Carol 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 Nahle, PhD, MPA, is the Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) and Vice President for Research 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 Nature, Nature 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.
Emily Taylor is the Director of Advocacy and Public Relations 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.
Carolyn Mayo is the Director of Development for Solve ME/CFS Initiative. She brings to the organization more than twenty years of experience in fundraising and not-for-profit management. Before joining Solve ME/CFS Initiative, Carolyn designed and directed development programs for a variety of organizations that focused on education and social justice in New York City and the greater Philadelphia area. Carolyn received her B.A. in Art History from Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.
Diana 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.
Allison Ramiller is the Scientific Administrator with the Solve ME/CFS Initiative. Allison obtained a bachelor’s degree in psychology with minors in neuroscience and sociology at University of California, Davis. She is currently a Master of Public Health candidate at University of California, Berkeley. The program is interdisciplinary and coursework includes biostatistics, health policy, survey methods, and environmental health, with a particular chosen emphasis on epidemiologic study designs and methods. Allison has always been passionate about working for the public interest and with disenfranchised populations. Prior to joining SMCI, she served as Special Assistant in the Washington office of the Brennan Center for Justice, a think tank and advocacy organization that works to strengthen our systems of democracy and justice. In addition to supporting the work of the Washington office Director & Counsel, she contributed to federal advocacy goals and assisted with strategic communications to Capitol Hill and the Administration. She previously worked for the Oxnard Police Department’s Crime Analysis Unit in Southern California and interned with Innocence Matters, an organization that works to exonerate individuals who were wrongfully convicted. Allison is an avid movie buff and enjoys painting, especially in the style of the impressionists.
Sarah Jones is the Communications and Engagement Coordinator for Solve ME/CFS Initiative. She has over five years’ experience working in communications for Military and Veteran agencies. Before moving to California, Sarah served as the Public Affairs Director for the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs. She received her BA and MFA in Digital Filmmaking from the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, AR. She has written and directed several short films that have screened in festivals all across the country.
Karina Belyavskiy is the Controller, HR Manager, and Administrator at Solve ME/CFS Initiative. She has more than fifteen years of finance, management, and business operational experience. After obtaining her Bachelor of Science from the California State University, Sacramento, she joined a global private corporation. She has built a solid foundation for the company to expand by establishing, implementing, and maintaining efficient company policies that increased its capital.
Through the years, Karina, as a compassionate individual, has had a passion for nonprofit organizations. She joined Solve ME/CFS Initiative after obtaining a Master of Business Administration from California State University, Monterey Bay, and she contributed to making ME/CFS better understood, diagnosable, and treatable.
Though she is dedicated to her work, she loves spending free time with her family, traveling, reading crime novels, and assembling puzzles.