Our Team

Small but mighty!

GHE staff and volunteers are champions of women’s and girls’ empowerment. They are heroes without capes who seek to uplift the next generation of female leaders, giving them the tools to reach their fullest potential.

Sankara Gitau

Executive Director

Sankara brings over 14 years of experience in the social impact sector, focusing on leadership, gender equality, health, education, and social justice. She has held leadership roles at Ujamaa Africa, Evidence Action, Zana Africa, and Akili Dada. She has collaborated with organizations such as GENDRO, Women in Global Health, and the Red Cross.

Sankara has co-authored works on organizational development, gender-based violence, menstrual health, and feminism, and excels in evidence-based programming for social impact. Sankara has led transitions, expanded organizations, managed international programs, and designed strategic plans.

Sankara aims to leverage her expertise to advance Girls Health Ed’s mission, starting in Kenya and the USA. Sankara holds a Bachelor’s in International Relations, and a Master’s in Public Policy and Management, and is pursuing a PhD in Leadership and Governance.

Meet the Team: Board of Directors

Sarah Hillware Spannring

Founder and Board Chair

Sarah is an award-winning social entrepreneur, global health leader, civil diplomat, and gender equality champion with over 15 years of experience. In 2012, she founded Girls Health Ed, a nonprofit changing harmful gender norms through its evidence-based approach to gender-transformative comprehensive health and sexuality education (CSE). Sarah’s research and experience in the US and globally have led her to give talks at TEDxBerkeley, and at the United Nations through TEDxUNPlaza, as well as guest lectures at New York University, American University, and UC Berkeley.

Throughout her career, Sarah has worked at the intersection of program design, innovation, stakeholder engagement, and communications strategy to drive global action and national policy reform across the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), having co-led several program launches and advocacy campaigns at the highest levels, in collaboration with government and civil society leaders. Sarah has held roles at the World Bank, WHO, and other UN agencies and currently serves as Senior Manager, Global Country Engagement at Gavi, in Geneva, Switzerland.

katherine tan

Katherine Tan, MBA

Board Vice Chair

Katherine is a Program Officer in the Development Policy and Finance group at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She is passionate about women and girls’ issues and is a longtime volunteer on issues related to sexual and relationship violence and girls’ education.

Katherine has an MBA with honors from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, where she graduated in the top 20% of her MBA for Executives Class. She graduated cum laude with honors from Harvard College with a BA in Economics.

Dr. Kathryn Kelly

Treasurer

Dr. Kathryn Kelly is a Board-certified internal medicine physician in Silver Spring, MD. She is the President/Owner of Kelly Collaborative Medicine focusing on primary care. Dr. Kelly has a passion for the underserved and community service through healthcare and works to provide comprehensive, compassionate care to her patients.

Dr. Kelly received her BS in Biology and BA in Anthropology in 2001 from Howard University and worked towards her Master in Education at City College of New York and Brooklyn College while teaching high school science in the Bronx, New York from 2001 to 2003. She received her medical degree from Howard University in 2007 and completed her residency and Chief Residency in Internal Medicine at the Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC. 

Jeff S. Puretz, JD

Counsel & Secretary

Jeff is active in supporting several charitable organizations. He joined the Board of Directors for Girls Health Ed in 2019. Having served as a legal adviser to the organization, Jeff was moved by GHE’s mission and its people.

Jeff also serves as the Chair of the Board of Governors of the Charles E. Smith Life Communities, which includes the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington. Jeff served as the Chair of the Board of Visitors of Catholic University Law School from 2018 to 2021.  Until his retirement at the end of 2018, Jeff practiced law at the global law firm Dechert LLP for 33 years.

Geoffrey Chorbajian

Geoffrey is currently the co-owner of Blue in Green, a clothing boutique in New York City. He attended Northeastern University, where he graduated with a degree in finance.

Geoffrey previously worked at CARE International. There, he spent over 10 years honing his skills in development, specifically individual major gifts. While at CARE, Geoffrey had the great privilege to travel the world and visit programs in several countries. It was during these trips that he developed a strong understanding of international development and the importance of targeting women and girls. Geoffrey went on to work for a few smaller non-profits. His responsibilities were to design and implement major giving strategies as well as board management.

Geoffrey Chorbajian

Sandy Salinas, CRPC

Sandy Salinas is Director and Market Executive for Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in the Lone Star Market consisting of three locations: San Antonio, La Cantera, and McAllen, Texas. The Merrill market she leads is home to trusted financial advisors, international wealth advisors, Merrill private wealth management advisors, and financial advisors in the trainee program. The advisors provide financial guidance and investment solutions to ultra-high-net-worth, high-net-worth, and affluent clients, institutions, companies, and nonprofits.   

Sandy joined Wall Street in 2002 as a financial advisor and has served in leadership roles in Dallas, TX; Chandler, AZ, Greater Washington, DC; Northern Virginia; Greater Los Angeles and Sacramento, California; Miami, Florida; and South Texas.

Over the years, Sandy has served as part of the Boards and advisory councils for various organizations, including the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting, Collin County Committee on Aging, Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the University of North Texas FIREL Advisory Board.  In her free time, you’ll find Sandy supporting her community as a speaker for various women’s organizations focused on financial education and women’s equality and fairness. In addition, she is a member of the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, DC and Bank of America’s Hispanic Latino Executive Council. 

