Nancy A. Kelly, President
Ms. Kelly has been the executive director of Health Volunteers Overseas since it was founded in 1986. Previously, she worked for the National Council for International Health (now known as the Global Health Council) and she served as a maternal-child health worker with the U.S. Peace Corps in Korea. Ms. Kelly received her bachelor's degree in Asian studies from the University of Virginia and a Master of Health Science degree in maternal and child health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
In addition to her board service with Handicap International, Ms. Kelly serves as the Vice Chair of Global Impact’s Board of Directors. She also serves on the Open Board of the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics and is the President of Friends of Korea.
In 1998 Ms. Kelly was inducted into Delta Omega (Alpha Chapter) Honorary Public Health Society in recognition of her role in the founding of Health Volunteers Overseas. In 2012, Ms. Kelly was inducted as an Honorary Fellow of the International College of Dentists and awarded an honorary membership in the American Dental Association for her contributions to the advancement of dentistry in global health.
Board service since 2009
Christine Kanuch, Treasurer
Ms. Kanuch is vice president of finance at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, where she is responsible for leading and managing the financial operations of the Chamber and each of its affiliated organizations. Kanuch designs and implements internal controls and financial systems to improve the accuracy and timeliness of reporting, analysis, and transaction processing. She also partners with managers throughout the organization to develop and support business solutions to streamline operations and improve financial results. Over the last ten years, the Chamber's budget grew to $270 million, up from $130 million.
Previously, Kanuch was controller at the American Trucking Associations from 1991-1999. She spent the first five years of her career in the audit practice of Ernst and Young.
Board service since 2013
Jeff Meer is the Executive Director of Handicap International U.S., and as such an ex officio member of the board. Until February 2015, he served as the Special Advisor for Global Health Policy and Development at the Public Health Institute, where he worked to build PHI’s global health practice and conducted the organization's global health advocacy in Washington. Before joining PHI, Mr. Meer worked for Planned Parenthood of America as Director of International Advocacy. He also led external relations for the global nonprofit CHF International (now known as Global Communities).
As Executive Director of the U.S. Association for UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Mr. Meer was responsible for all fundraising, program, advocacy and administrative functions. At the UN Foundation, he was the founding program officer for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, where he helped to develop the organization's signature program in mapping landmines. Previously, Mr. Meer had been a career Foreign Service Officer at the U.S. Department of State, where he served as Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs. He has worked and traveled extensively, and held U.S. Diplomatic and Consular postings in China and Germany. In addition to English, Mr. Meer speaks French, German and Cantonese Chinese.
He served as a member of the Handicap International U.S. Board from 2013-February 2015.
Ms. Heumann is a globally-recognized leader in the disability community, transforming her personal experience into lifelong civil rights advocacy for disadvantaged people in the U.S. and internationally. She has long worked with civil society organizations on issues such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Currently a Senior Fellow at the Ford Foundation, Ms. Heumann previously served as the first Special Advisor for International Disability Rights at the U.S. Department of State from 2010-2017 under the Obama Administration, where she lead efforts to mainstream disability in international foreign policy and development.
Ms. Heumann served as the Director for the Department on Disability Services for the District of Columbia and, from June 2002- 2006, was the World Bank's first Adviser on Disability and Development. In this position, Ms. Heumann led efforts to expand discussions with governments and civil society on including disability; improve the Bank’s country-based analytical work; and support of improved policies, programs, and projects. Ms. Heumann also served as Assistant Secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services in the U.S. Department of Education.
In 1983, Ms. Heumann was a co-founder of the World Institute on Disability, and served for a decade as the organization’s co-director. She has been active with Disabled Peoples’ International and Rehabilitation International, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund and the U.S. International Council on Disabilities. She supports numerous Independent Living Centers throughout the world, and works actively to promote employment and education for people with disabilities. Follow her on Twitter @judithheumann, Facebook, or YouTube, where she posts regular installments of The Heumann Perspective.
