Board Members


Dr. Mitch Besser – Interim Chair, m2m U.S., Founder, m2m


An obstetrician and gynaecologist, Mitch’s career has been dedicated to the public health needs of women.  In 1999, he joined the University of Cape Town, assisting with the development of services for HIV-positive pregnant women to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT).   It was through that work he recognised a need for an education and psychosocial support programme that would help PMTCT services achieve the best medical and social outcomes, founding m2m in 2001.  Among the many awards Mitch has received are the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship and the Presidential Citizen’s Award.

Meet Mitch | Watch Mitch's Ted Talk

Derek Lubner – Chair, m2m South Africa

YouTubeDerek is the Marketing Director at Innovate Services Ltd, a school caterer operating in fifty schools and colleges in the U.K.  He has deep roots in South Africa, having gone to school in Johannesburg and served as a partner of All Brand No Flakes, a marketing and branding company based in Cape Town. In addition to his longstanding commitment to m2m, he serves on the boards of the Community Chest and the South African National Youth Orchestra, and runs his parents’ foundation, MAID (Make an Immediate Difference).

Meet Derek

Carl Stewart – Chair, m2m U.K.

YouTubeA finance industry professional, Carl is currently the Global Head of Hedge Funds Coverage at HSBC in London. Previously, he served as Chief Operating Officer of the European Business of Och-Ziff Management Europe Limited, a U.S.-based asset management firm.  He also held the senior leadership positions at K2 Advisors Limited and Zurich Capital Markets’ business in Europe and Asia. For the first 14 years of his career, Carl worked at JP Morgan in a variety of roles in investment banking and capital markets.

Meet Carl

Carolina Manhusen Schwab – Vice Chair, m2m U.K.

YouTubeCarolina is an economist with experience in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. She began her career at the Inter-American Development Bank, working on women’s development and microenterprise projects. She later joined Merrill Lynch Investment Banking where she was involved in Mergers & Acquisitions in the energy and power sectors. She also founded two businesses — a search firm and a social enterprise clothing line that employed vulnerable women in Argentina — and has volunteered with numerous organisations in Europe and South America. Of Swedish and Argentinian descent, Carolina speaks five languages and has two Masters degrees in Economics and in Development Studies.

Meet Carolina


The Reverend Canon Chris Ahrends – Anglican Church of Southern Africa

YouTubeChris is the Canon Missioner of the Diocese of Saldanha Bay, one of the Anglican Dioceses of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa. He also runs a small consulting practice, Four Consulting, and is a Director of The U2U Foundation, a registered nonprofit organisation which offers a range of transformative courses, workshops, and retreats. Formerly, he served as Executive Director of the Desmond Tutu Peace Centre in Cape Town, South Africa and, prior to that, he was Sub Dean at St. George’s Cathedral and Chaplain to Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Meet Chris

Laura Bartlett – Retired CFO/COO

YouTubeLaura is the retired CFO/COO of the American Association of Advertising Agencies, the nonprofit trade association for the US Advertising industry. She joined the 4A’s in 2008 from the global advertising network FCB, where she served as CFO for the New York office and later CFO of FCB Worldwide. During her 14 year tenure, Laura was involved in international acquisitions and overseas operations. Earlier, she spent 14 years in financial management at Johnson & Johnson. Laura is also a board director for the nonprofit Gilda’s Club NYC that provides free, comprehensive cancer support. She earned a BS in Accounting from Drexel University and an MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson.

Meet Laura

Leslie Brunner – President, MiniLuxe

YouTubeLeslie Brunner serves as the President of MiniLuxe, which is seeking to transform nail care by integrating technology, data analytics, and career pathing, while offering an elevated experience across hygiene, fashion, and quality. Before joining MiniLuxe, she was a Senior Vice President of People and Process at athenahealth, Inc., a leading provider of cloud-based services for electronic health record (EHR), practice management, and care coordination. Earlier in her career, Leslie held various roles in integrated delivery systems operations at Lovelace Health Systems. She obtained a BA from Colorado College and a Master’s Degree in Health Administration from Washington University.

Meet Leslie

Lynne Cornelissen – Medical Officer/Sub-Investigator, Stellenbosch University’s Family Clinical Research Unit

YouTubeLynne serves as a Medical Officer/Sub-Investigator at Stellenbosch University’s Family Clinical Research Unit (FAMCRU) based at Tygerberg Hospital, where she currently studies HIV and TB in pregnancy and cardiovascular prevention strategies in HIV. Prior to joining FAMCRU, Lynne spent five years at Khayelitsha District Hospital managing complex HIV and TB patients. A Cape Town native who is passionate about HIV medicine, Lynne received her medical degree from Stellenbosch University and a diploma in HIV management with distinction from the College of Medicine.

