John Lawrence, MD, President
Dr. John Lawrence, a native of Illinois, was appointed president of the board of directors of MSF-USA in June 2016. He previously served as vice president of the board. Dr. Lawrence attended Dartmouth College and Dartmouth Medical School, then completed a family practice internship and worked as a general medical officer in Tuba City, Arizona, on the Navajo Reservation. He then returned to residency and completed training in general surgery at the University of Rochester, in Rochester, New York, and pediatric surgery at St. Christopher’s Hospital in Philadelphia. For the past 20 years, he has been a practicing pediatric surgeon, primarily in academic settings, and he is currently a staff pediatric surgeon at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY. Owing in part to a longstanding interest in global health, Lawrence has completed eight surgical missions with MSF since 2009 and recently began coursework for an MPH degree through the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Lawrence has served MSF as a surgeon in the Central African Republic, Ivory Coast, Haiti, Syria, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Nabil Al-Tikriti, Vice-President
Nabil Al-Tikriti has worked with MSF since 1993 as a field administrator, logistician, context analyst, and deputy head of mission in Somalia, Albania, Iran, Turkey, Jordan, and Syria. An active member of the MSF-USA Association since its creation, he was first elected to the US Board of Directors in 2011. He has also served as a consultant and election monitor at a number of field locations in Europe, Asia, and Africa.
An expert on the modern Middle East, Iraq, and Turkey, Dr. Al-Tikriti is currently associate professor of Middle East history at the University of Mary Washington. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Arab studies from Georgetown University, a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University, and a doctorate in Ottoman history from the University of Chicago. He has also studied at Bogaziçi Üniversitesi in Istanbul, the Center for Arabic Studies Abroad in Cairo, and the American University in Cairo. Dr. Al-Tikriti is the recipient of several grants and scholarships, including a Fulbright, a United States Institute of Peace fellowship, and a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities/American Research Institute in Turkey.
Gene Wolfson, Treasurer
Gene Wolfson is currently a partner at Catalyst Investors, where he manages investor relations and firm business development and serves as a member of the investment committee. He also served on the board for Catalyst portfolio company Advantage Business Media.
From 2006 to 2008 he was managing director at Citigroup, where he managed the micro-cap sales and trading desk and international broker/dealer relationships in addition to working on special projects related to investment opportunities and acquisitions. Gene has previously held management positions at TD Waterhouse Capital Markets, where he was president and founder; Allegiance Securities; TD Securities USA; and Gateway Capital Investment Group. He holds an MBA in finance from Pace University and a BS in marketing and management from Montclair State University.
Jennifer Reynoso, Secretary
Aerlyn Pfeil is a certified professional midwife and sexual violence program consultant from Portland, Oregon. She has been practicing midwifery since 1999 and joined MSF in 2011. She has worked in maternal health programs in South Sudan, Haiti, Senegal, the Somali region of Ethiopia, and Papua New Guinea. Aerlyn has been an active association member since joining MSF and was recently elected to the board. She holds a BA in sociology from Whitman College and a BS in midwifery and a degree in global health from the University of Manchester.
Ali N'Simbo is a medical doctor from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). He has worked with MSF since 2011, first on an emergency team near his home in South Kivu, DRC, and later in South Sudan. Prior to that, he worked as a physician with the Ministry of Health in DRC and with several other national and international nongovernmental organizations. He attended the University of Kisangani, where he received his medical degree.
Kelly S. Grimshaw, RN MSN APRN CCRN
Kelly Grimshaw joined MSF in 1999, establishing a tuberculosis program in Turkmenistan. She has since worked as a Nurse Practitioner and Project Coordinator in China, Sierra Leone, Indonesia, and Zambia assisting those affected by civil and ethnic conflicts as well as the HIV pandemic. Kelly also provided further assistance and program oversite as Medical Coordinator in Angola, Liberia, Ivory Coast, and Nigeria with responses to cholera, Marburg Hemorrhagic Fever, meningitis, and measles outbreaks. In the US she has volunteered her services to the MSF-USA's Speaker's Bureau throughout the country and Refugee Camp in the Heart of the City exhibits. She currently works in nursing education.
