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Our Team

Our core values of teamwork, productiveness, initiative and gratefulness are at the heart of everything we do.

Our Core Values

Kate Grant

Chief Executive Officer

Kate Grant joined the Foundation as its first Chief Executive in 2005. She led the expansion of the Foundation from supporting one hospital in one country, Ethiopia, to its current position as the global leader in fistula treatment, supporting treatment partners in more than 20 countries in Africa and Asia....

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Kate Grant joined the Foundation as its first Chief Executive in 2005. She led the expansion of the Foundation from supporting one hospital in one country, Ethiopia, to its current position as the global leader in fistula treatment, supporting treatment partners in more than 20 countries in Africa and Asia. Under her leadership, the Foundation is raising five times as much money as a decade ago, and supporting 15 times as many surgeries, while helping build new women’s hospitals in Kenya, Bangladesh, Congo and Tanzania. She’s formed partnerships with key leaders such as Johnson & Johnson, Astellas Pharma EMEA, The Life You Can Save founded by Professor Peter Singer, Direct Relief, and Engender Health. She’s led the Foundation to excellence – 15 consecutive four-star ratings from Charity Navigator, placing the Foundation in the top 1% of nonprofit organizations evaluated, earning a consistent “A” from Charity Watch, being named one of the top 50 charities in the U.S. by Consumer Reports, and enabling Fistula Foundation to earn more than 600 perfect 5 star ratings on GreatNonprofits. In recognition of these achievements, in 2014, Ms. Grant was named “Nonprofit Marketer of the Year” by the American Marketing Association and American Marketing Association Foundation.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Ms. Grant was engaged in advocating for a strong United States role in international cooperation. She served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee Staff and as the Special Assistant and Deputy Chief of Staff at USAID and as a consultant to USAID’s Mission in Tanzania, the Rockefeller Foundation, the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, and the Women’s Funding Network. Ms. Grant holds an MPA with a focus on International Development from Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs, where she was elected chair of the school’s Graduate student body. Prior to attending Princeton, she was an advertising executive at two large agencies: Leo Burnett in Chicago and FCB in San Francisco, managing campaigns for Fortune 500 companies such as Levi Strauss, McDonald’s, and Clorox. She graduated with honors from the Haas School of Business at the University of California-Berkeley. She also completed the Harvard Business School Executive Education Program in Nonprofit Management. Ms. Grant has served on several boards, including the Governing Board of Graduate Alumni of Princeton University. She regularly gives presentations about the Foundation’s work, having lectured twice at Princeton University and at Oxford University, for the 2015 Effective Altruism Global conference.

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Anne Ferguson

Deputy Director

Anne Ferguson joined the Foundation in late November 2003 as its first paid staff member. Since joining the Foundation she’s guided the formulation of policies and procedures to enable the organization’s growth. She has primary responsibility for financial systems, grants, HR and database management. Prior to working with the Fistula...

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Anne Ferguson joined the Foundation in late November 2003 as its first paid staff member. Since joining the Foundation she’s guided the formulation of policies and procedures to enable the organization’s growth. She has primary responsibility for financial systems, grants, HR and database management. Prior to working with the Fistula Foundation, she worked in the private sector in the United Kingdom as an HR Manager and at a senior administrative level. Anne earned an MA in English & Modern History from St. Andrews University in Scotland, an HR qualification from the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development in the UK, and was certified SPHR by the HR Certification Institute in the USA.

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Pam Lowney

Chief Operations Officer

As Chief Operating Officer, Pam broadly oversees process and IT improvements across the Foundation’s Program, Fundraising, and Administrative functions. Pam joined the Fistula Foundation in 2018 as Director of Strategic Initiatives. In this role, she led the redesign of the Foundation’s web presence to expand the Foundation's global community of...

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As Chief Operating Officer, Pam broadly oversees process and IT improvements across the Foundation’s Program, Fundraising, and Administrative functions. Pam joined the Fistula Foundation in 2018 as Director of Strategic Initiatives. In this role, she led the redesign of the Foundation’s web presence to expand the Foundation’s global community of supporters.

Pam brings 10+ years of experience working at the intersection of health, communications, and technology at Stanford Medicine, a leading academic medical center. As Digital Content Lead for Stanford Health Care, she led the content strategy effort to transform the healthcare system’s online user experience and better serve the needs of patients across the care journey. In 2017, she launched a digital content program, supporting care delivery across Stanford’s 250+ complex care clinics and primary care network. 

She also served as lead content strategist on two redesigns of the medical center’s web environment. Both projects received a national Award of Excellence by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), an industry top honor. 

Pam’s commitment to service-driven communications builds on her earlier experience as a journalist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and roles at the Haight Ashbury Free Clinic in San Francisco and Centro Adelante Campesino, a migrant farmworker center in AZ.  

Pam earned her BA in English from U.C. Berkeley. She will complete an MPH in Health Management and Policy from U.C. Los Angeles in June 2023.

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Lindsey Pollaczek

Chief Program Officer

Lindsey Pollaczek joined Fistula Foundation in 2014, initially based out of Nairobi, Kenya. She now serves as chief program officer, overseeing the Foundation’s programs in over 20 countries in Africa and Asia. Amongst her accomplishments is leading the successful Action on Fistula program in Kenya, and launching a countrywide program...

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Lindsey Pollaczek joined Fistula Foundation in 2014, initially based out of Nairobi, Kenya. She now serves as chief program officer, overseeing the Foundation’s programs in over 20 countries in Africa and Asia. Amongst her accomplishments is leading the successful Action on Fistula program in Kenya, and launching a countrywide program in Zambia that have collectively provided over 6,000 fistula surgeries and strengthened national capacity for treatment, prevention, and rehabilitation.
Prior to joining Fistula Foundation, Lindsey worked with the humanitarian organization Direct Relief, overseeing the organization’s Maternal and Child Health portfolio, where she designed and implemented programs to improve access to essential health services for women and children, particularly the right to a safe pregnancy and delivery, and treatment for obstetric fistula. Lindsey holds a MPH in Community Health Sciences from UCLA and is a Senior Fellow with the Atlantic Fellowship for Health Equity, a program that supports global leaders working to combat health disparity and promote equity.

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Shelly Helgeson

Vice President of Business and Partnership Development

Shelly Helgeson originated the role of vice president of business and partnership development at Fistula Foundation. She brings to the role more than 15 years of experience in social entrepreneurship and strategic communications. She also brings a commitment to ensuring that birthing people everywhere have access to quality healthcare. Prior...

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Shelly Helgeson originated the role of vice president of business and partnership development at Fistula Foundation. She brings to the role more than 15 years of experience in social entrepreneurship and strategic communications. She also brings a commitment to ensuring that birthing people everywhere have access to quality healthcare.

Prior to joining Fistula Foundation, Shelly was director of communications & partnerships at Equalize Health. While there, she led the strategy for securing partnerships that expanded the organization’s ability to connect mothers and babies with life-saving healthcare. Previously, she served in leadership roles at the University of San Francisco, where she worked to increase educational opportunities for people historically excluded from higher education, including refugees.  

Shelly has also worked with both large NGOs and grassroots organizations to support community-led development initiatives in Kenya, Malawi, Uganda, and the United States. Her love of communications and storytelling stems from her early career in New York City as a documentary filmmaker, specializing in films that give voice to marginalized communities.

Shelly holds a bachelor’s in communications and world religions from Ithaca College and a master’s of public administration from the University of San Francisco. When she isn’t forging great partnerships for Fistula Foundation, she is traveling, making music, and hiking the beautiful landscapes of Northern California.

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Michael Slind

Vice President of Marketing and Communication

Michael, who joined Fistula Foundation in 2021, has extensive experience as a strategic communication professional. He previously served as Director of Communication at King Philanthropies, a grantmaking organization that focuses on alleviating global poverty. From 2013 to 2016, he was the Senior Editor of Stanford Social Innovation Review, a quarterly...

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Michael, who joined Fistula Foundation in 2021, has extensive experience as a strategic communication professional. He previously served as Director of Communication at King Philanthropies, a grantmaking organization that focuses on alleviating global poverty. From 2013 to 2016, he was the Senior Editor of Stanford Social Innovation Review, a quarterly journal for makers of social change. Before then, he worked at Harvard Business School, where he wrote case studies on corporate strategy and entrepreneurial management. Michael is also co-author, with Boris Groysberg, of Talk, Inc.: How Trusted Leaders Use Conversation to Power Their Organizations (Harvard Business Review Press, 2012). Earlier in his career, he served as the Managing Editor and as a Senior Editor of Fast Company magazine. In addition, Michael served as an editorial consultant for business author Tom Peters, among others. He holds a master’s degree in history from Cornell University and a master of public affairs degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

 

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Team U.S.

Kelly Anderson

Senior Director of Philanthropy
kelly@fistulafoundation.org

Kelly Anderson is pleased to join the dedicated team at Fistula Foundation as Senior Director of Philanthropy. Kelly’s commitment to women’s health and social justice began as a sexual assault crisis line volunteer at the University of Michigan. After two decades in leadership roles in rape crisis centers – first...

