Who we are

Bridges is led by a team of experienced professionals who have demonstrated commitment and delivered solutions to global problems throughout their careers, leveraging experience in diverse organizations such as Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, The Global Fund and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Bridges is overseen by Board members who bring public, private and academic expertise, including experience in education, global health, international development, law, and the pharmaceutical industry.

The Team

  • Julie Jacobson, MD, DTMH

    Managing Partner, United States

    Julie is a global health leader and physician with a life-long commitment to addressing complex public health problems with creative problem solving, innovation, and development of collaborative partnerships for delivering global results.

    We are pleased and honored to recognize that Julie is the immediate past President (2020 - 2021)of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH).  Established in 1903, ASTMH is the largest tropical medicine society in the world with members from 117 countries around the world.

    Dedicated to serving the underserved and building equity, Julie pulls from experience as a health care provider, researcher, and initiator of pioneering programs. She has tackled large scale global problems, removed barriers to success, and built trust amongst diverse stakeholders to achieve health impact for some of the world’s most marginalized populations. Julie brings wide-ranging experience from clinical care, disaster response, product development, and immunization as well as in-depth disease specific knowledge, particularly in neglected tropical diseases.

    Julie has trained at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as in clinical tropical medicine.


  • Alan Brooks, PhD, RN

    Managing Partner, Switzerland

    Alan is a recognized leader in forging partnerships, development, and delivering results. He has been recognized for excellence and innovation throughout a career of more than 25 years leading teams with developing countries and international partners to help individuals improve their lives and countries to strengthen systems and avert disease.

    From his professional beginnings working as a prison nurse, Alan has always sought to be challenged and learn from and with those around him. He grew ever more passionate about international development through work on public-private partnerships, education and capacity development, research and development for new interventions, infectious diseases, immunization, supply chain, and primary health care in the developing world.

    Alan earned his doctorate with high honors from the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute at the University of Basel, Switzerland. He holds an MSc from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a BA with highest honors from the University of Washington. Alan is also a Registered Nurse.


  • Sarah Churchill, MALD

    Partner, Switzerland

    Sarah is a proven manager with over 20 years of experience in international social and economic development, spanning public and private non-profit sectors. Sarah organizes high-performing teams and innovates to deliver results, challenging and improving on existing approaches in education and health.

    Teaching in rural Kenya first inspired Sarah to pursue development solutions to help people overcome barriers to schooling and help to enhance livelihoods. She oversaw multi-million investments through USAID to reform South Africa’s education system at a time of rapid political change. At The Global Fund, Sarah managed the access to funding process and guided innovative transformations to their business model. Most recently at Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, she led key improvements to country engagement and grant-making. Recognized for operational excellence and multi-stakeholder collaboration, Sarah brings strong planning and management expertise to the Bridges team.

    Sarah is a graduate of Williams College (BA in Political Science) and Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.



  • Anastasia Pantelias, MS

    Associate Partner, United States

    Anastasia is Senior Program Manager and Research Scientist with experience in program oversight, strategy development, leadership support, and investment management related to health product development and public health program implementation.

    She spent over ten years at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation primarily focused on Neglected Tropical Diseases. As Deputy Director of the NTD team, she was responsible for leading the strategy and business planning team, driving strategy development, execution planning, and monitoring against the team’s goals. She also managed a portfolio of investments to develop and deliver novel solutions for NTDs including in diagnostics, surveillance, and vector control. 

    Prior to the foundation, she was as a bench scientist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center focused on developing novel immunotherapeutics for hematologic malignancies. She holds a Masters in Neurobiology and Behavior from the University of Washington.


  • Cathy Grebert, MBA

    Finance and Operations Manager

    Cathy has worked in Finance for the past 16 years in both the public and private sector, in a career that has bridged both health care and human impact.

    She started her career as a Physiotherapist in Australia, working in brain injury care, from acute treatment to return to work. After transitioning into a career in finance, worked as the Finance and Compliance Manager for a leading diamond company, and subsequently as Financial Manager for a technology company that provided RFID solutions to the healthcare and diamond industries. Having lived and worked in Asia, Cathy developed a concern for women in vulnerable situations and she became a Director of a non-profit that worked to empower the vulnerable to find and maintain meaningful work.  

