Melanie Spence – President
Melanie graduated with a B.A. in Sociology from the College of William and Mary and an M.A. in International Administration from the University of Denver. She served as a Peace Corps Community Health and HIV/AIDS Prevention volunteer in Togo, West Africa where she became aware of Hope Through Health activities. In June 2008, Melanie joined Population Services International (PSI) and currently works as Program Manager for West/Central Africa in Washington DC. Prior to working at PSI, Melanie worked with the Community Resource Center in Denver providing consulting and training for nonprofit organizations and community groups throughout Colorado. Melanie has a background in nonprofit start-up, strategic planning and board development with nonprofit organizations. She is passionate about raising awareness and funds for people living with AIDS in Africa.
Aimee de la Houssaye – Vice President
Aimee de la Houssaye began working with Hope through Health as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Togo in 2007. She supervised the opening of AED’s second satellite in her village of Ketao, and she was the national coordinator for Camp Espoir 2009. Aimee received her B.A. in International Studies and African Studies from Emory University in 2006 and is currently a candidate for an M.A. in International Relations from The University of Chicago.
Ashley Thompson – Secretary
Ashley Thompson is a returned rural community health Peace Corps volunteer (Benin: 2003-2005), and holds a Masters of Public Health in International Health from Boston University and a Bachelors degree in International Relations from Pomona College. In 2008, as part of her graduate studies, Ashley conducting a three-month practicum with Hope Through Health in Kara, Togo, working primarily with AED’s community health worker program. Since 2009, she has been working as a Technical Officer at the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation in Washington, D.C.
Lauren Dockweiler – Assistant Secretary
Lauren Dockweiler graduated from the University of California, San Diego in 2002, where she earned her undergraduate degree in Economics before entering her career in nonprofit fund raising. After moving from California and leaving her position as the Associate Director of Development with Planned Parenthood of San Diego & Riverside Counties, Ms. Dockweiler worked for the Animal Rescue League of Boston as the Manager of Donor Services. Having recently returned to sunny San Diego, she has resumed employment with Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest as Associate Director of the Annual Campaign. She currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors and Co-Coordinator of the SoCal Chapter of HTH, working to build a grassroots fund raising structure to help provide much-needed funding to The Initiative.
Eric Goldman – Treasurer
Eric Goldman graduated from the University of California, San Diego in 2002 with a Bachelors of Science in Bioengineering. He has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for the last 6 years in various positions and currently works for Amylin Pharmaceutical’s, responsible for various activities within the commercial operations organization. Most recently he received his Masters in Business and Administration from the Rady School of Management at UC San Diego. Eric has been involved with Hope Through Health the past two years and most recently, through his graduate program, worked with Hope Through Health in evaluating and developing an organizational growth strategy.
Gavin Oxman – Assistant Treasurer
Gavin Oxman currently works as a Product Manager for Smartsheet.com and has over 10 years experience in the fields of technology and international development. He was a Peace Corps volunteer in Sokode, Togo from 2003 – 2005, where he led several business education and microfinance initiatives. Gavin has also worked for Microsoft and Deloitte Consulting in various roles focused on product development and technology strategy. Gavin is a graduate of Princeton University, where he obtained a BSE, and the University of Pennsylvania, where he obtained an MBA from the Wharton School and an MA from the School of Arts and Sciences. He is a Fellow of the Lauder Institute Global MBA program and an alumnus of the French international program. While at Wharton, Gavin led an international volunteer project in Benin and wrote his Master’s thesis on the development of information and communications technologies (ICT) in Rwanda.
Jonathan Lascher joined Hope Through Health in 2006 as a Peace Corps community health volunteer where he supervised the creation of the Association Espoir pour Demain (AED) satellite in his village of Kandé. During his time in Togo, he was the director of Club Espoir, a monthly program for orphans and vulnerable children enrolled in AED services, as well as a national coordinator for Camp Espoir. After graduating from The George Washington University in 2005 with a BA in International Affairs and a concentration in African Studies, Jonathan spent a year at the United Nations World Food Programme working to secure increased international funding for nutrition interventions for people living with HIV/AIDS.
