Board Members

Eric Mann - Chairman of the Board of Directors

Eric and his wife Barbara are long-time supporters of GAPPS and Seattle Children's Hospital. Eric and Barbara were honored with Seattle Children's Hospital's Phil and Helen Smart achievement award for service to the SOVREN Guild and were recognized as “Trailblazers” by the Washington Global Health Alliance. Eric served as a community member of Seattle Children's Research Institute Intellectual Property Committee, leveraging his experience as an inventor to streamline the patent process for investigators. He is a long-time member of Seattle Children's Circle of Care, an organization which recognizes leading Hospital Philanthropists, and serves on the membership committee of that organization. Eric has been a Director and Board Chair for Communities in Schools of Seattle, a Director and President of the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum, and a Director and Regional Executive for the Northwest Region of the Sports Car Club of America. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington and is a Fellow at Cypress Semiconductor. He also has 25 issued patents.

Jack Faris, PhD - Vice-Chairman of the Board

Jack Faris earned a B.A. from the University of Washington and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago. Following military service, he was associate professor at Towson University in Baltimore, with tenure. He served as Executive Vice President and General Manager at Cole & Weber advertising for eleven years, leading the agency's largest account, Boeing. He then joined the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as Director of Community Strategies. From 2000 to 2004, he was the University of Washington's Vice President for University Relations, and served as President of the Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association from 2005-2009. He was CEO of the Pacific Northwest Diabetes Research Institute from 2011 to 2012 and has also undertaken a variety of consulting roles and pro bono projects. Currently, Jack is a Senior Counselor with APCO Worldwide.

Tom Hansen, MD

Thomas N. Hansen received his MD and completed his pediatric residency and neonatology training at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX. He furthered his education by completing a fellowship in pediatric pulmonary diseases at the Cardiovascular Research Institute of the University of California at San Francisco and returned to Baylor where he advanced to Professor of Pediatrics and Chief of the Section of Neonatology. He also held the Texas Children’s Hospital Foundation Endowed Chair in Neonatology and served as Vice-Chairman of the Department for Research and Program Director for the Child Health Research Center. In 1995, Dr. Hansen was named Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at the Ohio State University College of Medicine and Medical Director of Columbus Children’s Hospital. In 1997, he was named Chief Executive Officer of Columbus Children’s Hospital. During his ten-years as CEO, Columbus Children’s (now Nationwide Children’s) became one of the nation’s five largest, free-standing children’s hospitals and one of the ten largest free-standing pediatric research centers. In 2005, Dr. Hansen became CEO of Seattle Children's Hospital & Regional Medical Center, where he worked to help the hospital achieve it vision delivering the highest quality healthcare to all children regardless of their family’s ability to pay. Under Dr. Hansen’s leadership, Seattle Children’s Hospital was consistently rated as one of the nation’s best children’s hospitals by U.S. News & World Report and achieved “Magnet Status” by the American Nurses Association. Dr. Hansen retired as CEO of Seattle Children’s in 2015, and returned to the laboratory to focus on developing interventions to reduce the mortality of premature infants born in resource limited settings.

Anna Faris

Anna Faris is an actress and producer who has appeared in more than thirty feature films, including Lost in Translation, Brokeback Mountain, The House Bunny and Overboard. She has appeared on television in Friends and Entourage, and has recently completed the fifth season of Mom. She is a successful author and creator of a popular podcast, both under the title Anna Faris is Unqualified. Anna graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor’s degree in English literature. She lives in Los Angeles with her son, Jack, who was born nine weeks early, spent a month in the neonatal intensive care unit, and is now a happy and healthy eight year old.

