Mahnaz M. Harrison - Founding President and CEO of LM4D

Ms. Harrison is a health executive with experience in management of innovative health projects in the world’s remotest areas. Her talent is in collaborating with local, regional, and international stakeholders to move health projects from the pilot phase to implementation.
Because of her familiarity with the political economy of the Caucasus, she was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to Georgia, where she worked with governmental and nongovernmental stakeholders to draft a Comprehensive Cancer Control Policy, and co-edited the country's Non- Communicable Disease Policy.
Her work in Georgia paved the way for the establishment of LM4D, which designs innovative community-centric health, and rights-to-health solutions. Innovation of VPack4Development (V4D) system has enabled her to bring her passion for women’s and girl’s rights to health and safety to fruition with local partners in Kenya, and Uganda. She and her team are using V4D to help eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM) in Kenya. In Nairobi she helped lead a program of pre and post pregnancy care for HIV+ women and their babies living in the Kibera slum. Furthermore, she designed several regional programs for civil society organizations in the Caucasus, Central Asia, and the Middle East to further their advocacy skills on women’s health and rights to health and safety. This entailed training and mentoring health and social workers on reduction of Gender-Based Violence.
Her passion is improving the health, safety and economic livelihood of women and girls in the remotest areas of the world. While using technology has been critical, it is Harrison’s expertise in designing protocols and curricula that produces successful health outcomes.
She is a graduate of Johns Hopkins School of Advance International Studies/SAIS.

Maedeh Hassanzadegan - Project and Technical Director

Ms. Hassanzadegan has 15 years experience in business administration, management, and information technology consulting. She has applied her creativity in web design and digital marketing and had advanced her clients’ web experience and communication. She works across a wide international and multicultural environment with private international companies, and many non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
In the past several years, Maedeh has been a close adviser to Last Mile4D on design and development of projects, which are focused on information communication technology (ICT). She has lent her expertise for design, development, planning, and delivery of all information technology processes of the organization aligned with each project’s goals and deliverables.
Her full understanding of the need of each project and her close work on each one empowers her to combine her technology, computer and business administration skills with the approach and mission of Last Mile4D in delivering LM4D’s work and message across the globe, on time and on budget.
Maedeh holds a Master degree in Business Administration (MBA) and BSc in Computer Science.

Vanessa Keil - Financial Manager

Vanessa has been an accounting professional for over 10 years serving a variety of industries including manufacturing, non-profits, food production and distribution, and healthcare. She began her career in public accounting working as a Tax Associate working on large corporations, small businesses, non-profits, and individual clients.
After her time in public accounting, she worked as a Senior Accountant for a home health and hospice company and was involved in several software integrations and prepared the cost reports. Most recently she serves as the Financial Manager and Practice Controller at an Independent Orthopaedic Practice in Pittsburgh overseeing all financial areas, revenue cycle, and purchasing. Vanessa received her dual Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Accounting and Finance from Robert Morris University. During her time at Robert Morris, she held multiple internships, was on the Division I Women's Rowing team, and served on several organizational boards and honor societies.

Paul Otiku - Programs Manager

Paul manages the Kenyan teams in the two regions of Migori and West Pokot. He is a dedicated health professional with good knowledge and experience in the implementation of public health programs in Kenya and Uganda. Paul is a Public Health professional with a keen interest in the application of data driven evidence-based decision making to improve health outcomes of populations. He is experienced in the management of delivery of health intervention programs in under-served communities. He is a PhD candidate at the University of Bar-Ilan, Israel.

Susan Akinyi - Team Supervisor in Migori County

She is a trained teacher of English and Literature and an FGM activist. Susan has been fighting for the rights of girls and women in matters related to Gender-Based Violence since 2005 as she began her role as a teacher in Migori County. Her personal conviction of gender equality drives her work as a leader in the LM4D’s team. She has helped secure partnership with Ministry of Education in Migori County to enable the rolling out of Last Mile4D's FGM eradication program in 15 schools in Kuria East and Kuria West in Migori County. She aspires to continue forging alliances in the fight against FGM with Kenyan government agencies, other Non-governmental Organizations, Schools, Media Houses, Cross Border anti-FGM Committees among other organizations with similar goals for FGM eradication.

Esther Mideva Maswi - Field Supervisor Kuria

Esther is well known community organizer and the Chairperson of the Community-Based Organization MWANZO Women Group. She has experience in the National HIV-AIDS Control Council, since 2007 and had worked tirelessly to bring awareness to the community about effects of FGM and HIV-AIDS in Kuria sub-counties. She has experience working with youth in anti-FGM/HIV activities since 2000. She has worked with targeted groups such as Kuria Council of Elders and the cutters/women circumcisers on raising awareness on the harms of FGM on the girls and the next generation of Kenyans.

