JUDY NORSIGIAN (CHAIR)
Judy Norsigian is a co-founder of Our Bodies Ourselves and an author and editor for each of the nine editions of “Our Bodies, Ourselves.” She has served in many roles at the organization, including as executive director from 2001 to 2015.
In the fall of 2018, as OBOS transitioned to a primarily volunteer-led organization, Judy became chair of the board of directors.
An internationally renowned speaker and author on a range of women’s health concerns, her areas of focus include women and health care reform, abortion and contraception, childbirth (especially the role of midwifery), genetics and reproductive technologies, and drug and device safety.
She has appeared on numerous national television and radio programs, including NBC Nightly News, Al Jazeera, The Today Show, Good Morning America, The Early Show, Oprah, Fox News and The Current. Read more.
Mariya Patwa, MSPH (Treasurer)
Mariya Patwa is a public health researcher and a MD candidate at Tufts University School of Medicine.
As an undergraduate student at Wellesley College she partook in the Madeleine Albright Institute for Global Affairs and conducted research at the Wellesley Centers for Women. She completed a public health degree focusing on international health systems and maternal and child health at Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health. During this program she worked as a graduate student research assistant, based in Johannesburg, South Africa, to promote integration of safer conception services into routine care for people affected by HIV.
Following her master’s degree, she worked as a research coordinator with the Harvard Medical School Department of Psychiatry at the Cambridge Health Alliance. With the Children’s Health Initiative and Family Studies Lab teams she coordinated research efforts to enhance systems of integrated pediatric care and to better understand parent-infant stress and attachment behaviors.
As a current medical student she hopes to further pursue her interests in global medicine and women’s and children’s public health.
Diana Namumbejja Abwoye is a registered nurse with seven years of experience in public health and community outreach. She is currently a family nurse practitioner student at Simmons University, working towards her Master of Science in nursing. In 2018 she was nominated for National Black Nurses Student of the Year and is a Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) Nurse Corps Scholarship Recipient.
A graduate of the University of Massachusetts and Makerere University Business School in Kampala, Uganda, Diana has been an OBOS global partner since 2012, when she began the project of translating and adapting several chapters of “Our Bodies, Ourselves” for Luganda-speaking women in Uganda. She held discussion groups about specific topics regarding sexual and reproductive health with Uganda-based women’s groups and girls in teen centers, and in January 2017 she distributed free copies of the adapted materials to women and girls in rural areas. She hopes to expand this project in the coming years to include more adapted and translated chapters from the book.
In 2017, Diana started a teenage mother support group in Amida, Kitgum, Northern Uganda and later founded Amida Child Mothers’ Vocational Training Program to teach young mothers skills to support their families.
In 2018, Diana participated in an Emerging Global Healthcare Leadership Symposium in London and led a medical trip for nurses to Uganda, where they volunteered at a local hospital and participated in community outreach work. Diana hopes to enroll in a local university to obtain a degree in public health.
Aziza Ahmed is an internationally renowned expert in health law, criminal law and human rights. Her scholarship examines the legal, regulatory, and political environments regarding health in U.S. domestic law, U.S. foreign policy and international law. She currently teaches at Northeastern University School of Law.
In 2017-2018, Professor Ahmed was a fellow with the Program in Law and Public Affairs (LAPA) at Princeton University, where she developed her work on law, feminism and science into a book that focuses on how women’s health advocates shaped the AIDS response. She has also written extensively about abortion and reproductive health.
Charlie Ruth Castro
Charlie Ruth Castro is executive director and co-founder of The Women With Rights Foundation, an organization that advocates for sexual and reproductive rights for women in Latin America.
She has run workshops on human rights, women’s health and innovation in Colombia, Mexico, and Brazil and established “Innovating New Beginnings,” a program that helped 350 incarcerated women in Colombian and Mexican prisons. She also directed the growth and positioning of the www.MujeresConDerechos.org website and the television program #MujeresPoderosasTV.
In 2015 -2016 Charlie was a fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, where she led a research project on digital empowerment that involved young people between 12 and 18 years old in Mexico, Colombia, and Chile.
Nancy Miriam Hawley
Nancy Miriam Hawley, a founding member of Our Bodies Ourselves, has a contagious and inspiring commitment to living life fully.
A lifetime activist, author and business coach, she led the first workshop at Emmanuel College in May 1969 that initiated the work that became “Our Bodies, Ourselves.”
As CEO of Enlignment, Inc., she partnered with her husband to publish “You and Your Partner, Inc: Entrepreneurial Couples Succeeding in Business, Life and Love” (2012).
She has the privilege of coaching global women leaders in both the profit and social profit sectors.
Miriam is the mother of three grown children and grandmother of four.
Alexandra Spadola is an obstetrician and gynecologist who specializes in the care of women with complicated pregnancies. She practices maternal-fetal medicine and is the director of labor and delivery at Tufts Medical Center, which she joined in 2018.
Prior to her move to Boston she was an associate professor at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY, where she practiced high-risk obstetrics as the regional director of the Central New York Perinatal Program. Throughout her career she has worked on developing conversations between disciplines, promoting patient safety initiatives, and disseminating best practices over complex health networks.
Alex has attended over 3,000 births and partnered with many women in making decisions in illness and in health. She is an advocate for justice and transparency in medicine and has had the great pleasure to work with many wonderful colleagues in midwifery, nursing, and public health. She has won numerous teaching awards and highly values her role of training the next generation of doctors in compassionate and ethical care. She is honored to join the OBOS board.