Gloria M. Northcroft, R.Ph., M.S. - Secretary of the Board

Gloria Northcroft is presently the Principle of G&G Life Sciences Consultant, LLC. In this capacity, she works with biotech companies assisting them to achieve their annual goals. Her other management responsibilities have included Senior Clinical Specialist with Genentech, Inc. where she focused on innovative therapies for life threatening medical conditions and Area Operations Manager for American Abbey Homecare where she oversaw the operations in 7 western states. Gloria has over 30 years of leadership experience and is currently a Trustee on Seattle Children’s Foundation Board as well as the Seattle Children’s Research Advisory Board. She previously served as a trustee on Seattle Children’s Hospital Board. Her community involvement includes serving as Treasurer and Secretary for the Horizon View Citizens Association. Gloria was Commissioner of Fire District 14 and President of the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic Advisory Committee. She also served as a Board of Trustee-Vice President with the Bellevue Schools Foundation, Trustee, Advance Bellevue Board of Trustee-Forest Ridge School, President of the Somerset Community Association, and the Bellevue Downtown Park Master Plan-Citizen Advisory Committee.

James A. Litch, MD, DTMH - Executive Director and Chief Research Officer (Non-voting member)

Dr. Litch is executive director and chief research officer of GAPPS. Dr. Litch’s work in global health began more than 25 years ago and he has lived and worked in a number of settings in Africa and Asia in frontline positions that ranged from medical officer in remote district hospitals, to NGO program director, to senior advisor for the Ministry of Health. He has held scientific and technical positions with GAPPS, PATH, CDC, University of Washington, and Johns Hopkins University/Jhpiego. At GAPPS, Dr. Litch led the Perinatal Interventions Program and served as principle investigator for a number of implementation science activities in Africa and Asia. At PATH, Dr. Litch was the Senior Newborn, Child and Maternal Health Specialist, where he directed a broad portfolio of innovative implementation research, maternal/newborn/child health and technology projects, and was PATH's lead on the USAID BASICS child survival program. At JHPIEGO, he was senior advisor to the flagship USAID Maternal Newborn Health Program and the USAID Training in Reproductive Health Program. He has been a consultant and a reviewer for the WHO, the USAID Maternal Child Survival Program, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and other global health organizations. Dr. Litch leads the PTB/LBW Global Technical Working Group, and serves on several international task forces, committees, advisory councils, and journal editorial boards. He is principle investigator and co-investigator to many applied research projects in Asia and Africa related to maternal, newborn health and stillbirth, and teaches in the areas of implementation science, evaluation, metrics and perinatal health.

Craig Rubens, MD, PhD - Director Emeritus of the Board of Directors

Craig Rubens is a co-founder of GAPPS through Seattle Children’s Hospital. An internationally recognized infectious disease expert, Craig led GAPPS' work in program development and strategic partnerships that leverage cross-disciplinary science to accelerate a discovery-to-delivery pipeline for improving maternal and newborn care and ultimately preventing prematurity and stillbirth. Craig is a professor of pediatrics and global health at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He is a member of many prestigious medical and scientific societies, including the American Pediatric Society and American Society of Clinical Investigators. He is on the Board of Scientific Counselors for the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases and has been a consultant and reviewer for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, FDA, CDC, NIH, and other international funding organizations, along with many high-profile scientific journals. He is on the editorial board for the journal PLOS ONE.

GAPPS Advisory Council Members

Carol Dahl

Carol Dahl is the Executive Director of the Lemelson Foundation and leads the Foundation’s work to use the power of invention to improve lives. The Foundation inspires and enables the next generation of inventors and invention-based enterprises to promote economic growth in the U.S., and to help solve social and economic problems for the poorest populations in developing countries. Prior to joining the Lemelson Foundation, Carol worked for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where she built platform discovery innovation programs Grand Challenges in Global Health and Grand Challenges Explorations. Previously, Carol served as Vice President for Strategic Partnerships at Biospect Inc. (now Pathworks Diagnostics). From 1990 to 2001, Carol worked at the U.S. National Institutes of Health in several capacities, including founding Director of the Office of Technology and Industrial Relations at the National Cancer Institute and Program Director at the National Center for Human Genome Research. Dahl received a bachelor's degree from the University of Iowa and master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She received postdoctoral training at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and the Immunobiology Research Center at the University of Minnesota and served on the faculty of the Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and University of Pittsburgh.

Jack Faris, PhD

Jack Faris earned a B.A. from the University of Washington and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago.

