Every Mother Counts is a non-profit organization dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother. We inform, engage, and mobilize new audiences to take actions and raise funds that support maternal health programs around the world.
“I became a maternal health advocate the day I became a mom. Thanks to a skilled healthcare team, I survived a potentially life-threatening complication after delivering my daughter. Once I learned that hundreds of thousands of girls and women die every year from pregnancy and childbirth-related complications similar to mine I decided to take action. I knew becoming a mom would be life changing but I hadn’t quite envisioned how big a change it would inspire.” After decades working as a model and activist and after surviving her own childbirth complication, Christy directed and produced the documentary, No Woman, No Cry to raise awareness about dire maternal health conditions that impact millions of women around the world. At each screening, audiences asked how they could help and Christy created EMC as a response. Prior to her work as a global maternal health advocate, Christy collaborated on public health service campaigns and launched an award-winning website, SmokingIsUgly.com. Christy is also the author of Living Yoga: Creating A Life Practice (Hyperion 2002) as well as countless articles, essays and op-eds for magazines and newspapers on the subjects of global maternal health, feminism, poverty eradication and human rights. Christy has a BA from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Studies and is pursuing a MPH at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in New York City, where she lives with her husband, filmmaker Edward Burns, and their two children. She’s one of the founding members of EMC’s marathon team.
As Every Mother Counts’ Executive Director, Erin Thornton works closely with Christy and EMC’s Board of Directors to establish and implement EMC’s strategic direction and ensure that our organization is as effective and efficient as possible. Prior to joining EMC, Erin worked on the ground floor to build ONE and its’ predecessor, DATA, and served as ONE’s Global Policy Director. In 2010, she traveled with Christy on a 10-day trip through 5 African countries during which time they spent a lot of time comparing notes on what was needed to move the maternal health agenda forward. Six months later, Erin formally signed on to build EMC. Before DATA and ONE, Erin was selected as a Presidential Management Fellow and worked at the United States Export-Import Bank as a country risk analyst for sub-Saharan Africa and at the U.S. State Department in the International Health Affairs office. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Duke University with a double major in Comparative Area Studies and History and received her master’s degree in International Relations from Yale University. She lives outside of Boston with her husband and three young daughters. Erin is also part of EMC’s marathon team.
Alexander Newbold is the Director of Business Development & Finance at Every Mother Counts. He is responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with corporate and institutional partners, while also overseeing the financial management and strategy of the organization. Prior to joining EMC, Alex held various roles within Morgan Stanley’s Investment Banking and Equities Division, and worked in business development for healthcare industry start-ups. Alex first became involved with EMC as a volunteer since 2011, serving as the Team EMC’s marathon captain. To date, he’s helped well over 100 runners cross the finish line in support of eliminating maternal mortality. Alex received a Bachelors degree in Sociology from Roanoke College, and a Masters in Business Administration in Finance from Baruch College, City University of New York. He currently lives in New York City.
As Every Mother Counts’ Director of Communications, Debra Duffy manages media relations, social and traditional media, external campaigns and internal communications. She also manages speaking events our founder and executive director take part in, as well overseeing and executing fundraising events for the organization. She works with EMC’s digital media manager and senior writer to create a compelling editorial calendar that educates readers throughout the year. Debra graduated from SUNY Purchase College with a degree in liberal arts and a concentration in women’s studies. Prior to EMC, Debra spent 12 years working at DKC Communications. An internship at DKC turned into an assistant position and eventually she became a Senior Vice President, focusing on consumer media and technology. After working on countless initiatives for companies including Yahoo, LinkedIn, Match and Disney, it was her three years providing PR support for EMC that Debra says, “Finally let me apply my woman’s studies background to something I love and wake up excited to do everyday.” Debra lives in Peekskill, New York with her husband and four year old daughter. She is a self-described, “mild runner” who loves going the three-to-four mile distance to make pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother.
Kristen Kirkland first became involved with Every Mother Counts as a volunteer, an EMC marathoner and human resources consultant and eventually took the job she now holds as EMC’s Human Resources Director and Running Events Manager. Her life long passion for running combined with her PhD in industrial organizational psychology and her gift for applied human resources makes for what Kristen calls her “dream job.” Kristen grew up in Alabama, went to college in Atlanta, and moved to New York to obtain her PhD in Industrial Organizational Psychology. She lives in NY with her husband and two daughters.
As Every Mother Counts’ Portfolio Director, Jessica is responsible for the management of our grants. Before joining EMC, Jessica was the Senior Program Manager of the Universal Access Project at the United Nations Foundation, where she helped build and manage a multi-stakeholder initiative aimed at reaching Millennium Development Goal 5 (Improve Maternal Health). Prior to that, Jessica was an independent consultant to organizations such as CARE, the International Center for Research on Women, the Population Council, the UN Foundation, and UNFPA, on a broad range of gender equity projects focused on women and girls in developing countries. Jessica holds an M.A. in International Development Studies from The George Washington University with a focus on Gender and Development, and a B.A. in Anthropology from American University. Originally from upstate New York, she lives with her husband and two daughters in Washington, DC.
