About US

Our Staff

Touch employs a team of highly skilled professionals who are committed to improving the health of the Tanzanian people. Our team brings a wide-range of expertise, with private and public sector backgrounds spanning from management consulting, clinical medicine, public health, and non-profit organizational management. Together, we address the multi-faceted challenges facing Tanzania’s health system.

Leadership Team

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Kira Elbert

Chief Development Officer

Kira joined Touch in 2014, working initially in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania before relocating to the U.S., where she leads the organization’s development and communication efforts. Prior to joining Touch Foundation, Kira held a variety of fundraising and communications roles at SeriousFun Children’s Network. Kira is a graduate of Fordham University, where she majored in international political economics and Spanish.

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Noah Leff

Chief Operating Officer

Noah joined Touch in 2012 and is responsible for the oversight and direction of all financial functions. Prior to Touch, Noah was an independent financial management consultant for non-profit and government clients in the New York City area as well as New Orleans. Noah received his B.A. in international affairs at Wesleyan University and later earned his Master of Public Administration at Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs.

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Massimiliano Pezzoli

Chief Program Officer

Massi joined Touch in 2012 and leads Touch’s strategy development and program implementation. Prior to joining Touch, Massimiliano was a Senior Manager at McKinsey & Co., where he spent four years serving major clients in the private health sector and in government and regulatory authorities across Europe, America, and the Middle East. Massimiliano holds a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, an Executive MSc in Health Economics, Policy and Management from the London School of Economics, and an MSc in Aerospace Engineering from the Polytechnic of Milan.


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Valerio Parisi

Program Director

Valerio joined Touch in 2013 and is responsible for the implementation of programs. Previously, Valerio served as a management consultant at A.T. Kearney and as a Systems Engineer at Alenia North America. Valerio received his Laurea (equivalent to Masters of Science) at the Università degli Studi di Roma ‘La Sapienza’ in Rome, Italy; a Master’s degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology; and an M.B.A. degree from the Australian Graduate School of Management.

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Renae Stafford

Senior Medical Advisor

Renae joined the team in 2012 in Mwanza, Tanzania. She is responsible for the development, management, and implementation of programs and partnerships. Renae is a trained surgeon with extensive experience in the U.S. and in Africa. Prior to joining Touch, Renae served as a member of the UNC School of Medicine faculty. Renae earned her M.D. at Emory University, an MSc in healthcare quality and patient safety from Northwestern University, and a Master of Public Health from the University of Minnesota. She received her undergraduate education at Case Western Reserve University.

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Linda Deng

Director of Lake Zone Programs & Operations

Linda rejoined Touch in 2019 after spending two years as a Program Manager in Mwanza, Tanzania from 2015 – 2016. In her current role, Linda is responsible for the implementation of programs in the Lake Zone as well as operations across Tanzania.

Prior to joining Touch, Linda worked for ten years in strategy and operations consulting at A.T. Kearney, Deloitte, and Right Lane Consulting. Linda graduated from the University of Melbourne (Australia), where she majored in Finance, Management, and Psychology.

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Rosemary Muliokela

Program Manager

Rosemary joined Touch in 2019 as a Program Manager and is based in Maseru, Lesotho. She is responsible for the implementation and management of the M-Mama program in Lesotho.

Previously, Rosemary was with the World Health Organization where she was responsible for digital and mHealth program implementation and strategy development in Zambia. She has served in various capacities for the European Union, the World Bank, the African Development Bank, and USAID-supported health and development projects both in Zambia and in the United States. Rosemary holds a Master of Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, and a B.A. in International Relations from Salisbury University.

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Saleh Rasool

Program Manager

Saleh joined Touch in 2018 as a Program Manager and is based in Dar Es Salaam. Saleh is responsible for developing and implementing Touch programs working alongside USAID in Tanzania. His work at Touch involves collaborating and creating effective relationships with the Tanzanian Government responsible for healthcare in the country.

Previously, Saleh worked as a Manager at AstraZeneca and Assistant Manager at Deloitte. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales and received his Bachelors in Economics from Royal Holloway University of London.

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Lucas Hille

Senior Project Manager

Lucas joined Touch Foundation in 2018 in Mwanza, Tanzania. He manages the Healthcare Technology Management Project, focused around the effective provision, utilization and management of Biomedical Equipment at Bugando Medical Centre, and in the surrounding Lake Zone. Prior to joining Touch, Lucas ran his own Personal Impact business, and worked as an Operations Consultant/Chief of Staff at PwC in London. He holds a degree in Economics from the University of Manchester, with a sub-focus on Social and Business Anthropology.

