The US office
Learn how MSF-USA fits into the global MSF movement.
Learn how MSF-USA fits into the global MSF movement.
MSF’s US office comprises 231 people who support the organization’s medical humanitarian action through staff recruitment, fundraising, communications and awareness-raising, and advocacy.
MSF-USA is one of 24 MSF sections worldwide. Each is governed by an association made up of current and former MSF staff members who elect a board of directors, define strategic direction, and hold the section accountable for its work.
Born in Trikala, a small town in central Greece, Dr. Christos Christou graduated from Aristotle University’s medical school in Thessaloniki, Greece, and holds a PhD in surgery from the Kapodestrian University of Athens. He also holds a master's degree in international health with a focus in health crisis management from the University of Athens and is a member of its faculty.
Dr. Christou specialized in general and emergency surgery in the Surgical and Transplant Unit of Evangelismos Hospital in Athens. In 2013, he moved to London, where he was a senior clinical fellow in colorectal surgery at King’s College Hospital. In 2018, he became consultant of colorectal and emergency surgery at North Middlesex University Hospital. The same year he was awarded a fellowship from the European Board of Surgery in Coloproctology.
Dr. Christou joined MSF in 2002 and has since held several roles. His first assignment was in Greece as a field doctor, working with migrants and refugees. He then worked as a doctor in an HIV/AIDS project in Zambia in 2004 and 2005. After a break from international work, during which he trained as a surgeon, Dr. Christou re-joined MSF in 2013 for assignments in a number of conflict zones and insecure contexts, including South Sudan, Iraq, and, most recently, Cameroon, as an emergency and trauma surgeon. Since 2005 he has served as general secretary, vice-president, and finally president of MSF Greece's Board of Directors. He was elected MSF's international president in June 2019.
Africa Stewart graduated with honors from Johns Hopkins University in 1995 with a BA in psychology and mathematical science. She then attended Drexel University Medical School in Philadelphia. In 1999 she completed an MBA with a concentration in strategic planning from the University of Pittsburghʼs Katz School of Business. She then returned to Philadelphia to finish her medical training at Drexel. In 2000, Africa received her MD and started her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Hahnemann University Hospital. Her career with MSF began in Sudan in June 2011. Africa has completed five surgical field assignments with MSF and served as a guide for the organizationʼs Forced From Home exhibition about the global refugee crisis. She was elected to the board of directors in 2017. She continues to support women's health care locally and abroad with an emphasis on education and prevention.
Brigg Reilley works with a tribal health board that provides support for the US Indian Health Service national HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) program. He has been working in American Indian/Alaska Native health since 2006. Prior to Indian Health Service, he worked for MSF for ten years in several emergency and non-emergency project settings, and served on the MSF Board of Directors from 2008-2011. He obtained a Masters in Public Health from Tulane University in 1996 and a BA in Philosophy from the College of William & Mary in 1990.
John Wetherington has served in the nonprofit sector for nearly 20 years as CFO, COO and Acting-CEO in education and healthcare sectors and currently is CFO for an organization providing services to the intellectual and developmental disabled and homeless populations. Prior to work for nonprofit organizations, he served in administrative, consulting and international business development roles in equity investment and banking industries.
John serves on multiple nonprofit boards and has led and participated in service activities in Asia and Africa. He holds the credentials of Certified Public Accountant in his home state of Colorado and is a Chartered Global Management Accountant. John graduated with BA/BS degrees from the University of Colorado-Boulder, and has an MBA from the University of Denver and a Doctor of Business Administration degree from the University of Phoenix. He lives in Denver.
Sheronda Rochelle Blackburn, Esq., a native New Yorker, is a Senior Corporate Counsel with Microsoft Corporation. Prior to her current role, Sheronda spent almost 12 years at JPMorgan Chase where she was Executive Director and Assistant General Counsel leading the technology legal team supporting the company’s Asset and Wealth Management division. Before that, she was Counsel at CA Technologies serving as the primary lawyer for their Small to Medium Business Products Group and their Global Procurement organization. Sheronda has previously served on the boards of The Metropolitan Black Bar Association and The Global Community Charter School in Harlem (an International Baccalaureate school) where she was also a Founding Trustee. Sheronda holds a BA from Bryant University and a JD from Brooklyn Law School.
Pat Carrick is a nationally certified Family Nurse Practitioner. For the past 30 years she has worked, first in acute care hospital nursing and home-based hospice services, and then in Community Health Centers providing primary care for medically under-served populations. Since 2007 Pat has completed 5 humanitarian aid assignments with MSF in Malawi, South Sudan and Sierra Leone including in-patient and out-patient malnutrition and infectious disease projects. She also has experience in the post-ebola development sector in Sierra Leone. She has served on a number of community, State and regional boards over the years. She was elected to the MSF-USA Board of Directors in June 2017. Pat holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in Nursing from Montana State University. She takes inspiration and sustenance from the beloved mountains of her home in rural, south-western Montana.
