Matt Marinec is a Director at The South African Orphan Project, and focuses on fundraising and events.

Matt is currently the Confidential Assistant to the Director at the U.S. Office of Government Ethics. The position is a Schedule C Political Appointment in the Administration of President Barack Obama. Previously, Matt was a Travel Coordinator for the international public health non-profit Management Sciences for Health (MSH), with experience in external communications, in-country presence and global logistics. Matt graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy from Missouri State University, and with a Master’s of Public Policy at George Mason University.


Upcoming events:

Friday, February 7th: Our first fundraiser at Smith Commons, located at 1245 H St, NE.


Joshua Swarz  is the Founder and President of The South African Orphan Project, which was incorporated in December of 2013. 

Josh is currently a Senior Account Executive at Allison+Partners. Josh graduated from George Mason University in 2014 with a Masters Degree in International Commerce and Policy, and from Dickinson College in 2008 with a B.A. in Political Science. Josh has worked in numerous roles including: Account Executive at Allison + Partners, Chief Legislative Assistant to Joseph Abruzzo in the Florida Legislature, and as an aide to the President of the American Federation of Teachers. Josh has also worked in the U.S. Congress, the United States Department of Commerce, and the United States Department of State. 

President & founder

Samantha Lohse is a Director at The South African Orphan Project, and focuses on strategic outreach.

Samantha is currently a Project Manager, Marketing at the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) where she is responsible for on-site marketing and design at NBAA’s international and domestic conventions.  Samantha has a Masters Degree in International Commerce and Policy from George Mason University and a B.S.B.A. in Marketing from Old Dominion University.

Gabrielle Arcangeli is the Vice President at The South African Orphan Project, and currently focuses on marketing and outreach for the organization. 

Gabrielle is currently a graduate student at New York University's Center for Global Affairs with a focus on Energy and the Environment. Gabrielle graduated with a M.S. in Applied American Politics and Policy from Florida State University, and has a B.A. in Political Science from Eckerd College. In addition to serving on the board of the SAOP she also serves as Vice President at the Sand Pond Foundation. 

Board of Directors

David Baum is a Director at The South African Orphan Project, and focuses on communications and public relations.

A strategist with a background forged in the political arena, David works with organizations to educate audiences, correct misperceptions and develop influential communication programs. David has deep experience in public affairs, and global politics. In his career, David has developed and implemented integrated communication campaigns for clients such as UL, Waste Management, Orbital Sciences, Honeybee Robotics, Bechtel, Irving Oil, Telx, Merkle, Thoughtworks, Rally Software, Tech Mahindra and Mahindra Satyam. David previously served on the political staffs of Governor Jon Corzine and the Honorable Paddy Tipping, MP, House of Commons in the United Kingdom. David has a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University


vice president

The South African Orphan Project, Inc.