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Kelly Anderson is pleased to join the dedicated team at Fistula Foundation as Senior Director of Philanthropy.

Kelly’s commitment to women’s health and social justice began as a sexual assault crisis line volunteer at the University of Michigan. After two decades in leadership roles in rape crisis centers – first in Washington, DC and then in Madison, Wisc. where she worked to expand service for underserved communities – she moved to the San Francisco Bay area in 2015 to serve as CEO of the Nepal Youth Foundation.

In addition to her professional experience, Kelly has engaged in related volunteer and community activities. In DC, she co-founded and served as the president of a small non-profit that supports women unable to afford medical treatment, spent six years as a mentor at BeFriend a Child, and served on the Washington Area Women’s Foundation grants committee. In Madison, her commitments included chairing the Dane County Commission on Sensitive Crimes and the Community Coordinated Response on Sexual Assault, serving as a board member of the Hancock Center for Dance/Movement Therapy, and fostering and rehabilitating rescue dogs.

Originally from the Midwest, Kelly is thrilled to be able hike and backpack in the stunning mountain ranges of northern California. She finds joy and satisfaction in her role connecting generous, compassionate individuals with the world of good they can help accomplish.

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Darren Blankenship

Darren Blankenship

Database Administrator

Darren Blankenship is glad join Fistula Foundation as Database Administrator. Darren brings over twenty years of experience working with various Bay Area non-profits and educational institutions. His passion is for systems integration and data integrity, and he is excited to bring this to Fistula Foundation. He holds a bachelor’s degree...

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Darren Blankenship is glad join Fistula Foundation as Database Administrator. Darren brings over twenty years of experience working with various Bay Area non-profits and educational institutions. His passion is for systems integration and data integrity, and he is excited to bring this to Fistula Foundation. He holds a bachelor’s degree from San Francisco State University. When he’s not working, he enjoys spending time with his family, reading science fiction, and catching up on recent developments in science and technology.

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Jesse Chu

Program Manager

Jesse joined Fistula Foundation in 2019 and serves as the Program Manager, helping to support dozens of partnerships in over 20 countries. Jesse learned about fistula while serving as community health organizer with the Peace Corps in Ethiopia, where she developed and implemented programs to empower youth with reproductive health...

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Jesse joined Fistula Foundation in 2019 and serves as the Program Manager, helping to support dozens of partnerships in over 20 countries. Jesse learned about fistula while serving as community health organizer with the Peace Corps in Ethiopia, where she developed and implemented programs to empower youth with reproductive health education.

She is passionate about gender equality and social entrepreneurship, and has worked on projects ranging from postpartum hemorrhage training in Guatemala to recycling feasibility studies in Indonesia. She holds a BA in International Studies from American University and an MBA from the Yale School of Management.

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Hannah Garone

Donor Relations Manager

Hannah Garone joined Fistula Foundation as Donor Relations Manager in June 2022. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology, with a specialization in health and environment, from the College of New Jersey. An alumna of AmeriCorps, Hannah served with City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley in 2016–2017. She then worked...

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Hannah Garone joined Fistula Foundation as Donor Relations Manager in June 2022. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology, with a specialization in health and environment, from the College of New Jersey. An alumna of AmeriCorps, Hannah served with City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley in 2016–2017. She then worked as a recruiter for City Year, where she cultivated relationships with potential candidates and monitored candidate data. Hannah has also worked as a teacher both locally and internationally, and she brings a passion for relationship-building to her work at Fistula Foundation. That work supports core donor relations functions and project management for fundraising efforts.

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Keerthana Rajagopal

Associate Program Manager

Keerthana (Kee) Rajagopal joined Fistula Foundation as associate program manager in August 2022. Kee holds a master’s in public health from the University of California Berkeley and a master’s in health administration from Pennsylvania State University. In her role on the programs team, Kee supports grantmaking and helps strengthen partnerships...

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Keerthana (Kee) Rajagopal joined Fistula Foundation as associate program manager in August 2022. Kee holds a master’s in public health from the University of California Berkeley and a master’s in health administration from Pennsylvania State University. In her role on the programs team, Kee supports grantmaking and helps strengthen partnerships with our global network of fistula care providers.

Kee has 10 years of experience in global and domestic health programs. She started her career at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates. There, she led project management and implementation for a hospital-wide electronic health record system. She then worked as a management consultant and led several change management healthcare projects at Deloitte in Boston. Most recently, Kee worked at the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), where she oversaw the Title V Block Grant Fund for the Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Division.

Kee is passionate about elevating equity and moving the needle on pressing health issues. Kee grew up in India and currently lives in California with her husband and her three-year-old daughter.

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Jackelen Renteria-Bustos

Jackelen Renteria-Bustos

Marketing and Communication Associate

Jackelen Renteria-Bustos joined Fistula Foundation as a marketing and communication associate in August of 2022. She has a bachelor of science degree in business administration, with a specialization in marketing, from San Jose State University, and she has worked as an intern at for-profit organizations. Her passion for creating a...

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Jackelen Renteria-Bustos joined Fistula Foundation as a marketing and communication associate in August of 2022. She has a bachelor of science degree in business administration, with a specialization in marketing, from San Jose State University, and she has worked as an intern at for-profit organizations. Her passion for creating a positive impact in the lives of others brought her to Fistula Foundation. Her work for the organization supports the donor relations and communications teams, and focuses on building and maintaining connections with donors.

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Tarah Walker

Senior Writer

Tarah Walker joined Fistula Foundation in July 2021 as Senior Writer for Marketing Communications. She brings with her six years of experience in nonprofit communications, including media and public relations, content marketing, and internal communications. In addition to her public relations role at ACT, the global education nonprofit, Tarah led...

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Tarah Walker joined Fistula Foundation in July 2021 as Senior Writer for Marketing Communications. She brings with her six years of experience in nonprofit communications, including media and public relations, content marketing, and internal communications. In addition to her public relations role at ACT, the global education nonprofit, Tarah led communications for ACT’s internal volunteer organization, facilitating donation drives for women’s organizations in Iowa, like the Domestic Violence Intervention Program, and generating positive broadcast coverage for ACT. She has volunteered for women’s organizations like the Iowa Women’s Foundation, using her communications expertise to promote economic self-sufficiency for women and girls. Tarah is a graduate of American University (MA, Strategic Communications) and the University of Iowa (BA, Journalism & Mass Communications). She believes that messages hold immense power and hopes to use her gift for communications to empower donor action and transform the lives of women across the world.

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Morgan Walter

Digital Media Manager

Morgan Walter joined in 2018. She holds a bachelors of arts in cinema from San Francisco State University, with an emphasis in documentaries. In 2012, her first film, “I Agree With Jennifer,” won third place at the Social Impact Doc Fest. This sparked her commitment to documentary filmmaking as a...

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Morgan Walter joined in 2018. She holds a bachelors of arts in cinema from San Francisco State University, with an emphasis in documentaries. In 2012, her first film, “I Agree With Jennifer,” won third place at the Social Impact Doc Fest. This sparked her commitment to documentary filmmaking as a tool for positive change in the world. Since then, Morgan has cultivated experience as video editor working for production houses throughout the Bay Area. She is honored to bring women’s stories to life through video, connecting Fistula Foundation donors to the life-transforming fistula work they are enabling.

 

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Team Kenya

Habiba Corodhia Mohamed

Regional Director

Habiba C. Mohamed is regional director of programs, based out of Fistula Foundation’s Kenya office. Habiba joined the Foundation in 2014 as the outreach manager. In this role, she designed and spearheaded the community strategy for the Fistula Foundation Treatment Network in Kenya. Later, she was promoted to country director...

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Habiba C. Mohamed is regional director of programs, based out of Fistula Foundation’s Kenya office. Habiba joined the Foundation in 2014 as the outreach manager. In this role, she designed and spearheaded the community strategy for the Fistula Foundation Treatment Network in Kenya. Later, she was promoted to country director to oversee the entire network of hospital and community partners. In her role as regional director of programs, Habiba is responsible for the expansion of the treatment network model throughout the African region.

Prior to joining Fistula Foundation, Habiba had worked in fistula programming for nearly a decade. She began her career as a veterinarian, assisting livestock farmers in western Kenya. Through her close contact with these rural communities, she became familiar with the socioeconomic challenges they experience and developed a passion for working with marginalized women. In 2006, she founded Women and Development Against Distress in Africa (WADADIA), a Kenyan nonprofit that advocates for women’s rights and reproductive health. While serving as lead director of WADADIA, Habiba also supported a community program funded by the United Nations Population Fund for six years, and served as a consultant program specialist for One By One, a US-based nonprofit focused on fistula treatment.

Habiba is currently working towards her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at Kenyatta University. She holds undergraduate and master’s degrees in the same subject from Mt. Kenya University, and has a higher diploma in Social Work and Community Development. Her research on the psychological effects of obstetric fistula has been published in the International Journal of Sciences, and the verbal screening tool she developed has improved identification of fistula cases.

