Board of Directors
David (“Dai”) Ellis, Founder and co-Chair of Board
Dai Ellis currently serves as CEO of the Boston-based Excel Academy charter school network, where he is responsible for leading Excel’s growth process. Before joining Excel, he spearheaded the Clinton Foundation’s work on improving the marketplace for HIV/AIDS and malaria drugs, diagnostics, and other essential health products.
Prior to his work at CHAI, Dai worked at McKinsey and Company serving clients in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. He later joined the Center for Global Health and Economic Development at Columbia University under Dr. Jeffrey Sachs. His work at Columbia took him to Rwanda, where he worked as the advisor to the Director of the National AIDS Commission and helped to launch a national HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment program. Dai co-founded Generation Rwanda in 2003 while living in Rwanda. He is a graduate of Yale Law School.
Dr. Oliver Rothschild, Founder and co-Chair of Board
Oliver works as a consultant with McKinsey and Company. Prior to that, he worked in the health sector in Rwanda, most recently as Special Advisor to the Director at Partners in Health-Rwanda, and before that with Columbia University and the Clinton Foundation. Outside Rwanda, he has worked in health and economics at the UN and in medical research at Rockefeller University. Oliver received a B.A. in Economics and Computer Science from the University of Chicago, and he holds an MD from the Yale University School of Medicine.
Dr. Eloise Austin
Eloise is currently an internal medicine resident at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. She received her MD from Yale School of Medicine and a B.A. in History and Literature from Harvard University. Prior to medical school, she worked as a program assistant at a health policy-focused foundation and as a research assistant in psychiatry at Massachussetts General Hospital. Her work with Generation Rwanda includes development and fundraising projects in the U.S., as well as building healthcare and counseling programs in Rwanda.
Peter Ellis, Treasurer
Peter Ellis recently retired as a senior litigation partner at Foley, Hoag LLP in Boston, Massachusetts, where he specialized in intellectual property law. Before joining Foley Hoag, Mr. Ellis spent several years working in international development in Latin America. Mr. Ellis is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School.
John is the former Managing Director of BCR (Banque Commerciale du Rwanda), one of Rwanda’s largest banks, which he led from 1994 to 2000. Prior to his tenure at BCR, John held other major positions in the field of banking, including managing several departments and branches of the former Union Zairoise de Banques. John has held prominent roles in many industry associations, including serving as President of the Industrial Association of Rwanda and Treasurer of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He has served as a Board member and advisor for many organizations, including Rotary International. He is fluent in English, French, Kinyarwanda, Lingala, and Swahili. John and his wife have six children and are responsible for the scholastic and professional development of several close relatives as well as individuals who were orphaned in the 1994 genocide. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics (with distinction) and in Education from the University of Congo-Lubumbashi.
Cassia van der Hoof Holstein
Cassia is the Director of Technology at the Clinton Foundation HIV/AIDS Initiative (CHAI), where she oversees technology projects and enables the virtual collaboration of CHAI’s far-flung teams, which work in more than twenty-five countries around the globe. Previously, she was Executive Producer at E*TRADE Financial, part of the original team at ClearStation.com, and worked in technology consulting with clients including Microsoft, AT&T Wireless, and Match.com. Cassia studied French Literature at Harvard College.
David is an Executive Vice President at Sankaty Advisors, the credit affiliate of Bain Capital, and serves as the Co-Head of the London Office. David previously worked at Credit Suisse and has been involved with numerous charities and fundraisers, including Cambridge One-to-One, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Outward Bound. David graduated from Harvard, where he studied History and Literature.
Ann is a clinical social worker working in private practice in New York City with an economically and racially diverse population. She is a former elementary school teacher and a professional classical guitarist. Ann has also served on the Boards of a number of charities. She holds a B.A. in Education, a B.A. in Music and an MSW in Social Work.
Since 2000, Polly has worked in Rwanda in a number of capacities and sectors – health, education, technology, community, and rural development. She is currently at Gilead Sciences on the Public Affairs team, where she manages Gilead’s corporate philanthropy and communications strategy for the company’s access initiatives in the developing world. Separately, she is helping to support the development of the Maranyundo Initiative, with the twofold goal of increasing the number of girls in Rwanda who successfully enroll in and complete secondary school and pursue higher education, and training teachers nationally through the launch of a Virtual Teacher Training Institute. In addition, she is helping to raise support for Rwanda’s national rural health scale-up plan and the first public library in Kigali.
Prior to joining Gilead, Polly completed her MBA at the University of Michigan. There, she helped develop a capacity-building partnership between the University and Rwanda’s Education, Finance and Public Service ministries and the School of Finance and Banking (SFB) in Kigali, as well as a joint project between the University and students at the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST).
Prior to business school, Polly was the first Chief of Staff for the Clinton Foundation HIV/AIDS Initiative, and held positions in communications and development for other companies and nonprofit organizations.
Dr. Josh Ruxin
Josh Ruxin is the founder and director of the Access Project and the Millennium Villages Project in Rwanda, an initiative of Columbia University. He is also the president of Rwanda Works.
Since the Access Project’s inception in 2003, Josh has coordinated multiple teams in over a dozen countries, delivering training and technical expertise to ministries of health, NGOs, and various coalitions. As president of Rwanda Works (RW), Josh works to foster prosperity in Rwanda through market-driven economic growth and improved business efficiencies. Josh is also the founder and director of the Neglected Tropical Disease Control Project (NTD) and the Millennium Villages Project (MV Project) in Rwanda. NTD focuses on the nationwide reduction of morbidity from five diseases: soil transmitted helminth infections, schistosomiasis, onchocerciasis, lymphatic filariasis, and trachoma.
Josh is a frequent contributor to such national publications as the New York Times and the Huffington Post, and has been featured in the Washington Post, Forbes, Time, Seed magazine, BBC, CNN, and CNN International’s Inside Africa, among many others.