Laura Jean Ridge ANP-BC, AAHIVS

Laura is a nurse practitioner with experience in addiction medicine, primary care, and HIV. She has worked both in the clinic settings and private practice, most recently for the NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation, the nation’s largest network of public hospitals, providing primary care to HIV-positive adults. She is Board certified by the American Nurses’ Credentialing Center and is a designated HIV Specialist by the American Academy of HIV Medicine.

Laura is working on her PhD in Nursing at New York University, where she will study global nursing workforce under Dr. Allison Squires and Dr. Robin Klar.

Laura received her BS and MS from Columbia University and her AB from Harvard University, where she majored in Social Studies. She is the recipient of the 2006 Ames Award, presented to one female member of the class for dedication to public service. She lives in Manhattan with her boyfriend Matt and her dog Josie.


Ben Louie

Ben Louie was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1978 to an immigrant family. He is a proud graduate of Brooklyn Technical High School and then moved down the street to the Brooklyn campus of Long Island University earning a bachelors in Psychology.

Mr. Louie’s first contact with the non-profit sector saw him at the Association for the Help of Retarded Children (AHRC) working with developmentally disabled adults. Mr. Louie then moved on to performing substance abuse research with first the Treatment Research Institute (TRI) and then with the National Development Research Institute (NDRI).

Mr. Louie then came to START (then the Addiction Research & Treatment Corp. [ARTC]) as a researcher, but within 6 months was given the opportunity to become the agency’s first Project Manager. Mr. Louie’s first project involved implementing the eClinicalWorks electronic medical record (EMR), continuing the agency’s use of cutting edge technology in providing the best quality care to the patients served. In November of 2013, Mr. Louie was again given an opportunity to excel when promoted to the position of Chief of Staff, a roll he fulfills to this day.

When not working, Mr. Louie enjoys going to new restaurants with good company or cooking at home in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

Jenn Walsh RN, WHNP

Jennifer Walsh is a Board-Certified Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner with a master’s degree from Columbia University’s School of Nursing. Before attending nursing school she graduated from Trinity College with a BA in Political Science, focusing on women’s issues worldwide. At Columbia, Jennifer received the prestigious Jonas Student Leader in Nursing Excellence Award. Jennifer is delighted to join NFA’s Board and bring her expertise in women’s health to our programming.

Jennifer’s clinical practice is in New Jersey; she lives with her husband and two sons.

Love Jones, MS, MPH

Love G.K. Jones was born and raised in Liberia, West Africa. When she was 7 years old, a civil war erupted in her native country and like many Liberians, she experienced the horrors that accompany such warfares. In October 2001, Love emigrated to the United States, joining her mother in New York. Although it was difficult leaving the rest of her family in Liberia, she knew her life would be better.

Love graduated with an Associate’s degree in Nursing from Borough of Manhattan Community College in December, 2004 and got her first job as a nurse at New York Presbyterian Hospital- Columbia University Medical Center in 2005. After working for a year, she went back to school and graduated from Pace University with a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing.

Having worked as a nurse for over thirteen years, Love will be graduating from New York University in May,2019 with a dual Master’s degrees-Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner & Global Public Health. Having firsthand experience of the atrocities of war, being a patient in Liberia after a near death car accident and losing her stepfather during the Ebola outbreak in Liberia, Love intends to use her knowledge and experience for nursing development, ultimately improving health outcomes for people here in the United States and in low-income countries like Liberia.

Jessica Buesing, MD

Jessica is now a graduate of Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons and an internal Medicine Resident. Prior to Columbia, she attended Williams College and graduated with degrees in music and psychology, where she won two NCAA championships in rowing. She currently serves as the President of the P&S Club, the largest student activities organization in American medical education, which sponsors over 70 student-run clubs, clinics, and specialty interest groups. She is also the head of her American Medical Student Association chapter in addition to her work with Nursing for All.

Jessica lives in Manhattan with her husband, son, and two cats.


John Roberts

John Roberts, CFA is a Associate Director in the Office of Investments at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to his current position, he worked in investment banking at Goldman Sachs and Barclays. He graduated summa cum laude from Colby in 2009, where he majored in Mathematical Science and Honors Economics-Mathematics with a Concentration in Financial Markets. For his honors thesis, he examined whether parallel exchange rates could be used to predict moves in commodity prices. He cofounded the Colby Student Investment Association and was an avid member of the Sailing and Crew Teams.

