Board of Directors


Joan Rachlin, J.D., M.P.H. (Chair)

Joan Rachlin is the executive director emerita of Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research (PRIM&R), an international bioethics organization dedicated to educating, informing and providing a forum for those involved in the ethical, legal and policy dimensions of biomedical, behavioral and social science research.

In addition to her work with PRIM&R, she has practiced law, concentrating in the areas of women’s health, civil rights, prisoners rights, and civil litigation, and has taught women and the law, health law, and research ethics at several Boston-area colleges.

She received a Distinguished Service Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges in 2013 and the Harvey M. Meyerhoff Award for Leadership in Bioethics from the Berman Institute for Bioethics at Johns Hopkins University in 2014. She is also the recipient of PRIM&R’s 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award. She holds a J.D. from the Suffolk University School of Law, and a M.P.H. from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Heather Baker, M.S.A. (Treasurer)
Caroline Crosbie, M.B.A. (Clerk)

Caroline Crosbie has 25 years of program and management experience in international reproductive health, with an emphasis on design, negotiation and implementation of major programs, and fundraising in the public and private sectors.

As senior vice president of Pathfinder International, she oversees all program planning and operations, both at headquarters and in the field. A Pathfinder staff member since 1981, she has held a variety of positions both in the field (total of 12 years in Brazil, Haiti, and Peru) and at headquarters covering programs in Asia/Near East, Latin America and Caribbean, and sub-Saharan Africa. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Mount Holyoke College and a M.B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin.


Ruth Bell Alexander, Ed.M.

Ruth Bell AlexanderRuth Davidson Bell Alexander, a founding member of Our Bodies Ourselves,  is a writer, elementary math tutor, political activist, organic gardener, wife, mother of two, and grandmother of three.

Ruth has spent many years working with teenagers, helping them to accept and feel good about themselves as they grow into adults. Her book, “Changing Bodies, Changing Lives” (1998), was a direct outgrowth of that work and of her experience being part of the Our Bodies Ourselves collective. Read more.

Rachel Breman, M.S.N., M.P.H., R.N.

Rachel Breman is a nurse who works at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. She manages the PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center and is the moderator for the online nursing and midwifery community, the Global Alliance for Nursing and Midwifery (GANM).

In addition to having a background in nursing, Rachel has experience in international health work. She worked in the Dominican Republic overseeing a training program for hospitals around maternal and newborn health. Rachel was also a Peace Corps volunteer in Niger. She lives in Silver Spring, Md.

Bea Bezmalinovic Dhebar, M.B.A., M.A.

Bea BezmalinovicBea Bezmalinovic Dhebar has more than 20 years of experience working as an international health and development consultant. Her assignments have spanned more than 26 countries in Latin America, Asia, and Africa, including six years of overseas residence. She has been involved in three international entrepreneurial ventures in the start-up or early growth stages. Recent positions have concentrated on business development and strategic communications (online communities/use of new media).

She has also worked as a researcher and consultant on various nonprofit initiatives, including a Harvard Business School faculty’s review of accountability of nonprofit organizations and the Harvard School of Public Health’s Global AIDS program, and has consulted for Aid to Artisans, the U.S. Agency for International Development, EngenderHealth, Family Health International, the Global Alliance for Rabies Control, the International Center for Research on Women, RTI, and SNV USA, among others. She has a master’s in public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a M.B.A. from the Olin School of Management at Babson College.

Joan Ditzion, M.S.W.

Joan DitzionJoan Ditzion is an original founder of Our Bodies Ourselves and co-author of all nine editions of “Our Bodies, Ourselves” as well as “Ourselves and Our Children” (1978), and “Our Bodies, Ourselves: Menopause” (2006).

She has been a geriatric social worker since 1985, a profession compatible with her social justice values. She was awarded the Alumni Special Recognition Award by the Simmons School of Social Work Alumni Association in 2012 and the Lifetime Achievement Award by The Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers in 2013. Read more.

Paula Doress-Worters, Ph.D.

Paula Doress WortersPaula Doress-Worters is a founding member of Our Bodies Ourselves and co-author of “Our Bodies, Ourselves.”

Since 1998, Paula has been a resident scholar at the Women’s Studies Research Center (WSRC) of Brandeis University, where she researched and published “Mistress of Herself: The Life and Work of Ernestine L. Rose, Early Women’s Rights Leader” (Feminist Press, 2008). She is currently chair of WSRC’s Gender and International Development Committee. Read more.