Susan Cheyech Alukulem - Field Supervisor, in West Pokot

Susan is an FGM survivor and has been fighting for the rights of girls and women for years. Her personal conviction to eliminate FGM is the drive behind all she does as a leader for LM4D. She has been a leader in her region in charge of anti-FGM activities. She has mobilized more than 45 women groups to fight against FGM. She has been recognized by the local Government, Non-governmental Organizations, Schools, Media Houses, Cross Border and Communities at large for her fights against FGM. She has rescued over 80 girls from FGM prior to joining LM4D in the fight against FGM.

Nino Davitashvili - Consultant for LM4D

Nino Davitashvili has more than 5 years’ experience in the fields of Domestic Violence, Violence against women and Gender-Based Violence. For last 3 years, she has worked at ATIP fund which is a major government service provider agency to the DV and WAV victims. She has undertaken numerous public awareness raising campaigns and activities during these years, as well as intensive capacity building of the state’s social workers. Some of the results achieved in Georgia in the fight against DV and WAV is attributed to her accomplishments in the frames of the "Reduction of Domestic Violence in Georgia” activity, for example: over the three years the number of calls to the (116 006) hotline and the number of shelter beneficiaries have significantly grown, resulting in a decrease in number of women who stayed with violent husbands and a significant increase in the percentage of women who reported DV to the police.

James Warren - Board Secretary

Formerly a banker in London, New York and Germany, he has practiced in the United States for more than 25 years at major law firms and most recently as an independent attorney. His legal practice has focused on federal income tax matters, particularly financial products, for banks and financial institutions and also international restructurings and cross-border transactions. He has long experience of tax controversies having represented Freddie Mac for many years in a series of reported cases in the U.S. Tax Court, and has advised leading investment and commercial banks on domestic and international tax planning and compliance. In addition to his tax practice, Mr. Warren has wide experience in a variety of humanitarian and philanthropic matters, including serving as independent trial observer in a political trial in Ethiopia, assisting the prosecution in the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Tanzanian and trial advocacy training in Liberia. He is advisor to, or a board member of, a variety of nonprofits, many of which he helped to establish.

Robert C. Funderlich - Board Treasurer

Has served in senior financial leadership roles for manufacturing, distribution, technology and healthcare businesses over his career. These companies have ranged from pre-revenue start up enterprises to fortune 500 businesses. Mr. Funderlich has significant experience in the building products industry, logistics, Marcellus Shale play, home health & hospice and LTC Pharmacy. Most recently he serves as the Chief Financial Officer for Grane Rx a LTC Pharmacy that serves Skilled Nursing, Assisted Living and PACE programs. He has been instrumental in building the Company’s finance and accounting operations and working with senior management team in executing its strategic plan. Mr. Funderlich started his career with Price Waterhouse (PWC) and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz School of Business with an MBA and received his B.S. in Accounting from Robert Morris University. Mr. Funderlich is also a Past President, Officer and Board Member of the Pittsburgh Chapter of Financial Executives International (FEI) and an Advisory Board Member for Robert Morris University School of Business.

Marilyn Spinner - Board member

With over 20 years of senior level experience in philanthropy, Marilyn has worked with a range of organizations serving in executive positions including as Founding Principal at The Consulting Collaborative, a nonprofit consulting and advisory group and Chief Marketing and External Relations Officer at AllHealth Network, a community mental health organization in Denver Colorado serving over 18,000 clients through a comprehensive spectrum of care. As a passionate leader in non-profit strategy, Ms. Spinner designs and implements approaches to bring a larger audience and resource support to effective and purposeful organizations serving many populations in urban and rural communities. Her work has spanned from New York to Colorado offering advice and guidance and she is currently working as Chief Development and External Affairs Officer with The Adira Foundation, a newly formed organization focusing on supporting individuals with neurodegenerative diseases. Ms. Spinner earned a B.S. degree in Communications from Boston University and received her Master of Arts degree from Columbia University in New York. In addition to her professional leadership in the non-profit community, Marilyn advocates for access of mental health care and against stigma associated with mental health through associations both at a local and national levels, and also focuses efforts on working with organizations who actively engage in restoring lives of those who have been victimized by human trafficking.

