Theil T. Theil, MA, ACTFL Certified
South Sudanese American
Ph.D. Student, Eastern University, Pennsylvania, USA
President & Founder of Undying Hope International, USA
President & Founder of RVCC Rotract Club, New Jersey, USA
First SPLM Chairman & Co-Founder, New Jersey, USA 2002-2006
SPLM Secretary for Youth Affairs, Washington D.C. 2007-2009
Rotary Club International, New Jersey, and Maryland, USA
Anne Arundel Leadership Program, Maryland, USA
Ordained Pastor, Maryland, USA
Undying Hope Board Member
Theil was born and raised in Aweil, South Sudan. As a child during the Sudanese civil war, he witnessed atrocities first-hand. At age 13, his family moved from Aweil to Khartoum, Sudan's capital city. Nine years later, he fled to Syria and was granted protection as a refugee by the United Nations.
Theil came to the United States (US) in 1998 as a refugee and became a citizen in 2004. Because he did not speak English, Theil began his educational endeavor in the US with English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, followed by formal college courses and university education.
Theil held significant leadership and organizational roles in the US and East Africa and has developed substantial new public health and leadership development programs.
Living in East Africa (Sudan, South Sudan, and Uganda), in Syria, and the US, has given Theil on-site experience with the culture and history of each of these countries. Theil is fluent in English and Arabic and is also conversant in Syrian, Egyptian, and Dinka.
He has taken numerous leadership and management courses in the US and has completed a Master’s Degree Program in Organizational Leadership. Currently, Theil is a doctoral student in Organizational Leadership at Eastern University in Pennsylvania, USA.
Theil is an exemplary leader with an indomitable spirit and an unmatched personal story of overcoming adversity. As a direct result of his undying hope for a better future, resilience, tenacity, unwavering love for South Sudan, extensive leadership and management experiences, strong educational background, a natural gift in relationship building and networking, Theil along with his wife, Aluel Malu, Co-founded Undying Hope International (UHI) in the United States for South Sudan and beyond. Theil and Aluel live in Texas and are blessed with two precious children.
Aluel G. Malu
Chef Aluel Malu (Theil) is a South Sudanese American. She was born in Khartoum, Sudan, and grew up in the same neighborhood until she married Theil T. Theil. Soon after traditional marriage, Aluel traveled with Theil’s family to Egypt, where she spent the next four years. In 2004, Theil and Aluel got married at the Church in Cairo. A year later, in 2005, Aluel made it to United Stated and has been with her husband ever since. Theil and Aluel live in Texas and are blessed with two precious children.
Chef Aluel is passionate about education and deeply concerned for orphans and early marriages. This profound compassion stemmed from seeing scores of orphans (boys and girls) and street children wandering on the streets of South Sudan aimlessly and without hope for a better future. Decades of Sudan civil war, extreme poverty, and hardship contributed vastly to early marriages and the high illiteracy rate (73%) in South Sudan. Aluel believes it is not only advantageous but necessary for girls to be in schools rather than given into marriage at an early age.
Chef Aluel considers food as a universal unifier. It brings people together regardless of their tribes, nationalities, cultures, and backgrounds. She loves to cook different types of cuisines, including but not limited to Africans, Americans, and the Mediterranean. Although she acquired a wealth of cooking experience through practice, Chef Aluel believes that adding an educational credential to her cooking experience will pay dividends. Chef Aluel is now a Culinary Arts student.
As a Co-Founder of Undying Hope International (UHI) and Short-Term Missions Advisory Lead, Chef Aluel desires to work collaboratively with Theil Theil, Undying Hope's leadership team, as well as friends and family to give back to South Sudan and beyond. Her utmost desire is to play a role in improving the lives of orphans and street children through education, especially girls' education. She hopes to help reduce the high illiteracy rate, promote girls' education, and utilize food to bring about unity, peace, and harmony in South Sudan and beyond.
"C.S. Lewis said 'Progress means not just changing, but changing for the better.' This is my hope for the impact of Undying Hope International in South Sudan and beyond."
The mission of Undying Hope is educational to impact the people of South Sudan and beyond in four spheres of activity:
- Basic education
- Public health and healthcare services
- Leadership development
- Spiritual formation in the way of Jesus
Undying Hope's goal is to build Guiding Star Leadership Academy in Wau and Seeds of Hope Orphanage Elementary School in Theil and Aluel's hometown, Aweil. Theil and Aluel’s utmost hope is to give back to South Sudan compassionately, build a sustainable organization, attract investors, enhance South Sudan's illiteracy rate, reduce maternal and infant mortality rates, and promote physical and spiritual health.
Book Theil for a public speaking engagement
Listen to Theil Theil share his incredible story of overcoming the challenges of growing up in a civil war as well as the vision for Undying Hope. He can bring this inspirational message to schools, organizations, churches, groups, etc.
Board of Directors
Dr. Charles M. Balch, MD
Founding Editor-in-Chief Emeritus, Annals of Surgical Oncology
Co-Editor-in-Chief, Chinese Clinical Oncology
President, Cancer Expert Now International
President, International Sentinel Node Society
Professor of Surgery
Department of Surgical Oncology
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Dr. Charles M. Balch has led a distinguished career as a clinical and academic surgical oncologist for the past 45 years, as a leading authority in both melanoma and breast cancer. He has also made significant contributions to laboratory research in tumor immunology and human T lymphocyte differentiation. He is the author of over 813 publications, which have been cited over 30,000 times in the biomedical literature (an average of 69 citations per article, h-index of 85). He has lectured in over 42 different countries in the world and most of the major academic centers in the United States. Dr. Balch was the founding Editor-in-Chief of the Annals of Surgical Oncology, which is recognized as the leading journal in the world in its field, with over 11,000 surgical and library subscribers in 110 countries. He is also the Editor-in-Chief for Patient Resource Cancer Guides, which distribute over one million cancer guides (with 21 different titles) to cancer patients each year.
