A Message from Dena


Dear WGHA members & colleagues,

I am writing to share that I am stepping down from my position as president of the Washington Global Health Alliance. I made this decision with a heavy heart, but I know it is the right time for me to pass the torch to a new leader. My last day will be April 30.

The Washington Global Health Alliance today is a healthy, strong organization and the hub of a vibrant community of global health stakeholders. It’s been a privilege for me to lead WGHA through a period of growth and increasing professionalization, building on the solid foundation established by our fearless founder Lisa Cohen.

During my time as president, we recruited a gender-balanced, diversified, and engaged board of directors and built a strong team of talented staff. We developed high-quality programming and brought our members’ work to life through the popular biweekly e-newsletter, Field Notes, and videos produced with our friends at Mighty Media Studios. We branched out to welcome new and relevant organizations into the membership. And, last but not least, we strengthened WGHA’s finances to do more with the resources you entrust to us.

Now it’s time for the next chapter. WGHA is immediately moving forward with the search for a new president. Our governance board, led by Gabrielle Fitzgerald, is working with the Valtas Group to conduct a comprehensive search. I am pleased that Tina Vlasaty, former WGHA vice president, will provide interim leadership for the organization beginning May 1.

We need the help of all WGHA members and supporters to find the best candidates. Please share the position description for president with your networks.

It has been rewarding to lead this organization and be a part of the broader network of global health alliances—from Atlanta to Australia—that WGHA has helped build. Connecting, supporting, and celebrating Washington’s global health ecosystem has been a joy. My sincere thanks to each of you for making my work possible.

Please reach out to me with any questions, concerns, or comments. Your feedback is important.

While transition means change, one thing remains constant: WGHA is here because of you—the 14,000 Washingtonians who work tirelessly to improve health equity around the world.

Thank you for your partnership and your continued support for WGHA’s mission.