Our Team Determined People Helping Ukraine

A dreamy sunset across a wheat field

Ukraine Rises is governed and operated by a pro bono, volunteer Board of Directors, whose long-term commitment to Ukraine ensures the organization’s ability to deliver immediate impact where it is needed most.

Additionally, our pro bono Advisory Council provides hands-on support in the areas of logistics, policy, fundraising, and public relations.

Our team comes from all walks of life—personal, professional, cultural—with one thing in common: we are a group of people helping Ukraine through its darkest time.

Board of Directors

Jessica Bleyzer


Jessica is a Partner at SigmaBleyzer, where she is responsible for strategic initiatives, including new business development and thought leadership. Jessica rejoined SigmaBleyzer in 2019 and currently works with governments and international financial institutions to develop in-crisis and post-war catalytic funding initiatives for Ukraine. She also supports the firm’s US-based biotech portfolio and was actively pursuing Ukrainian biotech investment opportunities prior to Russia’s full-blown invasion in early 2022. Jessica previously worked in management consulting at Roland Berger, a leading global strategy consultancy, where she ran strategic growth and organizational transformation projects for Fortune 500 companies. She holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a BA in Economics from Northwestern University.

Jessica also serves on the Board of Directors of Mary Meyer Preschool, a play-based NAEYC-accredited preschool in Chicago and previously served on the Board of Directors of Daar Charitable Foundation, SigmaBleyzer’s affiliated 501(c)(3) that supports Ukrainian children and cultural preservation.

Lev Bleyzer


Lev is a Founding Partner and COO of SigmaBleyzer, where he has played a key role in developing the firm’s Ukrainian, Romanian and Kazakh operational infrastructure since 1994. Most recently, Lev has been instrumental in developing the firm’s agricultural holdings, helping to lead the rollup of the Ukrainian agricultural business, Harmelia, and its subsequent reverse merger with AgroGeneration; this created one of the largest agricultural enterprises in Ukraine with over 120,000 hectares and multiple silos throughout the country. AgroGeneration is a public company listed on the Paris Stock Exchange.

Lev attended the Kharkiv Engineering and Economics Institute in Ukraine. He immigrated to the United States in 1981 and graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in Management. Lev serves on the Board of Directors of numerous companies, including the Board of AgroGeneration, where he is Chairman of the Renumeration Committee and an active member of the Audit Committee. In joining the Board of Ukraine Rises, Lev brings his extensive operating and turnaround experience to support the organization’s development and reconstruction efforts.

Viktoriya Bondarets


Viktoriya is a Partner in the Kyiv office of Roland Berger, a leading global strategy consulting company. She has over 15 years of advisory experience and has been leading holistic transformation programs for her clients across both the private and public sectors in Ukraine, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Viktoriya's subject-matter expertise includes growth strategies and PMI, diversification and internationalization, as well as HR, organizational and governance topics. She has worked extensively in the Agriculture, Transport and Infrastructure, Consumer Goods and Retail sectors, as well as in Media and Tech.

Prior to joining Ukraine Rises as a founding Board member, Viktoriya supported several charities in the deployment of over $10 million of humanitarian aid for Ukraine – providing supplies to hospitals, orphanages and internally displaced individuals. Viktoriya holds a master’s degree in International Economics from Ukraine’s Dnipro University of Technology, as well as a master’s degree in Environmental Engineering from the Brandenburg Technical University of Cottbus in Germany.

Dr. Jessica Edison, MD


Jessica is a developmental and behavioral pediatrician at AMITA Health in Chicago, where she specializes in autism spectrum disorders, ADHD and intellectual disabilities. She lectures on a variety of topics, including disability law and rights, trisomy 21 and narrative medicine, among others. Jessica completed her developmental and behavioral pediatrics fellowship at the University of Chicago and her pediatrics residency at Inova Children’s Hospital in Fairfax, Virginia. Prior to that, she earned her medical degree from the Ohio State University and a bachelor’s degree in Theatre Studies from Duke University.

Jessica is an active champion of civic engagement and has been inspired by the Ukrainian people’s determination to ensure their right to democracy and national sovereignty. In an effort to better support Ukraine, Jessica now serves on the Board of Directors of Ukraine Rises as its Chief Medical Officer, helping to oversee the organization’s ongoing shipments of medical supplies and medications, as well as to develop its partnerships within the US health industry.

Bogdan Ignaschenko


Bogdan is a Partner in the New York office of Apollo Global Management, where he leads Private Equity Teams in deals across various industries. He joined Apollo Global Management in 2011 as part of the firm’s London office and previously worked in the Investment Banking Division of Credit Suisse. Bogdan has served on the Boards of Directors of several companies and was recently appointed to the Board of Aeroméxico. He graduated from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science in Economics.

Bogdan was born and raised in Ukraine and has worked tirelessly to deliver all manner of aid to Ukraine over the past several months of the war. In addition to his work with Ukraine Rises, he continues to further Ukraine’s national security objectives and play an active role in the volunteer organization, Ukraine Needs Wheels.

Alex Plitsas


Alex is a Principal at Providence Consulting Group, a management and IT implementation consulting firm, where he built up the Aerospace & Defense and High-Tech & Electronics practice. Alex is a US Army Special Operations Combat Veteran and a Bronze Star Medal Recipient of the Iraq War. He also served a tour of duty in Afghanistan as a Defense Civilian Intelligence Officer and later completed his federal service at the Pentagon as the Chief of Sensitive Activities for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict in the Office of the Secretary of Defense; in this capacity, he was responsible for policy and operational oversight for a portfolio of sensitive compartmented activities, including special technical operations, hostage rescue, information operations and other highly classified programs. Before joining Providence Consulting Group, he also worked in finance at Bridgewater Associates and ran operations for an Aerospace & Defense manufacturing company.

Alex holds a certificate in Emergency Management from FEMA, completed his undergraduate studies in Political Science at American University and attended graduate school for Global Security Studies at John Hopkins University. He serves as a Strategic Advisor and spokesperson for Human First Coalition, an Afghanistan-focused 501(c)(3) and joins the Board of Directors of Ukraine Rises to lend his significant defense, information coordination and political expertise.

Advisory Council

Texas State Senator Tan Parker


Tan is a State Senator for the 12th Senate District of Texas. He serves as Vice Chair for the Senate Committee on Veteran Affairs and as a member of the Senate Committees on Administration, Education, Local Government, State Affairs and Transportation. During his time serving as a State in the Texas House, he has also held important committee roles pertaining to international trade, technological and economic development, state fiscal policy, delivery of social services, municipal operations and other core policy matters that impact the State of Texas. An advocate for keeping government accessible, accountable and grounded in service to others, he is also the creator and editor of the book “Making Government Work.”

Tan holds a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Dallas. Outside his time serving in the public sector, Tan has built a decorated private sector business career that includes extensive experience in the technology, software, financial services and private equity industries. A longtime friend of Ukraine, Tan serves on the Advisory Board of Ukraine Rises, where he has been critical to developing the organization’s international logistics partnerships. He has also served on the Board of Trustees for the University of Dallas and several advisory councils, including for the Communities in Schools of North Texas, the Children’s Advocacy Center for North Texas, Ranch Hand Rescue and Kyle’s Place.