely with DOT as an Executive Officer and advisor. He is an experienced management professional with extensive international experience. He is a specialist in partnership and joint venture development and has been responsible for significant private and public sector investment in developing and transitional economies. Grant is a former executive in several IT companies, a partner in PriceWaterhouse, and he co-managed the Acacia Initiative in Africa for Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC). He has served on the board of directors of Precarn Incorporated, the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Systems, Willis College and TeKnoWave Inc.
Tony brings extensive professional operations and project management experience and a commitment to innovation within DOT's vision. Prior to joining DOT, Tony was a project manager with the Global Connectivity program at the International Institute for Sustainable Development. In 2007, Tony completed a master's degree in international development at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (Ottawa, Canada). Tony has also enjoyed over 10 years in the telecommunications sector, having worked in senior product management, technical marketing, and executive advisory roles.
Marianne is DOT’s Middle East and North Africa Regional Lead, leading regional business development and forming new partnerships to support regional expansion. She is also DOT Lebanon’s Country Director, and has led its operations since 2010.
Before joining DOT Lebanon, Marianne managed operations at World Vision International and established World Vision Lebanon’s refugee program. With her extensive experience in NGO management, she has an impressive network within Lebanese and international civil society, and she is an expert in issues concerning refugee communities in Lebanon.
Marianne has a Bachelor of Agricultural Engineering from the American University of Beirut, a master’s in food science from McGill University in Canada, and a Master of Business Administration from Saint Joseph University/Paris Dauphine.
Eliguard began development work 13 years ago as a Community Development Volunteer with SPW Tanzania (now Restless Development). He was a Program Manager for Friends of Ruaha Society, and later joined the U.S. Peace Corps where he served for more than five years as Associate PC Director for Environment. He has also worked with KPMG Tanzania as a business advisor.
Eliguard was the National Board Chair of Restless Development from 2012 to 2014 and has been a Trustee for Secondary Education to Encourage Development since 2003. He is currently a board member for United Planet Tanzania and an Acumen East Africa Fellow. He holds a Master of Science in Education for Sustainability from London South Bank University.
Beata Gelderbloem joined DOT in 2016 as Program Manager for South Africa, coordinating programming and community relationships with DOT’s private sector partners. A South African national, Beata has worked in Israel, USA and Germany. Before joining DOT, Beata was Program Director of These Numbers Have Faces, a non-profit providing academic scholarships and support to university students. She also has many years of experience in client service management and brings strong practical logistics knowledge gathered while working in the tourism industry.
Based in Istanbul, Turkey, Seda is DOT’s Program Manager for Turkey. She joined the DOT team in 2012, and manages private sector partnerships and community relations in Turkey, contributing to the deep community impact and success of programs.
Seda holds a Bachelor's degree in political science and international relations from Istanbul Bilgi University and a Master's degree in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. She has 10 years of experience in academia, non-profit, and private sectors in Turkey and USA.
Noor has previously held several positions in key organizations in Jordan, working in economic and social development. She worked on community outreach programs at the Office of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, and focussed on youth and community development projects as the Director of Programs and Initiatives for the King Abdullah II Fund for Development.
Gerardo joined DOT in 2017 as Program Manager for Chile, supporting private sector partnerships and community relationships. Gerardo is a licensed psychologist and holds an MBA from Georgia College & State University.
For the last 12 years, Gerardo has worked with diverse populations ranging from homeless youth, migrant families, and the developmentally disabled to corporate executives, directors of charitable foundations, and politicians. He has provided extensive consultancy services in the design and implementation of management systems in the United States and in Chile.
Gerardo is committed to collaborating with the private sector and public institutions, both locally and internationally, to improve the quality of life for local citizens. He is passionate about preserving the unique local culture and environment in Chile while taking advantage of technological advancements and current, research-based best practices for community development.
Natalie is a respected consultant within Uganda’s ICT community. She has served on the management team of AITEC Uganda and was Program Manager for I-Network Uganda, where she designed and implemented public communications programs to promote the importance of ICT in Uganda's development. She also served as Director for the Kalangala Information Center, a Rural Communications Development Fund project. In 2009 she founded BDE Consults, a regional consultancy firm that provides ICT research and institutional development services to East African clients. As the Country Program Manager, Natalie oversees DOT program implementation.
Natalie has a Bachelor of Arts in Ethics and Development and a Master of Science in Development Economics from the Uganda Martyrs University.
Paula de Leon Bernal is DOT’s Program Manager for Mexico and Argentina. Paula joined DOT in 2010 as Education Project Coordinator, coordinating a digital education project that integrated ICT into elementary and secondary public school classrooms to improve the digital skills of teachers and students. In 2012, she was appointed Program Manager, leading DOT’s private sector partner activities in Mexico.
Paula holds a Bachelor's degree in Agricultural Business Administration and a Master's degree in Economics. She has worked for international non-governmental organizations in Mexico and abroad for 10 years. Paula has extensive experience in international project management, contributing to the deep community impact of DOT's partnership with IBM in Mexico and Argentina.
Eunice is a business management and institutional development specialist with more than 15 years of banking experience and more than seven years of consulting for large donor, private and public sector organizations, including DFiD and USAID.
As Country Director, she provides oversight and leadership for DOT Kenya country operations; plans and designs programs; and oversees fundraising, resource mobilization and donor relations. She has extensive experience in consulting relevant stakeholders in programme development and networking. She has established effective donor, NGO, government and private sector relationships in order to support the needs of youth, women and people living with disabilities.
Eunice is a member of the Institute of Directors, an SA8000 auditor, and an ISO 9001:2000 Lead Auditor. She is a board member of the Competition Authority and the Karen Country Club. She holds a Master of Business Administration from United States International University (San Diego).
Frank Shi is DOT’s Country Executive in China, with over 30 years’ work experience running international projects in both China and abroad, including as Trade Commissioner for Canada’s Ministry of International Trade in Southwest China. Frank led DOT China’s launch of ICT in Education programming in Sichuan Province in 2008, as well as the launch of DOT’s partnership with IBM in China in 2009. Over the past nine years, he has managed strategies, business development, and program planning and provided insights on China's development and social value to DOT’s private sector partners. Additionally, Frank leads public relations and community relationships for DOT’s private sector partners.
Violette has led DOT Rwanda since its inception in 2010. Prior to DOT Rwanda, she spent seven years at the Embassy of Rwanda in Washington DC, beginning as a policy analyst and rising to become a diplomat in the position of First Secretary. Upon completion of her mission, she was posted at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kigali, in charge of Asia and Oceania countries.
Violette is a member of the Africa Leadership Network (ALN) and recipient of the Anita Borg Institute Change Agent Award from the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. In 2016, Violette was named one of Amazon’s Watch Magazine’s Top 25 Distinguished Women in Business Excellence in Africa for her work to economically empower young girls and women. She is a mentor through the First Lady of Rwanda’s Imbuto Foundation and The MasterCard Foundation Young Africa Works, and is involved in numerous youth and women economic empowerment and technology-fueled development initiatives.
Violette holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration with a focus on International Development from Carleton University and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Comparative Development from Trent University.
Fikre has more than 23 years of hands-on experience leading and managing a wide range of development programs in Africa and Asia. Most recently, he was a regional director for Oxfam Great Britain's Southern Africa Region. He has knowledge and experience in strategic planning and program design, as well as in developing organizational policies and partnership strategies. As a Country Director, he led ActionAid International's programs in Ethiopia and Pakistan and he has also served as a board member in two prominent NGO networks in Ethiopia.
Fikre has a Master of Science in Development Studies from the London School of Economics, University of London.
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