Leadership & Staff
Anna Msowoya-Keys, Founder & President
Anna has worked for the past 20 years to improve the lives of some of Africa’s most disadvantaged and vulnerable populations. Through project management with nonprofits like Action Aid, the Norwegian Refugee Council, the International Rescue Committee and Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children, Anna has worked in Mozambique, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya and Rwanda and her native Malawi with refugees and others affected by armed conflict, people living in extreme poverty, and people living with HIV/AIDS. In recognition of her empowering work with women in Malawi, she was the first recipient of Whole Women Healing Award: “Women of Compassion Award for 2007”. Anna divides her time between Mzuzu, Malawi and Valley Cottage, New York, where she lives with her husband and two sons.
Jessica Bloom, Director of Development
Jessica has spent the past eight years working with NGOs, nonprofits and individuals in the US and abroad to raise revenue and awareness for their causes. From on the ground support of women human rights defenders on the Thai-Burma border to creating networks of grassroots giving circles in New York, Jessica has a wide range of experience working with marginalized groups around the globe. She graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from Smith College and currently resides in New York City.
Elizabeth Chapman, Program Manager
Elizabeth comes from a corporate background in international business administration, specializing in start-ups. She became involved with Maloto first as a Nyack friend of Anna’s and a donor and now volunteers her time in the office of Maloto. Elizabeth believes strongly in the mission of Maloto and wants to help Maloto succeed. She graduated with a BA in International Economics from St. Lawrence University and now lives in Nyack with her husband, three children, and their dog.
Board of Directors
Lauren Melkus, Board Chair
Lauren serves as Vice President for a family foundation that provides grants to more than ten categories of non-profits both domestically and internationally. Previously, Lauren worked at the Doe Fund, a non-profit in New York City that operates three shelters to assist homeless and formerly incarcerated individuals achieve permanent self-sufficiency. While at the Doe Fund, Lauren served in the position of Child Support and Visitation Coordinator. Prior to this responsibility, she was the Director of Client Services at Track Entertainment, a full service entertainment marketing agency that develops and implements marketing strategies connecting large consumer brands and music artists. Lauren also spent two years at SFX Entertainment, a sports representation and marketing agency. Lauren has a business degree with a concentration in Marketing from Boston College. She also has a JD from Fordham University School of Law. She is a member of International Human Rights Committee of the New York City Bar Association, Children’s Aid Society Associates Council member, and a volunteer at St. Luke’s LGBTQlinic.
Victoria is the Senior Advisor to the Chairman of Energy and Finance for New York at the Executive Office of the Governor of New York. Prior to this role, she was a Managing Director for Credit Suisse in the Talent, Branding and Communications division and an interim Head of Americas Corporate Communications, covering Private Banking, Investment Banking and Asset Management communications in the region. She is also a member of the Americas CEO Management Committee and the Communications Management team. She has worked for Salomon Smith Barney in the Corporate Communications department in both their New York and Hong Kong offices as well as for the US Trade Representative, Mickey Kantor, in the Executive Office of the President of the United States and for NBC News in Washington. Victoria holds a JD from Georgetown University Law Center and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley.
Claire Johnston, Secretary
Claire Johnston is a partner in LOOC Art, an independent art consultancy. She has a BA from the University of Virginia and lives in Bedford, NY with her husband, Bart, and four children.
Jacob Koshland, Treasurer
Jacob is an Associate at Pergament Advisors, a Private Equity firm which invests and advises early-stage companies in the health, wellness, and sustainability space (primarily food CPG) to help scale and build their businesses. Since September. 2014, he has served as the COO of Little Duck Organics, an organic baby and toddler snack company based in NY. The inspiration to jump into food space was a result of Jacob’s work with Maloto between 2012 and 2013 where Jacob and his now wife Claire spent a year in Mzuzu, Malawi. Jacob worked with the women of Kwithu Women’s Group to launch Kwithu Kitchen, the first and only tomato canning business in Northern Malawi. Prior to Kwithu Kitchen, Jacob spent two years as an Operations Analyst at the hedge fund Bridgewater Associates. He earned his Bachelor’s of Arts in Economics and History at Williams College.
Phlyssa’s career has focused on art and sculpture, but she comes from a long family tradition of philanthropy. Her key particular interests are education, social policy for poverty alleviation and environmental issues. She grew up on Long Island during the Civil Rights years, moved to Berkeley in the 60’s and now divides her time between Sydney, Paris and New York. She holds a BA in Sociology from Harvard.
