DNDi North America Staff


Rachel M. Cohen, Regional Executive Director

Rachel M. Cohen joined DNDas the Regional Executive Director of DNDi North America in January 2011. Rachel has worked in the global health and humanitarian field for more than 20 years. Prior to joining DNDi, she worked for Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) from 1999-2010. She served as Head of Mission for MSF in South Africa and Lesotho for four years, overseeing HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, sexual violence, and migrant health programmes. Before working for MSF in the field, Rachel held numerous positions with MSF in New York, including U.S. Director for MSF’s Access Campaign, where she directed policy advocacy activities in the U.S. related to drug pricing, intellectual property, and medical innovation for neglected diseases. From 2009-2015, she also served on the Board of Directors of MSF’s Operational Center in Brussels. Prior to working with MSF, Rachel was the Director of Foundation & Corporate Giving at Housing Works, the largest grassroots AIDS service organization in the U.S., and before that, served as Program Coordinator for the U.S.+Cuba Medical Project, where she directed medical aid, educational, and advocacy programmes. Rachel has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals, co-authored dozens of reports, and been quoted extensively in the media. She is currently a member of the Steering Committee of the Global Health Technologies Coalition. Rachel earned her Master’s in Public Policy with a Certificate in Health and Health Policy from Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs.


Patricia Balaci, Development Associate

Patricia Balaci joined DNDi North America as Development Associate in August 2021. She has been working in nonprofit development for over two decades. Her nonprofit career has been as an advocate for marginalized voices who need better access to healthcare, education, and basic needs. She has worked with Covenant House, Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City, Public Agenda, the American Cancer Society, the School of American Ballet, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and NYU Casa Italiana. Prior to the non profit world, Patricia taught Italian at Long Island University, Kingsboro Community College, and Greenwich House Senior Center. As a child of Italian immigrants, she is bi-lingual, has strong ties to Italy, and travels there frequently. She earned her MA in Italian and a BA in journalism from NYU. She has an Advanced Certificate in Teaching both middle and high school Italian from Pace University.


Stephanie Davies, Senior Advisor, External Affairs

Stephanie brings with her a wealth of campaigning, writing, and events experience. Since 2010, she has worked as a communications consultant with a range of NGOs and educational institutions, including MSF, Amnesty International, and Northeastern University. Stephanie worked as Director of Public Education for MSF in the US for many years, creating the organization’s national speakers bureau, launching a regular panel discussion series led by prominent journalists, and overseeing several national tours of MSF’s outdoor exhibitions, including A Refugee Camp in the Heart of the City and the Access to Essential Medicines EXPO. Stephanie created MSF’s Bracelet of Life Campaign to raise awareness of childhood malnutrition, and the Two Pills A Day Saves Lives campaign to support MSF’s presence at South Africa’s first-ever national HIV/AIDS conference in 2003, during the darkest days of AIDS ‘denialism’. Prior to joining MSF, Stephanie organized professional research trips to Cuba with the Center for Cuban Studies and the US+Cuba Medical Project, where she secured US foundation funding for Cuba’s first international HIV/AIDS conference, including workshops for, and led by, people living with HIV/AIDS. Prior to this, she taught English Composition to low-income students at Long Island University’s Brooklyn campus in New York City. Stephanie earned a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from Aberystwyth University, Wales, and a BA (Hons) in European Studies (French/Russian) from Bath University, England.


Colin Forsyth, Research and Project Manager

Colin is an epidemiologist and medical anthropologist who lived in Bolivia in the 1990s and became acquainted with the devastating impact of Chagas disease while there. His dissertation focused on the sociocultural dimensions of Chagas disease in Bolivia. He conducted research in 2013 at a nonprofit clinic in Bolivia where more than half of the patient population was infected with T. cruzi. He investigated the beliefs, experiences, and treatment strategies of patients affected by Chagas disease, and identified key barriers that hampered access to healthcare. His research won a prize from the Society for Applied Anthropology and has been published in Social Science and Medicine. Previously, Colin participated in epidemiological research on access to recommended treatment for heart disease in Florida hospitals. In 2009, he was involved in a project at the Florida Mental Health Institute which documented mental health practices designed for Latinos in different areas of the U.S. He completed an M.P.H in Epidemiology in 2011, and a Ph.D. in Applied Anthropology in 2014, at the University of South Florida, Tampa.


Vishal Goyal, Senior Medical Manager

Vishal Goyal joined DNDi in Jan 2011 and now work as Senior Medical Manager managing clinical research projects. He has over 10 years of experience managing clinical trials (Phase II- IV) including clinical research management, regulatory affairs, policy change, medical affairs & medical writing. Over the last 7 years, he has been involved in clinical research for development of new treatments in visceral leishmaniasis in India and Bangladesh including operational research projects in neglected tropical diseases in limited resource settings. He is Certified National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers (NABH) Assessor for carrying out assessment of health care organizations against NABH accreditation standards for clinical trial in India. Vishal is a medical doctor, anesthetist by training from India. He has also pursued Executive Program in Strategic Management from IIM Kozhikode, India.


Robert Grembowitz, Financial Control Manager

Robert Grembowitz joined DNDi North America as Administration Coordinator in 2013. Prior to his work at DNDi, Robert was with Schering-Plough where he worked within the Global Quality Services group, and with YouthBuild Newark where he worked in urban community development through the Bridging the Gaps Program at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Robert earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from the University of Delaware in 2010 and his Master’s degree in Public Health from Rutgers University in 2016.


Shirley Leung, Senior Human Resources Officer

Prior to joining DNDi, Shirley worked with Turner Construction on their International HR team. As the HR Administrator, she supported their international staff in over 7 countries. When she lived in Ohio, she served as the HR Coordinator for Best Restaurant Equipment and Design, a company that designed and provided restaurant equipment for chain restaurants. As the HR Coordinator, she was engaged in all aspects of HR including Benefits, Payroll and Employee Relations. She graduated from New York University with a B.A. in Computer Science and Mathematics; while she still enjoys both subjects, she’s found her niche in supporting employees through the Human Resources function. In her spare time, Shirley volunteers as a teacher and enjoys reading, outdoor activities and travelling.


Ilan Moss, Head of Media and Content

Ilan Moss was trained as a journalist and has over 15 years of experience communicating for United Nations agencies and non-profits in North America, Europe, Africa and Southeast Asia. Ilan joined DNDi in its New York office in 2015. Previously, he worked at Unitaid in Geneva, Switzerland. He has also worked with the US Department of State as a global health communications consultant, training reporters during the 2014 West Africa Ebola outbreak, and in 2017 trained over 30 provincial health directors in the Democratic Republic of Congo to better respond to disease outbreaks. Ilan’s work has been published in Reuters, Guardian, Huffington Post, OECD Observer, Jerusalem Post, Forward, JTA, Food Republic, Miami Post, Latin Business Chronicle, True Africa and many other news outlets and websites. He is a graduate of New York University and has a Master’s degree in Political Economy from the London School of Economics and Political Science.


Alondra Ruiz, Executive and Administrative Assistant

Growing up along the Mexican border, Alondra Ruiz was exposed to communities, both in the U.S. and Mexico, facing economic inequality and social disparities in health. This emboldened her to pursue a career in social equity that addresses the health needs of disenfranchised communities. Prior to joining DNDi, she interned at several grassroots organizations in Texas with a focus on expanding low-income communities’ access to quality, affordable healthcare. She supported a small team at Curando RGV in their effort to expand access to reproductive healthcare, as well as a team at CareBOX Program who provided free health supplies to low-income patients diagnosed with cancer. She is a graduate of the University of Texas, holding a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and is fluent in Spanish.