Board of Directors

Officers

Joan Rachlin, JD, MPH (Chair)

Heather Baker, MSA (Treasurer)

Caroline Crosbie, MBA (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 fundaising 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 Master of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin.

Members

Ruth Bell Alexander, Ed.M
Ruth Bell Alexander
Ruth 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.

She grew up in Staten Island, N.Y., spent her pre-teen and teen years in Los Angeles, her college years at UC Berkeley, her post-grad years in Cambridge, and her early years as a young wife in Bedford, Mass.

In 1969, very pregnant with her first child, she attended the Women and Their Bodies workshop at MIT. Sitting on that floor with 20 or 30 other women, she finally felt rooted.

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.

She is also the author of “Number Jugglers” and “Fraction Jugglers,” two number game books that help children learn to enjoy math. One of the games, “The Number Ladder Game,” will soon be coming out as a mobile app.

Rachel Breman, MSN, MPH, RN
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.

Joan Ditzion, MSW
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 served on OBOS’s Board of Directors as a founder-member and is now an ex-officio board member and liaison to the Our Bodies Ourselves Founders Group.

Joan has been a geriatric social worker since 1985, a profession compatible with her social justice values. Her focus has gradually transitioned to issues of aging and older women and families. She was an active caregiver for her mother for the last 10 years of her mother’s life.

Joan 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.

She is always combating sexism and ageism and fostering positive aging and the vitality of feminist values in her writing, clinical work, teaching, speaking, workshops and advocacy.

Married to her husband, Bruce, since 1967, she has two married sons and three grandsons. She loves being a grandmother.

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

Her participation began at the first workshop “Women and Control of Our Bodies” at the Female Liberation Conference at Emanuel College in 1969, and the subsequent group discussions and research leading to the first OBOS courses, the first newsprint edition in 1971, and all editions of “Our Bodies, Ourselves” up to and including “Our Bodies Ourselves for the New Century” (1998).

She wrote on topics including the physical and psychological changes of postpartum, feminist women in relationships with men, and women growing older. She was co-author of “Ourselves and Our Children” (1978) and senior editor of “The New Ourselves Growing Older: Women Aging with Knowledge and Power” (1987, 1994).

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.

She is working on a memoir of her early life leading up to her participation in social justice movements of the 1960s, the women’s movement, and Our Bodies Ourselves.

Daniel Fox, PhD
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 PgCert
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, LISW
Elizabeth MacMahon-HerreraElizabeth MacMahon-Herrera, LISW, 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 has worked at the Judge Baker Children’s Center, the Guidance Center (Cambridge, Mass.), Simmons School of Social Work, the Child Center Of New York, University of New Mexico, Santa Fe Community College and Rio Rancho public schools.

She is a cofounder of Amigas Latinas en Accion pro-Salud (ALAS) and producer of the first Spanish language video on AIDS in the U.S.

Her movement around the country and between the United States and Colombia, where she was born, has enriched her personal life, enabling her to showcase aspects of Latino culture through articles, videos, radio shows, and as an OBOS co-founder.

Elizabeth’s work is informed by principles of Paulo Freire’s “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” and Michael White’s narrative therapy teachings, as well as by activists of color and, most directly, by many incredible women.

Jane Pincus, MFA
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.

In 1970, along with four other women, Jane made a 26-minute film, “Abortion,” just when abortions were becoming legal. As her family — husband, daughter, son and dog — moved to Vermont, she continued to advocate for women- and family-centered maternity care, and has edited books on the subject.

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.

Jane continues to live in Vermont; Edward, her husband of 53 years, died in 2013. Her daughter, Sami; son, Ben; daughter-in-law, Heidi; and three grandsons — Jordan, Caleb and Kai — live nearby. Her Friesian mare, Lobke, will soon be 27 years old.

Katherine Record, JD, MPH, MA
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, MPH
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. She served as co-author and/or co-editor for most editions of “Our Bodies, Ourselves” and was a contributing author to the popular guide “Ourselves Growing Older,” produced in collaboration with OBOS.

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 MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health and studied medical sociology at Tufts, and then at Brandeis University.

She taught Women, Health and Development from a global perspective at HSPH, arguably the first and longest-running women and health course at Harvard University. Currently she gives guest lectures and works with students on independent study projects and consults with non-profits, community groups and university programs.  In fall 2014 Norma co-taught an interdisciplinary course, “Gender, Health, and Marginalization,” at MIT’s Graduate Consortium of Women’s Studies. View full bio at Harvard School of Public Health.