Following 20 years of raising her two children, Liza recently returned to school to obtain her Masters of Science in Global Affairs at NYU, with a concentration in International Development and Humanitarian Assistance, a two-year full time program which she is hoping to complete by the spring of 2017.
Liza’s previous career was in advertising, where she was the Director of Account Services at the Arnell Group, with a focus on brand image for companies such as Bausch & Lomb (Ray Ban), DKNY and Banana Republic. She also worked in publishing for W Magazine, both in New York as well as Milan, during the launch of W Europe, as well as Ralph Lauren in Paris.
Liza has a Bachelor’s Degree of Arts in Government from the University of Texas @ Austin. She currently resides in New York City, with her husband, John. Liza and John have a daughter, Isabella, who is currently a junior at Rhodes College and a son, John, who is a junior at the Taft School.
Mitchell Warren is the Executive Director of AVAC, an international non-governmental organization that uses education, policy analysis, advocacy and a network of global collaborations to accelerate the ethical development and global delivery of AIDS vaccines, male circumcision, microbicides, PrEP and other emerging HIV prevention options as part of a comprehensive response to the pandemic. Before this, he was the Senior Director for Vaccine Preparedness at the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) where he directed efforts to increase community understanding and national involvement in AIDS vaccine clinical trials. Warren previously spent four years as Vice President and Director of International Affairs for The Female Health Company (FHC), the manufacturer of the female condom, where he directed efforts to design and implement reproductive health programs that integrate the female condom and led global advocacy efforts for female-initiated prevention methods. Warren also spent six years at Population Services International (PSI) designing and implementing social marketing, communications and health promotion activities in Africa, Asia and Europe, including five years running PSI’s project in South Africa. Warren is a member of the Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH); the board of directors of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise; the WHO-UNAIDS HIV Vaccine Advisory Committee; and the board of Maloto. Warren has degrees in English and History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and studied health policy at the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health.
Meredith Brokaw, Emeritus
Meredith Brokaw has been a high school teacher, an author of 8 books on parenting (The Penny Whistle books), the founder of a store specializing in educational toys, and the author of a western life-style book (Big Sky Cooking). She is an emeritus board member of WNET.org and Conservation International. The mother of 3 daughters and 4 granddaughters, she and her husband, NBC’s Tom Brokaw, believe that everybody has a stake in making the planet a better place for future generations.
Young Professionals Board
Rose Allen, Co-Chair
After graduating from Miami University of Ohio where she studied Psychology and Marketing, Rose moved back to the East Coast and settled into an Account position at a healthcare advertising company in NYC. While a great experience, Rose realized that her true passion was travel so she joined the team at Indagare, a luxury, boutique travel agency specializing in curated content and customized itineraries. After a little over two years of trip planning, she took on the position of Associate Bookings Manager and helps streamline the Bookings Department’s processes and the overall management of the Bookings Team. Rose has always had a passion for helping others and has done community service projects and work in Grenada, South Africa, Ohio, NJ and NY.
Clare Watson Bartolomei, Co-Chair
Clare is a Strategist at Zago, a boutique strategic communications and visual design studio, where she works with social change organizations to align their operations and advocacy with their vision. After receiving her a MA in International Development from the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy at The New School University, she sought to find projects that used a design thinking and other creative approaches to social challenges. She is passionate about civic participation, social justice, and environmental issues and enjoys working on diverse projects and issues within these areas.
Shoshana is currently the Director of People & Culture for Indagare travel, a luxury, boutique travel company specializing in curated content and experiential travel. Prior to Indagare, Shoshana co-founded a start-up in her early twenties and led corporate HR organizations for Macy’s and other boutique luxury retailers. Drawn to Indagare for its commitment to transformative travel, Shoshana believes in the power of experience and of giving back to the world at large through kindness and community-driven programs. Active in her community, Shoshana spends her time volunteering at local NGO’s in the NY community and is a devoted voluntourist. She became aware of Maloto through her fellow colleague, Rose Allen, and quickly fell in love with its inspirational mission. She lives in New York City with her husband, Shalom.
Sarah is an Event Manager on the National Special Events Team at Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization, and is responsible for managing events like charity golf tournaments and galas to help raise autism awareness and funds to support global biomedical research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a possible cure for autism. Prior to her role at Autism Speaks, Sarah worked at Kleinfeld Bridal as the Head of Headpiece and Accessory Sales. She graduated from Fairfield University in 2009 with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Communications. Originally from New Hampshire, Sarah has always felt a strong calling to helping others and hopefully making the world a better place.