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Nelson Musa

Monitoring & Evaluation Officer

Nelson Musa is Monitoring & Evaluation Officer of Fistula Foundation’s nationwide treatment network in Kenya. He brings fourteen years of experience in organizing and community health. Prior to joining Fistula Foundation, Nelson worked as an organizer for Jhpiego, and currently partners with WADADIA (Women and Development Against Distress in Africa),...

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Nelson Musa is Monitoring & Evaluation Officer of Fistula Foundation’s nationwide treatment network in Kenya. He brings fourteen years of experience in organizing and community health. Prior to joining Fistula Foundation, Nelson worked as an organizer for Jhpiego, and currently partners with WADADIA (Women and Development Against Distress in Africa), a key Fistula Foundation partner in Western Kenya.

Nelson holds a Higher Diploma in Psychological Counseling from the Kenya Institute of Professional Counseling, as well as a Certificate in Management from the Kenya Institute of Management.

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Team Zambia

Bwalya Chomba

Program Director

Bwalya Magawa Chomba joined Fistula Foundation as program manager in 2017, and is now the program director for Zambia. She holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from Mulungushi University in Kabwe, Zambia, and a master's in public health from the University of Lusaka (UNILUS). Bwalya is responsible for supporting...

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Bwalya Magawa Chomba joined Fistula Foundation as program manager in 2017, and is now the program director for Zambia. She holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from Mulungushi University in Kabwe, Zambia, and a master’s in public health from the University of Lusaka (UNILUS). Bwalya is responsible for supporting referrals for fistula patients to partner hospitals, and serves as a key liaison between the hospitals and the community. In her role as director, she also strengthens partnerships with government ministries and community and faith-based organizations.

Bwalya has been working as a social worker and community development officer for 18 years. Most recently, prior to joining Fistula Foundation, she worked with the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare in Nakonde District. Bwalya has also worked with Caritas / Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Mpika Diocese. There, she served as a monitoring and evaluation officer, coordinating revisions of project strategies with key stakeholders, and ensuring a shared understanding of strategic and informational needs. During her tenure as district development facilitator with the NGO Africare Zambia, she learned about obstetric fistula and took up an active role in mobilizing fistula patients, successfully referring 200 women for life-transforming surgery.

Bwalya has always believed that local community participation is an important way to achieve sustainable development, particularly in the fight against obstetric fistula.

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Precious Banda

Administrative Officer

Precious Banda joined Fistula Foundation in 2020 as an Administrative Officer based in the Mansa office in Luapula Province. She manages calls from the fistula hotline, screens potential patients, and refers women to their nearest treatment center. She also handles administrative work, including tracking expenses and preparing patient logistics before...

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Precious Banda joined Fistula Foundation in 2020 as an Administrative Officer based in the Mansa office in Luapula Province. She manages calls from the fistula hotline, screens potential patients, and refers women to their nearest treatment center. She also handles administrative work, including tracking expenses and preparing patient logistics before surgery.

Precious holds a Peer Education certificate from Copperbelt Health Education Project (CHEP) after working with CHEP for one year, a certificate in public relations from Zambia Institute of Business Studies and Industrial Practice (ZIPSIP), and an Art Teacher’s Diploma from Evelyn Hone College in Lusaka, Zambia. Before joining Fistula Foundation, she worked as a volunteer at a secondary school for six months.

Precious has deep empathy for the women she supports because she personally suffered from fistula for a year. She is very grateful that she received treatment and was able to start a new life. She has therefore dedicated herself to helping other women experiencing the same situation.

 

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Victor D. Chibale

Driver

Victor D.  Chibale is a motor vehicle driver in Fistula Foundation’s Zambia office. He provides reliable and safe transportation to Fistula Foundation staff and relevant officials, and delivers mail, documents, and any other Fistula Foundation cargo. He also ensures that all licenses and documents for Fistula Foundation vehicles are valid....

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Victor D.  Chibale is a motor vehicle driver in Fistula Foundation’s Zambia office. He provides reliable and safe transportation to Fistula Foundation staff and relevant officials, and delivers mail, documents, and any other Fistula Foundation cargo. He also ensures that all licenses and documents for Fistula Foundation vehicles are valid.

Victor has a class C driver’s license, a certificate in Defensive Driving from the National Institute for Productivity in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and more than 20 years of driving experience. Before joining the Foundation, he worked for Tanzania Zambia Railways Authority (TAZARA) for 17 years. Victor also has an International Certificate in Transport and Logistics and is currently studying for a diploma in the same field.

 

 

 

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Emmanuel Chiluba

Senior Program Officer

Emmanuel Chiluba is a Program Officer at Fistula Foundation’s Zambia office. He works with representatives of the Ministry of Health, assists in training and supervising Community Health Volunteers, and holds sensitization meetings for community leaders in Zambia’s Central Province. Emmanuel holds a diploma in social work, and has over 18...

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Emmanuel Chiluba is a Program Officer at Fistula Foundation’s Zambia office. He works with representatives of the Ministry of Health, assists in training and supervising Community Health Volunteers, and holds sensitization meetings for community leaders in Zambia’s Central Province.

Emmanuel holds a diploma in social work, and has over 18 years of experience working with both grassroots organizations and international NGOs. Before joining Fistula Foundation, Emmanuel worked with the Association of Lay Missionaries of Italy, the Churches Association of Zambia, and the Caritas Mpika Catholic Diocese.

Emmanuel believes that community activities need full commitment and participation to achieve our goal: to help the many vulnerable women still suffering from obstetric fistula.

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Martin Chiyana

Program Officer

Martin Chiyana works as a Program Officer in Fistula Foundation’s Zambia office. He is stationed in Nchelenge District to cover programs in Luapula Province and some parts of Northern Zambia. Martin works with the Ministry of Health, assists in training and supervising Community Health Volunteers and Safe Motherhood Action Group...

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Martin Chiyana works as a Program Officer in Fistula Foundation’s Zambia office. He is stationed in Nchelenge District to cover programs in Luapula Province and some parts of Northern Zambia. Martin works with the Ministry of Health, assists in training and supervising Community Health Volunteers and Safe Motherhood Action Group Members (SMAGs), and holds sensitization meetings for local community leaders to spread awareness about fistula and treatment options.

Martin holds an Advanced Diploma in Computer Science and Information Processing from the Association of Business Managers and Administrators, a certificate in Monitoring and Evaluation from the University of Michigan, and a certificate in teaching methodology from Technical Vocation Teachers College Zambia.

Before joining the Foundation, he worked as a Monitoring and Evaluation Research Assistant on a maternal and child health project at Africare for three years. He also worked as an Engineering IT Planner at Mopani Copper Mines for 2 years and as a Network Benchmarking Engineer at Airtel Zambia and Nutek India for a year.

Martin has a heart for suffering and isolated women and believes there is a better tomorrow for these marginalized communities.

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Jordan Chileshe Chomba

Driver

Jordan Chileshe Chomba works for the Fistula Foundation Zambia Office as a motor vehicle driver based in the Eastern Province. He provides transportation and travel logistics to the Zambia team and other relevant officials and helps deliver equipment and materials for the program. Jordan holds a valid SADC driver’s license...

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Jordan Chileshe Chomba works for the Fistula Foundation Zambia Office as a motor vehicle driver based in the Eastern Province. He provides transportation and travel logistics to the Zambia team and other relevant officials and helps deliver equipment and materials for the program.

Jordan holds a valid SADC driver’s license Class C and has over 10 years of driving experience, mainly working with security firms and educational institutions. Jordan is touched and motivated by the tremendous work Fistula Foundation does reaching out to suffering women who lack the resources to access treatment.

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Headshot of Kalumba Kaputo

Kalumba Kaputo

Senior Program Officer

Kalumba Kaputa is a Program Officer at Fistula Foundation’s Zambia office. He collaborates with the Ministry of Health and local grassroots organizations, screening potential fistula patients and referring them to treatment centers for care in Zambia’s Luapula Province. Prior to joining Fistula Foundation, Kalumba worked for 8 years as a...

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Kalumba Kaputa is a Program Officer at Fistula Foundation’s Zambia office. He collaborates with the Ministry of Health and local grassroots organizations, screening potential fistula patients and referring them to treatment centers for care in Zambia’s Luapula Province.

Prior to joining Fistula Foundation, Kalumba worked for 8 years as a Clinical Officer for the Zambian Ministry of Health, serving as a frontline health provider at Chilonga Mission General Hospital. He has also served in roles at the Mpepo Rural Health Centre and the Mpika District Health Office. Kalumba holds a diploma in Basic Clinical Medical Sciences in Mental Health and Psychiatry from the University of Zambia School of Medicine in Association with Chainama College of Health Sciences.

Kalumba strongly feels that unity and team work are essential for any organization to achieve its key objectives, especially in the fight against obstetric fistula.

