We are very grateful to the WHAM team and our dedicated Board of Directors who support WHAM and share our commitment to transforming the inequities and bias in research.

WHAM Team Members

  • Carolee Lee

    CEO & Founder

    Carolee Lee

    CEO & Founder

    Carolee Lee is an innovative trailblazer dedicated to transforming the health of women. In 2020, she founded WHAM (Women’s Health Access Matters), a non-profit organization. WHAM is committed to accelerating research and investment in women’s health and implementing strategies to eliminate the inequities and bias in research and enterprise, while accelerating scientific discovery and economic impact. Carolee assembled a board of 25 leading businesswomen to launch this initiative and commissioned the Rand Corporation to create The WHAM Report, which quantified the economic benefits of investing in woman’s health research.

    As a well-recognized, highly respected leader, she has shifted the dialogue on women’s health by looking at the ethics, empirical data and economic impact of women’s health while coalescing others to spearhead effective change.

    As an entrepreneurial thinker, Carolee believes that convening and motivating thought leaders from all parts of the ecosystem will be key in creating the needed sustainable and lasting change to drive innovation, action and address the inequities which still exist today.

    Prior to founding WHAM, as a creative force and visionary leader in the fashion world, Carolee built a preeminent global brand and successfully sold it to Luxottica in 2001.

    Carolee has served on numerous public and private boards and currently serves on the boards of: The La Jolla Institute for Immunology; The Women’s Health Advisory Board, Brigham and Women’s Hospital; and The Women’s Leadership Board at The John F. Kennedy School of Government. She is a past president of the Committee of 200 and served as the Chair of its Foundation Board. Carolee also was a director on the board of DSW, Inc., the Museum of Arts and Design, NY, and The Breast Cancer Research Foundation for twenty years.

    Throughout her career, Carolee has embraced mentoring and leadership roles in many diverse business organizations and is active in numerous civic, philanthropic and educational organizations.

  • Lori Frank, PhD


    Lori Frank, PhD


    Lori Frank, PhD is the inaugural President of WHAM. Her career has focused on incorporating community perspectives in health research and health policy to advance public health and health equity. She serves on the Board of the Personalized Medicine Coalition and on the Medical, Scientific, and Memory Screening Advisory Board of the Alzheimer's Foundation of America. She is Past President of the International Society for Quality of Life Research, a professional society devoted to health outcomes assessment. She completed her Health and Aging Policy Fellowship through the Congressional Fellowship Program; prior to that she served on executive leadership for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). She has held research and teaching positions with Georgetown University Department of Psychiatry, the National Institute on Aging, the New York Academy of Medicine, MedImmune LLC/AstraZeneca, and the Veteran’s Administration. She completed postdoctoral training in health services research with the Department of Veteran’s Affairs. Her PhD is in Human Development/Gerontology from the Pennsylvania State University and her MA is in biopsychology from the Johns Hopkins University.

  • Anula Jayasuriya, MD, PhD, MBA

    Vice Chair & Chief Scientific Officer

    Anula Jayasuriya, MD, PhD, MBA

    Vice Chair & Chief Scientific Officer

    Dr. Anula Jayasuriya has worked at the leading edge of life science innovation in the US, Europe, and India, where she co-founded the first health care private equity fund.

    Dr. Jayasuriya has been investing in life sciences and health care since 2001, first with TVM and Skyline Ventures and subsequently with funds she co-founded or founded. She combines successful investment expertise and industry operating experience together with scientific and medical knowledge. Most recently, Dr. Jayasuriya formed EXXclaim Capital to capture the compelling yet under invested business opportunity in women’s health.

    Anula received a BA from Harvard summa cum laude, and an MD and PhD (in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics) from Harvard Medical School. She interned in Pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital and received an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School. Anula also holds a M. Phil. in pharmacology from the University of Cambridge, in England.

  • Meryl Comer

    Vice Chair & Global Chair

    Meryl Comer

    Vice Chair & Global Chair

    Meryl Comer is a Co-Founder/Board Member of UsAgainstAlzheimers, and former Chair, Global Alliance on Women’s Brain Health (2018/2020). For more than a decade (2007-2019), Ms. Comer served as President and CEO of the Geoffrey Beene Foundation Alzheimer's Initiative, a catalyst funder targeting early diagnosis through spirited public campaigns, early assessment technologies, support of the first “virtual registry”, and pre-clinical AD research to modify disease risk. She served on the NIH National Advisory Council on Aging (NACA). In 2012, she led the formation of the 21st Century BrainTrust® (21CBT), a non-profit partnership to advance mobile brain health technologies. Comer was also a co-Principal Investigator for the PCORI Alzheimer’s Patient/Caregiver Research Network in partnership with the Mayo Clinic. In 2009, she served on the bi-partisan Alzheimer's Study Group that presented a National Strategic Plan to Congress. A former veteran broadcast journalist, 100% of Comer’s New York Times bestseller, “Slow Dancing with a Stranger” (HarperCollins), supports Alzheimer’s research.

