Meet the Team

Board Members


Jaana Rehnström, MD, MPH, President

Founder and President of The Kota Alliance. Experience of leading cultural organizations in NYC; Physician (OB/GYN) and lifelong human rights activist. Eternally grateful to the Finland Center Foundation team who catalyzed Kota into existence: Zac Kelly, Suska Karjalainen, Meeri Koskialho, Daniel Todercan, and many other volunteers!


Sari Gold, MD, Chair

A psychiatrist working for a not-for-profit organization Brownsville Multi-service Family Health Center, as well as in private practice. The majority of her work for 8 years was conducting psychiatric assessments at a homeless women's shelter. Since 2011 she has been working with Empower Nepali Girls foundation. ENG, established in 2001, which provides scholarships to over 280 marginalized and at-risk girls in dozens of villages around Nepal. It's mission is to empower young women through education, support and mentoring.


Upoma Dutta, BBA

Strategy professional with track record of providing analytical and problem solving support to organizations across multiple industries (media & entertainment, clean tech, international development, etc.) and geographies (North America, South Asia). In her past role as a Consultant at International Finance Corporation (World Bank Group), Upoma helped to design advisory services to support financial institutions in expanding financial access among women and women-owned businesses in South Asia. In 2017, she also co-founded a mission-driven social enterprise catering to the unique development needs of women entrepreneurs and professionals in growth-oriented service sectors in Bangladesh. She was also a recipient of the Diamond Award at HSBC Young Entrepreneurs Award in Hong Kong


Richard Lui, MBA

Richard is a journalist and news anchor for MSNBC and NBC News. He was formerly at CNN Worldwide. His enterprise reporting has focused on humanitarian issues including gender equality, human trafficking, and affordable housing. His charity work in the same spaces has led him to work with Plan International USA as a global ambassador for its Because I am a Girl campaign. He is also an ambassador for the Epilepsy Foundation, and sits on the president’s council for America’s largest food source to the poor, Food Bank for New York City. Lui’s work and reporting on humanitarian issues spans 30 years and six continents. He has received civil rights awards from organizations including AAJA, WWAAC, and OCA.


Parisa Elahi, JD

Parisa is a lawyer at an international firm. She was previously a lawyer at a Human Rights NGO, and her previous experience includes pro bono work with the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP). Through participation with IRAP, she represented a client who had been denied refugee status, and ultimately presented the substantive points of the client’s appeal at the client’s appeal interview at UNHCR’s offices in Amman, Jordan. Parisa has also worked with an Ashoka fellow on the implementation of a renewable energy project that emphasizes local community involvement, education and empowerment. Parisa is also a member of the Iranian American Bar Association Pro Bono Committee and the New York City Bar Middle East and North Africa Committee.


Lenka Moore, MA

Lenka holds an MA in International Studies and Diplomacy. She is an Adjunct Professor of International communication and a strategy and project adviser to non-profits and social enterprises with proven multinational strategy-setting, team, project and change management skills.


Jaclyn Evans, MBA

Jaclyn is a Management Consulting Manager for Financial Institutions with experience in enterprise and operational risk management across various industry verticals and an extensive background in third party liability and risk financing. She earned her MBA from New York University Stern School of Business and undergraduate degree from Lehigh University majoring in Political Science with a concentration in micro-finance and political/economic inclusion. Jaclyn is a passionate advocate of human rights and women’s empowerment and has worked to advance gender equality through both corporate and non-profit channels.


Chante Harris, BA

Chante currently works as a strategic consultant with Capalino+Company where she advises entrepreneurs, tech and innovative companies, and sustainability businesses on how to enter and expand in the New York market. During her time at the American University in Washington D.C. she worked to advance policy and campaigns on the national level with Congressman John Conyers. Chante supported legislative staff in gaining co-sponsorship for a bill aiming to reduce maternal mortality rates, and assisted in organizing a women's issues summit. As a member of Generation Progress’ Action Team at Center for American Progress, she conducted outreach to over 500 students across the country looking to get involved with The White House’s initiative against sexual assault, resulting in over 200,000 new pledges online and over 200 events, setting a new record for the team. She is an alumna of the Coro Fellowship Program in Public Affairs in New York City and a Little Rock Nine Scholar.


Danielle Redmond, BA

Danielle has a B.A. in International Business and Management from Gannon University. She comes with a wealth of business experience over the years in both the corporate and non-profit sectors. In her early career, she started in Operations and Management which led to managing 24 facilities and under 100 employees. Most recently she works as a Human Resources professional at a non-profit organization.


Laura Thompson, MA

An international business consultant and the Founder of Loralia LLC, a Global Media Company, she has worked in finance, legal and nonprofit industries before. She is the co-founder of a startup company, Coaching for Global Change, LLC, which aligns itself with the 17 UN SDGs. An alumni of Simmons College, B.A., and Boston University in Paris and INSEAD, M.A., she also sits on the governing boards for many organizations and institutions such as Columbia Business School and the Foreign Press Foundation. Furthermore, Laura is also an author, playwright and poet, and has produced her own off-broadway play entitled Lost & Found. She is also fluent in English and French and well versed in German, Italian and Spanish. She is excited to join the Kota team!


Judithe Registre, MA

Judithe Registre is a social change leader, entrepreneur and a visionary non-profit and business builder with 15+ years of passionate leadership experience in economic development, human rights, gender equality, and women’s empowerment worldwide. She is the founder and operator of social-impact-catalyst Inclusivus, encouraging people to speak up and create change in their lives and communities. She holds M.A. in Philosophy and Social Policy and she is fluent in three languages (English, French, and Haitian Creole).




Anne Rahmouni, M.Sc. Interim Executive Director

Anne is an accounting professional with experience in auditing, financial reporting and management consulting both in the United States and internationally. Her experience is from multiple different business sectors, such as non-profit, media, and finance. Anne has a master degree in Accounting and Finance from University of Tampere, Finland, and in addition she has a Management certificate from Baruch College. Anne is passionate about global gender equality and human rights.


Hanna Nurmikivi, Intern

Hanna is a Social Sciences undergraduate student at the University of Turku, Finland, majoring in Economic Sociology. She also has a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration. Hanna is specially interested in different cultures and environmental issues. “I can’t wait to work for a non-profit organization in an international community on important issues such as sustainability and helping women-centered civil society organizations and businesses”.


Annimari Ollila, Intern

Annimari is a recently graduated English teacher (Master of Arts) from the University of Turku, Finland. In her teaching, Annimari has had a strong emphasis on global and equality issues and she has volunteered as a global educator for Finnish NGOs promoting equality, sustainability, and human rights. After working with different NGOs in Finland, she is eager to learn more about working with equality issues in an international environment.

Advisory Board

Lucia Alcantara Minna Aslama-Horowitz Matthew Bozzetto Win Chamberlin  Leonard Easter Heather Evans Jessica Greer Morris Helena Grönberg Caroline Harris Diane Kaldany Jana La Sorte Leena-Maija Lauren Lisa Macbeth Amanda Nussbaum Nancy Ploeger Ann Rosenberg Leslie Short Mari Simonen