Our Team: Leadership

VillageReach employs staff with diverse professional backgrounds covering public health, law, business development/marketing, finance, and software development. We have approximately 75 employees across all offices, the majority of whom live and work in the communities we serve.


Allen Wilcox

Allen Wilcox - President

Allen has had a long association with VillageReach, first as a volunteer before his appointment as president in early 2008.

Allen is active in all elements of VillageReach’s activities and oversees all aspects of VillageReach’s strategic development. He is currently focused on applying his international distribution experience and organizational and project management skills to further develop VillageReach’s tools and programs to expand the reach and benefit of its work.

Previously, Allen served as Associate General Counsel of Microsoft Corporation. While at Microsoft, he supported Microsoft’s international expansion and developed new and innovative distribution channels for Microsoft products. Allen has an LLM in International Business Legal Studies from University of Exeter (England), a JD from Southern Methodist University and a BA from University of Texas. He was a Rotary Foundation Scholar.

Allen is a Schwab Foundation Entrepreneur of the Year

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Emily Bancroft

Emily Bancroft - Vice President

As Vice President, Emily is responsible for the strategy, oversight, and management of all VillageReach programs across our three key areas of work:  health systems; information systems; and social business.  Emily is also responsible for building new relationships and opportunities to help bring VillageReach innovations to scale and sustainability through strategic partnerships and relationships with governments, donors, and implementing partners. Emily joined VillageReach in 2010, leading the design and development of VillageReach innovations for the health systems team. Emily has fifteen years of experience in building successful health systems interventions both domestically and in sub-Saharan Africa, including specific expertise in program development, assessment and management, monitoring and evaluation, health informatics, advocacy, and human resources for health.

Prior to joining VillageReach, Emily worked with the International Training and Education Center on Health (I-TECH), Physicians for Human Rights, and NPower. In January 2012, Emily was appointed as a Clinical Instructor in the Department of Health Services of the School of Public Health at the University of Washington. Emily has an MPH from the University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine and a BA from Princeton University.

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John Beale

John Beale - Director & Group Lead, Private Sector Engagement

John is responsible for creating opportunities for VillageReach’s social business development capability in support of the organization’s health system strengthening field programs. He also oversees VillageReach’s marketing and fundraising strategy. John has worked for more than 20 years in business development, marketing, and communications both in the US, Europe and throughout Asia.

Prior to joining VillageReach, John worked for eight years in the wireless industry, first at the wireless technology company, QUALCOMM, as vice president of marketing for its semiconductor division, and then as head of marketing with the venture capital-backed wireless software company, Volantis Systems, based in the UK. In these roles he has developed extensive experience in defining market opportunities for businesses and their products and services, designing and executing go-to-market programs to capture the opportunities, and soliciting investor support for these ventures.

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Nancy Geiger

Nancy Geiger - Director, Finance & Operations

Nancy is responsible for overseeing financial and administrative matters at VillageReach including financial management and accounting, compliance, human resources, and HQ business information systems and facilities. An experienced nonprofit financial & operations professional, Nancy brings three decades of experience to the position.

Prior to joining VillageReach Nancy served as Vice President & CFO of KCTS 9, Seattle’s iconic local public television station.  She previously worked as Vice President of Finance and Administration for the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle and in administrative and financial management positions at the University of Washington School of Medicine and the Washington Community Mental Health Council. Nancy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Oberlin College and a Master’s in Health Administration from the University of Washington School of Public Health & Community Medicine. She became a Certified Public Accountant in 1985 and a Certified Management Accountant in 1989.

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Jake Watson - Director & Group Lead, Information Systems

Jake leads the Information Systems Group, providing oversight for the use of technologies within VillageReach. He is responsible for the development of creative applications of ICT that will improve healthcare delivery support at the last mile. Jake has more than 15 years of experience developing large-scale enterprise, cloud and mobile software systems in the private sector.

He has most recently worked as a Solutions Architect in the humanitarian assistance field, providing strategic leadership for the use of ICTs in humanitarian programming. He has also taught secondary education in the US public school system. Jake holds a BA in Humanities from Hampden-Sydney College and is a current Masters candidate, International Relations, at the Fletcher School for Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

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Ruth Sincinele Sakhile Bechtel

Ruth Sincinele Sakhile Bechtel - Mozambique Country Director

As the Mozambique Country Director, Ruth is responsible for the overall programmatic and administrative aspects of the organization in Mozambique, serving as the primary representative of Mozambique operations to the government and to VillageReach’s Seattle headquarters.

Ruth brings a valuable last mile perspective with experience in designing, implementing, and monitoring development programs in both Mozambique and Swaziland.

Prior to joining VillageReach, Ruth worked with the Vanderbilt University and the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health as well as with Oxfam Great Britain and Helvetas. In addition, Ruth brings years of experience in linking local community level challenges to national and above national policy debates and advocacy. Ruth has an MSc in Managing Rural Change from the University of London, Imperial College.

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Jessica Crawford

Jessica Crawford - Senior Manager, Health Systems Group Lead

Jess has over a decade of experience in the design, implementation, and evaluation of health system programs in both in the USA and abroad. She has led projects in Malawi, Tanzania, and Mozambique and most recently served as Malawi Country Director overseeing a broad portfolio of work.

Prior to joining VillageReach, Jess worked in Health Services Administration at the University of Washington specializing in quality improvement and previously served as a community health educator in Tanzania with the Peace Corps. Jess holds a MPH in Health Services and a MA in Policy Studies from the University of Washington and as well as a BS in Cell and Molecular Biology and BA in Sociology.

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Carla Blauvelt

Carla Blauvelt - Malawi Country Director

As Malawi Country Director, Carla is responsible for the leadership and administration of the VillageReach Malawi country office including the management of a multidisciplinary team of nearly 30 employees and various country programs in supply chain, mHealth, maternal and child health, human resources, and community health. In her role, Carla serves as the primary representative of the organization to stakeholders in Malawi including the Ministry of Health, donors, and program partners and to VillageReach’s Seattle headquarters

Prior to VillageReach, Carla was the Country Representative for the Carter Center in South Sudan, where The Carter Center led a Guinea Worm Eradication Program and Trichoma Control Program.  Prior to becoming Country Representative, Carla held a number of technical positions within The Carter Center South Sudan office, including technical advisor,  Epidemiologist/Data Manager and Deputy Country Representative.  She also served as Research Coordinator for Maternal and Newborn Programs at Johns Hopkins University, and helped coordinate a clinical vaccine trial for Rotavirus in Kenya for CDC.  Carla started her global health career as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kenya. 


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