Board service since 2017
Dr. Susan Girois has spent most of her professional life working to improve access to healthcare for underserved populations. Dr. Girois is currently Medical Director of JenCare Neighborhood Medical Centers in Norfolk, Virginia, where she oversees a team of 20 physicians and nurse practitioners providing primary care to low-income seniors. She is also a lecturer in Global Health at the Eastern Virginia Medical School. Areas of interest include public health and prevention of disability, mental illness, HIV/AIDS and non-communicable diseases.
Dr. Girois grew up in the Democratic Republic of Congo where her parents were medical missionaries. She went on to earn a degree in chemistry from the College of William and Mary, an M.D. at Penn State University, and then an M.P.H. in Health Services Management from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Dr. Girois knows Handicap International well. She served at headquarters for nine years, first as Technical Advisor in Health and Rehabilitation, and ultimately leading the Technical Resources Division. She represented the organization at international conferences about HIV/AIDS, neglected tropical diseases, disability and development, and non-communicable diseases. She was co-founder of the Africa Campaign for Disability and HIV&AIDS; and the Neglected Tropical Disease NGDO Network.
Dr. Girois holds a number of volunteer and board positions. Among them, she is on the Medical Operations Committee of Physicians for Peace, and serves on the Board of Directors of Access Partnerships and Colleagues in Care, two local NGOs in Virginia.
Board service since 2015
A social and behavior change expert with more than three decades of experience, Ms, O'Sullivan's health communication and social and commercial marketing skills have shaped projects addressing pandemic threats such as avian influenza in addition to projects focused on family planning, reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, tobacco control and prevention, chronic disease prevention, and child health in the U.S. and worldwide.
Most recently as Abt’s Senior Social and Behavior Change (SBC) Technical Advisor, she led the SBC technical segment for Abt’s International Health Division. She has steered large, multi-year USAID health communication projects and research activities with decentralized teams across three continents. Ms. O'Sullivan also served as the technical lead on a $30 million USAID-funded cooperative agreement to increase demand for family planning and reproductive health services in Jordan. She co-authored the national communication strategies to prevent and mitigate HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe, Benin and Bhutan, and she contributed to Pakistan’s national communication strategy on safe drinking water, hygiene and sanitation. Ms O’Sullivan is well published, and is an adjunct faculty member at George Washington University, where she also received her MBA. She has worked in over 40 countries and speaks fluent French.
Board service since 2017
An award-winning business executive from Plattsburgh, New York, Mr. Searing is currently Plant Manager for IntraPac International Corporation. He has 33 years of experience in manufacturing and engineering. Before joining IntraPac, he was an operational improvement facilitator. From 2008-2012 he was Plant Manager for Johns Manville, a Berkshire Hathaway Company that manufactures building materials. At Johns Manville, he was recognized with a range of awards, including the “2011 Johns Manville Best Plant Award” for the results of continuous improvement activities over the previous three years.
Mr. Searing has also channeled his profit-and growth-focused skills at Mold-Rite Plastics, a plastic injection molding company, and at Pactiv, where he increased productivity for a moulded fibre products manufacturer by 20%, and added several new product lines. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan and is a U.S. Navy Veteran. Mr. Searing is an active member of a range of community boards and civic clubs, many of which he has Chaired.
Board service since 2015
Jacques Tassi (Chairman of the Handicap International Federation Board)
Mr. Tassi is a graduate of the College Ecole Supérieure de Commerce and he is a certified public accountant. He served for 22 years at Ernst & Young as a partner, then as the deputy-managing partner for France. After leaving Ernst & Young in 1999, he created Afternext, a start-up in Marseille, France, which became a financial company. In 2003, he co-founded Les Entreprises Humaines, which brings together companies committed to an ethical approach to economic activity that seeks to place people at the heart of their work.
In 1999, he joined Handicap International's Board of Trustees, where he served first as treasurer and then, in 2006, as chairman. In 2009, he was appointed the first chairman of the board of the newly launched Handicap International Federation. He lives in Clansayes, France, where he produces honey and other lavender products as a hobby.
Board service since 2010