Meet Lynne

Kimberly Dasher Tripp – Founder and Principal, Strategy for Scale

YouTubeKimberly leads Strategy for Scale, a consultancy to high-impact organisations and foundations. She works on issues related to scaling, from strategic planning to leadership and talent to impact measurement. She previously worked as a Principal at the Skoll Foundation, where she had the privilege to support and partner with mothers2mothers. Kimberly’s earlier career included international nonprofit work, direct marketing, and social marketing, including launching international and domestic HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns with large media companies as a Program Officer at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Meet Kimberly

Dr. Tim Evans – Medical Director, Grace Belgravia

YouTubeAs Medical Director of a private medical and well-being clinic in London, Tim is guided by his belief that “prevention is the medicine of the millennium.” Early in his career, he established primary health clinics in rural areas of Zimbabwe recovering from civil war. After acquiring post graduate qualifications in general practice, anaesthetics, obstetrics, and gynaecology, he established a private general practice for women and children in London, followed by the first fully integrated practice incorporating conventional, complementary, and alternative healthcare. He was appointed as Apothecary to HM The Queen and The Royal Households of London in 2003.

Meet Tim

Dr. Donna Futterman – Professor of Paediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine (N.Y., U.S.)

YouTubeDonna is Professor of Paediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in NY and Director of one of the leading programmes in the U.S. providing comprehensive care for HIV-positive and at-risk youth. She is very active in the HIV/AIDS community, where her many commitments have included chairing the NIH-funded Adolescent Medicine HIV/AIDS Research Network and serving on the American Academy of Paediatrics’ Committee of Paediatric AIDS. She has led PEPFAR-funded programs in South Africa and currently serves on the board of HIVMA (HIV Medical Association). She is the immediate past Chair of m2m U.S.

Colleen Hancock – Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer,

YouTubeColleen is Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of BabyCenter, the #1 parenting and pregnancy digital resource educating more than 45 million parents each month around the globe. She is a member of the Johnson & Johnson mHealth Strategic Team, focused on improving maternal, newborn, and child health, and a founding member of MAMA (Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action) reaching over 3 million underserved mothers. Prior to joining BabyCenter, Colleen had 16 years experience in retail strategy and general management, overseeing profitable businesses including Neiman Marcus and Duty Free Shoppers (DFS) globally.

Meet Colleen

Marjorie J. Hill, Ph.D – CEO, The Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center, Inc.

YouTubeMarjorie is CEO of The Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center, Inc., which provides a wide range of high quality family healthcare services in the New York area. She has a 23 year history of executive leadership in the nonprofit, for-profit, and government sectors, including serving as GMHC ‘s longest tenured Chief Executive Officer. A licensed clinical psychologist, Marjorie has presented and published internationally on HIV/AIDS, cultural diversity, conflict resolution, and homophobia.

Meet Marjorie

Diana Mabasa – Attorney

Diana is an admitted attorney, notary and conveyancer. She is the founder of Diana Mabasa Inc., a boutique law firm that is 100% black– and female-owned. She is passionate about social justice and gender equality, receiving the coveted 2015 LexisNexis Prize for Legal Practitioners for an article on harmful cultural practices causing gender inequalities in South Africa. Diana holds numerous degrees, including a BA, LLB and LLM from the University of the Witwatersrand . She is a member of the Law Society of South Africa, and has acted as a judge in the Gauteng Division of the High Court. Serving on m2m’s Board allows Diana to further her work towards the eradication of gender discrimination and encourage women to participate in leadership structures to bring about change.

Herschelle Milford – Organisational Development Consultant

Born and raised in rural Namaqualand, South Africa, Herschelle is passionate about development working in rural communities and community-based initiatives. She believes in the empowerment of people, women in particular, and the strength of partnerships and collaborations. After serving 18 years as the CEO of Surplus People Project, Herschelle stepped down in 2017 to work as a consultant and explore new opportunities in mentoring youth and platforms for sharing experience and knowledge. She has a Bachelor’s Degree and a Higher Diploma in Education from the University of the Western Cape. She has served on several NGO boards, including the South African San Institute and Biowatch.

Ngozi Nnenna Orji – Philanthropist

YouTubeAfter an eight year career in equity syndications and sales in London , Ngozi decided to change direction in 2001, creating and running after-school programmes for pre-school children. She continued her focus on young children after relocating to New York in 2006, co-founding an events management company specialising in children’s events. She also volunteered with a variety of charities, including Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE), Midtown Pregnancy Center, and Mommy Watch. Since returning to the U.K. in 2013, Ngozi continues to work with charities, such as Build Africa, and she provides advisory services to Nigerian parents seeking schools in the U.K.

