Our mission is to save lives and relieve human suffering. We strengthen healthcare in sub-Saharan Africa, providing better access to care and improving the quality of local health systems.
Touch Foundation strengthens local health systems in sub-Saharan Africa. We apply a three-phase strategy for scaling solutions to the most pressing global health challenges.
Much of our work to date has focused on designing and implementing programs in the Lake Zone of Tanzania and demonstrating impact. Successful solutions are then scaled up to a regional/national level. Ultimately, we aim for our solutions to be adapted and replicated in other countries facing similar challenges to achieve broad, transformative impact.
Our Board of Directors brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to Touch Foundation, providing strategic guidance, and helping us create opportunities for growth. Their leadership is invaluable to our work.
Lowell Bryan led the effort to create the Touch Foundation and has served as President since inception in 2004. As President and Chairman of the Board, Lowell has worked tirelessly to ensure the success of the organization, thus changing the lives of many in Tanzania.
Lowell retired in January 2012 from McKinsey & Company after 36 years at the firm. He served as a Director (i.e. senior partner) for 27 of those years. Over those years he helped found, and lead, McKinsey’s financial institutions practice and its strategy practice. He consulted to the top management and boards of directors of dozens of financial institutions, healthcare, and industrial clients primarily on issues of strategy and organization. He has written six books on banking, capital markets, strategy and organizational topics including Race for the World (about strategies for a global economy) and Mobilizing Minds: Creating Wealth From Talent in the 21st Century (organizing for the 21st Century).
He is a graduate and trustee of Davidson College, where he also established the Bryan Scholar program, a scholarship awarded to outstanding student-athletes. He is a graduate of the Harvard Business School and served on their board of visitors.
Lowell continues to serve as a Senior Partner Emeritus of the firm and continues to provide advice and counsel to the top management and the boards and directors of several large clients on a range of corporate strategy and organizational issues. He is also a board member of Tresata, a private company, and HWC, a private company.
Kevin is a Partner at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP and the Founding Director of Stroock’s Public Service Project. His responsibilities include management of the program, leading cases, and advising and assisting associates and partners with their pro bono litigation and transactional work. Kevin has handled or supervised a broad range of matters within the Public Service Project, from special education hearings to family and housing court matters, as well as counseling non-profit entities and micro-entrepreneurs. During his tenure, Kevin and the Public Service Project have won dozens of awards from city, state, and national organizations, both public and private, including the American Bar Association and the National Legal Aid & Defender Association. Prior to his 2001 appointment as the Project’s director, Kevin spent more than five years handling a wide range of commercial litigation matters for Stroock. He has written and presented on a broad range of social justice topics and his work has been recognized by two of his alma maters, Dartmouth College (Martin Luther King Jr./Lester B. Granger Lifetime Achievement Award) and Fordham University School of Law (Champion of Justice Award and The Louis J. Lefkowitz Award).
Claudio Braz Ferro is a former executive of Anheuser-Busch InBev, the leading global brewer, where he was the Chief Supply Officer and member of the Executive Board of Management. Born in 1955, Claudio is a Brazilian citizen and holds a degree in Industrial Chemistry from the Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, RS, Brazil, and has studied Brewing Science at the Catholic University of Leuven, Louvain-La-Neuve, Belgium.
He is also on the board of The Icla da Silva Foundation, the largest “be the match registry” recruitment center in the United States for bone marrow donors, with a strong focus on minority communities.
Claudio is the founder and chairman of 7P Capital, a private investment company. He currently lives in London with his wife, and has two children and two grandchildren.
Celia A. Felsher retired from her position as Chief Operating Officer and Partner of Reservoir Capital Group, an investment management firm based in New York, at the beginning of 2018. Ms. Felsher joined Reservoir in 1998 as General Counsel. She became a Partner at Reservoir in 2005, and added the role of Chief Operating Officer in 2008. From 1988 through 1997, Ms. Felsher was a Partner in the Corporate Department of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy. Prior to 1988 Ms. Felsher was an Associate at Milbank. During her time at Milbank, Ms. Felsher represented both U.S. and non-U.S. clients in a wide variety of corporate matters, including the public and private issuance of debt and equity securities, stock and asset acquisitions, and in connection with the formation of REITs and private investment funds.
Ms. Felsher received an A.B. from Princeton University in 1976 and a J.D. from Columbia University School of Law in 1979, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.
