Board of Managers
(*indicates founding member)
Jodi Magee, MSW* (Chair)
Jodi Magee is the founding President and Chief Executive Officer of the US organization Physicians for Reproductive Health, the model for the Global Doctors for Choice Project. Under her leadership since 1995, Physicians for Reproductive Health has grown into a $5 million national advocacy organization with a team of 29 programs in reproductive health policy, physician advocacy training, and medical education, as well as special initiatives. In 2010, Physicians for Reproductive Health was named one of 19 US high-impact nonprofits in the reproductive health sector by Philanthropedia. Physicians is Charity Navigator’s highest-ranked reproductive rights organization in the United States.
Prior to her leadership of Physicians for Reproductive Health, Ms. Magee created programs, directed staff, and raised funds for leading US nonprofit organizations as both a staff member and a consultant. Her professional experience includes working with organizations such as the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Planned Parenthood of Connecticut, and Connecticut NARAL (a domestic abortion rights organization), among others. She has also served on political campaigns and community boards. Ms. Magee holds a Master of Social Work with a specialty in social policy and a Bachelor of Social Work, both from Rutgers University.
Ms. Magee founded Global Doctors for Choice in 2007 with Dr. Wendy Chavkin, and is currently the chairperson of the Board of Managers.
Michelle V. Hall (Vice Chair)
Michelle Hall is the Director for Columbia University Medical Center Programs and Services at the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL). She provides cross-campus leadership and direction around services, technology platforms, and faculty development aimed at faculty and academic departments. Michelle has designed and developed numerous successful educational technology programs and workshops for faculty at Columbia University.
Before joining the CTL, Michelle worked as an instructional designer, creating web-based learning courses for Citigroup’s Risk Management division and McGraw Hill Construction’s Continuing Education Center. Prior to that, she served for several years as a secondary-school teacher of biology and chemistry in Barbados. Michelle has an M.A. in Computing and Education from Teachers College. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Cognitive Studies in Education at Teachers College.
Michelle joined the Global Doctors for Choice Board of Managers in 2015 and shares her program design and communications expertise.
Nancy Natilson, MBA (Treasurer)
Nancy Natilson has been an independent international development consultant for the last twenty years, specializing in micro-enterprise development and its intersection with reproductive health. She has developed curriculum on financial analysis, performance monitoring, and strategic planning and budgeting. Recent assignments included: facilitating business management training and access to micro-finance to rural private clinic owners who belong to a reproductive health franchise network in Ethiopia and Malawi; establishing a micro-finance pilot tailored to meet the needs of rehabilitated drug users and people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS in Vietnam; and co-leading a financial sustainability workshop for NGOs in Africa. Nancy was also Financial Advisor for five years to Pro Mujer a micro-finance organization in five Latin American countries.
Prior to her international consulting career, Ms. Natilson spent ten years as an international commercial banker, including five in Venezuela as a representative of an American bank. Later she taught Women in the Developing World and Bank Management as an adjunct professor at the University of South Florida in Tampa. Nancy is currently Treasurer of the Board of Planned Parenthood of Central and Southwest Florida, and also Treasurer of the Board of the Florida Community of Mindfulness. She received an MBA from New York University and a BA in Urban Studies from the University of Pennsylvania.
Ms. Natilson joined GDC Board of Managers in 2015 as Treasurer.
Wendy Chavkin, MD, MPH*
Dr. Chavkin is professor of public health and obstetrics/gynecology at Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health and College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. She also helped found and served as Chair of the Board of Directors of Physicians for Reproductive Health in the US. She has been a site director of the Charlotte Ellertson Social Science Postdoctoral Fellowship in Abortion and Reproductive Health, director of the Soros Reproductive Health and Rights Fellowship, associate editor for The American Journal of Public Health, editor-in-chief of The Journal of the American Medical Women’s Association, and director of The Bureau of Maternity Services and Family Planning in New York City’s Department of Health.
Dr. Chavkin has written extensively about reproductive health issues, including the consequences of welfare reform on the health of women and children, work and pregnancy, abortion, HIV, illegal drug use in pregnancy, and assisted reproductive technologies. She received a Fulbright Fellowship for research on policy responses to declining birth rates. She is the author of several books, including Double Exposure: Women’s Health Hazards on the Job and at Home; Where Human Rights Begin: Health, Sexuality and Women in the New Millennium (with Ellen Chesler); The Globalization of Motherhood: The Deconstruction and Reconstruction of Biology and Care (with JaneMaree Maher); and the forthcoming Globalized Fatherhood (with Marcia Inhorn). Dr. Chavkin received her medical degree from the State University of New York in 1978 and an MPH from Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health, in 1981.
