Jul 12, 2022  |  Press Release

New board leaders set to strengthen VillageReach’s expertise

VillageReach is excited to announce four new members of our global Board of Directors. These new Directors will apply their wealth of regional expertise in impact investment, process improvement, entrepreneurship, technology, and sustainable business practice to drive VillageReach’s ambitious agenda of improving health care delivery for 100 million people in Africa over the next five years.

Mr. Binyah Kesselly, Vice President for Strategic Business Transformation, Johnson & Johnson

Mr. Kesselly is an expert in post-conflict, public-private partnerships, especially in developing and emerging markets.  He currently serves as Vice President for Strategic Business Transformation for the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson (J&J).  He joined J&J in 2000 and held several strategy level leadership positions of increasing responsibility across multiple sectors through March of 2008, when he left to join the Government of then Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as the Commissioner/CEO of the Liberia Maritime Authority, a position he held for eight consecutive years, and returned to J&J in March of 2016.  He is also a Six Sigma® Certified Black Belt business transformation and process improvement expert, with graduate degrees in Public Administration, Business Administration and International Commercial Law.

Professor Olufunmilayo (Funmi) Arewa, Murray H. Shusterman Professor of Transactional and Business Law Temple University

Funmi has conducted scholarly research into culture, business, entrepreneurship, technology, copyright, film, and Africana studies, and is the author of the 2021 book Disrupting Africa: Technology, Law, and Development. As a law professor, she has taught varied courses including Business Associations, Private Equity and Venture Capital, Securities Regulation, Mergers & Acquisitions, Investment Management Regulation, Intellectual Property, and African Legal Systems. Funmi brings deep knowledge of working with startups and entrepreneurs from her time practicing law in Silicon Valley, New York, and Boston, and experience as a Foreign Service Officer in the U.S. Department of State. Funmi is currently working on a forthcoming book, Curating Black Music: Ownership and Commodification.

Mr. Fraser Black, Managing Partner at Pioneer Square Investments

Fraser has been an active angel investor and advisor to early-stage businesses and non-profits for over 25 years and has worked at high-growth businesses for even longer. He is an active philanthropist and impact investor, and has been a trustee or board chairman with numerous nonprofit organizations, always looking to strengthen their position and maximize opportunities to do good. Through his affiliation with the Stanford SEED Program, Fraser has been a business coach to entrepreneurs in West Africa. He continues as an advisor to a network of entrepreneurs and family businesses in Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

Mr. Simon Susman, Honorary President of Woolworths Holdings Limited

Simon remains the Honorary President of Woolworths Holdings Limited having joined Woolworths in 1982. He served as the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the $6 billion Woolworths group over a twenty-year period until retirement in 2019. He drives businesses in a way that is deeply sustainable both socially and environmentally, as evidenced by his stewardship of Woolworths’ Good Business Journey. Simon is the Chairman of the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB) Advisory Board and chairs a number of South African and international businesses and NGOs.

Sena KwawuIn addition to these new global Directors, VillageReach is pleased to welcome Mr. Sena Kwawu as Chair of our Board of Directors. Sena was born in Ghana and spent his formative years in Kenya. He is an operationally focused senior executive with 25+ years of experience in high growth and mature public companies. He currently serves as Senior Vice President, Operations at Frontdoor, Inc. where he leads operational excellence across service operations and contractor relations, as well as scaling operations to support growth and better serve customers.

VillageReach President Emily Bancroft said of the appointments: “We are honored to have these remarkable individuals give their time and expertise to help VillageReach continue to grow our impact and strengthen our governance. These individuals will continue to challenge VillageReach’s globally connected, locally driven team as we strengthen the systems that deliver health products, services, and information to the most under-reached.

“Since Sena joined our Board of Directors in 2017, VillageReach has contributed to increasing access to quality health for 58 million people across Africa, up from 20 million people five years ago. VillageReach has benefited from his partnership and continued leadership, and I am pleased that we will be joined by four more remarkable leaders as we design for the future of transformation of health care delivery in Africa.”

Learn more about Our Team.

VillageReach Board and Global Management Team members pictured in June 2022


About VillageReach

VillageReach transforms health care delivery to reach everyone, so that each person has the health care needed to thrive. We develop solutions that improve equity and access to primary health care. This includes making sure products are available when and where they are needed and primary health care services are delivered to the most under-reached. Radical collaboration with governments, the private sector and other partners strengthen our ability to scale and sustain these solutions. Our work increases access to quality health care for 58 million people in sub-Saharan Africa.

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