StrongMinds Board of Trustees

Meet the StrongMinds Trustees, Directors, and Advisors

StrongMinds treats depression in African women and adolescents, empowering them to lead more healthy, productive, and satisfying lives.

BOARD OF TRUSTEES – UNITED STATES

Dana Ward, Board Chair: Dana Ward is an international public health and development expert with 35 years of experience, predominantly in Africa and Asia. In his various roles he has served as Country Representative in five countries with Population Services International and was chair of the board of an international school in West Africa. He currently works for the Vermont Department of Health, in Burlington Vermont. Dana has an MBA in marketing from New York University and holds a Masters of Public Health from the Johns Hopkins University. His areas of interest include social marketing and mental health. He is impressed by StrongMinds’ unique, cost-effective, scalable approach that can treat millions of African women without resorting to pharmaceutical solutions.

Paul S. Watford, Treasurer: Paul is a senior financial executive whose background includes manufacturing, utilities, transportation, real estate, and not-for-profit experience. He served as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at the Music Institute of Chicago where he was responsible for the financial operations of the organization, facilities management, human resources, and payroll. He began his career as a Mechanical Engineer for a public utility company and then transitioned to manufacturing and transportation where he gained analytical experience with responsibilities in financial reporting and analysis, auditing, and management presentation, human resources, compliance, and controls. He served also as an educator at the City Colleges of Chicago where he taught Accounting, Business, and Finance. Paul earned his MBA in Finance and Management Policy from Northwestern University, his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Howard University, and his BA in History from the University of Rochester. For twelve years, Paul served on the Board of Trustees for St. Mark’s School in Southborough, Massachusetts, and on the Board of the Civic Orchestra of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Ancona School in Chicago, IL, the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts Center in Skokie, IL, and Planned Parenthood of Illinois in Chicago, IL. He lives with his family in Chicago, where he enjoys cooking, music, film, books, and travel.

Rehmah Kasule, Trustee: Rehmah is a senior fellow at the Harvard Advanced Leadership Institute (ALI). Prior to ALI, Rehmah Kasule founded and was the president of Century Entrepreneurship Development Agency, a Ugandan nonprofit that has helped over 38,000 youth and women pursue equality and economic development opportunities. Ms. Kasule is also a member of the Parliament of Buganda Kingdom, and has earned multiple global awards recognizing her social impact leadership. She is currently developing the PLUS+AFRICA Apprenticeship and Leadership Institute, an incubator to prepare young people for jobs, promote enterprise development, create links with the private sector, and work with government to strengthen labor market systems that will transform Africa’s workforce.

Ann MacDougall, Trustee: Ann’s career has spanned legal and operating roles, and she has worked both in the U.S. and Europe. She is currently the Co-Founder/CEO of Dunollie Fund and the Senior Advisor (formerly President) of Encore.org, a national non-profit that promotes encore careers for the greater good. She was previously Chief Operating Officer of Acumen Fund, a global venture capital fund, and oversaw Acumen’s worldwide operations, strategy, and expansion. Before joining Acumen, she was a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where she rose through the ranks to become General Counsel of PwC US and a member of the Management Committee. During her 17 years at PwC, MacDougall also spent five years in Paris as Global Deputy General Counsel. In 2013, MacDougall was a Fellow in the Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative, a year-long program to prepare experienced executives to take on new challenges in the social sector. She holds a B.A. cum laude from Tufts University and a J.D. cum laude from Brooklyn Law School. She currently sits on two corporate boards, Opiant Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Atmos XR.  In her volunteer capacity, she sits on the Audit Committee of the Lycée Français de New York and the Advisory Boards of Equality Now and Global Citizen Year. She also co-leads two journalism fellowships, in partnership with the OpEd Project.

Sean Mayberry, Trustee: Sean Mayberry, Executive Director and Founder of StrongMinds, is a former diplomat and social marketer who believes there are simple and cost-effective interventions that can improve mental health, an area that is often overlooked when addressing poverty in the developing world. For years Sean implemented successful HIV/AIDS and malaria programs in Africa and saw firsthand the struggles of the mentally ill. In 2013, he founded StrongMinds with the goal of ending the depression epidemic on the subcontinent. Previously, Sean was the Chief Operating Officer at VisionSpring, where he helped lead the nonprofit’s partnership with BRAC, and a country director for Population Services International in the Democratic Republic of Congo and India. He holds a BS degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an MBA from Emory University.

James Rude, Trustee: Jim Rude is a Senior Consultant at Graham-Pelton Consulting, specializing in non-profit management, fundraising, non-profit executive leadership, marketing, and volunteer management. Prior to joining Graham-Pelton Consulting, he was the Director of Development and Communications for Worldwide Orphans Foundation (WWO) and led the fundraising efforts for United Way, increasing new funding sources and donor cultivation. Jim has an MBA in Management from Monmouth University and a BA in Business from Muhlenberg College. He believes strongly in the mission of StrongMinds and feels that mental health is too often a forgotten need.

Carol Squire, Trustee: Carol Squire is the Executive Director of Good Cheer, an innovative nonprofit integrating food bank services, organic farming, recycling of previously owned goods, and school and community outreach, which serves the population of southern Whidbey Island in Puget Sound in Washington State. She has spent the last 10 years as a management consultant, focusing on creating strategies to strengthen organizations and teams. Prior to that, she worked in the field for PSI, including as Country Director in India. Before working for PSI, she founded a professional development organization, ECOFORM, for corporations in Africa and grew the enterprise to 200 employees. The non-profit arm of this organization worked with bilateral and multilateral donors. She joined the StrongMinds board because she feels mental health is a basic human right that is not available to most women in Africa.  As she explains, “Nothing else is possible for an individual or their family without good mental health.”