Sarah Frech - Board member

Dr. Sarah Frech is a senior biotech executive with 25 years experience working in global infectious disease vaccine and drug research and development. She is experienced in strategic planning related to product evaluation from preclinical and clinical data, through license authorization. Her work has included multimillion-dollar global clinical trial development and execution, data collection and consolidation of information for international regulatory authorities and other key stakeholders.
Prior to joining the pharmaceutical industry, Sarah worked at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, Austria where she developed a database to prospectively collect the impact of development projects overseen by the Agency’s Office of Technical Cooperation. At the UN Industrial Development Organization, she worked on a project to assist women entrepreneurs in developing countries.
Her Peace Corps experience in Benin, West Africa, included the design and implementation of a vaccination program for small ruminants and poultry, which then drove her to study veterinary medicine. Benin is also where she saw firsthand the horrors of FGM.
She played varsity basketball for Dartmouth College. She holds a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Washington State University, a Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University. She speaks French, German and Dendi.

Colleen Abdoulah - Adviser

Colleen guided WOW! Internet, Cable and Phone for 12 years, overseeing industry-leading financial success and creating unprecedented value for employees and shareholders. During her tenure, WOW! quadrupled its customer base from 200,000+ to more than 800,000, growing revenues to more than $1.2B. Under Colleen’s leadership, WOW! earned a remarkable 19 J.D. Power and Associates awards for customer satisfaction, multiple top-provider awards from Consumer Reports, and the PC Magazine Readers’ Choice Award for top cable Internet service provider. Prior to joining WOW!, Colleen spent much of her career at Tele-Communications Inc.
Her professional career spans over 30 years in the marketing/advertising and telecommunications industries.
In the nonprofit world, Colleen is an ardent voice and advocate for those who have been marginalized. She is a former Chair of the Board for the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center and World Pulse, a global social network dedicated to connecting, uniting and empowering women around the world. She currently serves on the boards of the Colorado Women’s College of the University of Denver and Rocky Mountain PBS.
She is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Leaders Advancing and Helping Communities (LAHC) Lifetime Achievement Award; the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce Top 25 Most Powerful Women Award to name a few.

Prachee J. Devadas - Adviser

In 2003, Prachee J. Devadas founded Synergy Enterprises, Inc. (Synergy), a woman-owned small business and government consulting firm focused on public health and education. Ms. Devadas built Synergy based on a deep commitment to critical private and public social initiatives. Synergy employs more than 150 staff members who manage high-profile communications, technical assistance, and research contracts for federal agencies, including the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Education, State, Homeland Security, Energy, and Defense.
Synergy ranked 14th on Washington Technology’s 2008 List of Top 25 Nationwide 8(a) Firms. In 2009, the U.S. Small Business Administration named Ms. Devadas Small Business Person of the Year for Maryland, metropolitan area. During a 2010 press conference, President Barack Obama singled out Ms. Devadas and Synergy’s success as representative of the promise of opportunity in America. Ms. Devadas has received numerous awards, including a “Top 40 New Power Women of DC Tech” award in 2017 and a “Minority Business Leader Award” in 2016 by the Washington Business Journal. Ms. Devadas serves on the Board of Directors for The Children’s Inn at NIH, the Regional Advisory Board for BB&T Bank and as an advisory board member for So Others Might Eat (SOME).

Anne Dupont - Adviser

Anne has a passion for leadership, mentoring and helping women find their voices—in corporations, politics or women creating change in communities around the world.
She is the Chair Emeritus of an international nonprofit organization, World Pulse. World Pulse is creating a digital uprising on a global level, connecting women in over 190 countries through their social media network. These women have created change movements impacting 27+ million to date. The goal is to impact 1 billion women in the next decade, to help end the oppression of women worldwide.
As a past Principal of The AthenA Group for 10 years, Anne’s expertise was in the area of large organizational culture change, as well as leadership development and executive coaching.
Before joining The AthenA Group, Anne was a Senior Partner at Accenture, a worldwide consulting, outsourcing and technology firm, specializing in large scale technology and human performance.
She is on the Business Advisory Board at the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado and mentors many young leaders in the Denver Community.

Maggy Horhoruw - Advisor

Ms. Horhoruw is a public policy advisor with more than 15 years of work experience with various Indonesian government agencies as well as bilateral, multi-lateral government agencies and NGOs.
As advisor to the Indonesian Government, she has been assigned to work on a variety of policy issues included renewable energy, fisheries, anti-corruption, governance, and bureaucracy reform.
In all those issues she ensured stakeholders of tri-partite sectors were engaged to form, amend and improve government regulations and decrees (ministerial & presidential). Her involvement in post-tsunami rehabilitation and reconstruction has brought her to Harvard University as resource person for disaster management seminars in 2010 and 2016.
She holds a master’s degree in public policy from Johns Hopkins SAIS and an undergraduate degree in Psychology from University of Indonesia. She also received a scholarship from United in Diversity to attend IDEAS, a non-degree education from MIT Sloan School of Management.

