DNDi North America Staff
- Rachel M Cohen, Regional Executive Director
- Stephanie Davies, Campaign Advisor
- Jennifer Duran, Senior Development Officer
- Colin Forsyth, Chagas Epidemiologist
- Robert Grembowitz, Senior Financial Control Officer
- Jennifer Katz, Head of Development, GARDP/Director of Development, DNDi NA
- DK Lee, Digital Content Officer
- Ilan Moss, Senior Communications Manager
- Stephanie Oster, Senior Development Advisor
- Jaxira Rodriguez, Grant Administrator
- Vishal Goyal, Senior Clinical Manager
- Julia Pittorino, Sleeping Sickness Campaign Coordinator
- Megan DeTura, Executive and Administrative Assistant
- Amina Phelps, Senior Human Resources Officer
Rachel Cohen was appointed Regional Executive Director of DNDi North America in January 2011. Rachel has been working in the global health and humanitarian field for more than 20 years, primarily with Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). Until 2010, she served as Head of Mission for MSF in South Africa and Lesotho, where she oversaw numerous medical programs, primarily focused on HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis treatment in rural and peri-urban settings, primary health care for Zimbabwean refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants, and emergency care for survivors of sexual violence. Before working for MSF in the field, Rachel held numerous positions with MSF in New York, including US Director for MSF’s Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines, where she directed policy advocacy activities related to drug pricing, intellectual property, and medical innovation for neglected diseases. Prior to joining MSF, she was the Director of Foundation & Corporate Giving at Housing Works, the largest minority-controlled AIDS service organization in the US, and before that, served as the Program Coordinator for the US+Cuba Medical Project, where she directed medical aid programs and carried out educational and advocacy initiatives about the impact of US foreign policy on the health of the Cuban population. Rachel earned a Master of Public Policy with a Certificate in Health & Health Policy from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International 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.
Jennifer Duran is the Senior Development Officer of DNDi North America, joining the organization in August 2011. In this role, she combines her development experience and scientific background to implement DNDi North America’s private fundraising strategy, with a special emphasis on developing a major gifts program. Most recently, Jen served as Development Associate of Individual Giving for The Children’s Aid Society, a nonprofit organization in New York. While at Children’s Aid, she identified fundraising strategies for the Annual Giving and Major Gifts teams while also managing the daily gift operations and implementing a strategic plan for major donor prospects. Prior to Children’s Aid, Jen served as Associate Director of Development for the Abakua Afro-Latin Dance Company in 2010, and performed prospect research for a diverse group of major nonprofits at Jeanne Sigler & Associates, Inc, a New York-based consulting firm. She has over 6 years of laboratory research experience at Hunter College, Mount Sinai Graduate School of Biological Sciences, and the University of Virginia, investigating various diseases, mainly focusing on infectious disease issues. Jen earned a Master of Science degree in Biological & Physical Sciences from the University of Virginia’s Microbiology Department in 2007 and a Bachelor of Arts degree in the Biological Sciences from Hunter College of the City University of New York in 2002.
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.
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.
Jennifer Katz currently serves as the Head of Development with responsibility for leading DNDi’s resource mobilization and advocacy activities with the US and Canadian governments and for raising $300M in public and private support for the new joint initiative of DNDi and the World Health Organization – the Global Antibiotic Research & Development Partnership (GARDP). Jennifer has worked with DNDi since 2005 holding several positions including Senior Advisor for Policy & Development and Interim Regional Executive Director for DNDi North America, as well as Head of Fundraising for DNDi, based in Geneva, Switzerland, managing DNDi‘s overall fundraising strategy to secure support from public and private donors. Prior to working with DNDi, Jennifer served as Fundraising Officer for the Association for the Prevention of Torture in Geneva, Switzerland. From 1998 until 2004, she held various positions with the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS), working on issues related to access to health insurance and services for low-income and special populations in Massachusetts, as well as managing the finance and operations of the Center for Health Policy & Research at UMMS. Jennifer has 20 years of experience in resource mobilization, policy advocacy, and project management in public health. She earned a Master of Health Services Administration from the University of Michigan School of Public Health and a dual undergraduate degree in Public Health and Psychology from the University of Rochester.
DK Lee joined DNDi North America as Digital Content Officer in April 2017. Before joining DNDi, DK worked in industries including instructional design, fashion, and fine arts. DK’s experience includes working as Social Media Marketing/Production Intern for The Levy Group and as Social Media Consultant for the Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art. In 2016, he completed a year-long Instructional Technology Apprenticeship Program and conducted research on the use of smartphone apps in educational settings. DK graduated from Hamilton College with Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Quantitative Economics in 2017. Taking advantage of his Liberal Arts education, DK has focused his skills on social media marketing and visual media production. While in Hamilton, DK received a grant to produce virtual reality videos and has worked on applying 360/VR technology to immersive media. Outside of work, DK is a photographer with works in large format photography and printmaker in intaglio printmaking.