Ryan McCannell works for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Bureau for Africa as a Democracy and Governance Specialist. Before joining USAID in 2004, Ryan spent eight years at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), where he was responsible for designing and managing democracy support programs in Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Malawi, South Africa, and the Central African Republic. In 2002-03, he served as NDI’s chief of party in Benin and Togo, where he organized training for political parties prior to elections in those two countries. Before NDI, he worked for the Academy for Educational Development (AED) as a democracy researcher for USAID. His education includes a bachelor’s degree at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, a year abroad at the Université du Bénin in Lomé, Togo, and a master’s in Geographic and Cartographic Sciences at George Mason University.
April Quinlan is an independent event-planning consultant with more than 8 years of fundraising experience. She has worked with several non-profit organizations, including Reading Is Fundamental, The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, and the Mile High Youth Corps. After earning a Master’s Degree in Non-Profit Management and Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University, April spent a year in Moshi, Tanzania, working with Amani Children’s Home, a Tanzania-based NGO that provides care for street children and AIDS orphans. It was during this time that she developed a passion for working with children affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa. April was introduced to Hope Through Health through long-time friend, and Hope Through Health Board member, Melanie Spence, and joined the Board of Directors in 2010 after being active in the Washington, DC chapter.
Paige Lapen became involved with Hope Through Health in 2004 when she was serving as a Community Health and HIV/AIDS Prevention (CHAP) volunteer in Nadoba, Togo. She attended the first-ever Camp Espoir as a counselor and was Co-Director the second year. She received her Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia but it was during her time in Togo that she realized she wanted to specialize in health and cause-related communication. She is set to graduate with a Master of Public Health from UCLA in 2012. Her master’s project is focused on social media and its effects on health communication. She currently works as a marketing and events professional in Los Angeles.
Amir Khastoo currently lives in Los Angeles working as the Operations Manager for Westside Homes LLC, Metro Exchange Inc, and Frank Akef & Co. He graduated in 2003 from the University of California, San Diego receiving his B.A. in Performing Arts, double-majoring in Theatre and Dance. Following graduation, as an ARTSbridge scholar, he spent several years developing and implementing performing arts based curricula for K-9 schools in San Diego County. He credits his wife Jacqui and long-time friend, and HTH board member, Lauren, for introducing him to HTH back in 2006. More recently, as a newcomer to the sport of Triathlon, Amir raised over $2K for HTH while competing in the Solana Beach Triathlon.
Lisa Hirschhorn, MD, MPH
Lisa Hirschhorn, MD, MPH, is Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Director for M and E and Quality Partners in Health and. Senior Clinical Advisor for HIV/AIDS at JSI. Dr. Hirschhorn is an Internist and Board Certified Infectious Disease Specialist who has been working in providing and ensuring care for people living with HIV/AIDS for over 25 years. She has led or participated in the design and implementation of innovative and effective approaches to monitoring and evaluation and operations research in a range of public health programs including scale-up of HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment, strengthening primary care in rural settings in Africa, community-based interventions to help traditionally underserved populations, and quality improvement initiatives in HIV/AIDS in the US and internationally. She has also led efforts to build capacity to measure and improve quality and develop interventions to increase use of data to drive improvement in a number of African countries and has extensive experience in the mentoring and training health care workers in the US and internationally
Louise Krumm first became familiar with the Association Espoir pour Demain while serving as Country Director for the U.S. Peace Corps in Togo. She has continued to support this project since returning to Washington D.C. in September 2004. In 2002, Louise retired from Georgetown University where she was Director of the Center for Language Education and Development. The Center designed and offered English language programs for students and teachers in the United States and abroad. Presently, Louise works as an independent consultant for Peace Corps and other international education organizations.
Christiane Geisler is a registered nurse and served in Togo as a volunteer French nurse from 1975 to 1980. She trained village health workers to deliver primary care in their villages. She was a Board member of Friends of Togo (FOT) for 12 years while living in the Washington DC area. During that time, FOT funded the first AED Camp Espoir. She has worked in HIV research for the past 4 years. Christiane recently moved to Philadelphia where she started a chapter of FOT with the goal of raising funds for Hope Through Health.