Annika Sten Pärson, Trustee: Annika is the Founder and CEO of DanFei Holdings, an investment company focusing on seed-stage investments, and former Chief Operating Officer at Seleni, a New York City-based organization focused on women’s mental and reproductive health. She has served on the Board of Directors for several organizations including Haldex AB and Vi-skogen, an NGO focused on agro-forestry aid in Eastern Africa.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS – UGANDA

Milly Katana, Chair: Milly (MPH, MA, MBA) is a public health specialist and internationally recognized community leader who has worked in different fields of social development. She was at the forefront of efforts for campaigning for access to HIV treatment in Uganda and throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Her efforts resulted in the creation of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria in 2002. Milly was a founding member of the Board of the Global Fund representing communities affected by the diseases in the developing world, where she co-chaired the Monitoring and Audit committee. Milly co-founded the Pan-African AIDS Treatment Movement (PATAM). She was the founding Country Director for The International AIDS Alliance in Uganda, where she pioneered the decentralization of AIDS care in more than 30 districts in Uganda. She worked as a Regional Representative for Eastern and Western Africa for Bausch and Lomb, a Pharmaceutical Company that specialized in producing eye care products. She currently is a co-chair of the Community Working Group for the Microbicide Trials Network, a consortium of global researchers and community members looking at new HIV prevention interventions, a UNAIDS Consultant for Eastern and Southern Africa. She has provided technical support to several organizations working in different areas of public health including those working with key affected populations like commercial sex workers and people who have sex with people of the same gender identity. She has worked with programs that support children like Tearfund working in Zambia and Retrack International working in Uganda. Her special interests include focusing on access to care issues for marginalized and vulnerable individuals and communities. She has written on several public health-related issues including capacity building and stigma and discrimination as they affect access and uptake of existing health care services.

Anne Besigiroha: Anne is an IT professional, with 22 years of experience under her belt. She is Team Leader for the Technical Support Section in the IT Operations Department at Bank of Uganda, where she has served in positions of increasing responsibility since 2000. On this journey, she has honed not just her technical skills but also received grounding in leadership and governance, communication skills, project management, problem-solving and people skills, among others. In her time at the Bank, she has been at the helm of implementing several cutting-edge payment system technologies, notably, working with a colleague in 2010 to implement a new payment system messaging technology (SWIFTNet) and being the only bank worldwide that was able to implement the solution without consultancy services from the vendor. Anne has built her career on integrity, generosity, empathy, and hard work, values she believes are critical for not just professional success, but personal fulfillment too. Outside of the workspace, Anne enjoys good music, expressing her creativity through gardening, cooking, and handicraft, as well as seeing the world around her. Her life’s desire is to leave a lasting legacy and few things give her as much joy as empowering those facing significant life challenges to overcome them and grow into their full potential.

Mariam Lutakome: Mariam is an ambitious finance professional with a strong track record of delivering top performance over the past 15 years. She is a fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and possesses a wide spectrum of experience in assessing and building organizational capacity of local non-government organizations (NGOs) at the community, national and international levels in the areas of grants and contracts management, finance, administration, human resource management across the health, education, agriculture and human rights sectors. Ms. Lutakome is familiar with the rules and regulations of all major donors supporting Uganda, e.g., USG, EU, SIDA, CIDA, and DFID. Mariam is a freelance finance management consultant. Previously Mariam worked as Finance Management Specialist on the JSI/TA-NPI project, to ensure that all twelve CDC and HRSA grantees developed sound financial, administration, and sub-partner management systems to effectively manage resources, adopt best practices and comply with their national regulations as well as USG funding requirements. Under this project she worked in east and southern Africa, in particular Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Mozambique and South Africa conducting training, providing one-on-one technical support, and developing customized TA to meet the needs and capacity of each partner. Prior to this position, she was the Finance Unit Manager on the EU-Civil Society Capacity Building Program which promoted an inclusive and empowered society in Uganda by strengthening the capacity of local communities and civil society organizations (CSOs)for social accountability, as well as strengthening “downward accountability” performance of local governments. She has also worked as Grants Accountant for the Human Rights Fund which is the present-day Independent Development Fund.

Paul Mwirigi Muriungi: Paul is the Founder and Managing Director of Capital One Group, a marketing communications firm with operations in Uganda and Kenya. With twelve years of marketing communications experience, Paul has been a brand custodian for major local, regional, and international brands in East Africa. During this time, he has contributed to various game-changing communication campaigns in various industries in the NGO sector, telecoms, manufacturing, retail, leisure, hospitality, beverages, professional services, banking, insurance, and semi-autonomous Government bodies. Paul holds a Diploma in Public Relations from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) the UK and a Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) UK. He also holds a B.A. in Social Sciences from Makerere University and a Certificate in Oil & Gas Studies from Makerere University Business School. Paul’s ultimate mission in life is to position brands for market growth and help these brands communicate better to their key stakeholders.

Dr. Hafsa Sentongo (bio coming soon)

BOARD OF DIRECTORS – Zambia (Coming Soon)