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Jameson Kaunda

Monitoring & Evaluation Coordinator

Jameson Kaunda is a Monitoring & Evaluation Coordinator at Fistula Foundation’s Zambia office. He is responsible for planning and implementing Zambia’s monitoring & evaluation (M&E) activities pertaining to community outreach; the identification, screening and referral of fistula patients; and tracking and reporting surgical, clinical treatment, post-repair follow-up and reintegration activity...

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Jameson Kaunda is a Monitoring & Evaluation Coordinator at Fistula Foundation’s Zambia office. He is responsible for planning and implementing Zambia’s monitoring & evaluation (M&E) activities pertaining to community outreach; the identification, screening and referral of fistula patients; and tracking and reporting surgical, clinical treatment, post-repair follow-up and reintegration activity outcomes.

Over the past five years, Jameson has worked on a number of projects as a Research Assistant and M&E Specialist focusing on HIV; malaria; water, sanitation and hygiene; and maternal & child health. He also previously worked at Africare as an M&E Officer where he helped develop the organization’s Performance Monitoring Plan and M&E systems. Jameson holds a BA in Development Studies from the University of Zambia and is currently pursuing a Master in Public Health at the University of South Wales in the UK. Jameson is honored to be part of the Fistula Foundation team – changing and transforming vulnerable women’s lives, wiping away their shame and restoring their self-esteem and dignity in society.

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Board of Directors

Thomas Huntington

Director | Bloomington, Indiana

Thomas Huntington is currently studying to become a physician at the Indiana University School of Medicine. He previously worked as the developer of several mobile applications for Apple iOS, including Nightstand Central, an alarm clock app. He has contributed to colorectal and ovarian cancer research and has volunteered at a nursing home and homeless...

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Thomas Huntington is currently studying to become a physician at the Indiana University School of Medicine. He previously worked as the developer of several mobile applications for Apple iOS, including Nightstand Central, an alarm clock app. He has contributed to colorectal and ovarian cancer research and has volunteered at a nursing home and homeless shelter. Thomas studied violin performance at the Colburn Conservatory of Music and earned a bachelor’s degree in neural science at New York University.

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Cleo Kiros

Director | Founder, Wajirat Foundation | Oakland, California

Cleo Kiros is the Founder and CEO of Wajirat Foundation—an organization that supports vocational and life-skills training for young adults in Ethiopia. Cleo also volunteers in different capacities with organizations that support women and children in the Bay Area and has previously served as a Fistula Foundation board member. She...

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Cleo Kiros is the Founder and CEO of Wajirat Foundation—an organization that supports vocational and life-skills training for young adults in Ethiopia. Cleo also volunteers in different capacities with organizations that support women and children in the Bay Area and has previously served as a Fistula Foundation board member. She is very excited to rejoin.

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Ling Yang Lew

Board Chair and Director | Senior Legal Counsel, Apple | San Jose, California

Ling Yang Lew serves as senior legal counsel at Apple. She previously worked at the County of Santa Clara, where she served as an advice attorney to the County’s health and hospital system, which provides safety-net health services. Prior to law school, Ling worked in health economics research. Ling is...

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Ling Yang Lew serves as senior legal counsel at Apple. She previously worked at the County of Santa Clara, where she served as an advice attorney to the County’s health and hospital system, which provides safety-net health services. Prior to law school, Ling worked in health economics research. Ling is a graduate of Stanford Law School and Duke University.

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Charlotte Polle

Director | OB/GYN & Fistula Surgeon | Nairobi, Kenya

Charlotte is an obstetrician/gynecologist and internationally accredited fistula surgeon through the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO). She is also a public health specialist, with an MPH from Johns Hopkins University focusing on women and reproductive health. She is currently faculty at the School of Medicine Department of Obstetrics...

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Charlotte is an obstetrician/gynecologist and internationally accredited fistula surgeon through the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO). She is also a public health specialist, with an MPH from Johns Hopkins University focusing on women and reproductive health. She is currently faculty at the School of Medicine Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Kenyatta University in Kenya, as well as the School of Public Health Department of Population and Reproductive Health.

Prior to her position at Kenyatta University, Charlotte was a program manager for the maternal and neonatal health program at the Reproductive and Maternal Health Services Unit, Ministry of Health in Kenya. She has over 16 years of clinical experience and has practiced as an obstetrician/gynecologist and public health specialist for various organizations in and out of Kenya.

Since 2016, Charlotte has served as the lead surgeon for Fistula Foundation’s outreach at Bomu Hospital in Mombasa, Kenya.

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Gillian Slinger

Gillian Slinger

Director | Head of the FIGO Fistula Surgery Training Initiative | London, UK

Gillian Slinger is a Midwife and holds a BSc in Health Management, an MSc in Public Health, and a Teaching Certificate. After completing her Nurse and Midwifery training in the UK, Gillian worked as a Midwife for 10 years in French speaking Switzerland, before joining Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF/Doctors Without...

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Gillian Slinger is a Midwife and holds a BSc in Health Management, an MSc in Public Health, and a Teaching Certificate. After completing her Nurse and Midwifery training in the UK, Gillian worked as a Midwife for 10 years in French speaking Switzerland, before joining Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF/Doctors Without Borders) and Save the Children as a field Midwife and Trainer in numerous countries, including Mali, Chad, DRC, Kenya and Sierra Leone. As part of her MSF duties, Gillian managed maternal health programs in more than 20 countries across Africa and Asia, and had an active role developing projects for women with obstetric fistula.

In the last 15 years, she has become an international activist for fistula and her involvement in fistula work has increased considerably, taking her to New York for 4 years to head the global Campaign to End Fistula with UNFPA, where she was instrumental in establishing the UN approved International Day to End Obstetric Fistula, and bringing her to the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) in London in 2014 to undertake her present role, leading the FIGO Fistula Surgery Training Initiative.

Gillian also teaches in the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and has recently served on the Board of Directors of MSF Switzerland

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Vanessa Taylor

Director | Screenwriter | Los Angeles, California

Vanessa Taylor is a screenwriter who has worked in both television, (most recently on “Game of Thrones”), and film. Her feature work includes “Hope Springs,” “Divergent,” “Hillbilly Elegy,” and “The Shape of Water,” for which she received an Oscar nomination. Vanessa has also served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate...

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Vanessa Taylor is a screenwriter who has worked in both television, (most recently on “Game of Thrones”), and film. Her feature work includes “Hope Springs,” “Divergent,” “Hillbilly Elegy,” and “The Shape of Water,” for which she received an Oscar nomination. Vanessa has also served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for the California dependency court.

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Medical Advisors
Headshot of Steve Arrowsmith

Dr. Steve Arrowsmith

Medical Advisor

Dr. Steve Arrowsmith has been working with Fistula Foundation for many years, but has recently become an official member of the staff. Currently based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Steve has treated fistula throughout Africa and Asia for nearly 30 years and is an esteemed mentor and trainer for new fistula...

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Dr. Steve Arrowsmith has been working with Fistula Foundation for many years, but has recently become an official member of the staff. Currently based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Steve has treated fistula throughout Africa and Asia for nearly 30 years and is an esteemed mentor and trainer for new fistula surgeons. He received his undergraduate degree from Miami University, his M.D. degree from the Medical College of Ohio, and he is a Urologist by surgical training. Steve says his inspiration comes from the women he helps, starting with his first fistula surgery, and it has continued unabated.

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Dr. Andrew Browning AM FRCOG

Medical Advisor

Dr. Andrew Browning AM FRCOG is an Australian trained obstetrician and gynecologist who has been involved with fistula surgery since 1996. Dr. Browning’s life mission has been to help women suffering with obstetric fistula in Africa. As a young doctor, he was inspired to become a fistula surgeon after visiting...

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Dr. Andrew Browning AM FRCOG is an Australian trained obstetrician and gynecologist who has been involved with fistula surgery since 1996.

Dr. Browning’s life mission has been to help women suffering with obstetric fistula in Africa.

As a young doctor, he was inspired to become a fistula surgeon after visiting his aunt, Valerie Browning, in rural Ethiopia as she assisted women with terrible childbirth injuries. Deeply moved, he decided to work under the legendary Dr. Catherine Hamlin at the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital where he stayed for ten years. Since then, Dr. Browning has started his own charity, which provides life-changing surgery to women across Africa and South East Asia and builds and runs charity maternity hospitals to prevent fistula. The Barbara May Foundation now provides free obstetric care to around 15,000 women a year and also trains midwives and doctors.

Dr. Browning has led a team that has gone on to transform several rundown health centers into safe and functional maternal health centers for poor women and those living in remote regions.

In an effort to help the more than one million women estimated to be suffering with existing obstetric fistula injuries throughout Africa, Dr. Browning continues to provide fistula camps in South Sudan, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda, and Nepal.

Dr. Browning also consults on global maternal healthcare issues for the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) and the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics (FIGO). He is the chair of the Fistula Expert Advisory Group at FIGO. Recently, he was named as a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia in recognition of his “outstanding contributions” to improving maternal healthcare for women in poverty.

