RVF President


Elena Rostropovich is an acclaimed musician and philanthropist whose work on behalf of the health and well-being of children in such diverse parts of the world as the post‑Soviet republics, the Middle East and Western Europe has gained wide recognition.


Chairman of the Board


Thomas Pickering served more than four decades as a U.S. diplomat. He was ambassador to the United Nations, the Russian Federation, India, Israel, and Jordan and holds the personal rank of Career Ambassador. He serves on the board of major companies and organizations and is committed to making the world a better place for future generations.


Board of Directors


John Beyrle served as an American diplomat for more than three decades in foreign postings and domestic assignments focused on Central and Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union, and Russia. He was twice appointed ambassador: to Bulgaria (2005-08) and to Russia (2008-12).


Joseph A Cari Jr is an international merchant banker who served as Chairman of the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars at the appointment of US President William Clinton. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.


Jill Dougherty is an American journalist who has worked as an anchor and foreign affairs correspondent for CNN for more than 30 years. Dougherty began her career as a Russian-language broadcaster and writer for Voice of America, the USSR Division. She remains a foreign affairs correspondent as an independent consultant.


Monique Duroc-Danner is a philanthropist based in France. She is passionate about improving the lives of the world’s most vulnerable children and also works tirelessly on behalf of animal welfare.


Lubna Hussain runs the bureau for NBC News Saudi Arabia. A London-born Saudi citizen, Lubna graduated from Kings College and the London School of Economics. She was a weekly contributor to the Arab News, a prominent Saudi publication, and hosted a public affairs talk show called “Bridges” on Saudi television. In addition Lubna teaches math and physics to high school and university students to raise money for the schools she created in rural India.


Adel Mahmoud, MD is a leading expert on vaccine development and infectious diseases in the developing world with awards and recognitions in tropical medicine research and international health policy. Dr. Mahmoud currently teaches at Princeton University.


Catherine Mannick is General Counsel of AcadiaSoft, Inc. Previously, she served for seven years as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Cole Management Incorporated, a fund targeting technology start-ups in Russia and other emerging markets.


Ghassan Mustaklem is a founding partner of Omnipal and Arabco, leading pharmaceutical, agricultural and trading companies based in Ramallah. Born in Jerusalem and trained as a pharmacist, he also plays an active role as a member of the board of a number of charitable institutions and music associations.


Kimberly Nearing is the Managing Director, Head of Life Sciences at a global boutique investment firm. Kim has over 22 years of life sciences experience, including as a senior operations manager, investor, investment banker and consultant. She has previously held various management positions at Amgen, Merck, and IBM’s Healthcare Group and has extensive international business experience in the Greater China region and GCC countries.


Stanley Plotkin, MD is a global expert on vaccine development and research. His lifetime of work has led to profound reductions in morbidity and mortality throughout the world. He is emeritus professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania, and he is a consultant to vaccine manufacturers, biotechnology firms, non-profits and governments. His book, “Vaccines”, is the standard reference on the subject.


Ramzi Sanbar, PhD is Founder and Chairman of The SDC Group, an international conglomerate spanning engineering, energy, real estate and telecoms, with operations in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and China.


Yuri Ushakov is a career Russian diplomat. He was appointed Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the United States from 1999- 2008. From 2008 to 2012 he was Deputy Chief of the Government Staff of the Russian Federation. Since May 2012 he has been Aide to the President of the Russian Federation responsible for international affairs.


Dr. Russ Zajtchuk was the Commanding General and CEO of Brooke Army Medical Center and the Army Research Command. He established the medical humanitarian assistance programs for all branches of the US military. He was awarded the Congressional Medal by the Black Caucus for his civil rights work. He is Professor Emeritus of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery at Rush University.


RVF Staff


William P. Amoss – Executive Director
Mr. Amoss has guided the RVF’s evolution from its origin as a charity into a global development organization. A graduate of Yale University, he taught English as a second language in Europe and held management positions at an international shipping company before joining the RVF. He is passionate about vocal music and speaks several foreign languages, including Russian, German, Dutch and French.


Wolfgang Rennert, MD, PhD – Medical Director
Dr. Rennert is a Professor of Pediatrics at Georgetown University with over 20 years of experience in global health. He received his medical training in Germany and lived and practiced in South Africa for many years. He is committed to promoting children’s health on a global scale and is excited about supporting RVF’s programs.


Merle Nilk – Finance Director
Ms. Nilk has over 15 years of experience keeping non-profits in compliance and in the black. She is enthusiastic about RVF’s unique ability to create sustainable programs with tremendous impact. She is also a triathlete and recently qualified for the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii.


Veronica Razuvaeva – Administrator
Growing up in Moscow, Ms. Razuvaeva was very well acquainted with the music of the world-renowned Maestro Rostropovich and Galina Vishnevskaya and was delighted to join their foundation for children’s health. With over 15 years of experience, she ensures that RVF is always in compliance with its grant-makers requirements. She is also a yoga enthusiast.


Kiija Manty Miller, MPH – Senior Project Officer 
After studying Russian and public health, Ms. Manty Miller found a perfect home at RVF, where she’s cultivated over a decade of experience in program management, compliance, reporting and evaluation. She also manages RVF’s website and online presence. She enjoys photography – in fact most of the photos you see on this site are hers.