In past years, Dr. Balch has served as Executive Vice President and CEO of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (2000-2005), and as President and CEO of the City of Hope National Medical Center (1996-2000). At the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, from 1985-1996, Dr. Balch served as Executive Vice President for Health Affairs, Vice
President of Hospital and Clinics, and Head of the Division of Surgery, among other positions. Dr. Balch’s leadership roles have involved the Society of Surgical Oncology (as President in 1992), where he currently serves as Editor-in-Chief for the society’s peer-reviewed journal, the Annals of Surgical Oncology, the American Board of Surgery (Board of Directors), the Association of Academic Surgeons (President), The International Sentinel Node Society (as President), the Commission on Cancer (Chair, Board of Directors) and the American Joint Committee on Cancer (Executive Committee). He holds honorary memberships in 12 national surgical organizations (including the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, the Japan Surgical Society, Chinese Society of Clinical Oncology, and the European Society of Surgical Oncology), a Ph.D. degree (Honora causa) from the University of Crete, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the British Association of Surgical Oncology, Professor Emeritus from John Hopkins University, and the Highest Alumni Award from his alma mater, The University of Toledo.
Paula Rieger, D.NP
Paula Rieger is a well-recognized oncology nurse who served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Oncology Nursing Society, based in Pittsburgh, PA from November 2007 through August of 2014. Prior to that, she served as the Director of International Affairs for the American Society of Clinical Oncology, based in Alexandria, VA where she started the Department of International Affairs. She worked as a nurse at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston for twenty-three years, focused primarily in the field of medical oncology with expertise in both biological therapies and cancer genetics.
Ms. Rieger received her Master of Science in Nursing degree from The University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston in 1986 after receiving her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1978. In addition, Ms. Rieger has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from U.C. Davis and has completed studies as a nurse practitioner at The University of Texas Health Science Center/Houston. She was certified as a certified association executive (CAE) from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) from 2010 through 2021. She was also certified as an advanced oncology nurse from 1998 through 2007. In May of 2019, Ms. Rieger completed her doctorate in nursing practice at the Jane and Robert Cizik School of Nursing at UT Health with a focus in leadership and administration. In August of 2019, Dr. Rieger graduated with a post-master's degree in nursing education.
She has been active at both the local and national levels of the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS). Ms. Rieger was President of the Houston Chapter Oncology Nursing Society from 1990-1991. She served on the National ONS Board of Directors as Secretary and on the Oncology Nursing Foundation Board of Directors from 1995-1998. She completed a two-year term as national president of the Oncology Nursing Society in April of 2002 and a two-year term as Immediate Past-President in 2004 where she served on the Nominating Committee. She also served as an Associate Editor for the Oncology Nursing Forum and was a co-editor of the Leadership & Professional Development column. She served as the lead coordinator for the coordinating team of the Nursing Organization Alliance (NOA) from 2009-2010. Following her retirement in 2014, she was recognized by NOA as a nursing legend at the Fall summit meeting for “impact on the nursing profession and the legacy she left behind”.
During her professional career, Dr. Rieger has maintained continuous support of the nursing profession through publications, contributions as a research collaborator, and over 200 presentations at scientific and professional meetings on biotherapy, cancer genetics, symptom management, and other cancer-related topics. She has edited four books on the subject of biotherapy and served as a consultant in the production of numerous educational videotapes for both patients and health care professionals. In 1992, she was awarded the Schering/ONS Excellence in Biotherapy Award and in 1994 was a co-recipient of the ONS/CHIRON Therapeutics/Susan Baird Oncology Excellence in Writing Award. In 1993, she received the International Patient Education Council’s Outstanding Patient Educator Award. In 1997, Ms. Rieger (Co-Principal Investigator) was awarded an Oncology Nursing Foundation grant in the amount of $8500 for “Nurses’ Knowledge and Attitudes Regarding Genetics and Genetic Testing”. In 1997, she was inducted as a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing. In 1999 she was awarded the Oncology Nursing Society/Ortho Biotech Inc. FIRE Excellence Award for recognition of outstanding achievements in the field of fatigue management. In 2014, she was chosen as the UCLA School of Nursing Distinguished Alumni.
During her retirement, she has taught classes in English as a second language.
Leigh Marcus is consistently one of the top producers in Kingwood and the Greater Houston Metroplex. She has received special recognition for Top Listing Agent and Top Production; is a Prestigious RE/MAX Platinum Club Award winner, RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Award winner and has been inducted into the RE/MAX Hall of Fame. In addition, Leigh has been recognized by the Houston Business Journal as one of the Top 20 Outstanding Agents in Houston and the state of Texas. Leigh was recently named as the Top 100 Most Influential Real Estate Agents in Texas by Real Estate Executive Magazine.
Leigh’s professional background as a marketing manager and former Bed and Breakfast owner provide a unique opportunity to help those in need of Real Estate services.
Leigh is currently on the advisory board at Southern Methodist University; a sustaining board member of the Jr. League of Houston and was also nominated and elected to The Board of Governors at The Kingwood Country Club. Leigh is also a Captain, serving on the International Committee at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo and a member of the Wine Committee and Trailblazers, where Leigh was awarded Rookie of the Year for her volunteer services. She is a member of the Humble Chamber of Commerce and a Deacon at the First Presbyterian Church of Kingwood. She has been a Houston resident since 1983.