Clancy became involved in maternal health when she and Christy spent two years together researching, filming and co-producing the documentary, NO WOMAN, NO CRY in Bangladesh, Tanzania, Guatemala, and the USA. She’s been with Every Mother Counts ever since, managing special projects, screenings, speaking events and conferences, partnerships, digital and social media, and EMC’s running events. Clancy now works primarily on building EMC’s film and storytelling portfolio. She co-directed and produced “The Making of a Midwife,” series of short films about Midwives for Haiti’s midwifery students as well as films on the programs EMC supports in Malawi (“Seda’s Light”) and Uganda (“Boda For Mothers”). She also produced Christy’s documentary, EVERY MILE, EVERY MOTHER about Team EMC running one of the world’s largest relay races as a metaphor for birth. She is currently working on a series of short films about maternal health in the US. Prior to working for EMC, Clancy was a contributing editor for Teen Vogue. She ran the 2014 Chicago Marathon with Team EMC, along with two NYC marathons, the Hood to Coast Relay and climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise awareness and funds that support EMC’s work. She currently lives in New York City. She graduated from the Gallatin School of Individualized Studies with a B.A. in the Social Theories of Western Religion in 2008 and is a DONA International trained doula.
Danielle directs and evaluates Every Mother Counts’ multi-platform digital presence, including managing social media, graphic design and web updates. She previously worked as Production Assistant on several EMC film projects. Her career with EMC began with a yearlong internship where her knowledge, understanding and interest in improving maternal health emerged. Danielle completed her B.A. degree in Strategic Communication from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her experiences traveling and volunteering in the US, Nepal, India, Australia, Indonesia and Thailand heightened her drive to combine her education in communications with work in the humanitarian field. Prior to working at Every Mother Counts, Danielle lived and studied in Sydney, Australia and worked at a digital and creative service agency in New York City. She volunteered as a peer counselor for the International Rescue Committee’s Refugee Youth Summer Academy and continues to work as a freelance music writer in New York City, where she lives.
Jeanne has worked in maternal health as a registered nurse for over twenty years,. She overlapped her nursing career with her writing career to write about health, parenting, pregnancy and other topics for newspapers, magazines and websites. She writes a column for Fit Pregnancy.com and she’s co-author of The Complete Illustrated Birthing Companion. Jeanne and Christy worked together on magazine articles about CARE’s maternal health programs. She began writing for Every Mother Counts by contributing a blog for the Summer of Sisterhood theme. That led to another blog and then, Jeanne came on board as EMC’s Senior Writer. Jeanne grew up in Los Angeles and studied nursing at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center School of Nursing. She’s been the nurse-on-duty for thousands of births and now works exclusively as a writer. She lives in Portland, OR with her husband and children.
As General Counsel, Kathie is responsible for all things legal at Every Mother Counts. She began working with EMC by volunteering her time pro bono and formerly joined the staff in 2012. Having worked in the non-profit and corporate worlds, and for the U.S. government, Kathie brings a wealth of experience to the organization. She holds an A.B. cum laude in government from Harvard University and received her J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School where she was an editor of the Law Review. A long-time advocate for women’s rights, Kathie believes maternal health is a basic human right and is proud to be a part of the EMC team. She lives in the Washington, DC area with her husband, two children and a lovable hound dog.
Christiane Lemieux is the Founder of DwellStudio, the author of Undecorate. A native of Ottawa, Canada, Lemieux is a graduate of Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada and graduated from the Parson’s School of Design in New York with a degree in Fashion design. She also has a degree in Art History. Christiane is inspired by travel and design. Most importantly, she is trying to figure out how to live a life of adventure with her family. She resides in the New York’s Soho neighborhood with her husband and business partner Joshua Young and their daughter Isabelle and boy William, plus a dog.
Mariam is the Founder and CEO of Minted. She has pioneered new consumer Internet models since 1998, when she co-founded Eve.com, the first online retailer of cosmetics. Eve.com was sold successfully in 2000. Minted, the business Mariam founded in 2007, is a global design community and e-commerce site. Minted holds open competitions to source design and art from independent artists. Winning designs are sold to consumers as printed paper goods: wall art, cards, and stationery addressing the $10 billion stationery market and the $48 billion art market.
Mariam received her BA in Political Economy from Williams College and her MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. She sits on the Board of Directors of Polyvore.com.
Allison Gollust serves as Senior Vice President of Communications for CNN Worldwide. She has oversight of all messaging strategy and execution on behalf of the portfolio of CNN networks and businesses, which includes CNN/U.S., HLN and CNN.com, as well as domestic operations of CNN International and CNN en Español. She serves as chief spokesperson for the news brand and leads publicity and public relations teams in New York, Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Los Angeles.
Prior to joining CNN, Gollust served as communications director for New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. Prior to that, she was executive vice president of corporate communications for NBC Universal, where she oversaw all aspects of the company’s global communications efforts. She started at NBC in the Corporate Communications group in 1996 and was named senior publicist for Today in 1997. With successive promotions, Gollust added responsibility for communications efforts supporting NBC News, MSNBC, CNBC and the Weather Channel, and signature programs including NBC Nightly News, Dateline and Meet the Press. She began her career as a news anchor, reporter and producer in Denver.
Heather B. Armstrong is widely acknowledged to be the most popular “mommyblogger” in the world. Her website dooce.com was hailed as one of Time Magazine’s Most Essential Blogs of 2011 and Forbes Magazine’s top 100 websites for women. She has more than 1.5 million followers on Twitter and was recently named by Forbes Magazine as one of the 30 most influential women in media. In 2009 she authored the New York Times best selling book It Sucked and Then I Cried about the birth of her first daughter and was invited to the White House to consult in an official Forum on Workplace Flexibility. She is a highly sought after speaker on topics that span social media, philanthropy, activism, and the ever elusive work-life balance. In 2011 she joined Christy Turlington and the Every Mother Counts team (dedicated to Maternal Health Issues) as their Technology and Media Advisor.
Armstrong lives in Salt Lake City with her daughters Leta and Marlo, and two insane dogs, all who appear as vivid characters in her writing.