Convinced that strategic partnerships founded on trust were essential for development in the most challenging international contexts, Dr. Ralph and Tara Leo founded True Sojourners with a prayer and a shoestring budget in 2008. Since that time, God has blessed the organization with substantial growth and influence that now reaches around the world. 

Ralph and Tara are the grateful parents of six children, two of whom are adopted from Ethiopia. Having lived and worked in over a dozen countries, they currently reside in Abu Dhabi, UAE with their family, where they have grown to love and cherish the local people and culture. 

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Doctor Ralph Leo

Founder | International Director

Ralph travels extensively, cultivating new and existing partnerships and overseeing the field work of the organization. He is also assistant professor of Middle Eastern studies and history at United Arab Emirates University.


Tara Leo

Founder | Executive Director

As a trained anthropologist with a love for all cultures, Tara loves studying and experiencing the diversity of wold cultures. Her giftedness and passion for teaching the Arabic language have served the field work of true Sojourners over the years. As Executive Director, Tara helps shape vision and strategy, together with the board, and advises on key projects.


Mark Kraines

Board President

Rev. Mark Kraines is the Senior Pastor at the Congregational Church of Goffstown, NH, and earned his M.Div from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. In his over 25 years of experience, Mark has led service projects in Europe, Asia, Central and North America. His seasoned cross-cultural experience along with his leadership gifting make him aptly suited as president of True Sojourners.

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Nancy Hellmann

Board Secretary

Nancy has invested her career in the software/technology industry and is currently Manager of Customer Account Management at Loftware. In addition to serving on the True Sojourners board, Nancy volunteers with ChildVoice International and serves as part of the leadership team at her local congregation. Nancy serves our organization in a vast array of capacities, including oversight of local events & fundraisers, logistics and supporting ongoing operations of the organization. 


Peter Smith

At Large

Having worked as an independent consultant in both the public and private sector for most of his career, Peter brings a wealth of experience to the board of True Sojourners. He is a support specialist who focuses primarily on capacity building strategies, and frequently travels the world to meet with our local partners and staff.


Joe Cheslock

Joe is a business professional in the technology industry who has spent the last several years working in product management for a global software corporation out of the northeast. Joe's volunteering background has been primarily focused on coordinating cross-cultural partnerships. His emphasis on promoting strong confluent partnerships through bilateral transparency and regular communication aligns well with the True Sojourners ethos.