G.R.A.C.E. U.S.A Board Members
Dr. Dawud Lankford – Chairperson G.R.A.C.E. USADr. Dawud Lankford is a urologist who has been working with G.R.A.C.E. since 2000. As a junior in college at the University of California at Berkeley, Dawud traveled to Kenya on 2 occasions to volunteer in various HIV and AIDS related community-based organizations supported by G.R.A.C.E. It was in this setting that Dawud developed his personal commitment to health and human rights. Dr. Lankford joined the G.R.A.C.E. USA board in 2010 so that he might achieve his goal of helping to enhance health care delivery in sub-Saharan Africa.
Natasha Martin – FounderA native of Barbados, Ms. Martin grew up in London where she studied immunology. She was, for ten years, Director of the Pediatric Clinical Research Center Laboratory at the University of California in San Francisco. After a visit to Kenya in 1999 to participate in a series of research seminars, Natasha started the Grassroots Alliance for Community Education (G.R.A.C.E.), a non-profit organization to use education as a tool for transformation, strengthening community ability to act from the premise that “Local people best know how to identify and how to solve local problems.”
Judith Schoolery – SecretaryJudith Shoolery, a longtime G.R.A.C.E. USA supporter is honored to be a new board member. A writer and a former university editor, she hopes to use her skills to help spread the inspiring story of what G.R.A.C.E. has accomplished and what it hopes to do. Judy, now retired, began her career as a science teacher. Education, especially early childhood education, remains a preeminent concern, so she especially is delighted by G.R.A.C.E.’s programs.
Nick Bell – TreasurerNick Bell is a seasoned technology strategist with over 20 years of experience in consulting, sales and services. With over a decade-long career at Microsoft, Nick has worked with Global fortune 500 companies, spanning many industries such as as Gap, Levis, Safeway, Applied Materials, and Autodesk. In addition to his enterprise, Nick has worked with start-up companies by providing technical and strategic guidance and facilitating access to seed capital. On a personal note, Nick lives in the San Francisco Bay area with his wife and 3 sons. He currently sits on the Executive Board for the US Rugby Trust Foundation.
Nick joined the board in 2016 to support the ongoing development of the G.R.A.C.E. program by assisting in expanding the message and outreach of the program through various channels.
“It is inspiring to come into an organization with such focus and dedication to such an important cause.”
Caroline Karutu – Board MemberCaroline is a Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) candidate with more than 12 years’ experience working with international and local non-governmental organizations (NGOs). She has extensive experience setting up and initiating public health projects, providing technical and financial oversight, recruiting and supervising staff, and working with government ministries and local organizations. Carol is a 2014/2015 American Association of University Women (AAUW) International Fellow, a 2010 Boston University Distinguished Alumni Award recipient, a 2004 recipient of the Boston University Women’s Guild Award for Academic Excellence, and a 2003 recipient of the PEO International Peace Scholarship. She has held positions in Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique and South Sudan. Together with the founder, Caroline has been instrumental in developing most of the early G.R.A.C.E. programs
Caroline has recently been awarded the degree of Doctor of Public Health from the Boson University School of Public Health.
She successfully defended her dissertation Understanding the Barriers to the Retention of HIV Positive Women along the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT) Continuum in Kenya: A Mixed Method Study.
Caroline was a founding Board member of G.R.A.C.E. Africa, the organization’s first employee, tireless advocate and trainer of the many community partners of G.R.A.C.E., and dedicated supporter of students in the Naisula Education Project. Caroline is currently the secretary of the Board of Directors of G.R.A.C.E. USA