Anna Cecilia Frellsen has been the CEO of Maternity Foundation since 2013. During her leadership, Maternity Foundation has established itself as a well-respected player in the global maternal health scene. Among her responsibilities, Anna has led the scale-up of Maternity Foundation’s mobile health solutions, including the Safe Delivery App, which is now used in more than 40 countries.
Anna holds an MBA from IESE and has more than 15 years of business experience within strategy, marketing and general management. She has worked as the CEO for a small start-up, as a partner with KPMG Strategy, and she spent more than seven years with McKinsey & Company. She started her career working in the pharmaceutical industry in the US and the UK. In addition to her position with the Maternity Foundation, she is the Vice-Chair at the NGO Break The Silence and sits on the board of Ovacure and CfL (Danish Management Center).
Anne Marie is responsible for the programmatic design and management of Maternity Foundation’s maternal and newborn health programs, including the integration of the Safe Delivery App and other mHealth solutions into the broader programs. She heads the Ethiopia country programme, inlcuding staff and partnership management. In addition, Anne Marie leads the collaboration with partners regarding humanitarian and complext settings, and is also responsible for and contributing to fundraising activities.
Anne Marie is an anthopologist by profession and has done extensive fieldwork in Uganda focusing on reproductive health, and has been expatriated by INGOs to Uganda and Sierra Leone on health programs for a number of years before joining the Maternity Foundation in 2011.
Anne Marie holds a Master of Arts in Anthropology.
Agnete is responsible for the quality assurance and development of all clinical components in Maternity Foundations work, which spans from ensuring the highest clinical standards in our programmatic work to ensuring alignment with global and local guidelines and the clinical content in the Safe Delivery App.
Agnete is a midwife and has worked in all areas of the midwifery field – clinic, research, teaching and management for the past 15 years.
Helena Lassen is responsible for in-country support to partner organizations and governments in Asia and East Africa to implement and scale the Safe Delivery App. She is also responsible for fundraising activities and general program support.
Before joining Maternity Foundation, Helena has done extensive fieldwork in humanitarian and development settings in Ethiopia, Djibouti, Serbia, Kosovo and Ukraine – including several years with the Danish Refugee Council.
Helena holds a BA in Sociology and an MA in Refugee Protection and Forced Migration.
Lauren is a public health professional with over eight years of experience designing and implementing global health programs with a focus on maternal, newborn, and child health. As an mHealth Manager, Lauren supports in-country partner organizations and government ministries to implement and scale the Safe Delivery App and. She is based in Brooklyn, New York.
Before joining Maternity Foundation, Lauren was a Senior Program Associate for the USAID Fistula Care Plus project at EngenderHealth. She has also worked with UNICEF in New York, Helen Keller International in the Philippines, and Concern Worldwide in Sierra Leone. Lauren received a BA from Emory University and an MPH from Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.
At Maternity Foundation, Tara supports in-country partners to implement the Safe Delivery App to generate impact and achieve scale. She also drives global learning as part of Maternity Foundation’s Competency Center by capturing and disseminating best practices and lessons learned on implementation of the Safe Delivery App in a variety of settings. She is based in Washington D.C.
Prior to working at Maternity Foundation, Tara worked on a public-private mHealth initiative called MAMA at the United Nations Foundation. She has also worked as a consultant at the Organization of American States, co-authoring a chapter in the ground-breaking Report on Drugs in the Americas.
Tara holds a masters degree from Georgetown’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service in Latin American Studies and International Development with a focus on public health.
Lauren is responsible for global learning and research at Maternity Foundation. In this role, she supports in-country monitoring and evaluation processes, leads research, analyses Safe Delivery App usage to provide insights, and disseminates best practices and learnings on the various implementation models.
Before joining Maternity Foundation, Lauren was a post-doctoral researcher specialising in environmental and social impacts on human health. As a researcher, she has expertise in data analysis and research methods.
Lauren holds a PhD in Geography from the University of Exeter, with a focus on climate and human health.
Johanne oversees Maternity Foundation’s communication activities in Denmark and internationally, including press, events, partnerships, program support, content production and digital management.
Before joining Maternity Foundation, Johanne spent 6 years in Rwanda, working in the intersection between development, innovation, and women’s rights, including projects for American Refugee Committee, Women for Women International, Akilah Institute, and The Swedish Institute.
