Advisory Council

Joel H. Cowan Georgia Institute of Technology
Thomas Fox World Learning
Sharon Frey Saint Louis University School of Medicine
Barry Hart K & L Gates
Daniel Johnson VITA, General Electric
Eric K. Noji, MD Noji Global Health & Security
Pamela M. Ogor, D.O. Wheaton Franciscan Medical Group
Jerome Schwartzman Houlihan Lokey
Alexander Shakow, PhD Professional Advisor
Molly Tschang Abella Consulting

Joel H. Cowan
Georgia Institute of Technology   

Joel H. Cowan is a former real estate developer who has spent the last two decades working on trade, technology transfer and merchant banking in Central Asia, Eastern Europe, Russia, China and other areas. Mr. Cowan focuses his non-profit activities on education and leadership training.

Mr. Cowan currently serves as an Adjunct Professor in the MBA program at the Georgia Institute of Technology specializing in issues of the emerging world. In addition to his position on Relief International’s Advisory Council, Mr. Cowan is a director of the EastWest Institute in New York and the Board of Councilors of the Carter Center.

He is a former director of World Air Holdings, Inc., Continental Airlines, Interstate General Company and IRT Property Company. Mr. Cowan also is a trustee emeritus of the Georgia Tech Foundation and has served in leadership positions on many foundations at the state and local level.

After graduating from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1958, Mr. Cowan founded Peachtree City and served as its first mayor in 1959.

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Thomas Fox
World Learning    

Since early 2001, Thomas Fox has been an independent consultant with several international consulting firms, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and private foundations. Currently, Mr. Fox is a senior practitioner on the faculty for World Learning’s SIT Graduate Institute, teaching Masters-level courses on sustainable development. He is quite active as a volunteer, including on several NGO governing boards. Management and governance of non-profit organizations remains an interest and specialty.

Prior to these semi-retirement years, Thomas Fox was Assistant Administrator for Policy and Program Coordination for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), a Presidential appointment that he held from December 1997 until January 2001. With a career spanning more than forty years in international development, he has specialized in public-private (including non-profit) partnerships in the international development arena. Mr. Fox held senior management and leadership positions with the US Peace Corps, Volunteers in Technical Assistance (VITA), USAID (1978-82, and 1997-2001), the Council on Foundations, and the World Resources Institute. Before first going off to Africa with the Peace Corps staff in 1965, he was a secondary school teacher and coach for four years.

Mr. Fox grew up in Massachusetts and was educated at Phillips Academy, Andover and Williams College.

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Sharon Frey
Saint Louis University School of Medicine    

Sharon Frey, who joined Relief International’s Advisory Council in 2011, is a professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, where she has practiced and taught for over 20 years.

Dr. Frey is the Clinical Director for the Saint Louis University Center for Vaccine Development and has expertise in epidemiology and immunology, particularly with smallpox, HIV, hepatitis, pandemic H1N1, herpes and salmonella.  She served on the National Institutes of Health’s Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council from 2006 to 2010. Similarly, her research and vested interest in bioterrorism garnered her experience as the past chair of the Saint Louis University Hospital’s Emergency Management Committee and a participant at the Department of Defense’s Science Board Task Force on Defense Against Biological Weapons Conference in 2000.  Dr. Frey has served as an NIH reviewer of site applications for HIV vaccine efficacy and HIV pathogenesis research in women contracts.

Locally, within Saint Louis, Dr. Frey has served on committees focused on infection control, regional bioterrorism, biomedical ethics, hepatitis A, and member of the Saint Louis County Department of Health Advisory Board.  She was also the chair of the Saint Louis University Hospital Emergency Management Committee from 2002-2007.  Dr. Frey served as a board member (steering committee) of the Saint Louis STD/HIV Prevention Training Center from 1995-2001.  Dr. Frey showed continued interest in public health by volunteering at clinics for disenfranchised adults and children, namely the Open Door Clinic and the Vietnamese Clinics in the St. Louis area. Dr. Frey has contributed to over 100 research articles published in journals such as Vaccine, The Journal of Infectious Diseases, Journal of Investigative Medicine, AIDS, Journal of Clinical Microbiology and the New England Journal. She is a member of the American Medical Association, Infectious Disease Society of America, Physicians for Human Rights and Physicians for Social Responsibility, among other medical associations.  Dr. Frey received a B.S. from West Virginia University, and an M.D. from Marshall University School of Medicine. She completed her Internal Medicine residency at SUNY Syracuse and completed a fellowship in infectious diseases at Saint Louis University. 

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Barry Hart
K & L Gates    

Barry Hart is of counsel with K&L Gates law firm, having served previously as a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Winston & Strawn. An important part of his practice includes the representation of U.S. and foreign multinational corporations and tax-exempt organizations. Mr. Hart's practice involving U.S. and foreign multinational corporations, tax-exempt organizations and high net worth individuals has spanned 30 years, and includes: (i) personal and corporate tax planning, (ii) Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") audit defense, (iii) tax planning for reorganizations of multi-entity groups including for-profit and non-profit affiliates, including transfer pricing with respect to transactions among members of such groups, and (iv) IRS determination and private letter rulings practice before the IRS National Office.