Elen Costigan, MPA, MPH, has more than fifteen years of experience working in humanitarian action and public health. Her career with MSF began in 2010 and spans over 18 countries across Africa and Latin America in various emergency settings. In addition to managing emergency response with MSF, Elen has worked with the United Nations and with grassroots nonprofit organizations in Central America. Elen holds a triple BA/BS in Political Science, Economics, and Spanish Literature from Ohio State University graduating Magna Cum Laude, with Honors and Research Distinction. She completed dual Master of Public Administration (MPA) degrees from the London School of Economics and Columbia University, and a Masters in Public Health (MPH) in Epidemiology from Harvard University. Elen is dual citizen of the US and Brazil and is fluent in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Swahili, and Tok Pisin. She is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Public Health (DrPH) in Epidemiology at Columbia University, and her interests center around promoting community engagement and the intersection of health and human rights.
Jane Coyne is a strategic leader with experience in multiple domains, from supply chain management in the tech sector to hospital management in Democratic Republic of Congo. After business school she spent 10 years in the Bay Area working for and consulting companies on supply chain optimization, including inventory management and network design. In 2003 she left the corporate world to begin a decade-long career with MSF. After six years of field experience at our medical projects, she worked as a program manager based in Paris responsible for MSF’s activities in Sudan, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Kenya, and Georgia. Jane returned to the US in 2013 to work as the director of operations for a nonprofit organization building solar electric systems for health facilities off the grid. After that, she led the office of the UN Special Envoy on Tuberculosis (TB) advocating for better TB policy and resources. Today she is the president of a small manufacturing company in upstate New York.
Isabelle Defourny is 51 years old and the mother of a 13-year-old daughter and an 11-year-old son. She is a doctor trained in tropical medicine. Her career at MSF began in Yemen in 1999 with the French section after having been rejected by MSF-Belgium because she had no training in tropical medicine. Then she went to Eritrea, Burundi, Liberia and Darfur where she was able to gauge the extent of the working possibilities for the MSF teams. She came to headquarters in 2004 as deputy program officer, then program officer until 2011. From 2011 to 2015, she worked in Dakar as program director for ALIMA, of which she was one of the founding members. She was elected to the MSF-France board in 2013, which she left to take up the position of director of operations from September 2015 to March 2022.
Jack Gomer, MBA, has spent over a decade working in international health care. He joined MSF in 2015 and completed three missions in Nigeria and South Sudan. Outside of MSF, Jack worked in health care and development in China, Ecuador, and Bolivia. He obtained his MBA from the University of Denver, and is currently based out of Seattle, Washington, where he works as an investor in early-stage health care companies on behalf of a non-profit health system. Jack was elected to the Board in May 2022.
Adrienne Hurst, LCSW, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with experience in patient-centered health program management and infectious diseases. Her first mission with MSF was in 2006 in Georgia in a drug-resistant TB project. She also served as project coordinator in Uganda and conducted an assessment in Kenya. Adrienne also oversaw the quality implementation of large US government, Clinton Foundation, and CDC-funded international health programs and is currently providing technical assistance in communities across rural America to address the opioid epidemic. Adrienne was elected to the MSF-USA Board of Directors in May 2019 and holds Bachelors and Masters degrees from New York University.
Dr. Rasha Khoury is a Palestinian physician and public health activist born and raised in East Jerusalem. She moved to the US for medical training, graduated from Yale School of Medicine in 2008 and completed her residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of California San Francisco. She then pursued a fellowship in Family Planning and Global Women's Health at Brigham and Women's Hospital and received her Master of Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health in 2013. In 2014, fulfilling a life long dream, she joined MSF and has since completed 6 surgical missions in Sierra Leone, Lebanon, Cote D'Ivoire, Iraq and for more than a year in Afghanistan. Dr. Khoury currently works clinically in high-risk obstetrics in the Bronx, NY with a research focus on reducing severe maternal morbidity and mortality. She joins the MSF board to exercise participatory leadership, uplift and amplify the voices of patients and global staff in the MSF movement.
Marc Levin, MD, is a New York City-based physician who practices full-spectrum family medicine. He fulfilled a life-long dream when he joined MSF in 2007 for the first of three missions, initially as a solo doctor in a displaced persons camp during the civil war in Chad. He currently works at two community health centers in New York as well as for a tribal health organization in northwest Alaska. He is an Assistant Professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City where he has taught medical students and residents for two decades. His vision as a physician and board member is to help all people reach their highest potential and, on the MSF board, he works to decolonize aid, promote reproductive health access in MSF projects, and shift power structures closer to those most affected by our work.