Previously, Johanne did research on mHealth and maternal health in Zanzibar and has worked and travelled throughout East Africa since 2010.
Johanne holds an MA in Analytical Journalism from Aarhus University and Danish School of Media & Journalism.
Sara’s responsibilities include supporting the clinical and educational part of The Safe Delivery App. She has developed the films “Infection Prevention” and “Female Genital Mutilation” for the App and has provided several trainings in Ethiopia.
Previously to joining Maternity Foundation in 2014, Sara has worked as a project manager for the Masanga project in Sierra Leone, as a neonatal registered nurse at Skejby Hospital and as an Emergency Registered nurse in Greenland.
Sara holds a M.Sc. in International Development and Health Promotion from Roskilde University and a B.Sc. in Nursing.
Katrine’s primary responsibility is the content management system behind the Safe Delivery App. Previously to joining Maternity Foundation in 2018, Katrine worked as a research assistant focusing on environmental health and environmental epidemiology at The University of Auckland, New Zealand. She has also worked at Copenhagen University College as a consultant in charge of the development, planning and quality assurance of continuing health education activities.Katrine holds a Master of Public Health (MPH) from the University of Copenhagen and a Bachelor of Midwifery. Katrine has worked as a midwife, and as a midwife specialist consultant for conception, pregnancy, lactation and infant feeding.
Sarah supports the clinical team at Maternity Foundation.
She holds a Bachelor in Midwifery from Metropolitan University College, as well as a Master in Disaster Management from University of Copenhagen. She is currently studying a MSc in Global Health from University of Copenhagen. Previously Sarah has worked as a midwife at the postnatal ward at Herlev Hospital and Rigshospitalet.
Aram joined Maternity Foundation in September 2019 as a Grants Controller. His core responsibility is to control and ensure quality and compliant financial management of grants and funding from our donors and partners throughout the project cycle. He has a key role in setting up new and improved financial control and quality assurance mechanisms for the financial management of our projects.
Before joining Maternity Foundation, Aram worked in Armenia as Finance Manager at Mission East, a Danish relief and development organization, for 8 years and as Finance and Administration Manager at the US-based organization AED for 12 years.
Aram holds a Master’s Degree in Management and has a Ph.D in Technical Sciences.
Tarun Singh Sodha has a strong knowledge and experience of working on health system strengthening of maternal and child health programs.
Mr. Sodha is leading Maternity Foundation's support in integrating the Safe Delivery App in relevant national maternal and child health programmes in India. Tarun Singh Sodha is also supporting other partners to use and integrate the Safe Delivery App in their capacity strenghtening efforts for nurse/midwives.
Aditya is responsible for overall management of work in India to increase the reach and roll out of the Safe Delivery App. Prior to joining Maternity Foundation he was working to enhance the quality in primary health center.
Furthermore, Aditya is a public health graduate and is certified from the University of Washington for Public Health Leadership and Management, and by UNICEF for Social and Behaviour Change Communication.
Hiwot’s responsibilities at Maternity Foundation include stakeholder management, establishing new partnership with development partners, strengthening partnership with government bodies, fundraising, managing programs in humanitarian setting and emerging regions, and exploring new initiatives for partnership
Previously to joining Maternity Foundation in October 2014, Hiwot has worked with Ethiopian Midwives Association as Executive Director, at Lambadina Institute Health and Development Communication as Monitoring and Evaluation officer, at Birihan Integrated Community Development Organization as a Social worker, and in different government and private hospitals as a Clinical Nurse.
Hiwot holds an MA in social work, and BA in Sociology and Social Anthropology from Addis Ababa university.
Feyisa manages the overall activities done by Maternity Foundation in West Wollega, coordinates, plans, monitors and ensures both financial and physical activities are being utilized as per project plan. Liaise all activities with head quarters as well as planning and arranging HQ monitoring visits and works on side activities that helps expand and help achieve the goal of MF. Ensures that timely reports are written and sent to both internal (HQ) and external (concerned government body), etc.
Previously joining to MF in 2007, Feyisa has been working for Gimbie Adventist Hospital under management of Adventist Health International as an accountant and outer clinics director.
Education: MBA, Nonprofit corporate management, BA, Community development and leadership and Diploma, Accounting
Meron’s role at Maternity Foundation is preparing learning resource packages, integrating the Safe Delivery Application into pre-service and in-service MNCH courses, documenting best practices, liaising with stakeholders who are involved in Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health care courses.
