The Allan Rosenfield award recognizes the outstanding contributions of those who have left a deep and accomplished legacy for Fistula Foundation and our mission. The award is named for the late Dr. Allan Rosenfield, who served on the Fistula Foundation’s Board of Directors for five years.
As dean of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University he was known globally for his pioneering leadership and myriad contributions to the field of women’s health. We still miss Allan greatly and will remember him by recognizing others who have made significant contributions to the Foundation.
The Dr. Allan Rosenfield Award is a small statue cast in bronze, created by Dutch artist Ditta Engel, who has spent a significant amount of time in Africa.
Fistula Foundation is deeply honored to work with so many inspiring people who are as passionate as we are about delivering life-changing surgeries that give women a new chance at life.
Over the last 12 years, Jerry has donated hundreds of hours of his time, choosing to spend most of his Monday mornings in our San Jose office. If you’ve given to Fistula Foundation in the last decade, you’ve likely received a thank you letter that was personally folded, stamped, and sealed by Jerry. The letters that pass through his hands have helped us stay connected to donors like you and share the impact you’ve had on thousands of women—something that is vital to our mission.
Now retired, Jerry previously worked as an English teacher at Leland High School in San Jose. After learning from a New York Times op-ed that there was a San Jose-based organization dedicated to raising funds for fistula surgeries, he wanted to help, and Jerry has been volunteering weekly ever since.
For more than a decade, Fistula Foundation has been a proud partner of Johnson & Johnson. Conrad Person has been a key figure in this partnership, and a true friend to Fistula Foundation. His support has helped channel hundreds of thousands of dollars to our partners in the field, funding fistula surgeries, critically needed equipment and also high-quality training for surgeons and care providers, helping women with fistula get the best care possible. Conrad’s partnership has also helped Fistula Foundation raise awareness and funds for fistula in clever ways, such as through the Facebook-based game, “Half the Sky Movement: The Game,” in which players from around the world learned about obstetric fistula and its impact on women’s lives while having the opportunity to unlock real-world funding from Johnson & Johnson that helped Fistula Foundation deliver treatment to more women. We are truly grateful for his contributions.
Rob Tessler is a litigator, and retired partner in the Manhattan law firm Toberoff, Tessler & Schochet. After reading an article about fistula by Nick Kristof in the New York Times, he knew he had to do something. He contacted Fistula Foundation and joined our Board of Directors in 2003, serving until 2014. During this tenure, he brought deep experience as a successful New York City litigator to the Foundation, making important contributions on the Governance and Nomination committees, and helping guide our expansion when we adopted a global mission in 2009. He and his wife, Linda Gottlieb, opened their home to the Foundation on several occasions, hosting many events with Board and Foundation partners.
Rob rejoined the Fistula Foundation Board in 2016, and continues to passionately support the healing of women suffering from obstetric fistula.
Dr. Larry William
Dr. Larry William was the longest serving board member in Fistula Foundation’s history. During that time, Larry served in key leadership roles and helped guide the Foundation’s global strategy. Larry served for years on the Foundation’s Executive Committee, and chaired the Foundation’s Grants Committee for several years. He visited partner sites on behalf of the Foundation in Ethiopia, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi. He is board certified in internal medicine and medical oncology and practiced privately for over 20 years. Larry and his wife, Judy, have been loyal and generous supporters of the Foundation for years.
Linda Tripp served in key roles in her eight years on the Foundation’s board. She helped guide the Foundation’s global strategy, and led the Foundation’s Finance and Investments committee for several years. Prior to joining our Board, Tripp worked at World Vision for 31 years on important issues like women’s empowerment and refugee resettlement. She first became involved with the issue of obstetric fistula in 1981, when she met Drs. Catherine and Reginald at the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia. She was deeply inspired by their work, and we are extremely fortunate to have had her expertise and passion on our Board.
In 2013, Fistula Foundation presented the inaugural Dr. Allan Rosenfield Award to Kassahun “Kassy” Kebede and Dr. Gerald Shefren. The award recognized his significant contributions to the organization during his ten year tenure on the Foundation Board of Directors. For eight of those years Kassy served as the Foundation’s board chair during a period of tremendous growth for the Foundation. He capably guided the Foundation board, working in close partnership with the CEO, to build the Foundation to the position of the Foundation today, the largest organization focused on fistula treatment globally. Kassy was respected for his gentle humility, kindness and dedication to helping the women of his African homeland get care to transform their lives.
Dr. Gerald Shefren
In 2013, Fistula Foundation presented the inaugural Dr. Allan Rosenfield Award to Kassahun Kebede and Dr. Gerald (Jerry) Shefren. The award recognized his significant contributions to the organization during his ten year tenure on the Foundation Board of Directors. Jerry served in a number of leadership positions at the Foundation, including the Executive Committee. Jerry worked closely with the Foundation’s CEO and a small team of board members to develop and guide the strategy for the Foundation’s global expansion. Jerry was respected for his integrity, dedication and tough-minded pragmatism.