Jeff Whisenant, President and CEO
Jeff is an experienced leader in the nonprofit sector, with more than 20 years of global experience in international development and relief. He has held high-level executive positions at Lutheran World Relief in Baltimore, Pact Inc. in Washington, D.C., and Orbis International in New York.
Most recently he spent nine years at Lutheran World Relief, which works to provide solutions to international poverty and injustice. He led finance, fundraising and governance programs, and served eight months as interim president and CEO.
Jeff also served as chair of the board of ActionAid USA. The organization works to advance human rights and reduce world poverty.
He has a chemistry degree from the University of North Carolina and a master’s degree in international political economy and development from Fordham University. He earned a second master’s in public and nonprofit management from New York University, and he went back for a year to teach a class on how to run an international NGO.
An East Coast transplant, Jeff is living in California for the first time in his life. His immediate goals include visiting wine country, exploring Yosemite and other national parks, and biking across the northern part of the state.
Jeff is an experienced traveler. He has worked assignments in 29 countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia. He has also visited 80 countries in six continents. Next on his list is Nepal, which happens to be one of the countries where ReSurge has an especially talented local team.
He is fluent in French and Spanish. He can also speak a bit of Catalan, Portuguese and Haitian Creole.
Brieanne Auten, Associate Director of Medical Education and Outreach
Brieanne, a California native, received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from San Francisco State
University. Prior to ReSurge, Brieanne worked for a non-profit counseling center and decided that she wanted to broaden her work experience to include international development. In her spare time, Brieanne is working towards her black belt in martial arts, enjoys exotic cuisine, and performs with a local dance troupe.
Brieanne’s responsibilities include all the logistics for getting our volunteers into the field, from
flight planning to on-site accommodations. She enjoys international travel and witnessing first-hand the work that ReSurge is accomplishing.
Jim Chang, MD, FACS, Consulting Medical Officer
Dr. James Chang, the Johnson & Johnson Distinguished Professor and chief of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Stanford University Medical Center, assesses and refines ReSurge’s medical program strategy for safety, quality assurance, effectiveness and impact. His relationship with the organization dates back to 1998, when he served on the ReSurge volunteer surgical team to Quang Ngai, Vietnam. Chang also is an attending surgeon at Lucile Salter Packard Children’s Hospital and the VA Palo Alto Health Care System, where he additionally serves as director of the plastic and hand surgery laboratory.
Renowned for his expertise in hand and microsurgery, Chang serves as President of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH). Chang also served as editor of the Hand Volume of Converse’s Plastic Surgery (the authoritative textbook in plastic surgery), editor-in-chief of the Yearbook of Hand Surgery and an associate editor of the Journal of Hand Surgery, Annals of Plastic Surgery, Hand, and Microsurgery. Chang was also a director of the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Chang received his bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Economics from Stanford University. He graduated from Yale Medical School and completed his residency in plastic and reconstructive surgery at Stanford University Medical Center and hand fellowship at UCLA Medical Center.
Deborah Grant, Chief Development Officer
Deb holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Florida and a Master’s degree in Non-proft Administration from the University of San Francisco. She has worked in the non-profit field as an Advancement and Development officer for many years, in the Bay Area, nationally and internationally. Previously, Deb worked for San Francisco Heritage, National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Boys and Girls Clubs of San Francisco, Jewish Family and Children’s Services, and the California Autism Foundation, among other organizations. Deb is originally from Florida, but has lived in the Bay Area for many years and raised her three children in Marin County. On her time off, she is a CASA volunteer for foster youth, a community gardener, avid hiker, big dog lover and a volunteer at the San Francisco Botanical Gardens. Deb is responsible for all development and all fundraising activities, as well as working with the Board of Directors to advance ReSurge into the next 50 years of continued success.
George Gregory, MD, Anesthesia Chief
A world leader in pediatric anesthesiology, George joined ReSurge as anesthesia director in 2004. Working part-time, George focuses on education and training for international medical partners, as well as recruitment of volunteer anesthesiologists. He is also an ex-officio member of ReSurge’s anesthesia, medical services and quality assurance committees. George has volunteered with ReSurge since the 1980s, leading volunteer surgical teams to a variety of sites.
George founded the pediatric anesthesiology program at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) in the 1960s and he remains at UCSF as a professor of anesthesia and pediatrics. He is the author and editor of hundreds of medical articles and books, including Pediatric Anesthesia, the leading textbook on the subject. George has received numerous awards from the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP), including the Distinguished Career Award for Critical Care in 1998.
“I have spent my life teaching. I teach anesthesia residents and medical students and nurses in the United States…but it’s not the same thing. The students in the United States can get this information from lots of people,” said George. “By teaching medical professionals in developing countries, I know I’m actually doing something for somebody that couldn’t be done otherwise; something that makes a difference in their lives and the lives of their patients.”
Hong Han Thu, Operations Manager, Hanoi, Vietnam
Hong joined ReSurge International in 2016 as Operations Manager in Hanoi, Vietnam. She received her bachelor’s degree from Hanoi National University. Prior to ReSurge, Hong worked for CARE International for 13 years and PATH US for 2 years as an Office Manager. She is a goal-oriented office manager with 20 years administrative management experience in assisting organizations to maximize efficiency and achieve sustainable growth in Vietnam.
