The MiracleFeet team is made up of professionals with broad experience in public health, philanthropy, social entrepreneurship, physical therapy, social work, non-profit management, marketing, communications, and business. We work very closely together, driven by the shared desire to make a difference in the lives of children. Many members of our team have lived and worked internationally and have a strong understanding of what it takes to be effective in low resource settings.
Chesca first became interested in clubfoot while she was working at The University of Iowa. Drawn to the opportunity to have an impact on children’s lives in some of the countries she had grown up in, she joined a small group of parents and surgeons interested in creating an organization to address the issue of untreated clubfoot.
In 2010, she quit her job and dedicated herself full-time to getting MiracleFeet off the ground, working closely with the Board to develop and implement the current approach of partnering with local doctors. She became Executive Director of MiracleFeet in 2012 and has grown the organization to where it is today.
Chesca’s prior experience includes working with The University of Iowa, eToys, CitySearch, The Boston Consulting Group, Goldman Sachs, International Rescue Committee and CARE, and living in Ecuador, Pakistan, UK and the US. When not traveling, she loves spending time hiking, skiing, and cooking with her husband, Rudi, and their three children. She received an MBA from Stanford and a BA from UNC-Chapel Hill, where she was a Morehead Scholar.
An in-depth profile of Chesca’s life and the motivation behind her deep passion to rid the world of clubfoot disability appeared in the January/February issue of Carolina Alumni Review magazine. Read the story here.
Jennifer has spent her career involved in many varied aspects of physical rehabilitation. Starting as a community volunteer then moving into direct care as a physical therapist, Jennifer brings her broad expertise to MiracleFeet where she focuses on managing programs and community advocacy. Her experience includes serving in the Peace Corps in Cote d’ Ivoire providing community-based rehabilitation to underserved populations, being the physiotherapy coordinator in Angola for landmine victims, and managing a rehabilitation project in Niger with the country’s first Ponseti clinic. Jennifer received her Bachelors in Biology from State University of New York-Oswego and her Master of Physical Therapy at Western Carolina University.
After getting her BA in 1982, Marieke spent five years working in nursing in the Netherlands, followed by 20 years living in Kenya, Malawi, and Uganda with her husband, Michiel Steenbeek, and her two sons.
In Uganda, Marieke worked as a program manager in rehabilitation, orthopaedic, and plastic surgery. Many children with neglected clubfoot came into the center for surgery, and Marieke recalls the difficulty of the operations – for the child as well as the surgeon. After Prof Pirani visited the Ugandan program bringing information about the Ponseti Method, Marieke and her husband, Prof Pirani, and Dr. Norgrove Penny started the Uganda Clubfoot Project in 1999. Marieke became the national coordinator of this first-ever national clubfoot program with a public health approach. The program grew quickly with donated funds while Marieke also completed her graduate diploma in Health Systems Management at the Londen School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
In 2009, Marieke and Michiel went back to the Netherlands for more than 7 years, where Marieke worked as a research coordinator and specialist nurse for children with cleft lip and palate in the University Hospital of Groningen. Marieke has written and co-authored several published articles, and in 2010, she went to Haiti for emergency aid following the earthquake and performed missions work in Sierra Leone with a plastic surgery team.
Maria Cristina Mosende is a Registered Social Worker and a public health specialist. Currently based in her home city of Manila, Philippines, Maria Cristina has worked throughout Asia and the Pacific in various capacities, providing management and technical support to governments, civil society, and non-government organizations. She gathers more than fifteen years of international experience in program design and management, community development, civil society and stakeholder engagement, and monitoring and evaluation of public health and Global Fund projects. Her previous consultancy affiliations include the Technical Support Facility for Asia Pacific (TSF-AP), International HIV/AIDS Alliance, Axios International, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM), and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). She is a mother of two daughters (Jasmin and Victoria) and two sons (Paul and Christian).
Caroline comes to MiracleFeet with a background in the monitoring and evaluation of international development activities. She has provided managerial and technical support for evaluations of projects in public health, the water sector, public diplomacy, and civil society all over the world. She has lived and worked abroad in numerous countries including Jordan, Syria, and Hungary. Caroline holds a BA in Political Science from Davidson College.
Christie brings to MiracleFeet significant experience in global health, project management, and nonprofit administration as the Monitoring, Evaluation and Research Specialist. Her previous roles include development coordinator at The Rotary Foundation and executive director of the Ashraya Initiative for Children in Pune, India. Christie has conducted research in Haiti and Kenya and holds a bachelor’s degree from Emory University and a master’s degree in public health from University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Christie resides in Carrboro, North Carolina.