Dr. Chavkin founded Global Doctors for Choice in 2007 with Jodi Magee, and is currently a member of the Board of Managers.
Rodica Comendant, MD, PhD
Dr. Rodica Comendant is an associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the State University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Moldova, where she received her MD and PhD. She also serves as the head of the Reproductive Health Training Center (RHTC) in Chisinau, the leading organization in Moldova for the sexual and reproductive health and rights field, including in safe abortion and family planning. Dr. Comendant also serves as an international trainer for medical abortion and manual vacuum aspiration and has conducted trainings on comprehensive abortion care for Ipas and the National Abortion Federation in Russia, Georgia, Kirgizstan, Ukraine, and other countries in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region. Currently she is a Consultant for Concept Foundation and the World Health Organization (WHO) on the Global Combipack Initiative. Additionally, Dr. Comendant has been a consultant for WHO and has led numerous Strategic Assessments on abortion in Eastern European countries.
Previously, Dr. Comendant served as the Coordinator for the International Consortium for Medical Abortion (2005-2015), the regional coordinator for FIGO Initiative for Preventing Unsafe Abortion for EECA region, a Senior Consulting Associate at Gynuity Health Projects for several years, and the principal investigator for numerous clinical studies that contributed to the successful implementation of medical abortion in Moldova.
Monica Dragoman, MD, MPH
Dr. Monica Dragoman serves as the Medical Director of Planned Parenthood of New York City (PPNYC) which offers a full-range of sexual and reproductive health services to people across New York City. Dr. Dragoman has a strong track record of promoting high quality, comprehensive reproductive health care throughout her career. She held a faculty appointment at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, NY as Division Director of Family Planning. As a Medical Officer in the Department of Reproductive Health and Research at the World Health Organization (WHO), she conducted clinical research and contributed substantially to the development of new and updated guidelines promoting evidence-based abortion and contraception service delivery. Dr. Dragoman has served as a consultant for the WHO, Gynuity Health Projects, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), International Planned Parenthood Federation, and the Affiliates Risk Management System of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She remains actively engaged in clinical care and continues to routinely train diverse cadres of clinicians. Her research and publications emphasize understanding safety and best practices for patient-centered provision of medical abortion, surgical abortion and contraception.
Dr. Dragoman is a U.S. board-certified OB/GYN and fellow of the Society of Family Planning and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. She received her M.D. from the Medical College of Ohio and completed her residency at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. She also completed a Family Planning Fellowship at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital during which time she also received an MPH in Epidemiology at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health.
Mary Favier, MB BCh
Dr. Mary Favier is a founding member of and serves on the executive committee of Doctors for Choice Ireland, an Irish organization of doctors founded in 2002 that supports a woman’s right to choose by advocating for the provision and regulation of safe, legal abortion in Ireland.
Dr. Favier is a Principal and Partner in Family Medicine since 1998, a Member of the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP), and a Fellow of the Royal College of General Practitioners (UK). She holds additional Diploma qualifications in Medical Education, Child Health, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She is a guest lecturer to the undergraduate Medical School in University College Cork (UCC) and to the Postgraduate Family Medicine training programme in UCC. She sits on the Council of the ICGP and on the ICGP Professional Competence Committee, and has been an executive member of the ICGP and Chair of the ICGP Education Committee. Dr. Favier was elected to the Medical Council and sat on the Fitness to Practice committee as a Non Consultant Hospital Doctor. She has sat on the board of the local Rape Crisis Centre and was medical advisor to a local Sexual Health Service for eight years. She sat on the board of the Medical Protection Society, the world’s largest provider of medical indemnity, for two four year terms from 2005-2013. She dedicates ¾ of her time to clinical practice and ¼ to providing expert legal opinion reports on breach of duty.
Chris Fofie, MD, MPH
Dr. Chris Fofie is a consultant obstetrician-gynecologist with a Masters in Public Health from Sheffield Hallam University. He currently serves as head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital in Ghana.
Dr. Fofie has years of experience working with GDC in communities in Northern Ghana, including conducting research on conscientious objection. At the International Conference on Population and Development 25 in Nairobi, Dr. Fofie joined the Global Doctors for Choice – Kenya team to share his experience on reproductive health advocacy strategies and tools.
Dr. Fofie joined the GDC Board of Managers in 2020.
Laura Gil, MD
Dr. Laura Gil is an abortion provider and has been active in abortion training and in disseminating the concept of the health exception after abortion was partially decriminalized in Colombia in 2006. She currently is the program director of ESAR, a foundation that provides training in sexual and reproductive health services in ten countries in Latin America. She serves as an advisor for FLASOG’ s Sexual and Reproductive Rights Committee and part of the FIGO Safe Abortion Committee.