Celia was a member of the Mamaroneck, New York Board of Education from July 2000 until June 2006, serving in the capacity of Board President from July 2004 to June 2006.
Parisa Jaffer has over 20 years experience as a media executive at various organizations including Hearst, Condé Nast, and Disney with an expertise in marketing in fashion, beauty, lifestyle, and wellness. She has a BA from Vassar College, and an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business. Parisa currently consults for start-ups helping nascent brands to tell their stories to all stakeholders.
In addition to Touch Foundation, Parisa serves on the board of Prep for Prep. She also serves on the President’s Advisory Council of Vassar College, and is a former trustee of Choate Rosemary Hall.
Claudia is Executive Director, Strategy at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. Prior to joining Skadden in 2011, Claudia was a Principal with McKinsey & Company. She was with the firm for nearly 15 years, serving as the head of McKinsey’s Global Professional Services Practice and working in McKinsey’s Financial Services and Organization Practices. Claudia is the co-author of Mobilizing Minds: Creating Wealth From Talent in the 21st Century. She holds an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a B.A. from the University of Chicago.
Mbago Kaniki is CEO of Alva Charge, an e-mobility company, and CEO of Adansonia Management, a private investment firm. He has invested in private and public companies since 2001. Mbago serves on corporate boards including VanDeMark Chemical, and nonprofit boards including Maendeleo and Touch Foundation. He is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Mbago was previously a Managing Director and the Head of Strategic Investments at 40 North Industries; a Senior Analyst at Anchorage Capital Group; a Principal at Sageview Capital; a Vice President at The Carlyle Group; and a Business Analyst at McKinsey & Company. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Harvard University.
Steven Kelmar is a healthcare executive with extensive experience working with healthcare systems across the world. He was Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs, and served as Chief of Staff to Aetna’s Chairman, responsible for corporate strategy and managing the executive committee of the corporation. Mr. Kelmar was also responsible for Aetna’s government, regulatory and policy teams; and head of Communications and the Aetna Foundation. He reported directly to Aetna Chairman and CEO Mark T. Bertolini and served on the company’s executive committee.
Prior to Aetna, Mr. Kelmar was head of Global Public Affairs and Policy for Merck and Co., and also served in that capacity for Novartis AG, in Basel, Switzerland. In these roles, he was responsible for setting and driving the public affairs and policy strategies globally for these companies.
Before joining Novartis he served as Senior Vice President, External Relations for Medtronic Inc. In this role he led efforts to establish the company as a leading healthcare technology company. He also had responsibility for corporate planning and established business initiatives that lead to strengthening the company’s therapeutic franchises. Mr. Kelmar also served on the Executive Committee at Novartis and Medtronic.
Mr. Kelmar spent 14 years in public service in several executive positions. In 1990, he was appointed by President Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to be an Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In this position, he served as one of the federal government’s chief policymakers during a time of major national reexamination of healthcare delivery systems.
During his public service career, Mr. Kelmar was Chief of Staff to two Members of the U.S. Congress and also worked in several legislative capacities for Members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. He has served on the board of several health care companies.
Mr. Kelmar received his Bachelor of Arts in public administration and economics from Pennsylvania State University. He and his wife Patricia have three children.
Dana Kirchman has over 20 years’ experience in consulting, coaching, facilitation and management. She supports senior executives and high potentials to develop their leadership capabilities, drive change and build effective teams.
Dana brings a combination of counseling skill and business perspective to her client work, coaching the “whole leader.” She helps executives to enhance their decision-making, self-awareness and resilience. Dana also facilitates team workshops, training events and panel discussions on topics such as inclusive communication and building an innovation culture. She holds advanced coach certification through Columbia University.
Dana works with executives in the financial, healthcare, media and technology industries. She has served clients in the US, UK, Western Europe, India and Latin America.
Before becoming a coach, Dana held leadership roles at Viacom, where she drove international business development for MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central, and at American Express, where she led global marketing for corporate procurement card and negotiated co-brands with partners. Dana has been a speaker at the Conference Board on “Future Leaders: Millennial Perspectives” and “The Manager as Coach.” She is affiliated as a core instructor of the Columbia University Coaching Certification Program and chaired Columbia’s 2016 Second International Coaching Conference.
Dana is also a board member of the Ars Nova Theater, a dynamic company with over 15 years’ history of incubating new theater work and developing both creative and administrative leaders.