Veena Ramaswamy

Veena Ramaswamy is Head of Strategy and Corporate Development at CommonBond, a financial technology company focused on the consumer lending space. Prior to joining CommonBond, Veena was a Vice President at Morgan Stanley’s Corporate Strategy and M&A group, where she worked with senior management on developing and executing they firm’s key strategic priorities. Veena began her career as an investment banker at Morgan Stanley, working with municipalities and universities on debt financings for infrastructure projects. Veena graduated with a BS in Economics from M.I.T. and has an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Additional Supporters

Allison Squires, FAAN, PhD, RN

Dr. Allison Squires’ research focuses on global health workforce capacity. Nurses are the primary focus of her research and she has participated in or lead interprofessional studies involving physicians, pharmacists, social workers, physical therapists, and community health workers. An experienced global health researcher, she has worked in 30 countries to date and has regional expertise in Latin America. Dr. Squires has consulted with the Migration Policy Institute and the World Bank on nursing and health workforce issues and produced several major policy analyses with their teams. A prolific writer, Dr. Squires has authored over 125 publications including 68 in peer-reviewed journals. Prior to entering academia full time, Dr. Squires worked as a staff nurse in solid organ transplant and as a staff educator for 11 years in the US healthcare system. Dr. Squires received her PhD from Yale University and completed her postdoctoral studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

Jason Abaluck, PhD

Jason Abaluck, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Yale School of Management. His research lies at the intersection of public finance, behavioral economics, health economics and industrial organization. He focuses on the detection of mistakes and the design of institutions when consumers or providers make mistakes in contexts such as health plan choice, dietary choice, or the provision of medical care.

Prior to his appointment at Yale, he was a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He completed his PhD in economics at MIT and his AB at Harvard University.



Katie Flanagan

Katie Flanagan is the former Executive Director of Kupona Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to improving healthcare in Tanzania, with an emphasis on maternal-fetal health. Katie completed all fundraising, marketing, and administrative activities for Kupona. Prior to her years at Kupona, Katie worked at the New York Nativity Centers. Katie is an alumna of Boston College and has a Master’s of Theological Studies from Emory University.

Richard Garfield RN, DrPH

Richard is the Henrik H. Bendixen Professor of Clinical International Nursing at Columbia University’s School of Nursing and a Clinical Professor at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health. Richard’s research interests are the assessment of need in humanitarian crises, monitoring humanitarian recovery, and non-communicable conditions in less developed countries. He has been published in the Lancet, the American Medical Association’s journal Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, and has sat on several editorial boards.

For past research, Richard has quantified the impact of conflict on noncombatants using epidemiologic methods, and has studied the effects of economic sanctions on health in Iraq, Cuba, Nicaragua, Liberia, Haiti, and the former Yugoslavia. He has completed needs assessments for United Nations-related organizations in post-disaster Myanmar, Pakistan, Haiti, South Sudan, and New Orleans. He is member of the team at The Assessment Capacities Project (ACAPS) in Geneva, and continues to consult with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Richard has been a visiting professor at the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in the U.K and at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, and was a 2002 Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.

Robin Toft Klar, DNSc

Dr. Toft Klar has focused her work on the environmental context of nursing for decades. This work has evolved and her research focuses on the influence of the built environment on population health outcomes and care delivery locally and globally. She has a portfolio of health workforce projects in low- and middle-income countries in West and East Africa. She received her DNSc from Yale University and completed her postdoctoral studies at Case Western University.

William LaRock, RN, PhD

Dr. William LaRock, RN, PhD, is an Adult Nurse Practitioner with subspecialties in HIV disease and psychiatry. He received his NP/MSN from the University of California at San Francisco and his PhD from Columbia University in New York. He has spent his career as a healthcare provider to underserved individuals in the United States including the homeless, mentally ill and patients living in extreme poverty. His doctorate focused on program development and evaluation in limited resource settings. He has served as a capacity building consultant in public health systems development in both Rwanda and South Africa. He currently serves as a primary care provider for homeless and shelter based individual in Manhattan.

Kimberly Kicenuik

Kimberly is a Vice President with CCS, a boutique, global fundraising consulting firm headquartered in New York City. In this role, she develops major gifts strategy, oversees strategic planning initiatives, and provides interim development management and support to organizations across the non-profit sector. Her recent projects have included major fundraising campaigns for Brown University, the University of Miami, University of Florida Health and Save the Children USA.

Prior to joining CCS, Kimberly pursued her MBA at the Yale School of Management, focusing her studies on Marketing and Nonprofit Management. Kimberly graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard College with an A.B. in English Literature.

DSC02870Alanna Jamner

At Connecticut College Alanna double majored in Economics and International Relations as well as minored in Latin American studies, where she graduated Cum Laude with an Honors Distinction in International Relations. During her undergraduate experience, Alanna co-founded the Amnesty International club, chaired the Women’s Center annual Vagina Monologues production and was a selected honors scholar at the Holleran Center for Community Action and Public Policy (PICA). Alanna has studied, worked, and traveled across the globe focusing on NGOs role in international development and humanitarian assistance. Currently, Alanna is a Programs Associate at FilmAid International. She will be leading a community service program in Costa Rica this summer prior to moving to London in the fall to pursue her Masters of Public Administration and Policy at the London School of Economics.