EMW President John Anner has been with East Meets West since February 2003. John sees his job as building EMW into a global leader in effective, catalytic solutions to development issues such as the lack of clean water and high infant mortality.
Prior to EMW, John was the founder and executive director of the Independent Press Association, a membership organization that provided technical assistance and business services to hundreds of independent and ethnic periodicals. The IPA was a highly entrepreneurial non-profit that generated most of its budget from earned income. Under John's leadership, the IPA either purchased or launched five businesses in five years. He started the organization with a $5,000 grant in 1996, and grew it to an operating budget of $3.5 million in 2002. He was also the President of BigTop Newsstand Services, an international magazine distribution company acquired by the IPA in 2000.
John has also served as Publications Director at the Center for Third World Organizing from 1989 to 1997 where he founded, edited and published Third Force, a cross-cultural national magazine about community and labor politics in communities of color. Prior to that, he was Editor-in-Chief at Nicaraguan Perspectives magazine from 1986-1989.
John was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mauritania, West Africa during 1983-1985. He also worked in Central America. He received a B.A. with Special Honors in Political Science from Tufts University in 1982, and an M.S. in International Agricultural Development from the University of California at Davis in 1989.
John lives in Albany, California with his wife and three daughters. He is a bicycle road racer and member of the Berkeley Bicycle Club. He serves on the board of the Coral Reef Alliance.
Vice President, Global Health
Chris is responsible for enriching and expanding EMW’s innovative public health interventions in neonatal health, pediatric dental care, and pediatric cardiology. He works with colleagues to identify, nurture, and promote innovations in international development, notably in the sectors that feature pediatric health, clean water and sanitation, and educational opportunity for boys and girls in low-resource settings. As a member of the senior management team, he leads the headquarters group devoted to resource development and communications.
Prior to joining EMW, Chris served as CEO of Friends Without A Border, a nonprofit supporting pediatric healthcare at hospitals in Cambodia and Laos. In a long career centered on philanthropy, Chris has held a variety of positions in the nonprofit world, including: Vice President for External Affairs at Freedom from Hunger; Chief Philanthropy Officer at the William J. Clinton Foundation; Deputy Director and Director of External Affairs at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco; Director of Philanthropy at The Nature Conservancy, California Program; and Director of Development at the San Francisco Symphony. Between 1987 and 1996 he was President of Fitzgerald & Graves, a management consulting firm specializing in capital campaign design and execution.
Chris graduated from Duke University with a degree in Political Science & Canadian Studies. He discovered the world of international development in the 1990s through his pursuit of Class IV adventure whitewater kayaking, and has paddled wild and remote rivers on six continents. Chris serves on the board of American Whitewater, the nation’s leader in river protection, restoration, and access, and rides motorcycles at every opportunity.
Chief Financial Officer
Tom Low joined East Meets West in 2011, after serving on the EMW Board for five years. Before coming on staff, Tom was a partner with Bridges SF, LLC, an executive search firm specializing in the placement of senior financial executives. Tom was the founding Chief Financial Officer of Restoration Hardware, where he was a member of a three-man executive team that expanded the company from four stores to 100 stores with a direct mail and e-commerce business. The business grew to over $300 million in revenue. When Tom took Restoration Hardware public in June 1998, it was one of the most successful IPOs of that year. Tom also has been CFO of Ask Jeeves and Safeway.com.
Tom graduated from the University of California, Davis with a BS degree and holds an MBA in Finance from the University of California, Irvine where he won the Arthur Andersen & Co. Entrepreneur of the Year award. Tom is a former board member and treasurer of St. Paul's Episcopal School in Oakland, and a founding board member of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the Ascend. He volunteers as a Portfolio Advisor for Inner City Advisors, an Oakland-based nonprofit that builds sustainable and responsible inner city businesses that create quality jobs and contribute to the local economy.
Burt joined the EMW staff in April 2012. Prior to EMW, Burt was controller at a local community bank that specialized in Asian-American businesses with operations in Greater China. Burt also spent many years as controller in the Napa wine industry.
Burt is a licensed CPA and has a Masters in Accountancy from California State University Northridge and a Masters in Taxation from USC. When not spending time with his nine-year-old son and seven-year-old daughter, he enjoys restoring his 1963 Jaguar convertible.
Veronica joined the EMW staff in March 2008. Prior to EMW, she has had experience working as a staff accountant in such industries as software and manufacturing. Most recently she was working as a staff accountant in the retail industry in Las Vegas, NV. Veronica has a BA from the University of CA, Davis where she studied Political Science and minored in Asian American Studies. After graduating , she worked in a non-profit law firm that provided legal services for seniors.
Amy joined the EMW staff in May 2013. Prior to EMW, Amy was a senior accountant at a public accounting firm specializing in the affordable housing and renewable energy
industries. Amy received a BA in business administration with an emphasis in accounting from San Francisco State University. She is licensed in California as a certified public accountant. She lives in San Francisco and enjoys exploring new restaurants throughout the Bay Area.
Linda began working for East Meets West in 2010, and enjoys her work supporting the Finance Team. Before coming to the United States from Beijing, China, she held management positions for over a decade at the China Nuclear Engineering Corporation and the Beijing Institute of Nuclear Engineering.
