Dr. Jennie Ward-Robinson
President and CEO
Dr. Jennie Ward-Robinson, President and CEO, has over 15 years of public service within nonprofit and for profit communities. She has served as Director of Medical and Scientific Affairs of the Alzheimer’s Association, was the founding CEO and Executive Director of the Institute for Public Health and Water Research, and an Associate Professor at The School of Rural Public Health, Texas A&M Health Science Center, Texas A&M University. In addition, she has served on various Boards, including the EPA’s National Drinking Water Council, as a member of the Institute of Medicine’s Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research and Medicine, the Alliance for Water Efficiencies, and the Illinois Chapter of the Nature Conservancy. Dr. Ward-Robinson holds a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has completed numerous executive and leadership training programs from leading institutions that include the Center for Creative Leadership and the Kellogg School of Nonprofit Management.
Associate Manager, Development Operations
Janine Brown, Associate Manager, Development Operations, brings over 17 years of development and database management experience to the Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation, Janine held positions in fundraising, database management, and business operations, with various nonprofit organizations, including the Grady Health Foundation, Make-A-Wish Foundation, and Catholic Charities Atlanta. Janine received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Adelphi University in Long Island, NY and her graduate degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology from Argosy University in Atlanta, GA.
Associate Vice President, Operations
Shelia Buchanan, Associate Vice President, Operations, has nearly 15 years of experience working in nonprofit environments, specifically within the health field. Shelia relocated to Atlanta, GA to join PAHO Foundation in November with significant experience in delivering national and international conferences and operational management. As the Director of Meetings at the Academy of General Dentistry, in one year, she increased exhibit sales by 30% and revenue by 15% and negotiated a multi-year contract with real dollar savings of over $1.5 million. She has designed physician CME offerings, led an organization out of academic probation, organized international conferences with attendance of over 5,000, and launched the Alzheimer’s Association international membership section, International Society to Advance Alzheimer’s Research and Treatment (ISTAART) for which she consistently met retention and recruitment goals, increasing new membership by 50% annually and maintaining an 80% retention rate. Shelia completed much of her undergraduate studies at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities and received her Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Rasmussen College, Rockford, IL. Shelia has always maintained an active participation in community services, from participating on the Board of Directors for a community health care organization to coaching a girls’ Little League softball team to her current efforts to launch an empowerment program for girls in under-resourced communities. More than her desire to bring about positive changes in her community, she enjoys spending time with her husband and children.
Senior Associate Manager, Science, Programs, and Technology
Katherine Cantrell, Senior Associate Manager, Science, Programs, and Technology, joined PAHO Foundation with six years of previous public health experience. Before moving to Atlanta to join the Foundation, Katherine worked in Austin, TX in the field of HIV/STI prevention and linkage to care, specifically focusing on underserved and at-risk populations. She used her skills in technical project management, development, and evaluation to supervise Austin’s HIV prevention program. In addition to program supervision, Katherine has experience leading collaborations with stakeholders and strengthening relationships with community-based organizations. She has also attended several local and national conferences on HIV/AIDS to support her career in public health. Katherine received her Bachelor’s degree in Health with an emphasis in Science from Texas A&M University in College Station, TX. She believes in a whole-health approach and working collectively across sectors to benefit communities in need. In her free time, Katherine enjoys spending time with her family and friends as well as exploring Atlanta’s food and drink scene.
Zakiya Carr Johnson
Senior Director, Development and Strategic Partnerships
Zakiya Carr Johnson, Senior Director, Development and Strategic Partnerships, has over 20 years of experience working in human rights, development, and foreign policy with historically marginalized communities throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Before joining PAHO Foundation, she served as Senior Advisor and Director of the Race, Ethnicity, and Social Inclusion Unit at the US Department of State, advising leadership on bilateral and regional initiatives, building multi-stakeholder partnerships, and broadening support for issues which impact women and girls, people of African descent, indigenous peoples, and LGBTI persons. Zakiya has also served as the Inter-American Foundation Representative for Venezuela and Ecuador, was Senior Technical Advisor to the Inter-American Development Bank’s Social Inclusion Trust Fund, and led the Latin America Program at Global Rights. She has worked in several countries including Uruguay, Peru, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Chile, and she spent three years in Sao Paulo, Brazil as the International/Youth Advocacy Director for Geledes Instituto da Mulher Negra, a national organization focused on the rights of Afro-Brazilian women. Zakiya has written articles and coordinated international dialogues and programming on the inclusion of ethnic and minority groups and economic, social, and cultural rights-based development and diversity. She studied for an M.A. in International Relations at Syracuse University, a B.A. in Communications and Spanish at Howard University, and spent semesters at the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil. She is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.
