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Caitlin Haas, RN, BSN, MPH

Executive Director & Co-Founder

With over a decade of pediatric nursing and global health experience, Caitlin serves as the Executive Director of the 1789 Fund. Caitlin is an accomplished public health professional having worked on multiple global health projects including clinical work and management of maternal and child health programs in sub-Saharan Africa. 


As the Director of the Safe Birthing Program at the International Women's Initiative, Caitlin developed maternal and neonatal health programs for Uganda and Somalia. In this role, she successfully created program and monitoring & evaluation activities within the Somali health system, which has been devastated by a complex and longstanding humanitarian crisis. Her pediatric nursing experience includes the Pediatric Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant unit at the Johns Hopkins Children's Hospital and the Division of Pulmonary Medicine at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Caitlin has published qualitative research  in the International Journal of Nursing Studies on HIV/AIDS-related stigma in South Africa and has presented at the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care conference.


Caitlin earned a Bachelors of Science from Georgetown University and a Masters in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Gillings School of Global Public Health. Caitlin was named a 2019 Power Woman "Women on the Move" by Main Line Today Magazine. She is a fierce advocate for the global advancement of maternal and child health and the protection of women's human rights. She is a mother to four young daughters and lives in the Philadelphia area.


Robert Haas, CFA

President, Co-Founder & Chairman of the Board

Robert Haas is a Senior Vice President at FS Investments, an alternative investment firm based in Philadelphia, PA, where he serves as an investment committee member and fund manager.  At FS, Mr. Haas has been part of a team that has grown assets under management from approximately $500 million to over $24 billion over the past eight years.


Prior to joining FS Investments, Mr. Haas served on the commercial real estate investment team at American Capital, a private equity firm and global asset manager, where he analyzed and evaluated commercial real estate investments.  Prior to American Capital, Mr. Haas was a member of the structured finance group at CapitalSource, a specialty finance company, where he sourced, underwrote, negotiated, structured and managed investments in middle-market finance companies. Prior to CapitalSource, Mr. Haas was an analyst at Goldman Sachs’ Archon Group, where he analyzed and evaluated debt and equity investments in commercial real estate.


Mr. Haas earned a B.S. in finance from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and holds the CFA Institute’s Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

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Maggie Towne, MSc

Chief Operating Officer

Maggie currently lives in Boston and works in lead administrative capacities at Tufts Medical Center and Tufts Center for Global Public Health. She holds her MSc in Nutrition for Global Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.


During her time at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Maggie worked in rural Gambia assessing the effects of mid-gestation hemoglobin on birth outcomes. Following graduation from LSHTM, Maggie worked in teaching hospitals and health outreach clinics in rural villages in Chitwan, Nepal.  Additionally, Maggie has worked with International Women’s Initiative as the Somalia Site Coordinator with the Safe Birthing Program. In this role, Maggie worked on an initiative providing clean and safe births through the delivery of safe birth kits and the scaling-up of education of both traditional birth attendants and the local community.


Previous experience includes program coordinator roles within Harvard Medical School’s Department of Global Health and Social Medicine and Boston Children’s Hospital. Maggie is passionate about working towards providing safe and adequate birth settings for women globally, as well as to empower communities through sustainable and context-specific education and outreach efforts.


Nuranisa Rae, BSN, MSN, CNM

Co-Director of Maternal Health

Nuranisa runs a busy home birth practice in New York City, providing prenatal care, home birth and well-woman care. Nuranisa believes in that the role of a midwife has shown to be imperative in sustaining and rebuilding health care systems both locally and abroad.


Nuranisa has been involved in community service locally and abroad from a young age.  Her first global maternal health work began with Midwives for Haiti then signed on as a part of the Safe Birthing Program with International Women’s Initiative, developing educational programs for Somali birth attendants.


She began her career as a nurse working on a high-risk labor and birth unit in New York City. She soon found her passion in maternal health and became a doula and childbirth educator and started her journey towards becoming a midwife. She received her bachelors in nursing from New York University as well as her masters in midwifery.


Lauren Messinger, MD

Co-Director of Maternal Health

Dr. Lauren Messinger is an OB/GYN in Washington, DC practicing at Foxhall OB/GYN. A deep interest in women’s health drew Lauren to the field and she enjoys working with her patients through all stages of life.  While she provides her patients with a full spectrum of general obstetric and gynecological care, she has professional interests in prenatal care and childbirth, adolescent gynecology and infertility. 


Dr. Messinger has conducted several research projects throughout her years of training.   Early in her career, she spent time at the National Institutes of Health and Naval Research Laboratory doing various research projects in biosensors, pediatric oncology and infertility.  She has several publications related to this work.  Most recently, her residency research project focused on Group Prenatal Care and how this model impacts maternal and neonatal outcomes. With The 1789 Fund, Lauren looks forward to applying her training and research experiences to help improve prenatal care and delivery practices across the globe.