Previous experience: Meron worked for Ethiopian Midwives Association as a Program Advisor and Midwives Advisor, for Catholic Medical Missions Board in South Sudan as PMTCT focal person and MNCH care provider in governmental health facilities in Ethiopia.
Educational background:Meron holds Masters in Public Health Nutrition from Addis Continental Institute of Public Health and Bachelors in Midwifery from Addis Ababa University.
Chala performs all financial activities under MF in West Wollega, reports to HQ and external body (government), ensures proper financial audit by external auditor and other admin activities.
Previous experience: Previously to joining MF in 2013, he has been working in government office and Oromia credit and saving Share Company as an accountant and family guidance association of Ethiopia as Finance and Admin office.
Education: BA, Accounting and Finance and Diploma, Accounting
Melkamu coordinates, prepares, facilitates and provides different trainings, including Basic emergency obstetric and newborn care and monitoring midwives
Previously to joining MF in 2016, he worked in Ambo hospital as clinician midwife, maternal and child health coordinator at obstetrics and gynecology clinic, maternal death surveillance and response coordinator, mentorship and referral linkage coordinator and as an assistant lecturer in Rift Valley University Health Science College.
Wondwosen is responsible for planning and conducting training under West Wollega program, working collaborating with other MF programs, conducts post training follow up, supportive supervision and onsite mentoring. Writes quarterly reports.
Before joining MF in 2014, he has been working in government health sector for 13 years as clinician midwife and carrying out MCH activities, EPI coordinator, MCH focal person and provision of comperehensive FP and comprehensive abortion care.
Education: BSc, Midwifery, Diploma, Midwifery and Certificate, Midwifery
Motuma facilitates, organizes, and conducts trainings for community health education, youth reproductive health, Lucy SMS mobile service and VSLA, trains community conversation facilitators. Planning, designing, and reporting, monitoring and supervising and prepare training materials.
Before joining MF in 2013, he worked in the public sector for three years.
Jacob has a background as a Business Intelligence Consultant. He has the responsibility of helping and advising on the setup of data dashboards to improve data quality, reporting and data analysis for employees and partners of Maternity Foundation.
Jacob holds a cand.merc.IT from Copenhagen Business School, with a focus on Digital Business strategies and data-driven decision making.
Henriette Svarre Nielsen, MD in Obstetrics and Gynecology, DMSc, Consultant Fertility and Recurrent Pregnancy Loss Rigshospitalet.
Henriette is Maternity Foundation’s Founder and Chairman of the Board. She pursued her dream, and family legacy of living and working in Ethiopia as a doctor. Her experiences working both at a fistula hospital in Addis and as an OB/GYN in Gimbie, Ethiopia, led her to convene a group of talented women from a variety of backgrounds to create Maternity Foundation when she returned to Copenhagen in 2005.
Peter is a MSc from the Technical University of Denmark. He has extensive managerial experience from global and market leading high-tech companies. He is Chairman of FOSS A/S and Vice Chairman of William Demant Holding A/S respectively the Oticon Foundation and a member of several other boards.
Illa is CEO of “Lær for Livet" (Learn for Life) - an initiative by the Egmont Foundation. Illa is co-writer of the book "Om at gøre en forskel" (Making a difference) published in 2012 at Gyldendal Business about social entrepreneurship in Denmark. Illa is former lawyer with the right to appear before the High Court. Illa contributes with particular expertise in social entrepreneurship, legal matters, fundraising, campaigns, communication and press.
Michael Halbye is a Senior Partner in McKinsey & Company, where he has worked since 1983. Michael Halbye is also a board member in the Mary Foundation, founder and member of the board in One Life Foundation and sits in WWF Danmark bureau. He has long and international experience with strategy, organizational development and fundraising.
Jimmy Maymann has more than 20 years of experience working in business, tech investments, digital media and advertising. Today, he is chairman of the Danish media company TV2 and the NGO start-up UNLive. Previously, Jimmy Maymann served as CEO of the digital media platform Huffington Post and as Executive Vice President and President of AOL Content and Consumer Brands.
Paula Guillet de Monthoux is a general-secretary for the Swedish international organization World Childhood Foundation in Stockholm, that is founded by H.M. Queen Silvia.