Hortencia Jackson, Manager, Finance, joins PAHO Foundation with over 9 years of experience in finance and payroll. She grew up in the Cayman Islands where she provided support to nonprofits. Prior to joining the Foundation, Hortencia worked in supervisory roles at various organizations, including Butterfield Bank and Westin, to manage their financial and payroll functions. She has extensive experience working to streamline finance- and HR-related processes at both the local, national, and international levels. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Finance and Marketing from American Intercontinental University in Atlanta, GA. Hortencia is thrilled to work at PAHO Foundation, where she can share her passion for helping communities in the Americas to improve their country and family life.
Executive Assistant and Project Officer
Seyi Korede, Executive Assistant and Project Officer, joins PAHO Foundation with over six years of administrative and two years of project management and coordination experience. Before working at the Foundation, Seyi spearheaded project support efforts, specifically to the Help and Support teams, at the Arthritis Foundation. Seyi has extensive experience in nonprofit and healthcare technology sectors, both locally and internationally. She has additionally worked with leaders in the education and resource development community. Seyi received her Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Florida State University and a Master’s in Public Administration with emphasis in nonprofit organizations from the Keller Graduate School of Management. She is passionate about issues surrounding the total health and well-being of people and enjoys spending quality time with her family and friends.
Senior Director, Programs and Grants
Areana Quiñones, Senior Director, Programs and Grants, brings 18 years of public health programing and proposal writing experience to the Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation, Areana held positions with various professional associations and international NGOs. She has worked in technical areas, such as maternal and child health, tropical diseases, malaria, HIV/AIDS, NCDs, and health and laboratory systems strengthening. Areana spent several years working for the CORE Group where she helped to establish NGO networks for malaria advocacy in Africa and worked closely with the Roll Back Malaria Partnership Board. While at Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB), she led efforts to mobilize resources for programs in eight countries. At CMMB, Areana had the opportunity to serve as a representative on the CORE Group Board of Directors. Areana received her MPH from the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University, where she completed a thesis on tobacco use and adolescent health in Latin America. Areana is fluent in Spanish and conversant in Portuguese.
Chief of Staff
Lisa Tylke, Chief of Staff, has functioned in a leadership capacity within the nonprofit sector since 1987. She has served as Executive Director for the Chicago Dance Coalition and most recently as Director of Arts DuPage for the DuPage Foundation. Her background in arts, education, and association management informed her consulting work which focused on the areas of organizational development, assessment, strategic planning, board development, and fundraising. Her work has included conducting evaluations of grant giving programs at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and The Chicago Community Trust as well as grant review for The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation and Prince Charitable Trusts. In 2011, Lisa joined the University of Chicago Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies, Civic Knowledge Project’s team of instructors supporting its Board Leadership Certificate.
Associate Manager, Communications
Viet VoPham, Associate Manager, Communications, brings a diverse background in publishing/editorial, social media, and nonprofit communications to PAHO Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation, Viet worked as a Program Assistant for South Arts’ Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers, spearheading customer service, filmmaker, and Screening Partner outreach and marketing for the program. Viet has also interned for various tech and media companies in New York City, wrote lifestyle pieces for sites like Bustle, and served as a Social Media Editor for the online e-retailer Rebel Circus. Viet received his Bachelor of Arts at the University of Virginia, majoring in Media Studies with a concentration in Media Policy and Ethics. In Viet’s current role, he hopes to utilize his passion for social media and nonprofits to bolster the Foundation’s social media strategy and strengthen partnership and content curation efforts with help from the Development and Programs departments.