Following military service, he was associate professor at Towson University in Baltimore, with tenure. He worked eleven years at Cole & Weber advertising, leading the agency's largest account, Boeing, and serving as Executive Vice President and General Manager. He then joined the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as Director of Community Strategies. From 2000 to 2004, he was the University of Washington's Vice President for University Relations. He served as President of the Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association from 2005-2009. He was CEO of the Pacific Northwest Diabetes Research Institute from 2011 to 2012 and has also undertaken a variety of consulting roles and pro bono projects. Currently, Jack is a Senior Counselor with APCO Worldwide.

Richard Gordon, PhD, ACIM

Richard is the Executive Director of the Grants, Innovation and Product Development groups at the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) which includes the revolutionary Strategic Health Innovation Partnerships (SHIP) unit focusing on product development. The unit manages more than 200 grants ranging from small independent research awards to major international programs seeking to develop new drugs vaccines and medical devices. The majority of the SAMRC programs focus on HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria – including drug resistance.

Richard has held a number of international positions and specializes in establishing international research partnerships. These range from drug discovery (target discovery, high throughput screening, medicinal chemistry, ADMET and pharmacology for a wide range of therapeutic areas), medical devices and vaccines. Richard completed his PhD at the University of Cape Town and his post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Cambridge. Prior to his time at the MRC, Richard spend two years at the Technology Innovation Agency as a Senior Investment Case Specialist and 10 years at BioFocus, a UK based pharmaceutical drug discovery Contract Research Organization where he moved from the bench to the Global Head of Business Development and marketing. He is also a chartered marketer.

Leith Greenslade

Leith is Vice Chair at the MDG Health Alliance, a special initiative of the UN Special Envoy for Financing the Health Millennium Development Goals in support of the UN Secretary General’s Every Woman Every Child movement.

Leith founded and leads several initiatives at the Alliance including the Pneumonia Innovations Team, the Public-Private Partnership to Prevent Preterm Birth, and the Real Conversations About Contraception Campaign, and has led engagement with the Faith Alliance for Health, Does 1+1= 3: The Integration Hypothesis, the Global Nutrition Report, and the Every Newborn Action Plan where her efforts to engage the private sector resulted in a record number of new commitments. Leith has also conceived of and led the release of several new reports including Pushing the Pace: Progress and Challenges in the Fight Against Child Pneumonia and the Ultimate Investment in the Future: Corporate Engagement in Newborn Health and Development. She is currently working on new initiatives to increase rates of breastfeeding in countries struggling with high newborn deaths, and to deepen the engagement the extractives industry in the achievement of the new Sustainable Development Goals. Leith has authored numerous articles relating to the achievement of global heath goals.

Leith is also an investor in several non-profit organizations that empower women, the founder and chair of “Isha Koach", a giving circle that invests in women social entrepreneurs, and a member of the Peace and Security Funders Group. She served on the US Board of GAVI, The Vaccine Alliance and in several positions with the Australian Government, including as Policy Advisor and Speechwriter to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health, as Economic Adviser to the Leader of the Opposition, and as Chief of Staff to the Shadow Minister for Social Security and the Status of Women. Leith holds a Masters in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School, a Masters in Business Administration from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and a First-Class Honors Degree from the University of Queensland.

Frank Greer

Frank Greer is the founding partner of GMMB. He has more than 40 years of experience in communications and advertising, serving clients that include major foundations, public interest groups, labor organizations, corporations, and successful candidates for Congress, governor, Senate and the presidency. Since 1972, Frank has provided counsel and communications services to public interest causes and foundations, political campaigns as all levels, and international governments around the world.

Michelle Williams, ScD

Dean Williams’ research interests lie principally, but not exclusively, in the field of reproductive and perinatal epidemiology. She has spent the last two decades focused on integrating epidemiological, biological and molecular approaches into rigorously designed clinical epidemiology research projects that have led to greater understandings of the etiology and pathophysiology of placental abruption, gestational diabetes, and preeclampsia. To date, much of her work has been focused on advancing knowledge of the etiology of selected highly relevant, but fairly understudied perinatal outcomes. She has also sought to expand the literature by searching for and then confirming novel/non-traditional risk factors of those outcomes. Her research programs have been largely funded by a number of research awards from the National Institutes of Health. To date, she has authored or co-authored 240 original research reports. Dean Williams is Principal Investigator of several large National Institutes of Health-funded projects.