She has worked for UNICEF in Genève, as a consultant for the London-based The Management Centre and as a CEO for SOS Children Villages, Denmark. She has solid, international expertise in NGO-development, fundraising and management.
Carina works for the Danish National Audit Office (Rigsrevisionen) where she works with performance auditing. Carina is MCs of Political Science from the University of Copenhagen and has been working with research, analysis and evaluation in different fields of the public administration.
Anne Marie is a private consultant and a medical doctor who, after mixed clinical experience in Denmark, has worked internationally for 30 years in all fields of public health for the World Health Organization (WHO). Experience in disease prevention, health promotion , implementation of action oriented research and health systems design and evaluation. During her career AMW has also, for a period, overseen WHO`s global programme of maternal and child care.
Dr. Stine Lund is a paediatrician with extensive experience in global reproductive and child health. Her area of special interest is health systems in Sub-Saharan Africa where she for the last decades have worked for numerous organisations including Danida (Danish International Development Agency) and as an independent consultant.
Academically Dr. Stine Lund holds a PhD degree and is affiliated with the Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Denmark with a focus on conducing randomized controlled trials in Ghana, Ethiopia and Tanzania. Dr. Stine Lund has extensive experience with innovative use of mobile phone solutions to improve maternal and child health in Sub-Saharan Africa.
In addition to being one of the primary drivers behind the development of the Safe Delivery App she has also developed the The Wired Mothers concept, which is a SMS based system that links women to health systems throughout pregnancy and early childhood.
Bjarke Lund Sørensen is PhD, consultant OB-GYN and has worked as associate professor in International Reproductive Health at Clinical Institute and Centre for Innovative Medical Technology, University of Southern Denmark.
For a decade Dr. Sørensen has worked to improve the quality of Basic Emergency Obstetric care in Low Income Countries through implementation research, skills training and criterion based audit. In Tanzania and in collaboration with Doctors Without Borders he has adapted the Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics (ALSO®) to be as relevant to the context as possible and addressing the seven signal functions of Basic Emergency Obstetric and Neonatal Care.
Based on this experience Dr. Sørensen was one of the main “architects” in framing, designing and validating the clinical content of The Safe Delivery App, where the challenge was to condense the “key messages” and deliver them in animated movies lasting only around seven minutes. Given this challenge the team adapted the structured Delphi method to systematically score “key messages” for each topic via group of international expert reviewers. After this process the key messages were the basis for the film scripts and also for action cards, notifications and evaluation tools for assessing skills and knowledge. Dr. Sørensen has been the main author on the obstetric chapters and co-authoring the others. The drug list was developed together with Stine Lund and “Pharmacists without Borders”.
Susanne Houd has during her 50+ years as a midwife worked all over the world, both in developed and developing countries. She has worked as a hands-on midwife both in hospitals and at home, as a teacher, as a consultant for the WHO, as researcher and as Dean for the Danish Midwifery School in Copenhagen. She was instrumental in starting the first Canadian Midwifery education.
Susanne has worked in some of the most remote areas of Greenland and Canada. In North Quebec, where women were flown out to give birth, she was part of a project opening up for birth within an area and working closely with Inuit midwives as a teacher and mentor. The results were convincing. Susanne took that knowledge with her when she until recently worked for many years in a very remote area of Greenland as the only educated midwife. Working in a challenging setting taught her how important it is to act fast and as a team in emergency situations. In addition, Susanne developed courses in obstetrical emergencies for the Greenlandic Health Assistants.
Based on clinical background, her work in developing countries and in other parts of the world, and her very big interest in how to work effectively in an emergency situation, Susanne wanted to work for an organization that focuses on mothers and newborns health in remote, low-economic areas. Maternity Foundation was a natural choice and she is working closely with the staff both in Copenhagen and in Ethiopia with focus on teaching and implementation of the Safe Delivery App.
Obstetrician, former Head of Obstetrics at Rigshospitalet
Midwife, Clinical developer, MSA at Rigshospitalet
Christina Marie Braüner
PhD Scholar at Aarhus University, Department of Public Health
Registered Nurse Midwife, Helsingborg Hospital
Anette Tønnes Pedersen
Ass. Professor, Dept. of Gynaecology at Rigshospitalet
Coordinating midwife at Hospitalsenheden Horsens
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Photos by Stine Heilmann, Mulugeta Wolde & Anne Prytz Schaldemose
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