Noé was born and grew up in Madagascar, Africa, where he received a B.S. in Accounting from Institut National des Sciences Comptables et Administration d’Entreprises, INSCAE. He also has a Master’s Degree in Management from the Université Paris XII, France. Noé previously worked at Illinois State University (ISU) where he taught a range of project management, monitoring and evaluation-oriented classes for Management Development International, an international professional development program. Prior to his relocation to the U.S., he worked in Madagascar for Population Services International, a Washington D.C-based global health organization. He also worked as a consultant for an independent market research firm operating in the Indian Ocean Islands. Noé now brings his expertise in project management and health programming to MiracleFeet, where he serves as the Assistant Program Manager for Francophone Africa region. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family and playing with his two little children, running and reading books. He speaks Malagasy, French, and English.
Stephanie is MiracleFeet’s Manager of Digital Solutions and Innovations, focused on identifying and implementing projects to expand MiracleFeet’s impact using technology, including projects on mobile data collection and e-learning. Previously, she worked as a consultant at Vera Solutions, building data solutions for social impact organizations in Nairobi and Mumbai, and as a systems administrator at large technology startups in NYC. Stephanie holds a B.A. in Biology from Cornell University and is based out of MiracleFeet’s Chapel Hill office.
Katie has dedicated her career to fundraising for international health and development activities. Most recently, she was the Development Director for the UNC Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases. Prior to joining UNC, Katie worked with Oxfam America raising funds for their women’s programs, disaster relief, and agricultural initiatives. She started her career working for UNICEF, where she helped develop their first HIV-focused fundraising and education campaign. Later she worked with the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative developing a science advocacy and communications plan. Katie earned her MA from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and her BA from Wake Forest University. When Katie is not running after her three kids, she enjoys running outside, practicing yoga, and cooking.
Natalia has a background in youth development and has worked with justice-focused organizations both domestic and international for almost ten years. A native New Yorker, Natalia graduated from Catholic University in Washington, DC with a degree in politics with a concentration in peace studies. After CUA, she worked with DC middle schoolers, volunteered in Colombia, and worked on non-profit fundraising in Durham. In her free time Natalia loves exploring all the food and nature in the Tar Heel State.
Shriya has a background in global nonprofit development, youth empowerment, and community engagement. She has worked for both grassroots and international nonprofits in India and Nepal focusing on financial and organizational sustainability, in addition to program planning and evaluation. She is passionate about innovative and sustainable solutions to global health concerns. Shriya attended UNC Chapel Hill and received her MPH in Health Behavior with a concentration in Nonprofit Leadership. email@example.com
Amanda spent the first 14 years of her career in sales, marketing, and operations roles. As a former executive with Accenture, she has worked closely with several Fortune 500 clients, including State Farm Insurance and Microsoft. As an adult born with bilateral clubfoot, Amanda was introduced to the exciting work being carried out by MiracleFeet after getting involved in the US clubfoot community. She now spends her days helping the MiracleFeet team transform the lives of children around the world. Amanda has a BA in Communication, and she received her MBA from Bradley University in 2011. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two sons, maintaining her vegetable garden, and cooking.
Andrea is passionate about education and information access and is excited to be part of MiracleFeet’s work to increase access to clubfoot treatment. She spent two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Bulgaria, teaching elementary English and music. Since her return to the U.S., Andrea has worked for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library, the Cleveland Institute of Music Robinson Music Library, and in LGBTQ advocacy. Andrea holds a B.M and M.M in piano performance from Youngstown State University and a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University.
After graduating from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor of Science in Community Services and Human Development, Kristina launched a career in health services and marketing. She spent several years at the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), where she supported families at MDA clinics at the University of North Carolina and Duke University, managed fundraising events, and organized support groups. When social media hit the marketing scene, it provoked Kristina’s interest in the human behavior behind digital marketing. Kristina honed her social media marketing knowledge as a Senior Community Manager at Ignite Social Media, where she created content and channel strategies for international hotel brands. Her passion for helping families and communities, coupled with her social media expertise, led her to a happy home at MiracleFeet. When she isn’t chasing her two beagles, you can find her reading a book or cheering on the Carolina Hurricanes with her husband.
