Senior Management Team

Frank Beadle de Palomo – President and Chief Executive Officer

YouTubeFrank 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 mothers2mothers (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

Dr. Mitch Besser – Founder

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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

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

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Robin 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 non-profit 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

Chad D. Rathner – Chief Operations Officer

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Chad 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

La Chenna Cromer – Director, Business Development

La Chenna brings 20 years of experience in public health and business development in the United States, African, and Asian development markets. She comes to m2m from FHI 360 where she served as the Associate Director for the East and Southern Africa portfolio. During her tenure at FHI 360, La Chenna brought in more than $900,000,000 from U.S. and EU governments, pharmaceutical corporations, and private foundations. Prior to FHI 360, she focused on health communication research to inform campaigns for underserved populations. La Chenna uses her passion for women’s rights, empowerment, and improved access to health care to expand m2m’s global footprint through restricted and unrestricted funding.

Emma France – Global Development and Strategic Engagement Director

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Emma established the European office of m2m in 2011. Emma began her career as a project finance lawyer at the International Law Firm, Allen & Overy. She has served in various board roles in national and local charities, including as Vice-Chair of Amnesty International UK and as governor of various primary schools. Emma is currently a trustee of the Amnesty International UK Charitable Trust. She has also served as a Visiting Fellow at Cass Business School whilst consulting with charities around strategy and change. Emma leads m2m’s global donor and strategic partnerships strategy, and takes responsibility for shaping our public engagement and policy positions. She holds day-to-day responsibility for m2m’s European and North American Resource Mobilisation operations.

Meet Emma

Sonja Kotze – Finance Director

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Sonja has more than 15 years experience in financial and operations management in both the private and non-profit sectors. Before joining mothers2mothers in January 2013, she worked and consulted for various international NGOs focusing on financial and administrative policy development and related process design. Previous roles also extended her experience to human resources management, information technology, strategy development, project operations support, etc. She is an entrepreneur at heart with an activist soul and enjoys an environment where people feel empowered and inspired.

Meet Sonja

Dillon Mann – Global Communications Director

Dillon is a communications professional with experience across the not-for-profit, technology, policy and professional services sectors. Prior to joining m2m, he was Communications & Campaigns Director at the World Wide Web Foundation, an organisation that ensures everyone, everywhere can get online and use the web to improve their lives. Leading a global communications team from Cape Town, he helped the organisation to triple in both size and impact. Prior to this, he served as a director at a leading U.K. communications consultancy, working with diverse clients ranging from government departments to law firms.  At m2m, Dillon is responsible for the development, integration, and implementation of m2m’s global communications strategy across three continents.

Gillian Mthandi – Human Resources Director

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Gillian Mthandi is an HR generalist with 16 years of experience in human resource management. She spent 10 years of her career working as an HR Manager for various corporations in South Africa. Six years ago she made the decision to move into the nonprofit sector, joining m2m. Her first role within m2m was to give strategic HR support to the field operations in Southern Africa. She was later promoted to HR Director where she leads the global HR strategy for the organisation.

Meet Gillian

Dr. Kathrin Schmitz – Director, Programmes and Technical Support

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A Medical Doctor with an MBA, Kathrin has extensive clinical, research, and technical expertise in programme design and implementation. Early in her career, she specialised in paediatric clinical practice and research, and oversaw the accreditation of informal Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres across South Africa. Since joining m2m in 2005, Kathrin has played a leading role in the organsation’s programmatic and geographical expansion. In her current role, she leads programme innovation aligned with organisational strategic objectives, and drives the conceptualisation and design, implementation and scale-up of m2m’s rapidly expanding portfolio of programmes, while overseeing technical quality.

Meet Kathrin

David Torres – Special Advisor to the President and CEO

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While 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