Sandra Tacina is a Talent Analytics specialist who has spent close to 15 years working with educational institutions on solving human resource challenges and helping them use their data to improve results. She has been involved with MSF since 2014, completing humanitarian assignments in South Sudan and DRC. Since 2019, Sandra has served as a member of the DEI Council for MSF USA. Additionally, she has worked in economic development, educational quality, and health promotion in Armenia, Russia, and Ukraine. Earlier in her career, Sandra was a strategy consultant with the Boston Consulting Group and worked in international finance in the USA and Latin America. She holds an MBA and a BA in Economics from the University of Chicago.
Victoria B. Bjorklund, Esq., Ph.D. (Chair of the Board)
Stephen B. Ippolito, Ph.D.
Dr. Mitchell Karton
Susan Liautaud, J.D., Ph.D.
Chantal F. Martell (Emeritus)
Dr. Darin Portnoy
Avril Benoît is the executive director of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières in the United States (MSF-USA). She has worked with the international medical humanitarian organization since 2006 in various operational management and executive leadership roles, most recently as the director of communications and development at MSF’s operational center in Geneva, a position she held from November 2015 until June 2019.
Throughout her career with MSF, Avril has contributed to major movement-wide initiatives, including the global mobilization to end attacks on hospitals and health workers. She has worked as a country director and project coordinator for MSF, leading operations to provide aid to refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants in Mauritania, South Sudan, and South Africa. Avril’s strategic analysis and communications assignments have taken her to countries including Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Haiti, Iraq, Lebanon, Mexico, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sudan, Syria, and Ukraine. From 2006 to 2012, Avril served as director of communications with MSF Canada.
Prior to joining MSF, Avril had a distinguished 20-year career as an award-winning journalist and broadcaster in Canada. She was a documentary producer and radio host with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), reporting from Kenya, Burundi, India, and Brazil on HIV stigma, rapid urbanization, sexual violence in conflict, and political inclusion of women, among numerous other assignments and topics.
Rebekah Varela is the Deputy Executive Director of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières in the United States (MSF-USA). Rebekah joined MSF in 2011 and has worked in Malawi, Papua New Guinea, Armenia and most recently in the Republic of Georgia as Head of Mission where MSF led Tuberculosis programming including MDR-TB focused observational studies and clinical trials. Immediately prior to rejoining MSF in 2020, Rebekah served as the inaugural Managing Director for the Center for Tuberculosis at the University of California, San Francisco.
Rebekah completed her undergraduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley and graduate studies in global health at the University of Manchester Humanitarian and Conflict Resolution Institute. She studied midwifery in a binational setting in El Paso, Texas and Juarez, Mexico.
Anne Chatelain is the operations manager of the New York-based cell for MSF. The cell manages operations in Haiti, Peru, and Liberia, directing all aspects of our medical humanitarian projects in these countries. The main objectives of the cell are to guarantee the quality of MSF's operational response and ensure the efficient implementation of our activities.
Anne joined MSF in 2005 as a nurse in Darfur, Sudan. Since then, Anne has worked with MSF in various roles, including as an emergency coordinator, head of mission, and medical coordinator. Anne has helped lead operations in complex humanitarian emergencies, such as the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the Arab uprising in Libya in 2011, the Syrian crisis in Syria and in Lebanon, the so-called migration crisis in Europe, extreme violence in Central African Republic and in Democratic Republic of Congo. Anne has designed operations in multiple medical domains, from mobile clinics offering primary health care to responses to outbreaks. Before joining MSF-USA, Anne was a policymaker based in the Paris office focused on vaccine-preventable diseases.
Anne holds a master’s degree in public policy from Sciences Po Rennes and a master’s degree in public health from the Institute of Tropical Medicine of Antwerp.
Jay Chaudhuri joined MSF-USA as the director of systems in 2019. He is responsible for the technology portfolio, ensuring that the organization’s operations and infrastructure are set up to achieve MSF-USA's strategic vision. This includes oversight of digital transformation, product and innovation, as well as infrastructure and support services.
Jay has more than 15 years of experience in the humanitarian sector, working at the intersection of development and humanitarian practice and leveraging data in multiple contexts. Starting in Chennai, India, he supported large-scale evaluations of government social programs for the Institute for Financial Management and Research. He later worked with UNICEF, providing technical assistance for a project focused on real-time monitoring for the most vulnerable. The project used mobile data and emerging technologies in seven countries. With Concern Worldwide in Kenya, Jay led the development of a large-scale monitoring framework and indicators for slow-onset emergencies in urban informal settlements. These were adopted and mainstreamed by the government and humanitarian actors. Jay shared the findings from this initiative at various international forums, such as the World Humanitarian Summit and the World Urban Forum. Returning to New York, Jay spearheaded the design and launch of UNICEF’s new global evaluation platform for over 190 countries.
