StrongMinds Board of Trustees

Meet the StrongMinds Trustees, Directors, and Advisors

StrongMinds treats depression in African women, 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.

Innocent Kihika: Innocent heads the Energy and Infrastructure department of the firm and specializes in energy, mining, and infrastructure law. He is recognized as one of the country’s leading lawyers in matters of Project Finance and Development, Energy, and Infrastructure by IFLR1000 and Chambers Global, an annual award he has continuously received for the past 7 years, since 2013. Innocent holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) degree from Makerere University, a Diploma in Legal Practice from the Law Development Centre, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Telecommunications and IT Law from the University of Strathclyde. He has received training from the Institute for Public-Private Partnerships (IP3) that will lead up to a Public-Private Partnership Practitioner. He is licensed to practice law in the courts of Uganda. He has a wealth of experience advising clients in both the private and public sector. He has expertise in dealing with the intricate nature and complex frameworks in energy, infrastructure, and governance. Innocent was Head of legal and Manager Corporate Services of Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited (UETCL) for a seven-year tenure prior to joining the firm, where now works.

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.

Peter Okwi: Peter serves as our Uganda Country Director. In this role, Peter leads all operations in-country, supporting a team of staff working across multiple districts to grow, innovate, and collaborate. He will play a pivotal role in shaping StrongMinds’ growth and scale in Uganda and elsewhere in the region. Peter comes to Strong Minds with 18 years of experience in the public health, international development, and finance sectors. More recently as Ag. Director for the SADC Malaria Elimination Eight (E8) Secretariat based in Windhoek, Namibia; Peter supported eight southern African countries to develop, implement and scale-up pioneering, sustainable, and people-centered strategies toward malaria elimination in the region. As Head of Finance, Grants and Operations; Peter supported program implementation and had strategic oversight over all E8 Secretariat’s grants (and donor management), finances, and operations across the eight countries; including liaising with the E8S Board on finance and grants. Prior to that, Peter served as the Country Director of the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) team in Rwanda, where he supported the Government of Rwanda’s initiatives in fighting malnutrition, strengthening human resources for health, and improving farming outcomes for eight cooperatives in the Eastern province. He also provided strategic leadership and oversight of both program implementation and corporate compliance including management of human resources, finance, and general administration.  Peter has also served as the head of the Information Services Department of the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI), a Ugandan NGO that focuses on strengthening the care and treatment of HIV and related infectious diseases. In this role, Peter led the effective development and implementation of IDI’s Operations and Information Services strategies and policies for 1100 staff across Uganda. He also worked at the Central Bank of Uganda, where he led multi-national teams to achieve success in the implementation of several projects including the upgrade of the international financial payment system and the establishment of secure payment infrastructure in Uganda. Peter holds a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Warwick Business School; a Master’s degree in Information Security from the University of London, and a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Makerere University.

Hafsa Sentongo (bio coming soon)

ADVISORY BOARD

Harbert Bernard is an entrepreneur and a management consultant at Delaware Consulting in Atlanta, Georgia. Harbert served in the Peace Corps as an English Teacher and Community Development Volunteer in Gabon in West Africa.  He is a graduate of Emory Universty’s Goizueta Business School.

Kathleen F. Clougherty, LCSW, is a senior Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) trainer and supervisor at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, Instructor in Clinical Psychiatric Social Work (In Psychiatry) at Columbia University, an instructor at the Columbia University School of Social Work, and a private practitioner specializing in the treatment of depression in adolescents and adults. She is the co-author, along with Gregory Henrichsen, of Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Older Adults.

Dr. Jordan Kassalow is the Founder and CEO of VisionSpring. The Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit improves the economic condition of families in the developing world by broadening the availability of reading glasses and other health products and services. Dr. Kassalow has more than 20 years of experience providing eye-care to the world’s poor.

Molly Knight-Raskin is a journalist, producer, writer and special foreign correspondent for PBS NewsHour.  She was awarded the 2007 Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism and the 2010 American Psychoanalytic Association’s Award for Excellence in Journalism.  Molly is a graduate of the University of Virginia and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

Peter Read is a Managing Director at Vitruvian; a venture partner at BlueYard and LocalGlobe; an advisor to Entrepreneur First, Future Positive Capital, and StrongMinds; and a Trustee of Frazzled Cafe, Doteveryone, and the Oxford Mindfulness Centre. In addition, he is an angel investor/advisor in over 100 tech startups. Peter received his Bachelor of Arts in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from the University of Oxford and his Master in Business Administration from INSEAD.

Dr. Lena Verdeli is Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology and Director, Global Mental Health Lab, both at Columbia University. She is also an adjunct Assistant Professor at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, where she teaches psychotherapy to psychiatric residents, postdoctoral fellows and psychology interns.

Dr. Myrna Weissman is Professor of Epidemiology and Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons and the School of Public Health at Columbia University and Chief of the Department of Clinical-Genetic Epidemiology at New York State Psychiatric institute. Dr. Weissman is one of the founders of Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT), one of only a few empirically validated (EV) and manualized forms of therapy designed for the treatment of depression.