Robert H. Niehaus is the Chairman and Founder of GCP Capital Partners LLC which currently manages several private equity investment funds totaling $1.5 billion in committed capital. Mr. Niehaus has worked more than 30 years in the private equity industry, with prior tenure as a Managing Director in the private equity businesses of Morgan Stanley & Co. and Greenhill & Co. Bob is also a Board member of the Asia Society, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Student Sponsor Partners, and Success Academy Charter Schools. Bob is a graduate of Princeton University and the Harvard Business School.
Michael Patsalos-Fox was previously Chairman, President & CEO of Vidyo. Before that, Michael was CEO of Stroz Friedberg, a trusted cybersecurity and specialized risk management firm, acquired by Aon Risk Solutions in 2016. Prior to Stroz Friedberg, Michael enjoyed a long career at McKinsey & Company where he served as chairman of McKinsey Americas. Michael also served as senior partner on McKinsey’s operating committee for nine years and held a seat on the board for 12 years. In addition to his role as Chairman, President & CEO, Michael currently serves on the boards of several other companies including Cognizant, Quid, and CloudPay. Michael began his career with Fujitsu Australia Limited and holds a B.Sc. in computer science and pure mathematics from Sydney University in Australia. He received his MBA with distinction from International Institute of Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Sean William Ryan, MD is a Partner in the New York Office of McKinsey & Company. Since joining McKinsey in 2010, Sean has been serving pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and MedTech companies on a range of strategic topics. Sean has worked across a broad range of therapeutic areas (e.g., inflammation, GI, oncology, respiratory, cardiometabolic, dermatology, vaccines) with clients in a broad range of situations (e.g., public, private, venture/PE backed). He leads McKinsey’s US Emerging Growth pharma service line, focused on serving mid and small cap companies on growth strategy, new product launch, business development and other commercial topics.
Before joining McKinsey, Sean worked in investment banking at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Montgomery & Co., LLC. He holds a BA in Physics and Political Science from Colgate University and an MD from Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
Ishaan Seth is a Senior Partner in the New York office of McKinsey & Company where he leads the firm’s Strategy & Corporate Finance Practice in the Americas. He is also a leader in the Banking & Securities Practice and serves a range of financial services clients including retail banks, investment banks, wealth managers, private equity investors, and data/financial technology providers. His client service spans topics across strategy, corporate finance, digital and analytics, cost transformation, and transactions/M&A. In addition to broad operational improvement programs, Ishaan has led major strategy transformations at a number of financial institutions across strategy diagnostics, strategy formulation, and strategy implementation.
Ishaan formerly led McKinsey’s CFO Service Line globally, and has counseled CFOs about their roles, the finance function, portfolio strategy, and organizational issues. [He has been instrumental in the development of a number of McKinsey’s tools and digital methodologies for addressing productivity within the finance function.] Beyond his core financial services clients, Ishaan has served CFOs across a range of industry sectors, including technology, information services, retail, pharma, and healthcare. [He has led major cost, organizational and performance transformations across a broad variety of areas, with significant experience in serving Finance, Ops, Legal, HR, IT and other functions.] Ishaan also helped establish, and now co-leads, McKinsey’s Financial Services Private Equity Practice which serves investors across a broad spectrum of diligence, portfolio and turnaround topics. He also formerly led McKinsey’s overall recruiting efforts in North America.
Prior to joining McKinsey, Ishaan worked in investment banking for Morgan Stanley in their Leveraged Finance group in New York and London. His work focused on structuring leveraged buyout debt financing for private equity and corporate clients. Ishaan has also spent time with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). He serves on the Board of Trustees of The Dalton School in New York City.
Ishaan has an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he graduated as a Baker Scholar (Highest Distinction). He holds a BA in History magna cum laude from Harvard University and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He lives in New York City with his wife and two daughters.
Charbel is the President of Specified Technologies Inc (STI), a provider of firestopping products and solutions he co-founded in 1990. Today, STI is one of the top two firestopping manufacturers in the United States, with an increasing presence world-wide.
Charbel holds a B.B.A. from the American University of Beirut (1974) and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (1976). He then spent 8 years with McKinsey & Company, working on assignments in Europe, North Africa, the Middle-East, and the United States. Subsequently, he became a Vice President of Thomas and Betts, a manufacturer of electrical and electronic components, where he ran a division for three years.