Jack Lawlesss - Adviser

Jack Lawless was named Chief Executive Officer of Belle Tire Distributors, Inc (BTD) in September 2015. Nationally, BTD is one of the 10 largest independent Tire and service retailers in the USA with over 100 locations in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. Mr. Lawless has over 25 years of executive level experience running private, public and Private Equity sponsored companies with sales up to $900 million. He has built his career on a team oriented approach and has rapidly grown market share and profits during his career by providing customers with superior products and outstanding customer service. Prior to BTD, he was President and CEO of Champion Enterprises where he and his team doubled USA market share in 4 years. Prior to Champion, he was Group President for Headwaters, Inc----A NYSE building products company located in Salt Lake City. Prior to that, he was President and CEO of Tapco International-----a specialty building products manufacturer------where he and his team grew from $40 million in sales with 10% market share and limited product scope to be the leader in the specialty building products arena with over 200,000 sku's, unrivaled customer service/delivery, 30%+ EBITDA margins and a 80% market share in its main product categories. His Tapco career started in 1989 when he ran Tapco as a privately owned business, sold it to Calera Capital (PE firm) in 1999, and then ultimately sold it to Headwaters, Inc in 2004 for approx. $750 million. Mr. Lawless started his career in commercial lending.
He received his BA in Economics from Kalamazoo College in 1983 and his MBA from the University of Notre Dame in 1985.

Dr. Manfred Petri - Adviser

Dr. Manfred Petri was named managing director of mpnewco GmbH, a small private equity holding company since 2004. He has been investor and advisor in renewable energy companies. Prior to joining mpnewco GmbH, he was the Managing Director of Gerhard Petri GmbH & Co. KG in Hof. He has over 20 years of executive level experience in designing, manufacturing and selling power accessories. During his leadership he oversaw the expansion of company activities to Australia, New Zealand, USA and Eastern Europe encompassing a territory with 600 customers in 52 countries. He founded/acquired the subsidiaries in Czech Republic, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Poland, which led to increase product development that led to several international patents. He was responsible for the vertical integration of the business segments and enormous growth of the company that made the family owned business Gerhard Petri GmbH & Co. KG most attractive to integrated health solution that ties health education, nutrition, community health worker training, telemedicine and e-medical record keeping together to increase access to health and reduce health stresses in different communities several international buyers including Nexans S.A. (French cable manufacturer), which ultimately acquired Gerhard Petri GmbH & Co. KG in 2002. His career started by joining the Gerhard Petri GmbH & Co. KG in Hof/Germany, a family owned business designing, manufacturing and selling power accessories (cable connectors, cable lugs etc.).
Petri received his MA from Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich/Germany, and his PhD/Dr. phil. (Dissertation supported by "Studienstiftung des Dt. Volkes"). He is fluent in German, English, Latin and has basic knowledge in French.

Cheryl Thomas - Advisor

Since 1993, Cheryl has worked with partners around the world to promote women’s human rights and achieve effective legal reform to end gender based violence against women and girls. She has participated in the drafting of laws on gender based violence and trained stakeholders to enforce laws in dozens of countries.
She has worked with the United Nations to develop model standards, leading a global consultation on the enforcement of laws in Spain in 2015. Cheryl co-chaired the United Nations Expert Group Meeting to draft the Handbook for Legislation on Violence against Women.
Cheryl received the 2021 Arabella Babb Mansfield Award from the National Association of Women Lawyers. In 2011, she was recognized by Newsweek as one of 150 Women Who Shake the World.
Former positions include Director of the Women’s Rights Program at The Advocates for Human Rights, Executive Director at WATCH, Shareholder at Briggs and Morgan Law Firm (now Taft) Special Assistant Attorney General, Minnesota Attorney General’s Office and Adjunct Professor at the University of Minnesota Law School.

Kirthi Jayakumar - Community Adviser

Kirthi Jayakumar is an activist, artist, entrepreneur and writer from Chennai, India. She founded and runs The Gender Security Project, one of the few WPS centres in the global south, which works at the cusp of gender, security, peace, and conflict through research, reportage, and documentation. She also formerly founded and ran the Red Elephant Foundation, a civilian peacebuilding initiative that works for gender equality through storytelling, advocacy and digital interventions. Kirthi is a Vital Voices Engage Fellow, and a former Vital Voices Lead Fellow. She is currently pursuing her second MA in Peace and Conflict Studies as a Commonwealth Scholarship Awardee, in a blended learning course at Coventry University, UK.
Kirthi coded an app for survivors of Gender-Based Violence called Saahas, which works as a web and mobile app. She taught herself to code and created a web app, a mobile app and a Facebook ChatBot to support survivors of Gender-Based Violence across 196 countries, and to assist bystander intervention. Her areas of interest include gender studies, peace and conflict research, security studies, and international human rights and humanitarian law.