She has a demonstrated ability to deliver on productivity goals, increase efficiencies and maintain output quality. In addition, she is a liaison with Government agencies such as MOFA, PACCOM, and Immigration Department. She manages logistical arrangements for all international and domestic Travels for ReSurge teams to Vietnam.
Kyoko Horiguchi, Director of Finance and Administration
Kyoko received her Bachelor of Policy Studies from Kwansei Gakuin University in Japan, focusing on International Development and Master of Science in Accounting from Eastern Michigan University. Her keen interest in International Development led her to working for ReSurge. After graduating from the master’s program, she worked as an auditor at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC). Her responsibility at PwC included financial statement audit and internal control audit for various clients such as automotive companies, construction companies, and nonprofit organizations. Before joining ReSurge, she worked as a director of accounting at a boutique web design company.
Beverly Kent, Chief Operations Officer and Medical Programs Officer
Beverly, a native of northern California, received her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley, a master’s degree in psychology from California State University, Fullerton and a master of business administration degree from San Jose State University. She lived in France, Belgium, and southern California before returning to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1996 with her three sons. After several years of teaching English as a second language, Beverly studied to become a psychotherapist.
Her responsibilities include supporting the organization’s CEO, staffing medical personnel on team trips, acting as liaison between ReSurge and the medical specialty committees, and overseeing the patient care improvement program. (show less)
Natalie Meyers, Director of Global Advocacy and Africa Programs
Prior to ReSurge, Natalie was the innovation strategist for the mayor’s office of San Francisco, managing the city’s public-private partnership program, Civic Bridge, which recruits private sector professionals to volunteer their time to work alongside government employees on critical city issues. Previously, she worked in London for Spring Impact where she managed teams to provide consultancy support for social impact projects.
Since 2008, Natalie’s career has focused on public programs and policies, both domestic and international. While working for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), she managed the allocation of over $55 million to nine African countries for Ebola preparedness, as well as preparing the Ebola Task Force. As a founding employee and consultant of San Francisco-based Global Impact Advisors (GIA), Natalie coordinated with the Gates Foundation on an initiative enabling access to contraceptives to over 40 million women in six years, and spearheading a program to raise money for a mobile health clinic in Ecuador.
Natalie earned a master’s degree in global health and population from Harvard’s School of Public Health and a bachelor’s degree in community health from Brown University. She serves as councilor and committee member on the Harvard School of Public Health Council and the leader of the Pacific Council on International Policy.
Suman Niroula, Operations Manager, Nepal
Suman is a native of Eastern Nepal. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Economics and English Literature. He started his career as a teacher, later joining the nonprofit organization phect-NEPAL in 2005. In 2016, he joined ReSurge International as an administrative and account officer. Suman’s main responsibilities are to maintain the account, coordinate with government bodies and line agencies, communicate program activities with headquarters and day to day administrative work.
Christa Peterson, Development Associate
Christa, a native of Seattle, Washington, received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington in Business Administration with a focus in Marketing. In 2018, she obtained a continuing education certificate in Project Management, also from the University of Washington. She has extensive client services experience, is results-oriented, and works well in team environments to drive success. She has a heart for the nonprofit world with volunteer experience ranging from fundraising to mentorship. She also planned and executed personal and professional development workshops for women in the greater Seattle area from 2012-2015.
Dora Rusin-Gomez, MD, Director, Volunteer Services & Medical Supplies
Dora was born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia. In 1998, she graduated from the Escuela Colombiana de Medicina, Universidad El Bosque in Bogotá and became a licensed practitioner of general medicine and worked in the university’s pharmacology department. After obtaining her degree, Dora moved to the San Francisco Bay Area where she worked to help the local Hispanic community as a medical interpreter at Stanford Hospital.
Concurrently, she studied at the University of California, Santa Cruz and obtained a certificate in clinical trials design and management. In 2000, Dora began working with the National Center for Equine Facilitated Therapy, which combined her passion for working with children and horses. Dora began working for ReSurge in 2004.
Grace Zvokowomba, Administrative Support Consultant, East, Central and Southern Africa
Grace joined ReSurge International in October 2019. She organizes logistics for all ReSurge International visiting educators in Zimbabwe, liaises with government ministries and offices (COSECSA, Ministry of Health, MDPCZ), organizes meetings, and works with the ReSurge marketing and communications department to provide information about patients and trainees.
She has more than 15 years of experience in secretarial work at the University of Zimbabwe, 11 years of experience in COSECSA activities and two years of experience in the teaching field under the Ministry of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture before joining the secretarial field.
Grace holds a degree in Management for Executives from the Graduate School of Management at the University of Zimbabwe, a Higher National Diploma in Personnel Management Certificates and a Diploma in Personnel Management both from the Institute of Personnel Management of Zimbabwe. She is currently studying for her Bachelor of Sciences Honors Degree in Development Studies from the Zimbabwe Open University.