Meet Ngozi

Louise Palmer – Board Advisor

Louise is an advisor to CEO’s, Boards, and executive teams on leadership, vision, organisation design, change, and transformation. In 2001, Louise founded 7days, specialists in organisational effectiveness, which she sold in 2010 after building a successful business. Prior to founding 7days, Louise was Head of Change at British Airways and Thomson Travel Group, a Senior Consultant at Coopers & Lybrand, and a member of the executive team at Mothercare Plc. She was a Senior Partner and Head of Consumer UK for KornFerry Consulting. As well as being an independent advisor to Boards, CEO’s and Execs, she is also CEO of her own clothing business, Velvet Architect.

Stephanie Power – Communications & Fashion Relations Director, M•A•C Cosmetics, U.K. and Ireland

YouTubeStephanie first became aware of m2m through the M•A•C AIDS Fund (MAF). As a MAF grantee, she learned about the incredible and progressive work m2m does and after she joined them on the Cycle to Zero 2016 bike ride in Malawi, she felt compelled to be more involved. Throughout Stephanie’s 15-year PR career, she has worked across a host of philanthropic campaigns; most recently she has sought to identify engaging volunteering opportunities for M•A•C employees with a number of HIV/AIDS related charities. She has a BA in History & Politics and diploma in Journalism.

Meet Stephanie

Kate Schachern – Partner, Rabin Martin

Kate is a Partner at Rabin Martin, a global health strategy firm, where she leads large-scale, global health and health access projects around the world. She has a decade of experience working with the private and public sector on programmes, strategy, communications, policy, and advocacy efforts to advance public health outcomes, with a special focus on improving access to HIV care and treatment across Africa. She holds a BA in Journalism from the George Washington University.

Charneill Sickle – Chartered Accountant

YouTubeA qualified chartered accountant, Charneill spent 10 years at Deloitte, where she was the lead audit partner for the public and nonprofit sectors in the Western Cape and served a wide range of clients, including mothers2mothers. Now a strategic financial consultant, Charneill’s expertise lies in the understanding of good governance and oversight, and the role of strong financial controls in enhancing the performance of nonprofits. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting from the University of Cape Town.

Meet Charneill

Non-voting Members

Frank Beadle de Palomo – President and Chief Executive Officer
Frank has over 26 years experience in the global health community that includes significant achievements in HIV prevention, domestic and global care, research, and advocacy.  Before joining m2m as CEO in 2012, Frank was Senior Vice President and Director of the Global Health, Population, and Nutrition Group at FHI 360. Previously, Frank was Senior Vice President and Director of the Academy for Educational Development (AED), where he re-established the organisation as a leader in global AIDS programmes. He also created and directed the National Council of La Raza ‘s Center for Health Promotion in the U.S.

Meet Frank


Robin Allinson Smalley – Co-founder and Director, m2m U.S.

YouTubeRobin enjoyed an award-winning career as a television producer/director/writer before realising that the legacy she wanted to leave had nothing to do with entertainment.  Turning her attention to the nonprofit world, she became the Executive Director of The Media Project, working to incorporate healthy messages around sexuality and reproductive health into television.  From there, she moved her family to South Africa, to become m2m’s first Executive Director. Now back in the U.S., she is responsible for U.S. fundraising, partnership development, advocacy, and global communications.

Meet Robin

Officers of the Corporation

Chad D. Rathner – Secretary, m2m South Africa Chief Operating Officer, Chief Operations Officer, m2m

YouTubeChad brings more than 18 years’ experience in the global health community and private sector. Before joining m2m as COO in 2014, Chad was the Deputy Country Director at FHI 360 Zambia as well as Chief of Party on USAID’s flagship HIV and AIDS Prevention programme in Zambia. In addition, from 2007-2010 Chad was the Academy for Educational Development (AED) Director of the Local Partners Capacity Building Program, a USAID funded Organization Development project. Chad’s new position with m2m utilises his expertise in developing solutions for a wide range of HIV and AIDS, family planning, maternal and child health, education, public/private partnership, and capacity building programmes.

Meet Chad

David Torres – Secretary, m2m International, Special Advisor to the President and CEO, m2m

YouTubeWhile traveling around the world with his family on a sabbatical from his role as a Managing Director at JPMorgan in London in 2005, David worked as a volunteer at m2m in Cape Town for two months.  After returning to London, he decided to end his 22-year career in banking and join m2m as a permanent staff member, moving his wife and two children to South Africa.  His role includes local and international fundraising and development, as well as the business side of m2m’s international expansion.

Meet David