Meet Our Team

Our team members – primarily our volunteer Board – bring diverse, international work experience in sustainable development, food and farming, water security, clinical medicine, reproductive and sexual health, mental health, and more.

 

As an organization led primarily by white people of the Global North with access to many forms of systemic privilege, we commit to ongoing learning and unlearning as we work collaboratively toward repair, equity, justice, and liberation.

Board of Directors

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Brennan Keiser

Board President

With experience living and working in 8 different countries including a stint in the
Peace Corps, Brennan’s work is guided by a belief that we all have a human right to health. He is passionate about sexual and reproductive health and rights and has also contributed to local advocacy efforts to modernize HIV-specific criminal statutes in Missouri. He holds a master’s degree in Social Work specialized in International Social and Economic Development from Washington University in St. Louis.

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Rhianon Liu

Board Member

Rhianon is a palliative care physician working in Portland, Maine. She studied Human Biology and African Studies at Stanford University and obtained her medical training at Johns Hopkins, Sutter Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency, and Scripps/UCSD. She has worked in global health and community development in Zambia, South Africa, Uganda, and Nepal, and domestically with immigrant and refugee populations from various parts of the world. She has served on the Minga Board since 2018.

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Karin Friederic

Secretary, Co-Founder

Karin is an Associate Professor of Cultural and Applied Anthropology at Wake Forest University in North Carolina. Her research, teaching and nonprofit expertise are in global health, human rights, development, gender, violence, and disability. Since the year 2000, Karin has worked closely with Ecuadorian communities (our first partner and project) in their efforts to obtain health care services and mobilize against gender violence. Karin completed her MA and Ph.D. in Medical Anthropology at the University of Arizona, and a BA at The Colorado College.

Brian Minga

Brian Burke

Treasurer

Brian has worked with grassroots development, environmental, and health projects around the world. He is a socio-cultural anthropologist and a professor of sustainable development at Appalachian State University, where his students and colleagues study the theory and practice of community-based and genuinely sustainable development. Brian earned his Ph.D. in Anthropology at the University of Arizona in 2012.

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Jessica Levy

Board Member, Co-Founder

In 2002, Jessica developed a women’s health outreach program at our first project site in El Paramo, Ecuador. Since then, she’s expanded her work to other regions of the world, continuing to focus on issues related to gender equality and reproductive health. Currently, Jessica is an Associate Professor of Practice at Washington University in St. Louis and a Senior Associate at Iris Group, a consulting firm focused on gender and social inclusion.

Erin Lund

Board Member

Erin has worked with our organization since 2003, when she received a Fulbright scholarship to serve as the doctor and women’s health outreach coordinator at our project site in Ecuador. She earned her M.D. from Harvard University Medical School in 2005 and an MPH at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Erin lives in Northern California and works at a federally qualified health center, where she provides family medicine and obstetrical care to underserved populations and teaches family medicine residents.

Ryan Shields 2022

Ryan Shields

Board Member

Ryan graduated from Amherst College with a B.A. in biology and sociology. He earned his M.D. from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where his research focused on medical education and sexual and gender minorities. Ryan completed residency training in obstetrics and gynecology at Yale New Haven Hospital and a two-year global health fellowship through UCSF, working in eastern Rwanda and near Navajo Nation in Gallup, New Mexico. He practices as a generalist ob/gyn in Honolulu and Waimea, Hawai’i.

Megan Snair

Board Member

Megan Snair, MPH joined the Minga Foundation in 2018. She is also a public health consultant and writer for SGNL Solutions, working on global health security, emergency preparedness, and health policy. Previously she worked on global health projects at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in Washington, DC. Ms. Snair received her Master’s in Public Health from Boston University concentrating in Epidemiology and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biophysics from St. Lawrence University in New York.

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Piku Patnaik

Board Member

Piku joined our organization in 2021. With a PhD in Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Piku has worked for over 15 years as an infectious disease epidemiologist on global health research and programs across 14 countries in Africa, South Asia, and Central Asia. Piku lives in New York and currently provides epidemiological support for the treatment of life-threatening lung diseases at a family-owned pharmaceutical company.

Volunteers and Staff

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John Ben Soileau

Carrazedo Partnership Coordinator

John-Ben works in the community engagement unit of the National Academy of Sciences and is completing a doctorate in cultural anthropology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He also holds an MA in Latin American Studies from Tulane University in his hometown of New Orleans. His academic and policy interests converge through a commitment to community-engaged and empirically-based field research in the development of equitable and locally relevant social and environmental policies.

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Mary Kate Cartmill

Partnerships M&E Coordinator

Mary Kate serves as Minga’s Partnerships M&E Coordinator, working to support partner organizations in project tracking, monitoring, and assessing programmatic impact. Mary Kate has experience working in food security, nutrition, and participatory community development in domestic and international settings. She holds a B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Michigan and a Master’s in Public Health with a concentration in Global Health from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.

Margaux Sanchez

Development Director

Margaux is a writer, editor, and organizational communicator with degrees in English from Yale and creative writing from the University of CA, Irvine. She has worked in book editorial at Random House and taught writing at Fontbonne University in St. Louis. Since 2009, she has developed fundraising and action campaigns for both major and small nonprofits. He recent campaign work has focused on anti-racism and education. She joined Minga in 2022.

Board Members on Temporary Leave

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Jennifer Tucker

Board Member

Jennifer is currently in the process of becoming a “médico de ciencia y conciencia” (“doctor of science and conscious”) at the Latin American School of Medicine in Cuba. A past participant in the AmeriCorp program, she looks forward to practicing community-based medicine with a foundational dedication to improve the health and social conditions of underserved and under-resourced communities both in the United States and abroad. In 2013, Jennifer received her B.A. in Biology from Washington University in St. Louis with minors in Spanish and Public Health.

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Anna Grace “AG” Tribble

Board Member

AG Tribble discovered her passion for studying health disparities and ameliorating social inequities while completing her B.A. in Anthropology at Wake Forest University. She went on to pursue her MPH/Ph.D. at Emory University in global epidemiology and biocultural medical anthropology. With her new position as Lecturer within the Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures at Mississippi State University, she has begun to coordinate a community-led project on local health disparities with the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.

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Thembi Chitenga

Board Member

Sithembile “Thembi” Chithenga is a public health physician who uses her passion for clinical medicine, public health, and advocacy to advance healthcare delivery and enhance resilience to infectious diseases. She is a Medical Epidemiologist at the CDC Foundation assigned to the District of Columbia’s COVID-19 Emergency Response. Thembi earned a medical degree from the University of Malawi and a master’s degree in public health from Washington University in St. Louis. She completed a Global Health Corps Fellowship with New York City’s Health Department in the Bureau of Sexually Transmitted Infections.

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