Our mission is to save lives and relieve human suffering. We improve healthcare in Tanzania, addressing one of the world’s most significant humanitarian crises: the shortage of healthcare workers in sub-Saharan Africa.
We strengthen local health systems, and we encourage the adoption of our data-driven problem-solving model in the global health community.
For over a decade, Touch Foundation has strengthened the health system in Tanzania, a nation facing a severe healthcare crisis.
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 Director 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 DST, a public company, 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).
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.
Celia Felsher currently serves as a consultant to Reservoir Capital Group, L.L.C., a New-York based investment management. Celia originally joined Reservoir as General Counsel in 1998, and prior to her retirement at the end of 2017, Celia was Chief Operating Officer and a Partner at Reservoir. From 1988 through 1997, Celia was a Partner in the Corporate Department of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, where she also held the position of associate from 1979 through 1987. During her time at Milbank, Celia represented both U.S. and international clients in a wide variety of corporate matters, including the public and private issuance of debt and equity securities, stock and asset acquisitions, and issues related to the formation of REITs and private investment funds.
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 the fashion, beauty, lifestyle, and wellness areas. She has a BA from Vassar College, and an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business.
Parisa is on the board of Choate Rosemary Hall, and the President’s Advisory Council at Vassar College. Parisa also does pro bono marketing work for the Aga Khan Foundation and The New American Leader’s project.
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 Cogen, a distributed energy 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 Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs, and he serves as Chief of Staff to Aetna’s Chairman. Mr. Kelmar is head of Aetna’s government, regulatory and policy teams; and head of Communications and the Aetna Foundation. He is responsible for managing the Chairman’s Office, as well as leading critical external initiatives related to health care reform and legislative affairs, communications and philanthropy. He reports directly to Aetna Chairman and CEO Mark T. Bertolini and serves 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., for nine years. In this role he led efforts to establish the company as a leading health care 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 health care 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 is Chairman, President & CEO of Vidyo. Michael is formerly 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 Ryan 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 broad range of topics, from corporate strategy, to new product launch and brand acceleration, to business development. Sean leads the McKinsey Pharmaceutical Brand Acceleration service line and serves a broad range of pharmaceutical clients ranging from top 10 global companies to small/mid-cap public and private pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.
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 and is a leader in the Banking practice. He serves a range of financial services clients including banks, asset managers, capital markets institutions, credit card issuers and data/financial technology providers. His client service spans topics across strategy, organizational design, governance, corporate finance, digital, customer experience, marketing, change management, and cost reduction.
Ishaan leads McKinsey’s Financial Services Private Equity Practice where he serves investors across a broad spectrum of diligence, portfolio and turnaround topics. He also heads McKinsey’s CFO practice globally, and has led multiple transformations to drive efficiency and effectiveness in the front office and in control/support functions. Ishaan is also the leader of McKinsey’s overall recruiting efforts in North America, and collaborates with the leading colleges and graduate schools across the country in this regard.
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 a wireless start-up and with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). Ishaan also 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 Neda, and two daughters Inaya (8) and Zara (6).
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 four-stars from Charity Navigator, its highest rating, 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 improve healthcare in Tanzania, addressing one of the world’s most significant humanitarian crises: the shortage of healthcare workers in Sub-Saharan Africa.
We strengthen local health systems, and we encourage the adoption of our data-driven problem-solving model in the global health community.
Dr. Bazil Kavishe can easily recall figures and statistics from projects and publications he completed over a decade ago related to how noncommunicable diseases impact Tanzanians. It’s impressive given the breadth of his career as a senior research scientist at the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), the largest public health research organization in Tanzania.
Dedicating himself and his career to improving people’s quality of life has always been Dr. Bazil’s plan, though not as a research scientist initially. While completing a clinical internship at Muhimbili National Hospital in Dar es Salaam after medical school, he was inspired to pursue a profession dedicated to noncommunicable disease (NCD) research and prevention efforts. “I thought, instead of working at the hospital and treating people who are experiencing complications [from various NCDs], it would be a good opportunity for me to join a public health team and work on interventions and operational research that may improve the prevention aspects of these conditions.” The evidence he collects ultimately informs health programs and policies with the goal of eliminating the need for hospital care through effective prevention strategies, including public education, screening, and early diagnosis.
In Tanzania, NCDs account for about one-third of all deaths, of which cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause. NCDs are a very real threat to Tanzanians of all ages, even more than HIV/AIDS or malaria at this point. Because of this, Dr. Bazil argues, “There is a need to focus resources on the younger population because chronic diseases are setting in at a very young age. If you don’t intervene during early childhood or adolescence, you are likely to have an increasingly high prevalence of NCDs during adulthood.”
Early on, Dr. Bazil and his team conducted a study to establish the burden of selected NCDs and HIV in Mwanza, Tanzania. Their research uncovered a higher prevalence of hypertension and diabetes among adults than previously thought (Read the full article). Surprisingly, they also discovered that a significant number of people aged 18-44 already had hypertension, a disease most often found in older populations. Concerned about these findings, Dr. Bazil led an independent research project to further explore the prevalence of hypertension in adolescents and children. In collaboration with colleagues in Uganda he conducted a survey in secondary schools and higher learning institutions in Mwanza and in Entebbe, Uganda.
Touch Foundation worked closely with NIMR and Dr. Bazil on the needs assessment for our Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) program. His team worked in Tanzania’s Sengerema district in 2016 to determine the prevalence of sore throats and the availability of drugs and equipment needed to treat and diagnose strep throat. Screening those who recently suffered from a sore throat can help identify strep throat cases, which, if left untreated, can damage heart valves and result in Rheumatic Heart Disease later in life. This nearly entirely preventable NCD is the most commonly acquired heart disease among young people under 25 and is particularly dangerous to pregnant women. Using this research, Touch is strengthening the health system by upgrading equipment (i.e. ultrasound machines), providing supplies, and training healthcare workers.
Hypertension is another dangerous and widely prevalent cardiovascular condition in Tanzania. Our Healthy Heart Africa program, is addressing hypertension in pregnancy, which is responsible for 16% of maternal deaths and many newborn deaths. Dr. Bazil sees Healthy Heart Africa as an important opportunity to educate more women on NCDs, the importance of preventative care, and lifestyle risk factors like diet. He also believes it is critical to train healthcare workers on how to provide high quality care. Through this program and our RHD program, we will screen 50,000 pregnant women for high blood pressure and heart conditions like RHD and connect them to treatment.
This September, the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly brings together governments, civil society, and the private sector for the third High-Level Meeting to discuss the progress and action needed on NCDs. We believe that high quality research led by top Tanzanian organizations like NIMR as well as robust multidisciplinary partnerships are critical to addressing the burden of NCDs. Together, we can support health systems to better prevent, diagnose, treat, and manage NCDs so that all people—and especially youth—live long, productive lives.
Thank you for your interest in Touch Foundation. If you would like to learn more about our programs, donate or volunteer, please contact us.