Ilan Moss was trained as a journalist and has over 15 years of experience communicating for international development agencies and NGOs in North America, Europe, Africa and Southeast Asia. He has most recently been the communications officer for UNITAID in Geneva, responsible for a range of editorial and digital content. From 2009 until 2011, Ilan led digital strategy for a global health micro-fundraising campaign in Spain. In 2012, he developed a single-subject news website with the French newspaper Libération on the Syrian refugee crisis, combining academic research, multimedia field reporting and data visualization. Ilan’s work has been published in Reuters, Guardian, Huffington Post, OECD Observer, Jerusalem Post, Forward, JTA, Food Republic, Miami Post, Latin Business Chronicle 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.
Stephanie Oster joined DNDi North America with 11 years of development experience in international humanitarian aid and social and health services. She most recently served as the Director of Major Gifts at the New York Women’s Foundation, the largest women’s fund in the USA, where she developed a major giving program that provided millions of dollars in annual investments to advance the economic security of low-income and vulnerable women and their families in New York City. Prior to that she worked at Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), first as an Events Coordinator where she planned large-scale public events including two national tours of the traveling exhibit, a Refugee Camp in the Heart of the City; and then as a Development Officer, helping to double the annual budget from $150 million in 2007 to nearly $300 million in 2015, through building and strengthening relationships with individual supporters, family foundations, and other stakeholders of the organization. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Women’s Studies from Hunter College of the City University of New York.
Jaxira Rodriguez joined DNDi North America as Grant Administrator in March 2015. She joins us from ICAP at Columbia University where she served as a Sub-Awards Manager with responsibility for the administrative and financial management of sub-awards issued to PEPFAR implementing partners. She played a key role in the management of ICAP’s portfolio in Tanzania, Swaziland, South Africa, Cote d’Ivoire, and Zambia. During her tenure at ICAP, Jaxira provided technical assistance that enabled sub-recipients to build award management capacity and trained ICAP-field office staff to monitor and address day-to-day concerns of partners while ensuring compliance with donor rules and regulations as well as ICAP’s Standard Operating Procedures. Prior to joining ICAP in 2008, she served as Program Director of VE-Global, Inc. from 2007-2008. From this capacity, Jaxira managed the daily operations to ensure general accomplishments of the organization’s mission to recruit domestic and international volunteers to work with underprivileged children at various social service institutions in Santiago, Chile. From 2005-2007, she worked at Baby Buggy, Inc, a non-profit organization that distributes new and gently used baby items to families in need, where she served as Assistant Program Director. She is a graduate of Bard College and holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Advance Management and Finance from the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University.
Vishal Goyal joined DNDi in Jan 2011 and now work as Senior Clinical Manager managing clinical research projects in visceral leishmaniasis. 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.
Julia Pittorino serves as Sleeping Sickness Campaign Coordinator where she currently assists in planning small and large-scale fundraising and cultivation events in North America. Julia graduated in May 2017 from New York University with majors in Global Public Health and Sociology, and minors in Child & Adolescent Mental Health and Nutrition. In January 2014, Julia joined Amnesty International USA’s Events Team for two years, where she organized national and regional human rights conferences. Julia has also participated in global health programs in South Africa, at the University of Cape Town and in the United Kingdom, at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Megan DeTura joined DNDi North America in March 2018 as Executive and Administrative Assistant, following her previous post as an intern from September 2013 to April 2014. She is a graduate of New York University and has held internships at organizations including the Center for the Integration and Advancement of New Americans (CIANA), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Building upon her Bachelor of Arts degree in Latin American Studies and Public Health and Policy, Megan has lived abroad in South America and most recently completed a Portuguese immersion program. In addition to her current role, Megan volunteers as a research assistant, supporting the production of international human rights reports. She is a passionate advocate for the upholding of dignity and humanity of detained immigrants and asylum seekers.
Amina Phelps joined DNDi North America as Senior Human Resources Officer in April 2018. Prior to joining the team, she has worked as HR Manager with Sauti Yetu Center for African Women, a community organization dedicated to mobilizing African immigrant women to improve the quality of their lives. She has also worked within the Waldorf community in varying roles beginning with supporting the Business Manager with HR and school operations and she also spent some time managing Admissions for the Waldorf Teacher Training Institute. In each role, she supported the leadership teams with building HR infrastructure and projects to streamline processes and procedures. Although her professional experience is within Human Resources and Operations, her first love has always been creative writing and of course reading. She holds a BA in English from Brooklyn College and is currently working on a fiction novel in her spare time.