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Kate Grant

Chief Executive Officer

Kate Grant joined the Foundation as its first Chief Executive in 2005. She led the expansion of the Foundation from supporting one hospital in one country, Ethiopia, to its current position as the global leader in fistula treatment, supporting treatment partners in more than 20 countries in Africa and Asia....

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Kate Grant joined the Foundation as its first Chief Executive in 2005. She led the expansion of the Foundation from supporting one hospital in one country, Ethiopia, to its current position as the global leader in fistula treatment, supporting treatment partners in more than 20 countries in Africa and Asia. Under her leadership, the Foundation is raising five times as much money as a decade ago, and supporting 15 times as many surgeries, while helping build new women’s hospitals in Kenya, Bangladesh, Congo and Tanzania. She’s formed partnerships with key leaders such as Johnson & Johnson, Astellas Pharma EMEA, The Life You Can Save founded by Professor Peter Singer, Direct Relief, and Engender Health. She’s led the Foundation to excellence – 15 consecutive four-star ratings from Charity Navigator, placing the Foundation in the top 1% of nonprofit organizations evaluated, earning a consistent “A” from Charity Watch, being named one of the top 50 charities in the U.S. by Consumer Reports, and enabling Fistula Foundation to earn more than 600 perfect 5 star ratings on GreatNonprofits. In recognition of these achievements, in 2014, Ms. Grant was named “Nonprofit Marketer of the Year” by the American Marketing Association and American Marketing Association Foundation.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Ms. Grant was engaged in advocating for a strong United States role in international cooperation. She served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee Staff and as the Special Assistant and Deputy Chief of Staff at USAID and as a consultant to USAID’s Mission in Tanzania, the Rockefeller Foundation, the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, and the Women’s Funding Network. Ms. Grant holds an MPA with a focus on International Development from Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs, where she was elected chair of the school’s Graduate student body. Prior to attending Princeton, she was an advertising executive at two large agencies: Leo Burnett in Chicago and FCB in San Francisco, managing campaigns for Fortune 500 companies such as Levi Strauss, McDonald’s, and Clorox. She graduated with honors from the Haas School of Business at the University of California-Berkeley. She also completed the Harvard Business School Executive Education Program in Nonprofit Management. Ms. Grant has served on several boards, including the Governing Board of Graduate Alumni of Princeton University. She regularly gives presentations about the Foundation’s work, having lectured twice at Princeton University and at Oxford University, for the 2015 Effective Altruism Global conference.

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Anne Ferguson

Deputy Director

Anne Ferguson joined the Foundation in late November 2003 as its first paid staff member. Since joining the Foundation she’s guided the formulation of policies and procedures to enable the organization’s growth. She has primary responsibility for financial systems, grants, HR and database management. Prior to working with the Fistula...

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Anne Ferguson joined the Foundation in late November 2003 as its first paid staff member. Since joining the Foundation she’s guided the formulation of policies and procedures to enable the organization’s growth. She has primary responsibility for financial systems, grants, HR and database management. Prior to working with the Fistula Foundation, she worked in the private sector in the United Kingdom as an HR Manager and at a senior administrative level. Anne earned an MA in English & Modern History from St. Andrews University in Scotland, an HR qualification from the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development in the UK, and was certified SPHR by the HR Certification Institute in the USA.

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Pam Lowney

Chief Operations Officer

As Chief Operating Officer, Pam broadly oversees process and IT improvements across the Foundation’s Program, Fundraising, and Administrative functions. Pam joined the Fistula Foundation in 2018 as Director of Strategic Initiatives. In this role, she led the redesign of the Foundation’s web presence to expand the Foundation's global community of...

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As Chief Operating Officer, Pam broadly oversees process and IT improvements across the Foundation’s Program, Fundraising, and Administrative functions. Pam joined the Fistula Foundation in 2018 as Director of Strategic Initiatives. In this role, she led the redesign of the Foundation’s web presence to expand the Foundation’s global community of supporters.

Pam brings 10+ years of experience working at the intersection of health, communications, and technology at Stanford Medicine, a leading academic medical center. As Digital Content Lead for Stanford Health Care, she led the content strategy effort to transform the healthcare system’s online user experience and better serve the needs of patients across the care journey. In 2017, she launched a digital content program, supporting care delivery across Stanford’s 250+ complex care clinics and primary care network. 

She also served as lead content strategist on two redesigns of the medical center’s web environment. Both projects received a national Award of Excellence by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), an industry top honor. 

Pam’s commitment to service-driven communications builds on her earlier experience as a journalist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and roles at the Haight Ashbury Free Clinic in San Francisco and Centro Adelante Campesino, a migrant farmworker center in AZ.  

Pam earned her BA in English from U.C. Berkeley. She will complete an MPH in Health Management and Policy from U.C. Los Angeles in June 2023.

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Lindsey Pollaczek

Chief Program Officer

Lindsey Pollaczek joined Fistula Foundation in 2014, initially based out of Nairobi, Kenya. She now serves as chief program officer, overseeing the Foundation’s programs in over 20 countries in Africa and Asia. Amongst her accomplishments is leading the successful Action on Fistula program in Kenya, and launching a countrywide program...

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Lindsey Pollaczek joined Fistula Foundation in 2014, initially based out of Nairobi, Kenya. She now serves as chief program officer, overseeing the Foundation’s programs in over 20 countries in Africa and Asia. Amongst her accomplishments is leading the successful Action on Fistula program in Kenya, and launching a countrywide program in Zambia that have collectively provided over 6,000 fistula surgeries and strengthened national capacity for treatment, prevention, and rehabilitation.
Prior to joining Fistula Foundation, Lindsey worked with the humanitarian organization Direct Relief, overseeing the organization’s Maternal and Child Health portfolio, where she designed and implemented programs to improve access to essential health services for women and children, particularly the right to a safe pregnancy and delivery, and treatment for obstetric fistula. Lindsey holds a MPH in Community Health Sciences from UCLA and is a Senior Fellow with the Atlantic Fellowship for Health Equity, a program that supports global leaders working to combat health disparity and promote equity.

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Shelly Helgeson

Vice President of Business and Partnership Development

Shelly Helgeson originated the role of vice president of business and partnership development at Fistula Foundation. She brings to the role more than 15 years of experience in social entrepreneurship and strategic communications. She also brings a commitment to ensuring that birthing people everywhere have access to quality healthcare. Prior...

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Shelly Helgeson originated the role of vice president of business and partnership development at Fistula Foundation. She brings to the role more than 15 years of experience in social entrepreneurship and strategic communications. She also brings a commitment to ensuring that birthing people everywhere have access to quality healthcare.

Prior to joining Fistula Foundation, Shelly was director of communications & partnerships at Equalize Health. While there, she led the strategy for securing partnerships that expanded the organization’s ability to connect mothers and babies with life-saving healthcare. Previously, she served in leadership roles at the University of San Francisco, where she worked to increase educational opportunities for people historically excluded from higher education, including refugees.  

Shelly has also worked with both large NGOs and grassroots organizations to support community-led development initiatives in Kenya, Malawi, Uganda, and the United States. Her love of communications and storytelling stems from her early career in New York City as a documentary filmmaker, specializing in films that give voice to marginalized communities.

Shelly holds a bachelor’s in communications and world religions from Ithaca College and a master’s of public administration from the University of San Francisco. When she isn’t forging great partnerships for Fistula Foundation, she is traveling, making music, and hiking the beautiful landscapes of Northern California.

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Michael Slind

Vice President of Marketing and Communication

Michael, who joined Fistula Foundation in 2021, has extensive experience as a strategic communication professional. He previously served as Director of Communication at King Philanthropies, a grantmaking organization that focuses on alleviating global poverty. From 2013 to 2016, he was the Senior Editor of Stanford Social Innovation Review, a quarterly...

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Michael, who joined Fistula Foundation in 2021, has extensive experience as a strategic communication professional. He previously served as Director of Communication at King Philanthropies, a grantmaking organization that focuses on alleviating global poverty. From 2013 to 2016, he was the Senior Editor of Stanford Social Innovation Review, a quarterly journal for makers of social change. Before then, he worked at Harvard Business School, where he wrote case studies on corporate strategy and entrepreneurial management. Michael is also co-author, with Boris Groysberg, of Talk, Inc.: How Trusted Leaders Use Conversation to Power Their Organizations (Harvard Business Review Press, 2012). Earlier in his career, he served as the Managing Editor and as a Senior Editor of Fast Company magazine. In addition, Michael served as an editorial consultant for business author Tom Peters, among others. He holds a master’s degree in history from Cornell University and a master of public affairs degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

 

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Team U.S.

Kelly Anderson

Senior Director of Philanthropy
kelly@fistulafoundation.org

Kelly Anderson is pleased to join the dedicated team at Fistula Foundation as Senior Director of Philanthropy. Kelly’s commitment to women’s health and social justice began as a sexual assault crisis line volunteer at the University of Michigan. After two decades in leadership roles in rape crisis centers – first...

