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What We Do   |   Our Team

A diverse, curious
and nimble

locally-driven and
globally-connected team

Diversity by the Numbers

VillageReach is committed to improving racial, cultural and experiential diversity within our team. An inclusive environment enables and promotes employee contributions that are critical to achieving our mission.

180+ Employees

13 Countries

70% Africa-based

48% Female Staff

Global Team of Experts

VillageReach employs 180+ staff who work across disciplines and technical areas—including public health, technology, supply chain, finance, private sector engagement, and—to create systemic change.

Vice President for Strategic Business Transformation, Johnson & Johnson

Binyah Kesselly, Board Member

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. Mr. Kesselly holds degrees from the University of Edinburgh School of Law (Scotland, UK), Suffolk University, Biology Cuttington University (Liberia, West Africa), and Advanced Executive Certificates from Harvard University (Massachusetts, USA) and Northwestern University (Illinois, USA).

Managing Partner at Pioneer Square Investments

Fraser Black, Board Member

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. He has more than 35 years of financial and general management experience in leadership positions at high-growth businesses includes ONYX Software, Ashton-Tate and Salomon Brothers. He has also served on the boards of numerous businesses, including: Lumera Corp., Washington Securities, Ballard Mill Properties, and Plexera. Fraser is an active philanthropist and impact investor. He has been a trustee or board chairman with numerous nonprofit organizations including: Social Venture Partners, Seattle Foundation, IslandWood, Equal Opportunity Schools, and Powerful Schools. He has an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business, and a Bachelor’s from Harvard.

Founder and President of the Foundation for Community Development, Mozambique

Graça Machel, Honorary Board Chair

Founder and President of the Foundation for Community Development, Mozambique

Graça Machel is internationally recognized for her achievements as a global advocate for women’s and children’s rights.  Graca is the former first lady and first Education Minister of Mozambique and is current President of the Foundation for Community Development and Chairperson for the National Organization of Children of Mozambique.

Federal Maritime Commission Practitioner, Affiliate Professor University of Washington

John Dew, Board Member

Federal Maritime Commission Practitioner, Affiliate Professor University of Washington

John Dew has over 30 years in international transportation and logistics business. He has a diverse working career with ocean carriers, technology/ consulting and NVOCC/ forwarding companies. He has held positions at American President Lines, Sea-Land, Log-Net and Expeditors International. John has been admitted to practice before the Federal Maritime Commission, and is currenty an affiliate professor & advisory board member of the University of Washington Master of Supply Chain Transportation and Logistics Program as well as a consultant with Mercator International. John is Certified in Transportation & Logistics (CTL) by the American Society of Transportation and Logistics (ASTL).

President, CHESTRAD Global

Lola Dare, Board Member

President, CHESTRAD Global

Lola Dare is a community physician, epidemiologist, global health practitioner, development consultant, social entrepreneur and irrepressible health advocate of over 30 years. Lola is the President of CHESTRAD Global, an African-led social enterprise that deploys data and evidence to champion the voices of women, children and young people in global health and development debate. She has served in many international agencies including the US National Academies for Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM), Global Fund for Malaria, Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, Gavi, Partnership for Maternal and Child Health (PMNCH), High Level Task Force on ICPD Beyondv2015, the Lancet, WHO technical teams and agencies of the United Nations, and the African Union. Lola has been awarded membership of the UK-Based Game Changers Women’s Leadership network with recognition on its Wall of Wonder Women. She is a member of the Transition Independent Monitoring Board (TIMB), Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) and the RBM Partnership to End Malaria.

Murray H. Shusterman Professor of Transactional and Business Law Temple University

Olufunmilayo (Funmi) Arewa, Board Member

Murray H. Shusterman Professor of Transactional and Business Law Temple University

Olufunmilayo (Funmi) Arewa’s major areas of scholarly research include music, business, entrepreneurship, technology, copyright, film, and Africana studies. She has taught varied courses including Business Associations, Private Equity and Venture Capital, Securities Regulation, Corporate Finance, Accounting, Mergers & Acquisitions, Investment Management Regulation, Startup and Small Business Clinic, Intellectual Property, and African Legal Systems. Prior to becoming a law professor, she practiced law for nearly a decade, working in legal and business positions in the entrepreneurial and technology startup arena, including law firms and companies in Silicon Valley, New York, and Boston. Before becoming a lawyer, she was a Visiting Lecturer at the Centre for Afroamerican and African Studies (CAAS) at the University of Michigan and served as a Foreign Service Officer in the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. and Montevideo, Uruguay.

