About US

Our Staff

Touch employs a team of highly skilled professionals who are committed to improving healthcare and promoting health access in sub-Saharan Africa. 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 multifaceted challenges facing health systems in sub-Saharan Africa.

Leadership Team

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Massimiliano Pezzoli

Executive Director

Massi joined Touch in 2012. Prior to joining Touch, Massimiliano was a Senior Manager at McKinsey & Co., where he served 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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Ajay Saini

Chief Financial Officer

Ajay Saini joins Touch Foundation as Chief Financial Officer and brings a broad range of experience in nonprofit management, finance, and administration. Before joining Touch, Ajay was the Director of Finance and Administration at Equality Now and most recently served as Vice President of Finance and Administration of DKMS. Ajay holds a B.S in Accounting and Business Management from DAV College in Chandigarh, India.

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Allison Howard-Berry

Chief Advancement Officer

Allison joins Touch Foundation as Chief Advancement Officer, bringing over 20 years of nonprofit experience in global health and fundraising. Prior to joining Touch, Allison served as the Regional Director for Development for Planned Parenthood North Central States. She currently sits on the Board of Care 2 Communities and the KLM Foundation. Allison holds an MA in International Affairs from Columbia University, School of International & Public Affairs.

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Valerio Parisi

Chief Program Officer

Valerio joined Touch in 2013 and currently leads the development and implementation of Touch’s programs across sub-Saharan Africa. 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.

Touch Staff

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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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Jill Brehm

Director of Operations

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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Zheni Culjak

Senior Accountant

Zheni Culjak joined Touch Foundation as our Senior Accountant in May 2022. Zheni brings to her role 20 years of financial experience in European and American institutions. She has worked as a Controller for companies like L’Oréal, the New York Times, and Credit Suisse. Most recently, Zheni was the Senior Manager of Accounting and Administration for DKMS Transplant Center. Zheni holds a Master’s degree of Finance from Stopanska Academia “Dimitar Tzanov”, Bulgaria.

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Linda Deng

Director of Programs

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 program implementation in the Lake Zone of Tanzania as well as the implementation of the m-mama program in countries throughout sub-Saharan Africa.
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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Samy Ellouze

Project Manager

Samy Ellouze rejoined Touch as a Project Manager in 2020, after having spent 18 months with the team in Mwanza in 2017. His role involves developing the m-mama ICT application and m-mama implementation in countries outside of Tanzania. He has 8 years of experience in management consultancy and project management. He has an MA in Strategy and Management from Toulouse Business School.

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Lucas Hille

Senior Manager for Institutional Development

Lucas serves as Senior Manager responsible for Touch’s Institutional and Program Development efforts. Prior to this, he spent 2.5 years managing healthcare projects from the Foundation’s Lake Zone office in Mwanza, Tanzania. Lucas’s previously worked as an Operations Consultant and Chief of Staff at PwC in London, following the founding of a Personal Impact business. Lucas holds a degree in Economics from the University of Manchester, with a sub-focus on Social and Business Anthropology.

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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.

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Wilson Kitinya

Medical Specialist

Dr. Wilson Kitinya joined Touch Foundation in 2021 as a Medical Specialist based in Dar Es Salaam. He has over 10 years of experience working in both clinical and international NGO settings. Before joining the Touch team, Dr. Kitinya worked as a Deputy Project Director at Jhpiego. Prior, Wilson worked with Sikika, where he focused on Human Resources for Health, Health Financing & Governance research and advocacy. Prior to Sikika, Wilson worked with the Tanzanian Ministry of Health; first as a Tutor at Mafinga and later as a Principal at Masasi Clinical Officers’ Training Centre. He is an experienced medical doctor with an MSc in Clinical Education from Edinburgh and an MBA for Doctors from Neu-Ulm. He received his undergraduate education (MD) at University of Dar es Salaam.

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Maxwell Madzikanga

Program Manager

Maxwell Madzikanga joined Touch as Program Manager for the m-mama program in Lesotho. Maxwell brings to the role significant global experience in healthcare, nonprofit management, and international development. Maxwell has worked in diverse humanitarian sectors, and has worked in the health sector in the UK, Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Zambia, South Sudan, Malawi, South Africa, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, and Central Asia. Maxwell holds degrees and postgraduate qualifications in Health, Biomedical Ethics and Law, and Humanitarian Affairs. Maxwell started his career as a secondary school teacher in Zimbabwe.

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Tsolo Maoeng

Project Manager

Tsolo Maoeng joined the Touch team in Lesotho as Project Manager in 2021. Tsolo brings extensive experience in monitoring and evaluation and project implementation coordination. Before Touch, he worked with The European Union, African Development Bank, and World Bank Group development projects to the Kingdom of Lesotho. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics with a minor in Business Administration from the National University of Lesotho and an advanced diploma in Project Management from the Institute of Commercial Management United Kingdom.

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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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Giulia Melfi

Senior 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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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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Lilian Munisi

Program Analyst

Lilian joined the Touch team in Mwanza in 2020, where she provides key support to various technical program activities. Before Touch, Lilian worked in quality assurance at Nyanza Bottling Company (Coca Cola). She received her BS in Production and Operations Management from Mzumbe University and an MSc in International Business Management with Project Management from Heriot Watt University.

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Ronald Nakaka

Senior Technical Manager

Nakaka brings expertise in data science and 10 years of experience supporting evidence-based implementation of development interventions in Tanzania, Zambia, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. He is a self-proclaimed “data evangelist” who believes making data-informed decisions is the surest way to make sustainable impact. In his role, Nakaka provides technical and strategic leadership to Touch’s m-mama program, working with diverse partners and developing meaningful cross-cultural relationships. He holds a MSc in Data Science & Analytics from Cardiff University, Postgraduate Diploma in Monitoring & Evaluation from Stellenbosch University and BSc in Computer Science from the University of Dar es Salaam.

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Saleh Rasool

Senior Program Manager

Saleh joined Touch in 2018 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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Joelle Saunders

Development Assistant

Joelle joined the Touch team in August 2022 in the role of Development Assistant based in New York. She is a recent graduate of Fordham University where she studied international relations, digital technology, and media. She brings experience in non-profit communications, outreach, and administration for organizations such as Catholic Relief Services and One Fair Wage. Joelle served as President of Fordham Experimental Theatre and brings a range of talent in creative communications to her role with Touch.

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Alice Timbrell

Development Associate

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.