Daniel Fox, Ph.D.

Daniel M. Fox, president emeritus of the Milbank Memorial Fund, is an author of books and articles on health policy and politics and an adviser to public officials, leaders of provider systems in health and long-term care, research organizations, publishers and foundations.

Before serving as president of the Fund (1989-2007), he worked in state government (Massachusetts and New York), as an adviser to and staff member of three federal agencies (the Office of Economic Opportunity, and the Departments of Housing and Urban Development, and Health and Human Services) and as a faculty member and administrator at Harvard University and at the Health Sciences Center of the State University of New York at Stony Brook. A member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Sciences, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the National Academy of Social Insurance, he earned undergraduate, master’s and doctorate degrees from Harvard University.

Christina M. Knowles

Christina M. Knowles is a Boston-based legislative and public affairs professional. She currently works in the State House as the executive director of the Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators; she has also worked as a legislative aide and chief of staff. She spent three years as the director and lobbyist for the Massachusetts chapter of the National Organization for Women, and has been a communications specialist at the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy and a senior policy advocate at the Coalition for the Homeless.

In June 2010, Christina was named one of the 100 most influential people in Massachusetts by Campaigns and Elections Politics Magazine. She is on the board of the Betty Taymor Fund for the Education of Women in Politics & Government, and is a graduate of Emerge Massachusetts. Christina served as the 2012 Massachusetts NOW PAC chair, and has also served as vice president of fundraising on the Boston NOW Board and as a steering committee member of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition. She holds a graduate certificate from UMass Boston Women in Politics and Public Policy program and a bachelor’s degree from Umass Amherst in women’s studies and English.

Elizabeth MacMahon-Herrera, L.I.S.W.

Elizabeth MacMahon-HerreraElizabeth MacMahon-Herrera, a founding member of Our Bodies Ourselves, is a social worker whose work has involved family and child therapy and developing innovative educational and mental health programs for multi-ethnic communities.

Elizabeth has taught, trained and consulted with teachers, paraprofessionals and mental health providers in diverse settings in Boston, New York City and New Mexico, where she currently resides. She is a cofounder of Amigas Latinas en Accion pro-Salud (ALAS) and producer of the first Spanish language video on AIDS in the United States. Read more.

Jane Pincus, M.F.A.

Jane Kates Pincus is a founding member of Our Bodies Ourselves and co-author of “Our Bodies, Ourselves.” She continued to write for and edit chapters in successive editions up through and including the 2005 edition.

She has written book and video reviews for the perinatal journal BIRTH, presented before a variety of nursing and medical classes and women’s groups, and testified at the Statehouse when necessary to advocate for crucial women’s health issues, such as freedom of choice and the advancement of midwifery. Read more.

Katherine Record, J.D., M.P.H., M.A.

Katherine RecordKatherine Record is a public health law attorney at the Harvard Law School Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation (CHLPI), a visiting lecturer at Tuft’s Experimental College, and a collaborating mentor with Boston Children’s Hospital’s Strategic Training Initiative for the Prevention of Eating Disorders. Her work focuses on mental health law and policy, healthcare reform implementation, access to HIV prevention and treatment services, and linking global investments with policy developments that support the reintegration and rehabilitation of children affected by or involved in conflict zones.

Prior to joining CHLPI, Katherine worked at the O’Neill Institute for National & Global Health Law at Georgetown University. She is licensed to practice law in the state of New York and serves as the liaison to the AIDS Coordinating Committee of the American Bar Association’s Health Law Section. She received her J.D., cum laude, and a master’s in health psychology from Duke University. She also received a master’s in public health from Harvard’s School of Public Health, and her bachelor’s, magna cum laude, from Georgetown University.

Norma Meras Swenson, M.P.H.

Norma SwensonNorma Swenson, a founding member of Our Bodies Ourselves, has worked with colleagues throughout the United States and globally to help define and create the field known as Women and Health.

A senior OBOS staff member and the organization’s first director of international programs (until 1998), Norma also served for several years as OBOS president. She is an internationally recognized leader and expert in reproductive and sexual health and rights, and in maternal and child health.

An early leader in the maternity care reform movement, Norma is a past president of the International Childbirth Education Association and of the Boston Association for Childbirth Education. A graduate of Tufts University, Norma earned her M.P.H. from the Harvard School of Public Health and studied medical sociology at Tufts, and then at Brandeis University. Read more.