Founder and President, OfficeLease, USA

Paul Suzman, Board Member

Founder and President, OfficeLease, USA

Paul Suzman is the founder of OfficeLease, a real estate firm founded in 1981 that specializes in commercial building tenant and buyer representation. He advises and represents numerous Seattle area companies in their strategic real estate planning, alternative facility evaluations, lease vs. purchase decisions and transaction negotiations. Mr. Suzman attended Hilton College and the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa and immigrated to Seattle in 1979. He has served on the boards of several local companies such as The Learning Garden (now Bright Horizons) and Torrefazione Italia Coffee acquired by Starbucks, and has served as trustee of non-profit organizations including, Pacific Science Center, University of Washington Presidents Club, Seattle Repertory Theatre, and Henry Art Gallery. He was a founding board member of the Washington Technology Industry Alliance, served as chair of Seattle’s Community Development Roundtable and is active in Seattle Rotary Club. 

 

Senior Vice President, Frontdoor

Sena Kwawu, Board Chair

Senior Vice President, Frontdoor

Sena 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 designing repeatable process, metrics and systems to better serve customers. His prior global leadership roles include serving as SVP, Global Supply Chain Finance & Business Operations at Starbucks, SVP & Chief Procurement Officer State Street Bank and SVP, Global Sourcing and Finance Shared Services at Genworth Financial. Sena also serves on the board of the Executive Leadership Council, the preeminent membership organization committed to increasing the number of successful black executives. He is was born in Ghana and spent his formative years in Kenya. He also chairs VillageReach’s finance committee.

Honorary President of Woolworths Holdings Limited

Simon Susman, Board Member

Honorary President of Woolworths Holdings Limited

Simon Susman is the Honorary President of Woolworths Holdings Limited, having joined Woolworths in 1982. He served as the Chief Executive Officer of Woolworths Holdings and then Chairman over a twenty year period until retirement in 2019. Woolworths is a $6 billion group operating in Southern Africa and in Australia. Within Woolworths, Simon instigated and drove a comprehensive program entitled the “Good business journey”.  Through this program, the Group continually strives to do business in a way that is deeply sustainable both socially and environmentally. Simon was recently appointed Honorary Professor of Entrepreneurship at Stellenbosch University Business School. He chairs a number of local and international businesses and NGO’s.

Partner, K&L Gates

Stephan Coonrod, JD, Board Member

Partner, K&L Gates

Stephan Coonrod, J.D. expands his relationship with VillageReach having long been a strong supporter of our work through pro-bono legal services; we are happy that he has taken on this commitment. He is a partner at K&L Gates and has long-standing experience in domestic and international business practice. He continues to be engaged in general corporate matters for the firm’s clients. Apart from his professional expertise in the United States, Mr. Coonrod has spent two years in Japan working with a law firm handling international transactions. Mr. Coonrod maintains an impressive list of accolades, which includes consistently making the Super Lawyers list from 2003-2019 and “Best Lawyers in America” from 2006-2020. He serves or has served on the boards of ArtsFund, SummerSearch Seattle, Association for Corporate Growth, and the French American Chamber of Commerce.

Deputy Director Emergency Response, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Valerie Nkamgang Bemo MD MPH, Board Member

Deputy Director Emergency Response, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Dr. Nkamgang Bemo has been an integral member within the Global Development division at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the past 10 years. Within the BMGF, Dr. Nkamgang Bemo pioneered and executed the Emergency Strategy to respond to all major world disasters, including the Haiti Earthquake in 2010, the Ebola Breakout in 2014, and the Nepal Earthquake in 2015. Additionally, Dr. Nkamgang Bemo designed and implemented a critical strategy for Agriculture Development in West Africa, with a focus on Nigeria. She holds over 20 years of direct experience in the field worldwide and is passionate about building local capacity within communities and national institutions, fostering innovative solutions and sustainable growth that results in lasting change.

Retired, Director of Cervical Cancer Prevention, PATH

Vivien Tsu, PhD, Board Member

Retired, Director of Cervical Cancer Prevention, PATH

Dr. Vivien Tsu joins the board with a breadth of experience, which includes serving as the Associate Director of PATH’s Reproductive Health Global Program and Director of its Cervical Cancer Prevention project. In her 37-year career at PATH she led a variety of innovative studies, including evaluating new technologies and approaches for public health interventions related to the health of women and children. Her work in gynecologic cancers has spanned more than 20 years over this same period, starting with breakthrough studies to validate new screening methods for cervical cancer where complex diagnostic services are not feasible. She is currently Clinical Professor in the Department of Global Health at the University of Washington, serves on the Board of Terrewode Women’s Fund, and is a member of the Independent Review Committee for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

Global Vision. Local Experience.

VillageReach’s experts live and work across the globe, building on what we know works to introduce and improve people-centered health care. But our story begins in sub-Saharan Africa, where we have offices in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi and Mozambique.

20 Years of Health Care Delivered: Thank You to Our Supporters

In this special video, our staff show their gratitude for our partners and donors. Their incredible support over the last twenty years has allowed us to increase access to quality health care for 58 million people in sub-Saharan Africa.

Support Our Mission

Your tax deductible contribution helps to increase health care availability to reach the most under-reached.

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