Dr. Gil has been a speaker at “La Mesa por la Vida y la Salud de las Mujeres ” (the Women’s Life and Health Coalition), focusing on topics such as the standards and concepts of Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy (VIP) in Colombia, with an emphasis on health-related causes. She has also provided support for specific VIP request cases that have been instrumental in the pursuit of defending women’s health rights. She received her medical training from the National University of Colombia, and completed training in Sexual and Reproductive Health Research in Developing Countries at the Geneva Foundation for Medical Education and Research, in association with the World Health Organization.
Guillermo Ortíz, MD, MHA
Dr. Guillermo Ortíz is an obstetrician-gynecologist with a Master’s in Hospital Management from the University of El Salvador and the Andalucian School of Public Health.
He now serves as professor of pre- and in-service care at the University of El Salvador. Dr. Ortíz has also practiced and served as Chief of Obstetrics at the Hospital Nacional de la Mujer in El Salvador for over 20 years. He is currently a Senior Medical Advisor within the Quality of Care Department of IPAS, an international organization focused on expanding access to safe abortion and contraceptive care around the world.
Dr. Ortíz joined the GDC Board of Managers in 2020.
Beverly Winikoff, MD, MPH*
Dr. Beverly Winikoff is the president of Gynuity Health Projects. Previously, Dr. Winikoff was employed for 25 years at the Population Council where she was Director for Reproductive Health and a Senior Medical Associate. She developed and managed the Council’s Ebert Program on Critical Issues in Reproductive Health, including work on safe motherhood, prevention of STDs/AIDS, prevention of unsafe abortion, provision of safe abortion care, and improving postpartum care for mothers and babies. Dr. Winikoff also served as Assistant Director for Health Sciences for the Rockefeller Foundation.
She has served on numerous boards of directors, including the Reproductive Health Technologies Project, Physicians for Reproductive Health, the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, the National Abortion Federation, The MediTeam Trust in South Africa, The Society of Family Planning, and Medicines360. Dr. Winikoff received the Carl S. Schultz Award from the American Public Health Association in 2007 and the Irvin M. Cushner Lectureship award from the Association for Reproductive Health Professionals in 2009. Dr. Winikoff is a professor of clinical population and family health at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in New York City. She graduated from Harvard University, earned her M.D. from New York University and her MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health.
Dr. Winikoff joined Global Doctors for Choice in 2010 and currently sits on the Board of Managers.
Lilian Sepúlveda (Executive Director)
Maggie Ruzich (Program Assistant)
Maggie Ruzich is the Program Assistant for Global Doctors for Choice. She supports GDC administratively and programmatically on a variety of projects. Maggie graduated from New York University’s College of Global Public Health with a dual degree in Global Public Health and Sociology. Before joining the GDC team, Maggie worked as a Public Affairs Manager for Planned Parenthood Action Fund of New Jersey in the United States where she furthered the organization’s grassroots influence and served as an ambassador with volunteers, elected officials, and community partners.
Bojana Stoparic (Fundraising Consultant)
Bojana Stoparicis a fundraising consultant for GDC. She is a human rights advocate and an expert in aligning resource mobilization, program development, and strategic communications. Bojana helped to launch and grow groundbreaking global initiatives at American Jewish World Service and the Center for Reproductive Rights by building robust partnerships with private foundations and government donors. She has also advised organizations such as UNICEF and the Women’s Environment and Development Organization how to use outreach strategies to engage diverse audiences and stakeholders. Bojana received her MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School, MA in Journalism from New York University, and BA from Bryn Mawr College.
Sadie Bergen (Intern)
Sadie Bergen is a current doctoral student in Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, where she studies the history and ethics of reproductive healthcare.
Tessa Meurer (Intern)
Tessa Meurer is a second year Master’s student at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, studying Population & Family Health and Sexuality, Sexual & Reproductive Health. She has worked in reproductive health advocacy and program evaluation, with focuses on community-based participatory research and health education.
Tessa manages external communications and social media for Global Doctors for Choice.
Hannah Zuberman (Intern)
Hannah Zuberman is a second year Master’s student at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, studying Sociomedical Sciences and Sexuality, Sexual & Reproductive Health. She has worked in education, health advocacy and program creation and evaluation.
Hannah writes curriculum and programming as well as policy positions for Global Doctors for Choice.
Previous Board Members
GDC recognizes and appreciates the contribution of previous Board and Steering Committee Members to the creation and vision of Global Doctors for Choice.
- Alfonso Carrera, MD*
- Ntandho Patrick Godi, MBChB, FCOG(SA)
- Cristião Fernando Rosas, MD*
- John Koku Awoonor-Williams, MD, MPH, MPP, PhD*
- Ana Cristina González Vélez, MD, MS, PhD*