    Cathy holds an MBA from the University of New England, a post-graduate diploma in Public Health from Curtin University, and a Bachelors in Applied Science from Sydney University.


  • Bridges’ Internship Program

    2019 - Present

    Bridges is committed to investing in the next generation of health, education, and sustainable development leaders. Launched in 2019, our internship program is designed for students and young professionals on their way to impactful and fulfilling careers. Below are our interns listed by their year of participation.


Board Members

Board members oversee and support the work of Bridges. Members have “rolled up their sleeves,” in helping to establish Bridges and start it on a strong trajectory. They bring public, private and academic expertise, including experience in education, global health, international development, law, and the pharmaceutical industry.

  • David Brandling-Bennett, PhD

    Board Chair (United States); Board Vice-Chair (Switzerland)

    David is a medical epidemiologist whose work has focused on global health, primarily on infectious diseases, especially tropical diseases such as malaria. He has worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which included extended assignments in Central America, Thailand, and Kenya. He serves on the boards of the Medicines for Malaria Venture and the Innovative Vector Control Consortium.
    His hope is to help Bridges to Development foster the effective application of innovative ideas and technologies to address long-standing challenges in low- and middle-income countries.

  • John Marshall, PhD

    Board Chair (Switzerland) and Board Vice-Chair (United States)

    After studying chemistry in London and Boston John made his professional career in pharmaceuticals, covering research, project management, business development (including Mergers & Acquisition), and marketing, with a focus on vaccines and therapeutic biologicals between 1986 and 1999.
    From 1995 to 1999 John served as CEO for a small biotech company. John spent almost 10 years (2001 -2010) in the not-for-profit sector, mainly pro bono, with The Vaccine Fund (GAVI), PATH’s Malaria Vaccine initiative and UNRWA. John has been with the Bridges team from the very start, guiding and supporting the development of a mission-driven organization and exploring ways to impact positively the lives of those most affected by disease and limited educational resources.

  • Gretchen Meller, PhD

    Board Member (United States and Switzerland)

    Gretchen is currently a Project Director in the Vaccine Product Development Center at the International Aids Vaccine Initiative, managing HIV vaccine candidates through translational development. 
    Previously she has worked as a Program Manager for Research at Providence Health & Services, leading a team in supporting the system needs of the regional research teams, and as a Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation where she was responsible for a variety of efforts in enteric and diarrheal diseases, including those for therapeutics and vaccines.  Gretchen believes that everyone should be able to understand and learn what they need to know about health and science. She has furthered this in the Seattle community through her role as a co-founder and co-organizer of Science on Tap, a Seattle nonprofit dedicated to sparking public interest in science. 

  • Emmanuel Mugisha, MD

    Board Member (United States and Switzerland)

    Dr. Emmanuel Mugisha is a public health and community development expert. He brings close to 30 years of experience including public health program implementation, and community-based development of education and water systems. His work has spanned HIV/AIDS, reproductive health, vaccines and immunizations, health policy and systems strengthening, collaborating with governments, academia and numerous implementing partners. Dr. Mugisha was the Uganda Country Director and currently serves as Director, Typhoid Vaccine and Senior Technical Immunization Advisor at PATH. Dr Mugisha hopes to complement the work of Bridges with his strong support of data driven and from-the-ground-up solutions to improve well-being of communities in low and middle-income countries.

  • Harriet Stanley PhD

    Board Member (United States and Switzerland)

    Harriet has worked in international development and global health for 30 years.  She has lived and worked in several countries, including Ghana, Nepal, Thailand, Cambodia and Timor-Leste. She provided technical support to many other countries on short term consultancies.  The focus of her work has been on strengthening health systems, engaging communities, increasing access and equity, and improving the quality of health services to meet the needs of women and their families. 
    Harriet has served on non-profit boards including HealthBridge (was PATH Canada) and Planned Parenthood.  She has also provided technical support to new and established boards in countries where she worked to strengthen civil society partners.  Her experience managing projects at the country, regional and global levels has included executive positions during which she worked closely with board members.

Please send requests for a copy of our annual progress and financial reports to: info@bridgestodevelopment.org