Lauren earned her Bachelors of Science from Furman University, her medical degree from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine and completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana.  She lives in Washington, DC with her husband, son, and basset hound.


Chloe Free, M.D.

Co-Director of Pediatrics

Dr. Free is a primary care pediatrician in Brooklyn, New York. She recently completed her residency at Maimonides Infants and Children's Hospital of Brooklyn after earning her medical degree from St. George's University School of Medicine.


She has had a long-standing interest in global health and has volunteered abroad in various capacities.  Most recently, she traveled to Les Cayes, Haiti and served as a physician with the group Forward in Health. She has also volunteered and studied abroad prior to completing her medical degree in Mexico, Niger, Kenya and throughout Southeast Asia, and has contributed to research on several global health topics including resistance to antimalarials, HIV vaccine development, and the perceptions of breastfeeding among immigrant mothers.

Chloe earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Georgetown University and also holds a secondary Science teaching certificate from Rio Salado College from her two years with Teach for America in Phoenix, Arizona.  She speaks fluent French and basic Spanish.  In her free time, she enjoys running and being an advocate for child health.

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Subash Yogi, MPH

Maternal & Child Health

Mr. Subash Yogi completed a master’s degree in Public Health from Faculty of Public Health, Mahidol University, Thailand (2012). He has been working in health and development sector for over 8 years in Nepal. He has intensively worked in maternal, newborn and child health and nutrition.


Subash has worked at FHI360 and CARE Nepal and number of local NGOs as Programme Manager, Monitoring, Evaluation and Knowledge Management Expert and Researcher. He is currently working in multi-sector Suaahara II-a good nutrition project in Nepal and actively contributing in improving maternal and child nutrition.


Maria Boyle, MS, RD

Maternal & Child Nutrition

Maria Boyle, MS, RD, has over 20 years of experience working on programs, research studies and evaluations related to maternal and child health and nutrition.  Throughout her career she has served as project director, project quality advisor and task leader on a variety of local, state and national food and nutrition research studies and evaluations. She has extensive experience in successfully managing research teams with multiple partners, designing multi-site implementation studies, and overseeing and managing studies with qualitative and quantitative data collection components.  She has also managed the design and implementation of a number of programs and evaluations to improve health, nutrition, and food security. Her most recent work at  includes the Ten Year Strategic Assessment of Biofortification in Asia and Africa, Reducing Early Childhood Obesity Evaluation for First 5 Los Angeles, Feeding America Systematic Evidence Review, Comprehensive Review and Evaluation of the National Farm to School Program, and Study on Nutrition and Activity in Childcare Settings.

In previous jobs, Ms. Boyle worked in California for the Sarah Samuels Center for Public Health Evaluation (Samuels Center) and the County of San Mateo’s Prenatal to Three Initiative.  As part of her work with the Samuels Center, she assisted in the development of programs and evaluations for several initiatives and foundations related to their work on improving the health of low income families and children.  Ms. Boyle worked as a public health nutritionist for the Prenatal to Three Initiative (an program that provided public health services and infant development education to recently immigrated, multi-cultural low-income pregnant women and young children) where she designed, administered, and evaluated the nutrition and lactation components of the program

Ms. Boyle has lived and worked in Europe, Central America and Asia.  In 2016 she lived with her family in Nepal for 6 months near Kathmandu University in Dhulikhel in the Kathmandu Valley and traveled to various regions while living in the country. She is a lactation educator and speaks German and Spanish, and some basic Nepali.  Ms. Boyle has BA from Tufts University in international relations, an MS from Boston University in nutritional sciences.


Terri Julians


Born in London now living on the South East coast of England, Terri is a self-taught artist/ illustrator, writer and researcher. She is an active Humanist and advocate for free speech and critical thinking. Terri has spent over 2 consecutive years as a volunteer, Humanitarian Aid-Worker in a remote, Northern region of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, living and working in difficult conditions to assist
HIV/AIDS affected vulnerable and orphaned children. This mainly consisted of project initiation and fieldwork, included the formation and management of a housing/building project, family assessment, re-organizing food aid and family sponsorships along with health and social welfare for
child-headed families.


Since returning to the UK, Terri spent 7 years nursing in Primary Care gaining a City & Guilds Diploma in Health & Social Care. Greatly missing her life in South Africa, she is now focusing on ways to assist non-profit organizations around the world and has provided illustrated newsletters in the Zulu language for ‘Tholulwazi Uvizkele’, an NGO in South Africa. She is a Medical Illustrator for the ‘International Women’s Initiative’ and most recently has become the UK Programme Coordinator for the Brighter Brains Institute, a Humanist, non-profit organization, which has many projects in sub- Saharan Africa where she is currently focusing on assisting the development of a recently built Primary and Secondary school in Kanungu, Uganda.

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