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Staff

MDF is currently conducting a search for the position of Program Director.

For more information, click here to review the position description.

 

MDF Staff

Molly White
Chief Executive Officer

Molly is Chief Executive Officer in charge of leadership, strategic direction and administrative oversight for the comprehensive programmatic and fundraising efforts of the Foundation and its staff. Molly has over 25 years of leadership-level experience building, implementing and running award-winning domestic and international community programs for organizations in both the private and nonprofit sectors. She has created partnerships with a range of governmental, nonprofit and private sector stakeholders that have included Gap, Inc., Nike, Inc., Visa, Inc., Sony, Williams Sonoma/Pottery Barn, AAA, The Estate Project for Artists with AIDS, Canyon Ranch Institute, the Ford Foundation and The Wilderness Society, to launch initiatives targeting key national issues such as childhood obesity prevention and components of healthcare reform.

Molly earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Montana, and her Master of Arts from the University of Iowa. She has received certification from the Center for Corporate Community Relations, Boston University; the Fund Raising School, Center on Philanthropy, Indiana University; and has served as a board member for numerous community organizations.

 

Abraham Aldrete
Operations Director

Abraham joined the MDF team in 2015 as the Director of Operations to lead the Foundation's day-to-day operations and provide administrative capacity to our programs. Abraham is committed to MDF's mission to enhance Care and a Cure and believes the everyday work of the Foundation is holistic and proactive in its approach; not only does MDF provide patients and their families with direct support, through resources like the MDF Toolkit, it also does great work around advocacy and research for a cure. Passionate about creating vibrant, healthy communities, Abraham has provided administrative capacity to a number of mission-driven, social service organizations around the Bay Area throughout his career, working in the areas of mental health, housing, access to health care and patient advocacy. Abraham earned his Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and Sociology (with an emphasis in social change) from San Diego State University.

 

Jenny Burns
Development Director

Jenny joined MDF in 2018 at a time of exciting change and growth for the Foundation. She’s excited to building upon the great support MDF has received to grow the Foundation’s reach and impact. Since 2014 she has helped to lead a comprehensive capital campaign and a period of historic growth in philanthropy for UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals Foundation. Prior to her time at UCSF Jenny worked as the Regional Development Director for Brown University in the San Francisco Bay Area, building connections to alumni and growing their philanthropic investment in the University. Before working in development Jenny worked in local, state and federal education policy and advocacy focused on equity. She has a Master of Public Policy degree from U.C. Berkeley and a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from Brown University.

 

Paul Formaker
Program Director

Paul is tasked with overseeing and expanding the current slate of MDF Care and program initiatives while also creating and developing new strategic projects to provide support and resources to the DM community. He leads planning for the MDF Annual Conference and represents MDF at meetings and conferences around the nation. Prior to joining MDF, Paul worked at the University of California, San Francisco with the Investigative Therapeutics Oncology team as a Senior Clinical Research Coordinator. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with an emphasis on pre-medicine from the University of California, Berkeley.

 

Kleed Cumming
Program Associate

Kleed joined MDF in 2018 as Program Associate to assist the Program and Development Directors with Patient Support and Education as well as various aspects of program research and content development, communications and fundraising. MDF’s holistic approach to the issue of an uncured disease attracted Kleed to MDF, due to his desire to find meaningful work at an ethical and fast moving organization. Prior to joining MDF, Kleed interned at the Investment Center of the United Nations Federal Credit Union in New York City. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Business and Technology Management from New York University.

 

Elizabeth Habeeb-Louks
Grants Manager

Elizabeth joined the Foundation in 2015 as its Grants Manager to oversee the administration of incoming grant applications and awarded research projects. She has 9 years of experience managing grants for patient advocacy groups such as the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy and the Lymphoma Research Foundation, including venture philanthropy and milestone-driven projects. She has several years of experience planning and organizing informal advisory committee meetings as well as large scientific conferences for hundreds of attendees. Elizabeth received her Master’s Degree in Library Science from the University of Arizona and her Bachelor's Degree in Education from Ball State University.

 

John D. Porter, PhD
Chief Science Officer

Dr. Porter leads MDF’s aggressive drug development acceleration and research agenda. His academic research career spans more than thirty years, including ten years at the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), where he led research grant programs focused on diseases affecting the motoneuron, neuromuscular junction, nerve, and skeletal muscle. John also served as Chief Executive Officer for Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, a Duchenne patient advocacy organization. He has also served a 10-year term as Executive Secretary for the interagency Muscular Dystrophy Coordinating Committee and on advisory boards for a wide variety of companies, publishers, foundations, and academic organizations. He continues to consult for several neuromuscular disease research and development organizations.

 

Katrina Yamazaki, PhD
Registry Registrar

Katrina joined the Foundation in 2015 as the MDF Registrar to oversee the Myotonic Dystrophy Family Registry, and provide support on the research and drug development agenda. She has several years of experience managing large databases, data analysis, and research. Katrina received her PhD in molecular pathology from the University of California, San Diego. She currently is an Assistant Professor at Cal State LA, where she teaches anatomy, physiology and pathology and oversees a cardiovascular metabolism research lab at Cal State LA.

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