As a former news producer who has made the switch to the PR-side, Jill Dykes has a unique mix of relationships, experience, and news judgment. A self-described “news-hound”, Jill majored in broadcast communications at Elon University and was promptly hired by NBC News world headquarters after graduation. During her five years with NBC, she traveled extensively to cover major breaking news and learned firsthand how to find a good news story. In 2002 Jill made the switch to PR and honed her skills at two highly reputable agencies before launching Jill Dykes PR in 2009. When not pitching her clients to major national and international news organizations, Jill can be found spending time with her husband and two daughters, ages 11 and 8.
Meredith has spent her entire career in the nonprofit sector, working for over a decade in local and national nonprofits focused largely on eliminating childhood poverty. Her work includes building and launching an after-school program in a high-poverty neighborhood in Washington, D.C., to directing corporate and foundation fundraising for Teach For America in eastern North Carolina. She is passionate about ensuring that children can lead full, productive lives and is dedicated to helping MiracleFeet improve the lives of children around the world. Meredith has a bachelor’s in public policy and MBA from Duke University. In her free time she enjoys reading about social justice and spending time with her daughter and husband.
Anne’s experience includes working as a Credit Analyst and Small Business Loan Underwriter for Central Carolina Bank and serving as Treasurer and on the Finance Committee at her church. She has operated a business that addresses the financial management and bookkeeping needs of not-for-profit and for-profit companies. Anne received her BS in Business Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill.
Karyn is passionate about making health and wellbeing accessible to everyone and loves working behind the scenes to help great organizations have great impact. She has worked for both local and international nonprofits in project design and management, marketing and development, and monitoring and evaluation. She joins MiracleFeet after spending two years in Rwanda with the Peace Corps, coordinating community health training at a local health center. Karyn holds a BS in International Health from Georgetown University.
Saketh first became involved with MiracleFeet as a volunteer helping to raise funds and spread awareness about clubfoot. Having been born with clubfoot himself, he has always aspired to help MiracleFeet fulfill its mission of eradicating untreated clubfoot around the world. Saketh has held a consistent interest in finding better ways for society to expand the quality and accessibility of healthcare, particularly for those in low-resource settings. Prior to joining MiracleFeet full-time, Saketh worked in a variety of industries including technology, basic science research, and pharmaceuticals. After several years in the corporate world, he relocated from Boston, MA to Mumbai, India to help grow MiracleFeet India. Saketh’s prior experience includes working at Microsoft, Harvard Medical School’s Center for Vascular Biology Research, and ZS Associates. He most recently worked as a business consultant, helping leading pharmaceutical companies develop commercialization strategies when preparing to launch new drugs. He enjoys mountaineering, hiking, skiing, and music. Saketh holds a BA in Biological Sciences from Columbia University.
Rijo is a professional social worker in the medical and psychiatric field with experience working with diverse populations. His experience includes work with the Multiple Sclerosis Society of India Pune chapter, The Armed Force Medical College Psychiatric Wing of the Indian Army, Ruby Hall Multi Specialty Hospital and Cipla Palliative Care Centre.
Rijo’s research interests include quality of life of cancer patients in palliative care, coping strategies for caregivers of patients palliative care, emotional state of the caretakers dealing with mentally ill patients, knowledge, attitude, practice and perceived barriers for premalignant cervical cancer screening among women, and a study of stress and coping mechanisms of ATM security guards due to the nature of their work.
Rijo holds a Master’s in Clinical Social Work from Pune University, Post Graduate Diploma in Interdisciplinary Certificate Course in Gender Studies/ Women Studies from Pune University, a Master’s in Philosophy from Allahabad University, and a Bachelor’s in Philosophy from Vikram University.
He is fluent in English, Hindi, and Malayalam with a functional knowledge of Marathi and Tamil, and enjoys travelling, reading, photography and cooking.
Trained as a midwife, Trine lived and worked in Tanzania from 2007 through 2016 at the Usa River Rehabilitation Center clubfoot clinic. She was trained in the Ponseti Method there by a German team of orthopaedic surgeons. Through those nine years, Trine gained experience in establishing a high-volume clubfoot clinic. In 2014, Usa River became a MiracleFeet partner and Trine and the Usa River team began providing coordination services to other clubfoot clinics in Tanzania. Trine supervised several hands-on Ponseti training sessions at the clinic and developed a fellowship training program.
In 2016, Trine relocated to Germany and now works as Technical Coordinator for MiracleFeet Germany. In this role, she assists with German fundraising activities and continues to perform coordination activities with the Tanzania Clubfoot Care Organization.
Trine lives with her husband and two children. She is fluent in Danish, German, English, and Kiswahili, and enjoys swimming and hiking in her spare time.