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Kelly Anderson is pleased to join the dedicated team at Fistula Foundation as Senior Director of Philanthropy.

Kelly’s commitment to women’s health and social justice began as a sexual assault crisis line volunteer at the University of Michigan. After two decades in leadership roles in rape crisis centers – first in Washington, DC and then in Madison, Wisc. where she worked to expand service for underserved communities – she moved to the San Francisco Bay area in 2015 to serve as CEO of the Nepal Youth Foundation.

In addition to her professional experience, Kelly has engaged in related volunteer and community activities. In DC, she co-founded and served as the president of a small non-profit that supports women unable to afford medical treatment, spent six years as a mentor at BeFriend a Child, and served on the Washington Area Women’s Foundation grants committee. In Madison, her commitments included chairing the Dane County Commission on Sensitive Crimes and the Community Coordinated Response on Sexual Assault, serving as a board member of the Hancock Center for Dance/Movement Therapy, and fostering and rehabilitating rescue dogs.

Originally from the Midwest, Kelly is thrilled to be able hike and backpack in the stunning mountain ranges of northern California. She finds joy and satisfaction in her role connecting generous, compassionate individuals with the world of good they can help accomplish.

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Darren Blankenship

Darren Blankenship

Database Administrator

Darren Blankenship is glad join Fistula Foundation as Database Administrator. Darren brings over twenty years of experience working with various Bay Area non-profits and educational institutions. His passion is for systems integration and data integrity, and he is excited to bring this to Fistula Foundation. He holds a bachelor’s degree...

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Darren Blankenship is glad join Fistula Foundation as Database Administrator. Darren brings over twenty years of experience working with various Bay Area non-profits and educational institutions. His passion is for systems integration and data integrity, and he is excited to bring this to Fistula Foundation. He holds a bachelor’s degree from San Francisco State University. When he’s not working, he enjoys spending time with his family, reading science fiction, and catching up on recent developments in science and technology.

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Jesse Chu

Program Manager

Jesse joined Fistula Foundation in 2019 and serves as the Program Manager, helping to support dozens of partnerships in over 20 countries. Jesse learned about fistula while serving as community health organizer with the Peace Corps in Ethiopia, where she developed and implemented programs to empower youth with reproductive health...

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Jesse joined Fistula Foundation in 2019 and serves as the Program Manager, helping to support dozens of partnerships in over 20 countries. Jesse learned about fistula while serving as community health organizer with the Peace Corps in Ethiopia, where she developed and implemented programs to empower youth with reproductive health education.

She is passionate about gender equality and social entrepreneurship, and has worked on projects ranging from postpartum hemorrhage training in Guatemala to recycling feasibility studies in Indonesia. She holds a BA in International Studies from American University and an MBA from the Yale School of Management.

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Hannah Garone

Donor Relations Manager

Hannah Garone joined Fistula Foundation as Donor Relations Manager in June 2022. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology, with a specialization in health and environment, from the College of New Jersey. An alumna of AmeriCorps, Hannah served with City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley in 2016–2017. She then worked...

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Hannah Garone joined Fistula Foundation as Donor Relations Manager in June 2022. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology, with a specialization in health and environment, from the College of New Jersey. An alumna of AmeriCorps, Hannah served with City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley in 2016–2017. She then worked as a recruiter for City Year, where she cultivated relationships with potential candidates and monitored candidate data. Hannah has also worked as a teacher both locally and internationally, and she brings a passion for relationship-building to her work at Fistula Foundation. That work supports core donor relations functions and project management for fundraising efforts.

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Keerthana Rajagopal

Associate Program Manager

Keerthana (Kee) Rajagopal joined Fistula Foundation as associate program manager in August 2022. Kee holds a master’s in public health from the University of California Berkeley and a master’s in health administration from Pennsylvania State University. In her role on the programs team, Kee supports grantmaking and helps strengthen partnerships...

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Keerthana (Kee) Rajagopal joined Fistula Foundation as associate program manager in August 2022. Kee holds a master’s in public health from the University of California Berkeley and a master’s in health administration from Pennsylvania State University. In her role on the programs team, Kee supports grantmaking and helps strengthen partnerships with our global network of fistula care providers.

Kee has 10 years of experience in global and domestic health programs. She started her career at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates. There, she led project management and implementation for a hospital-wide electronic health record system. She then worked as a management consultant and led several change management healthcare projects at Deloitte in Boston. Most recently, Kee worked at the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), where she oversaw the Title V Block Grant Fund for the Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Division.

Kee is passionate about elevating equity and moving the needle on pressing health issues. Kee grew up in India and currently lives in California with her husband and her three-year-old daughter.

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Jackelen Renteria-Bustos

Jackelen Renteria-Bustos

Marketing and Communication Associate

Jackelen Renteria-Bustos joined Fistula Foundation as a marketing and communication associate in August of 2022. She has a bachelor of science degree in business administration, with a specialization in marketing, from San Jose State University, and she has worked as an intern at for-profit organizations. Her passion for creating a...

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Jackelen Renteria-Bustos joined Fistula Foundation as a marketing and communication associate in August of 2022. She has a bachelor of science degree in business administration, with a specialization in marketing, from San Jose State University, and she has worked as an intern at for-profit organizations. Her passion for creating a positive impact in the lives of others brought her to Fistula Foundation. Her work for the organization supports the donor relations and communications teams, and focuses on building and maintaining connections with donors.

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Tarah Walker

Senior Writer

Tarah Walker joined Fistula Foundation in July 2021 as Senior Writer for Marketing Communications. She brings with her six years of experience in nonprofit communications, including media and public relations, content marketing, and internal communications. In addition to her public relations role at ACT, the global education nonprofit, Tarah led...

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Tarah Walker joined Fistula Foundation in July 2021 as Senior Writer for Marketing Communications. She brings with her six years of experience in nonprofit communications, including media and public relations, content marketing, and internal communications. In addition to her public relations role at ACT, the global education nonprofit, Tarah led communications for ACT’s internal volunteer organization, facilitating donation drives for women’s organizations in Iowa, like the Domestic Violence Intervention Program, and generating positive broadcast coverage for ACT. She has volunteered for women’s organizations like the Iowa Women’s Foundation, using her communications expertise to promote economic self-sufficiency for women and girls. Tarah is a graduate of American University (MA, Strategic Communications) and the University of Iowa (BA, Journalism & Mass Communications). She believes that messages hold immense power and hopes to use her gift for communications to empower donor action and transform the lives of women across the world.

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Morgan Walter

Digital Media Manager

Morgan Walter joined in 2018. She holds a bachelors of arts in cinema from San Francisco State University, with an emphasis in documentaries. In 2012, her first film, “I Agree With Jennifer,” won third place at the Social Impact Doc Fest. This sparked her commitment to documentary filmmaking as a...

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Morgan Walter joined in 2018. She holds a bachelors of arts in cinema from San Francisco State University, with an emphasis in documentaries. In 2012, her first film, “I Agree With Jennifer,” won third place at the Social Impact Doc Fest. This sparked her commitment to documentary filmmaking as a tool for positive change in the world. Since then, Morgan has cultivated experience as video editor working for production houses throughout the Bay Area. She is honored to bring women’s stories to life through video, connecting Fistula Foundation donors to the life-transforming fistula work they are enabling.

 

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Team Kenya

Habiba Corodhia Mohamed

Regional Director

Habiba C. Mohamed is regional director of programs, based out of Fistula Foundation’s Kenya office. Habiba joined the Foundation in 2014 as the outreach manager. In this role, she designed and spearheaded the community strategy for the Fistula Foundation Treatment Network in Kenya. Later, she was promoted to country director...

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Habiba C. Mohamed is regional director of programs, based out of Fistula Foundation’s Kenya office. Habiba joined the Foundation in 2014 as the outreach manager. In this role, she designed and spearheaded the community strategy for the Fistula Foundation Treatment Network in Kenya. Later, she was promoted to country director to oversee the entire network of hospital and community partners. In her role as regional director of programs, Habiba is responsible for the expansion of the treatment network model throughout the African region.

Prior to joining Fistula Foundation, Habiba had worked in fistula programming for nearly a decade. She began her career as a veterinarian, assisting livestock farmers in western Kenya. Through her close contact with these rural communities, she became familiar with the socioeconomic challenges they experience and developed a passion for working with marginalized women. In 2006, she founded Women and Development Against Distress in Africa (WADADIA), a Kenyan nonprofit that advocates for women’s rights and reproductive health. While serving as lead director of WADADIA, Habiba also supported a community program funded by the United Nations Population Fund for six years, and served as a consultant program specialist for One By One, a US-based nonprofit focused on fistula treatment.

Habiba is currently working towards her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at Kenyatta University. She holds undergraduate and master’s degrees in the same subject from Mt. Kenya University, and has a higher diploma in Social Work and Community Development. Her research on the psychological effects of obstetric fistula has been published in the International Journal of Sciences, and the verbal screening tool she developed has improved identification of fistula cases.