Linda holds a BA in Economics from Jilin Finance and Trade College, China and a Master’s from the University of Idaho. She lives in El Sobrante and enjoys the diverse cultures of the Bay Area. She likes to spend her free time reading, walking and cooking.
COMMUNICATIONS AND MARKETING
Sylvia has been with East Meets West since November 2007. Prior to joining the EMW staff, she spent eight years at the International Rescue Committee domestic resettlement office in Oakland, first as a refugee caseworker, and later as immigration specialist and site manager. She helped resettle refugees from all parts of the globe, including the former Yugoslavia, Burma, Nepal, Liberia, Columbia, the Congo, and Vietnam. Previously, she worked as a freelance editor, specializing in textbooks and computer books. Having worked closely with many newly arrived Vietnamese refugees, helping them adjust to a very different life in the United States, Sylvia is excited to be working to support health and education programs in Vietnam itself.
Originally from New Jersey, Sylvia has lived in the Bay Area for over 20 years. She has a B.A. and M.A. in Slavic languages and literature from the University of California at Berkeley.
Marketing and Communications Associate
Lily has been with EMW since January 2011. Before joining the Communications team, she worked at Nordstrom, and prior to that was a student assistant at the Disability Center at San Francisco State University.
Lily was born in Indonesia and attended school there through sixth grade. After completing high school in the US, she earned a B.S. in Marketing from SF State. She lives in San Francisco with her two dogs. Bilingual in English and Indonesian, she also has a working knowledge of Mandarin. She is especially excited about the expansion of the Breath of Life program to her native Indonesia.
Office & Administrative Assistant
Before joining EMW, Vanessa worked as a Graduate Assistant while completing her Master's degree in International Relations in Rome, Italy. She has previous international development experience from her time spent at Camfed, an organization dedicated to the empowerment of girls and women through education. While earning her undergraduate degree at UC Berkeley, Vanessa worked in the Vaccines for Children program at the California Department of Health. Due in large part to these experiences, Vanessa is devoted to doing her part to promote better access to healthcare and education on a global scale.
Books and food are Vanessa's two greatest passions, with soccer coming in a very close third. She especially loves to combine these passions with travel, so she can sample the local literature, cuisine, and football/futbol/calcio team.
John joined the EMW staff in March 2007. He works with the Development and Finance teams to manage and maintain donor and program-related data. John brings four years of experience in outreach, recruitment and database administration with the Court Appointed Special Advocates Program. He completed his undergraduate work in Sociology with an emphasis in International Development focused on Asia at UC Davis.
As a second generation Vietnamese-American born in the states, John has fostered an abiding interest in his heritage. His passion for the development of Vietnam is driven by the desire to understand his homeland's past and the hope to have some part in shaping its future. He is thrilled at the opportunity to work with East Meets West and assist disadvantaged children and families in Vietnam.
Program Development Officer, Global Health
Sameera joined the EMW staff in May 2013. She is responsible for evaluating improvements and innovations to existing programs, strategic program development, and identifying new fundraising opportunities for EMW’s global health programs. Prior to EMW, Sameera was a management consultant at PRTM (now part of PwC Consulting) working with leading pharmaceutical and medical device companies to find solutions to complex operational issues. She also has on the ground experience working with healthcare focused social enterprises, nonprofits, and the governmental sector in India.
Sameera recently graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a combined MBA/MPH dual degree. She completed her undergraduate studies at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, earning a BS in Economics. Sameera is excited to be joining the EMW team and working to improve healthcare services for the underserved globally.
Development Officer, WASH Programs
Mark Pham is responsible for growing the knowledge base and managing research needs for EMW Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene programs, having joined the team August 2012. Prior to EMW, Mark worked in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam with An Giang University through VIA Programs. During that time, he founded the Em Chi Initiative, an educational project that is providing mentoring and life-skills training to 33 girls who were nominated for participation by current and former sex workers.
His work with gender equality stems from his time as a substance abuse counselor at the Queen of Peace Women’s Rehabilitation Center in St. Louis, MO, as a sexual assault counselor for Community Service Programs in Santa Ana, CA, and as an intern at the Department of Health and Human Services at the capitol. For his work in girls’ education, he is a current fellow with the Global Good Fund and a past Ford Foundation Community Fellow. Mark graduated from Washington University in Saint Louis with a Masters in Social Work as a Thurgood Marshall Dean’s Scholar and from California State University, Fullerton with a Bachelor’s in Human Services with Honors.
Jessica joined the EMW Oakland office as Development Administrator in April 2012. Most recently, Jessica was a Development Intern at Parent Trust for Washington Children where she gained experience in a broad range of development-related tasks. She has long had an interest in the nonprofit sector with an international perspective.
Jessica attended Lewis and Clark College where she earned a B.A. in International Relations. She received a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Washington. She also holds a TESOL certificate from The School for International Training in Costa Rica, where she taught ESL.
Jessica currently lives in Danville with her family. She is a Martial Arts instructor and enjoys surfing and board games.
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