  • Marianne Foss-Skiftesvik

    Chief of Staff & Strategic Partnerships

    Marianne Foss-Skiftesvik

    Chief of Staff & Strategic Partnerships

    Marianne Foss-Skiftesvik was appointed Chief of Staff of WHAM in 2021 when it was launched as a 501c3. Marianne started working on this initiative in 2018 after joining AccessCircles, a global, by-invitation network founded by Carolee Lee committed to bringing women access to leaders, resources and experiences that can help transform their lives. Marianne is the Vice President of Marketing and Communications. Prior to joining AccessCircles, Marianne was an Analyst for Axtria, a global management consulting firm providing cloud software and data analytics to leading pharmaceutical companies.

    Marianne graduated from Bucknell University in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering. At Bucknell, she was selected to join the National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenges Scholars Program. Marianne is also a Certified Health Coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

WHAM Board Members

We are very grateful to our board members who support WHAM. WHAM’s actively engaged board or directors includes prominent changemakers – from the business community, medicine, philanthropy and other spaces – who have broken barriers and care deeply about transforming health and economic opportunities for all women. These multifaceted leaders have the ability to raise significant funds and deliver high-impact results at a global scale.

Dale Atkins, PhD

Psychologist and Author

Gail Bassin

Managing Director, Gail D Bassin Foundation

Joanne Bauer

Global Corporate Executive and Board Member Former President of Kimberly-Clark’s Global Health Care Business

Virginia Bennett

Senior Advisor, WHAM

Nelly Bly

Vice Chair, The Center for Discovery Board of Directors Trustee, Dwight-Englewood School Author

Diane Britz Lotti

Founding Partner, Circle Financial Group

Marilyn Chinitz

Litigator and Partner, Blank Rome LLP

Maria Chrin

Partner, Circle Wealth Management

Meryl Comer

Vice Chair and Global Chair, WHAM Co-Founder, UsAgainstAlzheimers/ WomenAgainstAlzheimers Chair, Global Alliance on Women’s Brain Health

Gina Diez Barroso

President and CEO, Grupo Diarq Founder, DaliaEmpower

Chaz Ebert

President, Roger and Chaz Ebert Foundation

Mary Foss-Skiftesvik

Board Member and Investor

Emily Gold Mears

Citizen Scientist, Research Analyst, Biohacker, Author and Former Attorney

Marsha Henderson

Former Associate Commissioner for Women’s Health, FDA

Ann Kaplan

Partner, Circle Wealth Management

Anula Jayasuriya, MD, PhD, MBA

Vice Chair and Chief Scientific Officer, WHAM Founder and Managing Director, EXXclaim Capital

Susan King

Board Member, Private Investor, CMO, Advisor, and Advocate

Carolee Lee

Founder, CEO, and Chair, WHAM Founder and CEO, AccessCircles Founder and former CEO of CAROLEE

Christopher Lee

Associate Vice Chancellor, UC San Diego

Sharon Love


Sheila Ann Mikhail

Cofounder and Advisor, Asklepios BioPharmaceutical, Inc. (AskBio)

Anne Lim O’Brien

Vice Chairman, Heidrick & Struggles

Jim Roth

Vice Chair of the Board, Huron

Karen Segal

Board Member, UsAgainstAlzheimer's Founding Board Member, Children's Research Fund North Suburban Board, Ann & Robert Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago

Ekta Singh-Bushell

Global Chair/Chief Operating Officer Board Member Non-Executive Director Public, Private, & Startup Advisor

George Vradenburg

Founding Chairman, Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative

Celia Weatherhead


WHAM is dedicated to funding women’s health research and investment to transform women’s lives.


WHAM was created in response to the considerable funding gap, historical exclusion, and underrepresentation of women in health research.


Marianne Foss-Skiftesvik
Chief of Staff & Strategic Partnerships

19 East Elm St
Greenwich CT 06830



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