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Nelson Musa

Monitoring & Evaluation Officer

Nelson Musa is Monitoring & Evaluation Officer of Fistula Foundation’s nationwide treatment network in Kenya. He brings fourteen years of experience in organizing and community health. Prior to joining Fistula Foundation, Nelson worked as an organizer for Jhpiego, and currently partners with WADADIA (Women and Development Against Distress in Africa),...

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Nelson Musa is Monitoring & Evaluation Officer of Fistula Foundation’s nationwide treatment network in Kenya. He brings fourteen years of experience in organizing and community health. Prior to joining Fistula Foundation, Nelson worked as an organizer for Jhpiego, and currently partners with WADADIA (Women and Development Against Distress in Africa), a key Fistula Foundation partner in Western Kenya.

Nelson holds a Higher Diploma in Psychological Counseling from the Kenya Institute of Professional Counseling, as well as a Certificate in Management from the Kenya Institute of Management.

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Team Zambia

Bwalya Chomba

Program Director

Bwalya Magawa Chomba joined Fistula Foundation as program manager in 2017, and is now the program director for Zambia. She holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from Mulungushi University in Kabwe, Zambia, and a master's in public health from the University of Lusaka (UNILUS). Bwalya is responsible for supporting...

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Bwalya Magawa Chomba joined Fistula Foundation as program manager in 2017, and is now the program director for Zambia. She holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from Mulungushi University in Kabwe, Zambia, and a master’s in public health from the University of Lusaka (UNILUS). Bwalya is responsible for supporting referrals for fistula patients to partner hospitals, and serves as a key liaison between the hospitals and the community. In her role as director, she also strengthens partnerships with government ministries and community and faith-based organizations.

Bwalya has been working as a social worker and community development officer for 18 years. Most recently, prior to joining Fistula Foundation, she worked with the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare in Nakonde District. Bwalya has also worked with Caritas / Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Mpika Diocese. There, she served as a monitoring and evaluation officer, coordinating revisions of project strategies with key stakeholders, and ensuring a shared understanding of strategic and informational needs. During her tenure as district development facilitator with the NGO Africare Zambia, she learned about obstetric fistula and took up an active role in mobilizing fistula patients, successfully referring 200 women for life-transforming surgery.

Bwalya has always believed that local community participation is an important way to achieve sustainable development, particularly in the fight against obstetric fistula.

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Precious Banda

Administrative Officer

Precious Banda joined Fistula Foundation in 2020 as an Administrative Officer based in the Mansa office in Luapula Province. She manages calls from the fistula hotline, screens potential patients, and refers women to their nearest treatment center. She also handles administrative work, including tracking expenses and preparing patient logistics before...

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Precious Banda joined Fistula Foundation in 2020 as an Administrative Officer based in the Mansa office in Luapula Province. She manages calls from the fistula hotline, screens potential patients, and refers women to their nearest treatment center. She also handles administrative work, including tracking expenses and preparing patient logistics before surgery.

Precious holds a Peer Education certificate from Copperbelt Health Education Project (CHEP) after working with CHEP for one year, a certificate in public relations from Zambia Institute of Business Studies and Industrial Practice (ZIPSIP), and an Art Teacher’s Diploma from Evelyn Hone College in Lusaka, Zambia. Before joining Fistula Foundation, she worked as a volunteer at a secondary school for six months.

Precious has deep empathy for the women she supports because she personally suffered from fistula for a year. She is very grateful that she received treatment and was able to start a new life. She has therefore dedicated herself to helping other women experiencing the same situation.

 

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Victor D. Chibale

Driver

Victor D.  Chibale is a motor vehicle driver in Fistula Foundation’s Zambia office. He provides reliable and safe transportation to Fistula Foundation staff and relevant officials, and delivers mail, documents, and any other Fistula Foundation cargo. He also ensures that all licenses and documents for Fistula Foundation vehicles are valid....

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Victor D.  Chibale is a motor vehicle driver in Fistula Foundation’s Zambia office. He provides reliable and safe transportation to Fistula Foundation staff and relevant officials, and delivers mail, documents, and any other Fistula Foundation cargo. He also ensures that all licenses and documents for Fistula Foundation vehicles are valid.

Victor has a class C driver’s license, a certificate in Defensive Driving from the National Institute for Productivity in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and more than 20 years of driving experience. Before joining the Foundation, he worked for Tanzania Zambia Railways Authority (TAZARA) for 17 years. Victor also has an International Certificate in Transport and Logistics and is currently studying for a diploma in the same field.

 

 

 

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Emmanuel Chiluba

Senior Program Officer

Emmanuel Chiluba is a Program Officer at Fistula Foundation’s Zambia office. He works with representatives of the Ministry of Health, assists in training and supervising Community Health Volunteers, and holds sensitization meetings for community leaders in Zambia’s Central Province. Emmanuel holds a diploma in social work, and has over 18...

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Emmanuel Chiluba is a Program Officer at Fistula Foundation’s Zambia office. He works with representatives of the Ministry of Health, assists in training and supervising Community Health Volunteers, and holds sensitization meetings for community leaders in Zambia’s Central Province.

Emmanuel holds a diploma in social work, and has over 18 years of experience working with both grassroots organizations and international NGOs. Before joining Fistula Foundation, Emmanuel worked with the Association of Lay Missionaries of Italy, the Churches Association of Zambia, and the Caritas Mpika Catholic Diocese.

Emmanuel believes that community activities need full commitment and participation to achieve our goal: to help the many vulnerable women still suffering from obstetric fistula.

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Martin Chiyana

Program Officer

Martin Chiyana works as a Program Officer in Fistula Foundation’s Zambia office. He is stationed in Nchelenge District to cover programs in Luapula Province and some parts of Northern Zambia. Martin works with the Ministry of Health, assists in training and supervising Community Health Volunteers and Safe Motherhood Action Group...

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Martin Chiyana works as a Program Officer in Fistula Foundation’s Zambia office. He is stationed in Nchelenge District to cover programs in Luapula Province and some parts of Northern Zambia. Martin works with the Ministry of Health, assists in training and supervising Community Health Volunteers and Safe Motherhood Action Group Members (SMAGs), and holds sensitization meetings for local community leaders to spread awareness about fistula and treatment options.

Martin holds an Advanced Diploma in Computer Science and Information Processing from the Association of Business Managers and Administrators, a certificate in Monitoring and Evaluation from the University of Michigan, and a certificate in teaching methodology from Technical Vocation Teachers College Zambia.

Before joining the Foundation, he worked as a Monitoring and Evaluation Research Assistant on a maternal and child health project at Africare for three years. He also worked as an Engineering IT Planner at Mopani Copper Mines for 2 years and as a Network Benchmarking Engineer at Airtel Zambia and Nutek India for a year.

Martin has a heart for suffering and isolated women and believes there is a better tomorrow for these marginalized communities.

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Jordan Chileshe Chomba

Driver

Jordan Chileshe Chomba works for the Fistula Foundation Zambia Office as a motor vehicle driver based in the Eastern Province. He provides transportation and travel logistics to the Zambia team and other relevant officials and helps deliver equipment and materials for the program. Jordan holds a valid SADC driver’s license...

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Jordan Chileshe Chomba works for the Fistula Foundation Zambia Office as a motor vehicle driver based in the Eastern Province. He provides transportation and travel logistics to the Zambia team and other relevant officials and helps deliver equipment and materials for the program.

Jordan holds a valid SADC driver’s license Class C and has over 10 years of driving experience, mainly working with security firms and educational institutions. Jordan is touched and motivated by the tremendous work Fistula Foundation does reaching out to suffering women who lack the resources to access treatment.

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Headshot of Kalumba Kaputo

Kalumba Kaputo

Senior Program Officer

Kalumba Kaputa is a Program Officer at Fistula Foundation’s Zambia office. He collaborates with the Ministry of Health and local grassroots organizations, screening potential fistula patients and referring them to treatment centers for care in Zambia’s Luapula Province. Prior to joining Fistula Foundation, Kalumba worked for 8 years as a...

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Kalumba Kaputa is a Program Officer at Fistula Foundation’s Zambia office. He collaborates with the Ministry of Health and local grassroots organizations, screening potential fistula patients and referring them to treatment centers for care in Zambia’s Luapula Province.

Prior to joining Fistula Foundation, Kalumba worked for 8 years as a Clinical Officer for the Zambian Ministry of Health, serving as a frontline health provider at Chilonga Mission General Hospital. He has also served in roles at the Mpepo Rural Health Centre and the Mpika District Health Office. Kalumba holds a diploma in Basic Clinical Medical Sciences in Mental Health and Psychiatry from the University of Zambia School of Medicine in Association with Chainama College of Health Sciences.

Kalumba strongly feels that unity and team work are essential for any organization to achieve its key objectives, especially in the fight against obstetric fistula.