Mr. Hart is a member in good standing of the District of Columbia bar, and the American Bar Association, Section on Taxation. He has been a lecturer at the NHLA Taxation Program, the World Trade Institute, Georgetown University (Graduate Tax Program), the International Law Institute, and the International Development Law Organization. He also is a member of the Board of Advisors, Journal of Tax-Exempt Organizations. Mr. Hart's pro bono activities include representation of the International Development Law Organization, Orphan Foundation of America, the KIMA Charter School, and Relief International.

Mr. Hart's clients include National Geographic Society, Citigroup Foundation, The Nobel Foundation, Koc University (Istanbul, Turkey), Federation of Tax Administrators, North American Securities Administrators Association, ACCION International, Carnegie Mellon University, the Sempra Energy Foundation, Capital One Foundation, O.I.P.C-Interpol and New York Stock Exchange Group.

Mr. Hart received his BA from Dartmouth College in 1970, a JD from George Washington University’s National Law Center in 1973; and an LLM in Taxation from New York University in 1976. He is married and has three children.

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Daniel Johnson
VITA, General Electric    

Daniel Johnson is co-founder of VITA, an organization dedicated to providing technical assistance information to people in the Third World. Mr. Johnson has remained an active director of VITA through the decades and helped lead the organization through its mergers with both Enterprise Works and with Relief International (2009). 

Mr. Johnson, an electrical engineer by trade, spent the majority of his career with General Electric (GE) in Schenectady, NY. Mr. Johnson supervised GE’s Creative Engineering program which trained young engineering graduates on the process of invention for GE. He joined GE’s General Engineering Laboratory, now the Research Lab, and among other developments, invented a linear optical digital transducer and electronics for an early weather satellite. Mr. Johnson established and managed the Controls Development Laboratory within GE’s Gas Turbine department. He co-invented the first GE solid-state turbine control; pioneered a triple redundant control that virtually eliminated all turbine outages caused by the control system; and co-invented the combustion monitor that was GE’s first industrial microcomputer application. These controls were extended to steam turbines and combined cycle plants. Mr. Johnson obtained 8 patents.

Mr. Johnson has received numerous awards for his technical contributions, including the prestigious Arthur M. Bueche Award (1982), GE Edison Engineering Award for Industrial and Power Systems Division (in both 1985 and 1994), and the GE Invention-Fulcrum of Progress Award.

Mr. Johnson wrote and edited the Village Technology Handbook, now regarded as a classic and translated into many languages. He was recognized for his work with VITA with the Gerald L. Phillippe Award, GE’s highest international award for community service.

Mr. Johnson graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Electrical Engineering with a concentration in controls. He served briefly in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.

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Eric K. Noji, MD
Noji Global Health & Security    

Dr. Eric K. Noji is a physician trained in Emergency Medicine, Epidemiology and Tropical diseases. He retired in 2007 after a distinguished twenty year career in public health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Before joining the CDC in 1988, Dr. Noji was a member of the faculty at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and an Attending Emergency Physician at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. He is an adviser or board member of several major corporations, nonprofit organizations, and government advisory councils and commissions. 

At Johns Hopkins and the CDC, Dr. Noji acquired extensive experience in responding to natural, technological and industrial disasters, bioterrorism, violent civil conflict, epidemics, wars and other humanitarian crises. From 1996-2001, the CDC assigned Noji to the World Health Organization's Department of Emergency and Humanitarian Action in Geneva, Switzerland where he served as Director of Global Health Intelligence for Emergencies. As director, Dr. Noji was responsible for monitoring the health of refugees and other forcibly displaced populations around the world, including the early warning of pandemic avian and swine flu, among many other diseases of catastrophic life-threatening potential.  
A prolific writer, Dr. Noji is the author and co-author of over 250 scientific articles and publications.  In 2005, he was elected to the prestigious Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science for pioneering work in establishing much of the scientific basis for the public health response to natural disasters, refugee crises, technological emergencies and the development of medical biodefense countermeasures. 
A native of Hawaii, Dr. Noji is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Stanford. He completed his medical studies, graduate work and residency training at the University of Rochester, the University of Chicago and the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene & Public Health.  He currently lives in Washington D.C. where he continues to regularly advise senior government officials, international organizations, foundations, NGO's and corporations on humanitarian trends and enterprise crisis management strategy.

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Pamela M. Ogor, D.O.
Wheaton Franciscan Medical Group    

Dr. Pamela Ogor joined Relief International’s Advisory Council in 2011. She has served as a member of Relief International’s Rapid Emergency Deployment (RED) team since 2005, when she was one of the first responders to the Pakistan earthquake and, more recently, worked with the RED team during the Haiti earthquake relief efforts in 2010.