Jay is passionate about how nongovernmental organizations can leverage data and technology for evidence-based decision making. He is enthusiastic about open-source data, specifically the R language and its ecosystem. Jay did his undergraduate studies in finance and information systems at Carnegie Mellon University, and completed graduate studies in international development at Cornell University. He is fluent in Bengali.
Kim is the director of development for Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières in the United States (MSF-USA). The development department is responsible for developing secure and diversified private income streams in the US to meet the financial needs of MSF’s medical projects and ensure the independence of our global operations. She oversees a team responsible for key donor segments including mass market, major donors, corporations, and foundations.
Prior to joining MSF-USA, Kim served as the executive director at World Vision, leading the mass market fundraising portfolio. She previously served in key leadership roles in the private sector, leading marketing strategy and brand management at Nationwide Insurance and Verizon Communications as vice president of marketing and executive director of marketing, respectively. She also served as a senior marketing strategy consultant—advising non-profits and educational organizations in key areas of market analysis, brand strategy, and marketing communications.
She has an MBA in marketing, a BA in Latin American studies (with a concentration in government), and a professional certification in social media marketing.
Northan Hurtado is the deputy medical director based at Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in New York. He started working with MSF in 2002 as a physician in a therapeutic feeding center in Kaala, Angola. Since then, he has worked in several MSF missions including Niger, Nigeria, Guatemala, and Sudan.
Northan joined the MSF-France headquarters in 2007, where he worked as medical referent for tuberculosis, hemorrhagic viral fevers, neglected diseases, and immunization before moving to MSF-USA in May 2013.
He holds a diploma in tropical medicine and hygiene and a master's degree in tropical medicine and international health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and a master's degree in epidemiology from the University of Cambridge.
He has contributed to several medical scientific publications and to various MSF guidelines.
Kavita Menon is the director of communications for Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières in the United States (MSF-USA). She manages the editorial, media, and public engagement teams. She joined MSF-USA in 2017 as the editorial director, overseeing the creation and curation of stories about our medical projects for the organization's digital and print platforms. Prior to MSF, Kavita was the head of communications in North America for the International Crisis Group. She spent many years working as a press freedom advocate with the Committee to Protect Journalists, including as the Asia program coordinator and later senior program officer. She also has experience as a human rights researcher and campaigner on South Asia for Amnesty International. Kavita has done reporting, advocacy, and outreach work in India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and Thailand. She has contributed to news media including the Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, International Herald Tribune, Ms. magazine, National Public Radio, and WNYC.
She holds a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and a bachelor's degree in mass communications and sociology from the University of California at Berkeley. In 2003, she was awarded a Pew Fellowship in international journalism at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies.
Dr. Carrie Teicher is the Director of Programs at Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières. The Programs Department serves as a liaison to the public, private, academic, and clinical sectors based in the US. The Department directs multiple dossiers including but not limited to work on advocacy, global health diplomacy, and representation, grants, research, and innovation. Prior to this role, she worked for many years as a medical and surgical epidemiologist with Epicentre (www.epicentre.msf.org), MSF’s internal research and epidemiological institute.
Carrie has worked with MSF in multiple different roles and numerous contexts throughout four continents. Outside of MSF, Dr. Teicher has additionally served as a medical coordinator, primary investigator, and program coordinator in the global health sector working primarily in the emergency medicine and tropical medicine fields. She holds an MD from the Sackler School of Medicine, an MPH from The Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, and her undergraduate degree from Barnard College. From 2001-2003 she served in the Peace Corps in Mali.
Ally Westfield James joined MSF-USA in October 2021 to become the organization’s first director of strategy for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). She brings extensive experience in building sustainable ecosystems of belonging that support the human infrastructure.
Ally has been recognized as a diversity and inclusion champion by Baruch, Pace, and Stony Brook Universities. In 2013, Ally and her husband, Russell, received the African American Inspirational Leader of New York award from the New York African American Chamber of Commerce in recognition of their work in the community.
Prior to joining MSF-USA, Ally spent 14 years at INROADS, where she was the North-East regional director. There, she supported an awesome team of DEI professionals who coached, trained, and developed more than 600 college students and early-career professionals.
Ally is active with several professional, civic, and cultural organizations. She has participated in several community boards mandated to serve disenfranchised youth and adults in Jamaica, Queens, and on Long Island.
Ally holds a Bachelor of Science degree in social work from York College, in Queens, NY. She also holds certificates in DEI management and leadership, and is Six Sigma Green Belt certified.
Cameron Wrigley is the director of finance for MSF-USA. He first joined MSF in 2013 and previously worked in Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Uzbekistan, and Germany. He held various positions at MSF Germany, including financial controller for the Berlin-based operations desk, international project lead for efficiency initiatives, and lastly as head of administration.
He completed his undergraduate and postgraduate accounting studies (CPA) in Canada and earned an executive MBA from ESMT Berlin.