Solve ME/CFS Initiative Staff

March 6, 2017

Carol circleCarol Head is the president of Solve ME/CFS Initiative. An executive with more than 25 years of success in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors, she’s an experienced business owner, corporate executive, communicator, and problem solver. Before assuming leadership of the Solve ME/CFS Initiative, Carol served as the CEO of two companies in the private sector and, prior to that, was the vice president of marketing for two internet-based companies. Carol spent eight years as an executive at the Los Angeles Times in a variety of marketing and strategy roles and served as associate vice president of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee.

Carol has been active in community affairs, serving on three national non-profit boards, including service as a board chair. She is also a founder of Project Redwood, a venture philanthropy fund which supports creative approaches to alleviating extreme global poverty. Carol earned a BA in English from Wellesley College (Phi Beta Kappa) and an MBA from Stanford University. An ME/CFS patient herself, Carol was first affected by the disease in the 1980s.

In January 2017, Carol was honored to be recognized by O, The Oprah Magazine as a 2017 Health Hero, one of fourteen visionaries who are healing bodies, minds, and communities.


Zaher CircleZaher Nahle, PhD, MPA, is the vice president for research and scientific programs at Solve ME/CFS Initiative. Dr. Nahle earned his PhD in physiology and biophysics from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and Stony Brook University and his Master in Public Administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Dr. Nahle also completed post-doctoral fellowships at both Harvard and StonyBrook.

A scientist with interdisciplinary training in biomedical research and public administration, Dr. Nahle has won several awards, such as the Army Breast Cancer Fellowship Award, the American Heart Association Career Development Award, and the National Priorities Research Award. He has a history of securing prestigious funding in healthcare- and patient-oriented research and has generated $7.4 million in total research funding through direct competitions and philanthropic solicitations. His additional areas of expertise include research portfolio management and public/private partnerships.

Having published more than 22 interdisciplinary research papers in prestigious journals including NatureNature Cell Biology, the Journal of Biological Chemistry, and Oncogene, Dr. Nahle’s PhD thesis focused on studying the molecular mechanisms of programmed cell death and genomic instability using unbiased, high-throughput technologies. This work used a range of innovative methodologies and large-scale bioinformatics, and its discoveries remain highly cited in the fields of molecular biology and genetics.

Dr. Nahle has served as a principal investigator and laboratory head at several universities, including Vanderbilt, Cornell, and Washington University in St. Louis. As a principal investigator, he led research teams and developed scientific programs, lending his hands-on expertise in biomedical protocols, procedures, and techniques as well as project design and management.

Dr. Nahle is also a cofounder of Ibrak Partners, a charitable organization with branches in the United States and Kenya that works to improve policies and provide services for children with physical disabilities in poor and neglected areas.


Karen headshot circle for emailKaren Petersen is the director of development for Solve ME/CFS Initiative. A seasoned professional with nearly 30 years of experience in consumer marketing, Karen has worked in a wide range of industries ranging from health and beauty to video games and received her BA from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Karen is also committed to volunteerism. She spent several years as a hotline counselor with the Rancho Palos Verdes Community Helpline and has led fundraising efforts for local events benefitting schools and breast cancer research.


Emily Taylor is the advocacy and engagement manager for Solve ME/CFS Initiative. She brings to the organization over ten years of policy, organization, and advocacy experience in both the non-profit and government sectors. With five years’ experience in Washington DC, Emily contributes a keen understanding of both state and federal policy processes while cultivating strong grassroots organization and patient representation.

Prior to joining the Solve ME/CFS Initiative, Emily served as the director of policy and advocacy for an award-winning autism organization. There she spearheaded major overhauls in disability, early intervention, and education policies. She is also a veteran of several successful electoral campaigns, where she trained others in effective social media and online organization. She received a BA with honors in politics and international relations from Scripps College in Claremont and earned her master’s in American politics from Claremont Graduate University. Emily draws inspiration from her mother who has battled ME as well as chronic autoimmune and thyroid conditions since 1999.


Linda circle v2 smallLinda Leigh is the accounting, HR, and administration manager for Solve ME/CFS Initiative. Linda is a seasoned business solutions expert with a diverse background, having performed human services and accounting work in both the public and private sectors.

As a volunteer advocate for victims of domestic violence, Linda continues to push for social change. She works with abused dogs and volunteers with various causes, including the Susan G. Komen 3-Day®. Linda is devoted to nurturing creativity while exploring the enrichment of all life forms and seeks balance through synchronicity, creative energy, and the dignity of life.


Mamie circleMamie-Louise Anderson is the administration and development coordinator for Solve ME/CFS Initiative and brings to the organization a broad background in development, fundraising, office and project management, audience development, and community outreach at nonprofit organizations in Boston, New York, and Los Angeles.

Prior to joining the Solve ME/CFS Initiative, Mamie-Louise served as board liaison/executive assistant to the vice president of development at the Autry National Center of Western Art in Los Angeles. Prior that, she served as a development associate at the Saban Community Clinic. Mamie-Louise received her BFA from Emerson College, where she graduated magna cum laude as a member of the Golden Key Honor Society.


Diana CircleDiana Sagini is the development coordinator for Solve ME/CFS Initiative and has a dual BS in finance and marketing from California State University Northridge. She has a passion for problem solving and data-driven analysis that improves on processes and helps drive strategic objectives.

Diana is an avid yogi and a self-proclaimed student of life who is constantly seeking new experiences to expand her thinking.