Kassia Echavarri-Queen began her field work with MSF in 2006 as a supply manager in Sierra Leone, having previously worked in marketing and strategy for technology companies, start-ups, and the Fritz Institute, which focuses on disaster response and recovery. In the years that followed, Kassia worked extensively in the field with MSF as program coordinator and head of mission in Guatemala, Kenya, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, and Syria. Her two most recent missions were an Ebola response program in Liberia and a project in Nepal following the earthquake there in April 2015. All told, Kassia has over 14 years of international program management experience. Now living in her native San Francisco, Kassia holds a BA in international relations from Alliant University and an MA in international economics and management from SDA Bocconi.
Ramin Asgary, MD, MPH
Ramin Asgary started with MSF in 1997. His global health experience is in the management of complex humanitarian emergencies and refugee health. He has worked in international health projects in the former Soviet states, Sudan, Liberia, Haiti, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Argentina, and on the Kenya/Somalia border. Ramin has founded and directed clinics for refugees and asylum seekers; worked extensively in health and human rights advocacy; and developed training curricula in global health for medical students, residents, and public health students; in addition to publishing dozens of manuscripts on global health. He completed his residency in internal medicine and social medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, a fellowship in preventive medicine and an MPH in community medicine at Mount Sinai/NYU, an MPH in refugee health at Columbia University, and a diploma in tropical medicine at Johns Hopkins University.
Alison Ludwig is a physician who earned her medical degree at Temple University School of Medicine and completed an internal medicine residency at the University of California, San Francisco. She joined MSF in 2007 and has undertaken field assignments as a field physician, medical team lead, and medical coordinator in Zimbabwe and Sudan. Dr. Ludwig completed a fellowship in applied medical epidemiology through the Epidemic Intelligence Service and the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention. She has worked as a research coordinator on HIV public health research projects in East Africa through the University of California, San Francisco, and in the domestic tuberculosis program for the City of San Francisco. Currently she is physician chief of medical practice at a large primary care clinic at the San Franciso VA Medical Center, where she teaches residents, manages medical operations, and cares for veterans.
Mego Terzian, President, MSF France (Co-opted member)
Dr. Mego Terzian is the President of MSF in France. Born in Lebanon, he earned his medical degree in pediatrics from Yerevan State Medical University in Armenia in 1999. While still in medical school, he worked as a translator for Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Nagorno-Karabakh, and from 1999-2002, he worked as an MSF field doctor in Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, Iran, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In 2003, he became an emergency coordinator for MSF projects in Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire, Niger, Pakistan, Central African Republic, Jordan, as well as other countries. From 2007 until being elected President, he served first as Deputy and then as Director of MSF’s Emergency Programming at MSF in France.
Dr. Susan Shepherd
Dr. Susan Shepherd is a pediatrician who earned her medical degree at the Université Libre de Bruxelles and completed a residency in general pediatrics at the University of Chicago. When she joined MSF in 2003, she was practicing at the Butte Community Health Center in rural Montana. Dr. Shepherd has undertaken field assignments in Uganda, Chad, Niger, and Kenya. She became deeply involved in MSF’s work in combating childhood malnutrition; in this capacity she worked for MSF’s Access Campaign, was coordinator for the MSF Nutrition Working Group, and held a position in the MSF France Department of Operations. Since leaving MSF in 2013, Dr. Shepherd has worked with the World Food Program in Central African Republic and Cameroon. Currently she works for a small French medical NGO, the Alliance for International Medical Action, where she focuses on development of novel strategies to improve service delivery and quality of medical care provided to children in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Philip Sacks received an AB from Brown University and an MMA from University of Rhode Island. He is a licensed master mariner specialized in large sailing vessels and oceanographic research vessels. He spent 33 years working as a sailing ship captain, professor of nautical science, and senior administrator at SEA Education Association in Woods Hole, MA. He is also a project management specialist. He has worked coordinating science missions for Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the US Antarctic Program. As a consultant, he has managed the construction of research vessels and remote research stations worldwide. Since 2006, Sacks has completed 10 humanitarian aid missions as a logistician and logistics coordinator with MSF in a wide range of contexts based in Thailand, South Sudan, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad, and Haiti. Sacks was elected to the Board of Directors of MSF-USA in June 2016.