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Jameson Kaunda

Monitoring & Evaluation Coordinator

Jameson Kaunda is a Monitoring & Evaluation Coordinator at Fistula Foundation’s Zambia office. He is responsible for planning and implementing Zambia’s monitoring & evaluation (M&E) activities pertaining to community outreach; the identification, screening and referral of fistula patients; and tracking and reporting surgical, clinical treatment, post-repair follow-up and reintegration activity...

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Jameson Kaunda is a Monitoring & Evaluation Coordinator at Fistula Foundation’s Zambia office. He is responsible for planning and implementing Zambia’s monitoring & evaluation (M&E) activities pertaining to community outreach; the identification, screening and referral of fistula patients; and tracking and reporting surgical, clinical treatment, post-repair follow-up and reintegration activity outcomes.

Over the past five years, Jameson has worked on a number of projects as a Research Assistant and M&E Specialist focusing on HIV; malaria; water, sanitation and hygiene; and maternal & child health. He also previously worked at Africare as an M&E Officer where he helped develop the organization’s Performance Monitoring Plan and M&E systems. Jameson holds a BA in Development Studies from the University of Zambia and is currently pursuing a Master in Public Health at the University of South Wales in the UK. Jameson is honored to be part of the Fistula Foundation team – changing and transforming vulnerable women’s lives, wiping away their shame and restoring their self-esteem and dignity in society.

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Board of Directors

Thomas Huntington

Director | Bloomington, Indiana

Thomas Huntington is currently studying to become a physician at the Indiana University School of Medicine. He previously worked as the developer of several mobile applications for Apple iOS, including Nightstand Central, an alarm clock app. He has contributed to colorectal and ovarian cancer research and has volunteered at a nursing home and homeless...

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Thomas Huntington is currently studying to become a physician at the Indiana University School of Medicine. He previously worked as the developer of several mobile applications for Apple iOS, including Nightstand Central, an alarm clock app. He has contributed to colorectal and ovarian cancer research and has volunteered at a nursing home and homeless shelter. Thomas studied violin performance at the Colburn Conservatory of Music and earned a bachelor’s degree in neural science at New York University.

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Cleo Kiros

Director | Founder, Wajirat Foundation | Oakland, California

Cleo Kiros is the Founder and CEO of Wajirat Foundation—an organization that supports vocational and life-skills training for young adults in Ethiopia. Cleo also volunteers in different capacities with organizations that support women and children in the Bay Area and has previously served as a Fistula Foundation board member. She...

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Cleo Kiros is the Founder and CEO of Wajirat Foundation—an organization that supports vocational and life-skills training for young adults in Ethiopia. Cleo also volunteers in different capacities with organizations that support women and children in the Bay Area and has previously served as a Fistula Foundation board member. She is very excited to rejoin.

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Ling Yang Lew

Board Chair and Director | Senior Legal Counsel, Apple | San Jose, California

Ling Yang Lew serves as senior legal counsel at Apple. She previously worked at the County of Santa Clara, where she served as an advice attorney to the County’s health and hospital system, which provides safety-net health services. Prior to law school, Ling worked in health economics research. Ling is...

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Ling Yang Lew serves as senior legal counsel at Apple. She previously worked at the County of Santa Clara, where she served as an advice attorney to the County’s health and hospital system, which provides safety-net health services. Prior to law school, Ling worked in health economics research. Ling is a graduate of Stanford Law School and Duke University.

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Charlotte Polle

Director | OB/GYN & Fistula Surgeon | Nairobi, Kenya

Charlotte is an obstetrician/gynecologist and internationally accredited fistula surgeon through the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO). She is also a public health specialist, with an MPH from Johns Hopkins University focusing on women and reproductive health. She is currently faculty at the School of Medicine Department of Obstetrics...

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Charlotte is an obstetrician/gynecologist and internationally accredited fistula surgeon through the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO). She is also a public health specialist, with an MPH from Johns Hopkins University focusing on women and reproductive health. She is currently faculty at the School of Medicine Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Kenyatta University in Kenya, as well as the School of Public Health Department of Population and Reproductive Health.

Prior to her position at Kenyatta University, Charlotte was a program manager for the maternal and neonatal health program at the Reproductive and Maternal Health Services Unit, Ministry of Health in Kenya. She has over 16 years of clinical experience and has practiced as an obstetrician/gynecologist and public health specialist for various organizations in and out of Kenya.

Since 2016, Charlotte has served as the lead surgeon for Fistula Foundation’s outreach at Bomu Hospital in Mombasa, Kenya.

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Gillian Slinger

Gillian Slinger

Director | Head of the FIGO Fistula Surgery Training Initiative | London, UK

Gillian Slinger is a Midwife and holds a BSc in Health Management, an MSc in Public Health, and a Teaching Certificate. After completing her Nurse and Midwifery training in the UK, Gillian worked as a Midwife for 10 years in French speaking Switzerland, before joining Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF/Doctors Without...

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Gillian Slinger is a Midwife and holds a BSc in Health Management, an MSc in Public Health, and a Teaching Certificate. After completing her Nurse and Midwifery training in the UK, Gillian worked as a Midwife for 10 years in French speaking Switzerland, before joining Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF/Doctors Without Borders) and Save the Children as a field Midwife and Trainer in numerous countries, including Mali, Chad, DRC, Kenya and Sierra Leone. As part of her MSF duties, Gillian managed maternal health programs in more than 20 countries across Africa and Asia, and had an active role developing projects for women with obstetric fistula.

In the last 15 years, she has become an international activist for fistula and her involvement in fistula work has increased considerably, taking her to New York for 4 years to head the global Campaign to End Fistula with UNFPA, where she was instrumental in establishing the UN approved International Day to End Obstetric Fistula, and bringing her to the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) in London in 2014 to undertake her present role, leading the FIGO Fistula Surgery Training Initiative.

Gillian also teaches in the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and has recently served on the Board of Directors of MSF Switzerland

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Vanessa Taylor

Director | Screenwriter | Los Angeles, California

Vanessa Taylor is a screenwriter who has worked in both television, (most recently on “Game of Thrones”), and film. Her feature work includes “Hope Springs,” “Divergent,” “Hillbilly Elegy,” and “The Shape of Water,” for which she received an Oscar nomination. Vanessa has also served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate...

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Vanessa Taylor is a screenwriter who has worked in both television, (most recently on “Game of Thrones”), and film. Her feature work includes “Hope Springs,” “Divergent,” “Hillbilly Elegy,” and “The Shape of Water,” for which she received an Oscar nomination. Vanessa has also served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for the California dependency court.

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Medical Advisors
Headshot of Steve Arrowsmith

Dr. Steve Arrowsmith

Medical Advisor

Dr. Steve Arrowsmith has been working with Fistula Foundation for many years, but has recently become an official member of the staff. Currently based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Steve has treated fistula throughout Africa and Asia for nearly 30 years and is an esteemed mentor and trainer for new fistula...

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Dr. Steve Arrowsmith has been working with Fistula Foundation for many years, but has recently become an official member of the staff. Currently based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Steve has treated fistula throughout Africa and Asia for nearly 30 years and is an esteemed mentor and trainer for new fistula surgeons. He received his undergraduate degree from Miami University, his M.D. degree from the Medical College of Ohio, and he is a Urologist by surgical training. Steve says his inspiration comes from the women he helps, starting with his first fistula surgery, and it has continued unabated.

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Dr. Andrew Browning AM FRCOG

Medical Advisor

Dr. Andrew Browning AM FRCOG is an Australian trained obstetrician and gynecologist who has been involved with fistula surgery since 1996. Dr. Browning’s life mission has been to help women suffering with obstetric fistula in Africa. As a young doctor, he was inspired to become a fistula surgeon after visiting...

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Dr. Andrew Browning AM FRCOG is an Australian trained obstetrician and gynecologist who has been involved with fistula surgery since 1996.

Dr. Browning’s life mission has been to help women suffering with obstetric fistula in Africa.

As a young doctor, he was inspired to become a fistula surgeon after visiting his aunt, Valerie Browning, in rural Ethiopia as she assisted women with terrible childbirth injuries. Deeply moved, he decided to work under the legendary Dr. Catherine Hamlin at the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital where he stayed for ten years. Since then, Dr. Browning has started his own charity, which provides life-changing surgery to women across Africa and South East Asia and builds and runs charity maternity hospitals to prevent fistula. The Barbara May Foundation now provides free obstetric care to around 15,000 women a year and also trains midwives and doctors.

Dr. Browning has led a team that has gone on to transform several rundown health centers into safe and functional maternal health centers for poor women and those living in remote regions.

In an effort to help the more than one million women estimated to be suffering with existing obstetric fistula injuries throughout Africa, Dr. Browning continues to provide fistula camps in South Sudan, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda, and Nepal.

Dr. Browning also consults on global maternal healthcare issues for the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) and the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics (FIGO). He is the chair of the Fistula Expert Advisory Group at FIGO. Recently, he was named as a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia in recognition of his “outstanding contributions” to improving maternal healthcare for women in poverty.

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