Morgan Delaware

Morgan is a development professional with 14 years of experience, mostly concentrated on academic medical fundraising. She fell in love with the mission of Girls Health Ed and looks forward to lending her professional expertise to bring philanthropic support to the organization, as well as sharing her voice and thoughts to build on the success of GHE’s programs. Morgan lives in Baltimore with her two rescued pups and frequently fosters puppies through a multi-state rescue operation.

Anne Garno

Anne M. Garno is currently the Director of Education at NCPPC, a non-profit in northern New York State, dedicated to increasing health equity through education and connections to care for children, youth, and families.  In her role, she supervises the Youth Services Department that partners with school districts to provide over 3,000 youth annually with comprehensive sexuality education and youth development programming.  Additionally, she leads the agency’s professional development initiatives providing training to school and community organization staff and presenting at conferences.  Anne’s focus is adolescent well-being, sexual health education and policy, trauma-informed educational practice, and inclusion.  She is an experienced program administrator and grant writer.  Anne has a Master’s degree in secondary education and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Public Health.

Sarah McKee

Sarah is a global health professional with eight years of experience working in roles spanning strategic communications and advocacy, program management, and technical expertise in the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) space. Sarah has a Master’s in Public Health (MPH) degree from George Mason University with a focus on Global and Community Health.

Beginning her journey with Girls Health Ed in 2019, Sarah started volunteering as a Teaching Fellow in Washington DC facilitating workshops for young women in her own community. She became one of the Co-Chapter Leads supporting the startup of the DC Chapter of Girls Health Ed before taking an opportunity to volunteer abroad. In May 2023, Sarah returned from a year as a Peace Corps Response Volunteer (PCRV) working under the PEPFAR DREAMS program, partnering with the Ministry of Education to successfully implement Zambia’s National Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) program in Kitwe, Zambia.

Angela Nguku

Angela Nguku is a dedicated and competent professional who is accustomed to doing more with less and can be counted on to get the job done. Angela’s career spans 17 years of incepting, designing, and executing progressive, precision-targeted initiatives needed to ensure that sexual reproductive health and rights for adolescents and young women are upheld, end preventable maternal and newborn deaths globally, and amplify the voices of marginalized and vulnerable populations in Kenya, throughout Africa, and around the world. She is the Founder and Executive director of the White Ribbon Alliance Kenya which advocates for reproductive, maternal, and newborn health and rights. She has the propensity to adapt to change and act quickly to capture key opportunities, this has been her cornerstone in earning the respect of her colleagues.

Najya Williams​

Najya Williams (she/her) is a multidisciplinary artist and medical student at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine. Najya is an advocate for self-care and self-preservation, especially within the Black community, and this passion is reflected in many of her projects, service efforts, and literary works. Her poetry, essays, and other writings have been accepted by and/or published by a number of organizations, including POETRY Magazine, Black Youth Project, and Healing Points. Currently, she is also a Managing Editor for the Katz Journal of Medicine and Poetry Mentor for Pocket MFA.

Najya is a 2016 graduate from The George Washington University (A.A. in General Studies) and a 2020 graduate from Harvard College (A.B. in Sociology with high honors). Upon completion of her doctoral degree and Graduate Certificate in Narrative Medicine, Najya intends to match into a full-spectrum Family Medicine residency. As a former Outreach Intern and Teaching Fellow for Girls Health Ed DC, Najya is excited to return to an organization that has remained close to heart and spirit for almost 10 years.

Meet the Team: Staff and Volunteers

Alexis

Alexis Travers

U.S. Programs Manager

“I am very passionate about the comprehensive curriculum that we provide to girls and young women. I believe every person should have access to CSE to mitigate the risk of emotional and physical harm. I want to continue teaching girls and young women to advocate for themselves and others to increase their overall well-being.” 

Bridget

Bridget Muthoni

Kenya Programs Manager

“With the global focus being on a paradigm shift to inspire future generations in order to achieve Agenda2030, Girls Health Ed is at the forefront in addressing the ‘how’ we make it happen by empowering future generations here and now. The positive feedback received always warms my heart and keeps me smiling as we continue impacting girls’ lives. This continues to ignite my desire to be part of the positive change in Kenya and globally and I am proud to be part of GHE.”

Carolyn

Carolyn Griffith

Operations Coordinator

“I am so passionate about this organization mostly because I believe in the mission, purpose, and vision! Let’s inspire confidence, beauty, and strength in women of the future.

Carolyn Griffith

Lucy Alejandro

Communications Intern

CHANGE“I am so pasionate about this organization mostly because I believe in the mission, purpose, and vision! Let’s inspire the confidence, beauty and strength in the women of the future. “

Diana Kasuku

Julia Granito

Outreach Staff

CHANGE“Let’s educate our girls. Girls need to be in-the-know. Education is key to life.”

Your Support Is Powerful!

Join our efforts to improve the lives of girls and young women through comprehensive health and sexuality education. Thanks to your continued support, we can expand our reach and help even more girls and young women change their lives.

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Donate

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Other Ways to Support

Donate supplies, materials, or menstrual products.

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© Girls Health Ed 2021