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Abdul-Ahad Akbari

Project Manager

Abdul-Ahad joined Touch Foundation in 2019 as a Project Manager based in Dar Es Salaam. Abdul-Ahad is responsible for managing the WISN+POA project. Prior to joining Touch, Abdul-Ahad worked as a Senior Project Manager at Capita and Project Manager at Network Rail. He also worked for Moby Group, based in Afghanistan and served as a President at University College London Union. He has a BSc from Royal Holloway and an MSc in International Public Policy from University College London (UCL). Abdul-Ahad holds an Associate’s for Project Management (APMP) qualification awarded in 2016. He is fluent in Pashto and has an intermediate understanding of the Farsi dialect.

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Giulia Melfi

Program Associate

Giulia joined Touch Foundation in September 2019 in Mwanza. Prior to joining Touch she lived in Milan, Italy where she worked at Accenture as a Management Consulting Analyst. Giulia has previously lived in East Africa for several months for both work experiences and volunteering projects. She holds a bachelor degree in International Management and Economics and a Master of Science in Management from Bocconi University.

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Alice Timbrell

Senior Program Analyst

Alice joined Touch Foundation in August 2019 in Mwanza, Tanzania. Prior to joining Touch, Alice worked in strategy consulting in Melbourne, Australia. She worked closely with nonprofit organisations and the state and federal government on their strategic projects, and supported the development, implementation and evaluation of programs across a range of industries. She holds a Bachelor of Criminology from Durham University in England and a Master of Management specializing in Marketing from Melbourne Business School.

Development & Communications

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Liz Pavlovich

Business Development Manager

Liz rejoined Touch in 2016 after having volunteered with Touch starting in 2004 and working as a Program Officer based in New York and Tanzania from 2008 to 2010. Currently based in the New York office, her role focuses on partnership and program development. Liz was previously the Senior Program Manager at Amref Health Africa in the USA. Liz holds an MSc in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a B.A. from Claremont McKenna College.

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Ashley Hemnarine

Senior Development Analyst

Ashley joined Touch Foundation in 2020, based in the New York office. Her role focuses on individual giving and event coordination. Prior to starting at Touch, Ashley worked in donor relations and development at Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation. She holds a Master’s in Health Administration and a B.A. in Psychology, both from Rutgers University.

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Isabel Levey-Swain

Senior Development Analyst

Isabel joined Touch in 2020 in the New York office, where she focuses on communications and development. Before Touch, Isabel worked to produce personal storytelling workshops around the globe with The Moth. She received her B.A. from Oberlin College, where she studied History, Dance, and Gender Studies.

Finance & HR

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Jill Brehm

Senior Program Manager, Finance

Jill joined Touch in 2011, initially based in Mwanza, Tanzania, where she managed program finances and procurement activities in collaboration with our partner organizations. Since 2014, Jill has been supporting the development, implementation, and oversight of our financial, accounting, and procurement systems from New York. Jill holds an M.B.A. and a B.B.A., both in Accounting, from Niagara University.

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Bonaventure Aluta Mlay

Operations Manager

Bonaventure joined Touch in Mwanza in 2016. His role is to manage the daily financial operations and ensure compliance in our financial and procurement activities. Before joining Touch, Bonnie worked in finance and accounting for a variety of global NGO’s such as Abt Associates, Helen Keller International and World Vision. Bonnie also worked for Africare Tanzania. Bonnie graduated from St. Augustine’s University in Tanzania with a BBA degree in Accounting and also holds a Post-graduate Diploma in Business Administration – Finance from St. John’s University in Tanzania.

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Salome Mnzava

Human Resources and Administrative Manager

Salome joined Touch in 2020 in Mwanza as Human Resources and Administrative Manager. She brings with her ten years of experiences with HR, finance, operations and administration. Prior to Touch, Salome managed operations and HR at Tanzamaji Limited. A graduate from Finlandia University, she holds a B.S. in Business Administration.

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Shabani Ally Mbaraka

Operations Analyst

Shabani Ally joined Touch in Mwanza in 2013 and is currently working as an Operations Analyst. He provides management, finance, and operations support to the team. Shabani is a graduate of Open University of Tanzania and received an Advanced Diploma in Computer Sciences in 2016.

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Donath John

Office Assistant

Donath joined Touch Foundation in 2019 as an Office Assistant. He provides procurement, finance, program, and daily operations support in the Mwanza office. Donath received a Certificate in Procurement and Supply from the College of Business Education in 2019.