After graduating from Villanova University, Morgan moved to Chicago, Illinois where she has lived for the past four years. She works as an equity investment research analyst at Grosvenor Capital Management. Prior to her current role, she spent two years at the same company in the client services division with a focus on marketing and investor relations. Morgan’s passion for volunteer work started in high school when she participated in a service trip in Guatemala building homes, schools, and interacting with the local children. Since then, she has been involved with several organizations with a focus on teaching and empowering under-privileged children. For the past four years, she has been a weekly volunteer for Working In The Schools (“WITS”), a program that reads with Chicago Public School elementary students in order to promote the power of reading.
Claire Whipple Koshand
Claire is currently the lead third grade teacher at Hannah Senesh Community Day School in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. Prior to her role at Senesh, Claire and her husband Jacob Koshland spent a year volunteering for Maloto in Malawi. Claire taught English Language and Literature at Mzuzu Academy and a mixed-age early childhood enrichment class at Kwithu CBO. She also worked with the educational director of Kwithu CBO to establish the area’s first and only Early Childhood Education Program for 3-5 year olds. She received a dual MA in General Childhood and Early Childhood Education from Bank Street College in 2015. She graduated from Williams College with a B.A. in Art History in 2009.
Sofia Milan considers North Carolina her home base, but her family is from Puerto Rico and she spent her childhood in Switzerland. She studied Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. Since moving to NYC, she has been looking for ways to become more involved and give back to communities whether they be in NYC or around the world. Throughout high school and college, she volunteered for various non-profits based in North Carolina, Costa Rica, Fiji and NYC. She is thrilled to be on the YPB!
Shay graduated from Villanova University in 2013 where she studied communication & psychology. Since moving to New York City after graduation, her work has been focused on digital marketing; her first role being at Conde Nast and currently at Tory Burch. Throughout high school and college, she was an active volunteer for many local initiatives & fundraisers. She is thrilled to be part of Maloto, and organization that values the importance of making not just change but a lasting impact in the community in Malawi by supporting initiatives that educate, feed and empower.
Katherine is a Programme Analyst with the Gender, Human Rights and Culture Branch at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Her current work focuses on supporting countries and communities to abandon female genital mutilation and other harmful practices. She received a MA in International Development at the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy at The New School University. She is also very active in her community and currently serves on the board on her local community garden where she helps organize educational classes for kids and workshops for adults and has also organized fundraisers in the garden that benefit the neighborhood soup kitchen and hunger alleviation program.
Adam grew up in a small town in the north of Australia. He worked as a lawyer initially at a corporate firm in Sydney and then later at the UN Development Programme in New York. At UNDP, he worked on environmental-related projects of various types from energy efficient cookstoves to wind farms. On a quest to “be more quantitative”, he signed up for an MBA at Columbia. Adam is now a banker at Macquarie Capital, an Australian investment bank. He became interested in Maloto through friends at Columbia who were volunteering, including Sarah Tobey!
Acacia grew up in Blantyre, Malawi. In 2013, she moved 8,000 miles to Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, where she recently graduated with high honors in Political Science and a minor in Chemistry/pre-med. In college, Acacia was involved in the Mount Holyoke Equestrian Center where she rode on the dressage team. During summers, she split her time between volunteering in Malawian hospitals and interning at non-profit organizations in New York City. Currently, Acacia is a researcher at Bioethics International, a non-profit which aims to increase transparency in the pharmaceutical industry.
Brittany is a policy analyst at the Human Services Research Institute in Oregon, where she works with state and provincial governments to bring about systems change in services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She obtained her Masters of Science in Social Work at Columbia University, and a B.A. in English from Reed College, in Portland, Oregon. Brittany and her family have been involved with Maloto since its inception, their commitment stemming from a trip to Malawi nearly twenty years ago, when the personal story of one young man’s desire for education sparked their desire to work to bring that opportunity to more young people in Malawi.
Melissa is currently working as a Site Coordinator for Broadwaybox at The John Gore Organization exploring her passion for the Entertainment Industry. She graduated from Syracuse University in 2017 with a major in communications. During her summer’s in college she spent time volunteering in South Africa, this is when she realized how a little love could change a life. After living in NYC for a few months Melissa decided she wanted to get involved with something she truly connects with and Maloto is the perfect fit.
While living in New Orleans and attending Tulane University, Tess fell in love with the city through volunteerism and community engagement. Upon graduating with degrees in Communications and English, she pursued a Fulbright Teaching Grant in South Korea where she implemented an arts-education curriculum in a suburban public school. After moving back to the states, her zest for travel led her to her current position at Indagare, a boutique travel company specializing in curated itineraries and content. When Tess learned about Maloto, she was immediately captivated by the mission and is now very excited to play a small part in it’s important work!