Prior to founding STI, Charbel spent two years with an investment group. He is also involved with a number of non-profit organizations focused on the education of young people and in particular is President of TFL-US, which raises funds to support Teach For Lebanon. Charbel is a U.S. citizen. He enjoys gardening, playing tennis and golf, reading, and traveling with his family.
Tom retired from Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM) in 2018, where he was global head of Securitized and Government/Swaps investment strategies and co-head of the Cross-Sector strategy within the Global Fixed Income team. He was also a member of the Fixed Income Strategy Group. Tom joined Goldman Sachs in 1997 as an associate within the Fixed Income, Currency and Commodities Division in New York, where he worked in the Research Department and then as a mortgage trader. He joined GSAM in 2000. Tom was named managing director in 2003 and partner in 2006.
Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Tom was the assistant investment officer at Travelers Insurance Group from 1994 to 1997.
He earned a BA from the University of Maryland in 1992 and an MBA from the University of Chicago in 1994.
At Touch, you will join a team of highly mission-driven professionals with diverse backgrounds and experiences, including management consulting, non-profit management, and clinical medicine. You will work closely with team members across all levels and functions, becoming an integral part of our commitment to strengthening the health system in Tanzania.
Touch Foundation, Inc. provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment based on race, color, religion, gender or gender identity, national origin, sexual orientation, age, disability, or veteran status.
Touch Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. A summary of our most recent financial statements is below. Audited financials and 990s are posted as they become available.
Touch has earned three-stars from Charity Navigator based on our efficient use of funds, commitment to transparency, and organizational accountability and a gold rating from GuideStar based on our fiscal transparency.
Touch Foundation is an international 501(c)3 non-profit organization (TIN 20-1469976) dedicated to improving health and saving lives in Tanzania. For over a decade, we have been building Tanzania’s healthcare workforce, enhancing the quality of healthcare education, and improving access to care. We work holistically, strengthening the diverse building blocks of the health system – all of which need to be functional to enable effective delivery of care.
Our mission is to save lives and relieve human suffering. We strengthen healthcare in sub-Saharan Africa, providing better access to care and improving the quality of local health systems.
Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 2 out of 3 global maternal deaths related to complications from pregnancy and childbirth. Our M-Mama program is changing that with its Emergency Transport System (EmTS)–an innovative solution that uses digital technology to triage a patient remotely 24/7 and dispatch an ambulance or community driver to bring the patient to a health facility, a process that takes an average of two minutes.
In July, members of Touch Foundation’s Board of Directors visited Usanda dispensary, a small rural health facility located within Tanzania’s Shinyanga region. They spoke directly to women who had experienced life-threatening complications during labor and needed the EmTS to reach quality care. We met their healthy children and also the taxi drivers who responded to the dispatcher’s call and transported them to safety.
Anna shared her experience during her prolonged labor. The healthcare workers at Usanda dispensary determined that Anna was facing an obstructed labor and would need an emergency C-section to save her life and her baby’s life. Through the EmTS, healthcare workers connected Anna with a community driver who transported her—by that point unconscious—to Shinyanga Hospital, where she immediately underwent surgery and delivered a healthy baby girl.
Agnes was similarly transported to Shinyanga Hospital for an emergency C-section due to a prolonged labor. When Agnes awoke from surgery, she was shocked to learn that she had been pregnant with twin boys! Such surprises are not uncommon when access to healthcare, like prenatal services and ultrasound scans, is limited.
The taxi drivers shared a different perspective and reinforced how the EmTS is a market-based solution. According to one driver, before the EmTS, taxi drivers were sometimes called for medical transport and at times, would not be able to negotiate a reasonable rate with the patient. But that has changed with the implementation of the EmTS. Now, pre-negotiated rates are paid directly to the drivers upon completion of their trips and at no cost to the patient. Trips are often long distances, and the average taxi rate is $45.
Today, M-Mama is up and running in all six districts of Tanzania’s Shinyanga region, providing life-saving emergency care to 90,000 pregnant and post-partum women and their newborns. Since inception, M-Mama has transported more than 8,500 women and newborns and in two years, this cost-effective program will be fully adopted by the Tanzanian Government. Furthermore, based on the demonstrated success of M-Mama, the government is interested in expanding the innovative program throughout the country. And, excitingly, we are also expanding M-Mama to Lesotho as part of a sub-Saharan Africa expansion plan with Vodafone Foundation.
A special thanks to Pathfinder International, an integral M-Mama partner, for organizing the meeting at Usanda dispensary.