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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 innovator, entrepreneur and thought leader dedicated to improving women’s health and wellbeing, and their opportunities to succeed. She was founder and CEO of Carolee Designs, one of the world’s leading accessories brands. After the sale of her business to Luxottica, Carolee focused her energies on women’s health and life planning. In 2008, she founded AccessCircles, a global, by-invitation network committed to bringing women access to leaders, resources and experiences that can help transform their lives. Carolee launched WHAM in July 2018 as an initiative of AccessCircles to focus on increasing awareness of women’s health issues, investing in women’s health research and implementing strategies to improve the inequities and bias in research while accelerating scientific discovery before it became its own 501c3 in 2021.

    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. Carolee currently serves on the board of the La Jolla Institute for Immunology. She is a past president of the Committee of 200 and served as the Chair of its Foundation Board. Carolee served as a director on the board of DSW, Inc., the Museum of Arts and Design, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and the Women’s Leadership Board at The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She also served on the board of The Society for Women’s Health Research.

  • 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

    Marianne Foss-Skiftesvik

    Chief of Staff

    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 Author

Gina Diez Barroso

President and CEO, Grupo Diarq Founder, DaliaEmpower

Gail Bassin

Managing Director, Gail D Bassin Foundation

Joanne Bauer

Global Corporate Executive and Board Member retired 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

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

Chaz Ebert

President of the Roger and Chaz Ebert Foundation

Vicki Escarra

Senior Advisor, The Boston Consulting Group former CCO & CMO, Delta Airlines

Mary Foss-Skiftesvik

Board Member & Investor MBA

Anula Jayasuriya, MD, PhD, MBA

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

Ann Kaplan

Partner, Circle Wealth Management

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

Diane Britz Lotti

Founding Partner, Circle Financial Group

Sharon Love


Emily Gold Mears

Citizen scientist, research analyst, biohacker, author and former attorney

Susan Morrison

Founding Board Director, Women Moving Millions

Anne Lim O’Brien

Vice Chairman, Heidrick & Struggles

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

Lynn Tetrault

Chairwoman of the Board, NeoGenomics Non-Executive Director, Rhythm Pharmaceuticals former Executive Vice President of AstraZeneca PLC JD

Donna Van Eekeren

Retired Executive Chairman of Land O’Frost, Inc

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.


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