Dr. Ogor is a board-certified family physician employed by Wheaton Franciscan Medical Group in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she has practiced medicine for over 20 years. In addition to having a large clinical practice focused on the prevention and management of chronic disease, Dr. Ogor has participated in numerous international disaster relief efforts—pursuing her passion for providing healthcare to vulnerable communities in the world’s most underdeveloped countries.

Beyond her clinical expertise and international relief experience, Dr. Ogor has worked with numerous non-profits and NGOs, and was on the board of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southeastern Wisconsin from 1995 to 2008, acting as one of their medical advisors. She is also a founding board member of SowHope, an NGO whose mission is to inspire women around the world by promoting wellness, education and economic opportunities. In addition, Dr. Ogor has volunteered her medical expertise to the International Medical Alliance (IMA), which treats chronic and infectious diseases throughout the world. Through IMA, she has travelled annually to western Kenya to assist in the eradication of Filariasis, as debilitating parasitic disease which results in extensive morbidity. Dr. Ogor also volunteered with IMA in New Orleans for several years on a quarterly basis following Hurricane Katrina, treating uninsured and indigent survivors.

Dr. Ogor received her Bachelor of Science degree from Southern Illinois University and her medical degree from the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine. Her medical relief and volunteer efforts have taken her to over 30 countries around the world. 

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Jerome Schwartzman
Houlihan Lokey    


Jerome Schwartzman is a Director in Houlihan Lokey’s Transaction Advisory Services practice in New York where he heads the firm’s Mergers and Acquisitions Tax Services department. He is a seasoned transactional attorney with extensive experience working on domestic, foreign and tax structuring issues for both private equity and corporate clients. Mr. Schwartzman joined the Relief International Advisory Council in 2017.

Before joining Houlihan Lokey in 2011, Mr. Schwartzman established and led the M&A Tax Services group at Duffs & Phelps and initiated and co-led FTI Consulting’s in-house tax group for corporate finance/restructuring. Mr. Schwartzman has led M&A tax teams on numerous projects for clients such as, General Electric, Vivendi, Olympus, Moody’s, Dun & Bradstreet, Carlyle and many others.  Mr. Schwartzman began his career as an attorney working in the Office of the Chief Counsel of the IRS.  

Mr. Schwartzman is a well-respected author who is widely published on tax-related topics in outlets including CFO Magazine and The Deal.

Mr. Schwartzman received his Bachelor’s degree from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1983, a J.D. from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in 1987 and his LL.M. in taxation from New York University School of Law in 1990.  He is a member of the American Bar Association.  

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Alexander Shakow, PhD
Professional Advisor    

Alexander Shakow had a distinguished career at the World Bank where he held various senior positions from 1981-2002, including Director of External Affairs and Executive Secretary of the Bank/Fund Development Committee. Since 2002, he has been an independent consultant for a number of international agencies such as UNICEF, FAO, and the Global Fund against AIDS, TB and Malaria as well as the World Bank and IMF. From 1968-1981, at the United States Agency for International Development, he was, inter alia, Assistant Administrator for Program and Policy; Director, Office of Development Planning, Asia Bureau; and Director of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore Affairs. He was also a senior official of the United States Peace Corps from 1963-1967, including Director for Indonesia and Director of Volunteer Training.

He received his PhD from the University of London/London School of Economics in 1962 and his undergraduate degree with honors from Swarthmore College in 1958. Mr. Shakow is listed in Who’s Who in America. He was for many years a member of the Board of Trustees of EnterpriseWorks/VITA (which recently merged with Relief International) and of the Institute of Development Studies (Sussex, England).

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Molly Tschang
Abella Consulting    

Molly Tschang is the founder and principal of Abella Consulting. Drawing on her 25 years of experience with senior executives and high performance teams, Molly coaches and educates executives to work interdependently as one cohesive unit and take full advantage of collective talent to achieve superior results. She is a ‘bridge builder and translator’ – harnessing the ‘power of us’ to transform how we work together to create high-impact solutions.

Tschang worked at Cisco for 12 years and built a career centered on successfully collaborating across different communities. As a Cisco Leadership Fellow, she previously served as executive director of NetHope, the first consortium of leading international NGOs collectively solving technology problems in developing countries. During her tenure NetHope members received a $41M Microsoft grant. Tschang serves on the Board of Directors of Common Cents and Board of Advisors of global tolerance, a catalyst for global change in the media. She was also a member of Save the Children’s 2004 Empowering Women and Girls Delegation to Ethiopia and Uganda, supporting rural education, economic development and clean water initiatives.

Tschang has also held senior positions in Cisco’s engineering and business development, where she led the global team that integrated 50+ acquisitions into the company's operations and was instrumental in ensuring Cisco's entrepreneurial culture endured through rapid change.

Prior to joining Cisco, Tschang served as Vice President, Marketing Communications at United States Filter Corporation. She worked with Deloitte & Touche Management Consulting and IBM sales. Tschang holds a master’s in business administration from UCLA (focus on entrepreneurship) and a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Cornell University.

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