Kathryn G. Schubert, MPP, CAE
Kathryn (Katie) Schubert joined the Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR) as President and CEO in April 2020. Under Katie’s leadership SWHR developed a strategic plan focused on fulfilling the organization’s mission of promoting research on biological sex differences in disease and improving women’s health through science, policy, and education. She previously worked for the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM), where she served as the organization’s chief advocacy officer, growing SMFM’s role nationally and building its reputation in women’s health.
Katie is a trusted leader and consensus builder among women’s health stakeholders, particularly in the policy arena. She has served in multiple Board roles for nonprofit organizations in the Washington, DC-area, including as Chair of the Board of the Maternal Mental Health Leadership Alliance and as advisor to the John E. Lewy Fund for Children’s Health. She is a past president of Women in Government Relations.
Prior to SMFM, Katie served as senior vice president at CRD Associates, where she advised clients — including nonprofit patient advocacy groups, medical professional organizations, and private companies — on government relations and public policy related to health and biomedical research issues, among others. She has also spent time working in key legislative roles on Capitol Hill. She received her BA from Mary Washington College and her Masters of Public Policy from George Washington University. Katie lives in Virginia with her husband, three children, and dog George.
Phone: (202) 496-5004
Yonas G. Fsahaye, MBA
Fsahaye joined SWHR in 2008 and is responsible for all financial functions including accounting, audit, and human resources activities.
He offers over 18 years of experience in auditing, accounting, administration, and human resources functions. Prior to joining SWHR, he was a Finance and Administration Director at British Council for six years, handling finances and administration responsibilities. Other previous experience includes working at Anadarko Petroleum Corporation and Brooks and Brooks Water Treatment Corporation, where he focused on financial reporting, budget analysis and cash flow forecasting.
Fsahaye received his BS in accounting from the University of Asmara and his Masters of Business Administration (MBA).
Phone: (202) 496-5012
Joy S. Braun, MA, MPA
Braun leads SWHR’s strategic partnerships, external relationships, and philanthropic initiatives to secure transformational philanthropy and opportunities, and develops new and diverse revenue streams to support the organization’s mission and goals. She develops and implements creative strategies to support science, policy, communications, and education initiatives; advances Policy Advisory Council membership; and leads the annual awards dinner.
Before joining SWHR in 2017, Braun led development initiatives at the Association of Academic Health Centers. She has over 20 years of experience leading development and partnership initiatives, as a consultant and in leadership positions for a wide-range of New York, Washington, DC, and international nonprofit organizations. She has MPA, and a BA and MA in political science.
Phone: (202) 496-5001
As Development Coordinator, Bixler assists in planning, coordinating, and implementing development projects and maintaining the donor database. Bixler works closely with the Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships to further the mission of SWHR. Bixler’s passion for women’s health grew while interning at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine. Here she looked through the lens of policy and regulations that affect the care and services that women receive. Bixler received her BS in Public Health with a minor in Business Administration from American University.
Irene Aninye, PhD
Aninye envisions and directs dynamic science programs that increase awareness of and investment in women’s health and sex differences research. She identifies and recruits diverse stakeholders to participate in SWHR’s interdisciplinary science networks and channels their expertise to advance the goals of SWHR’s mission-focused programs.
Prior to joining SWHR, Aninye worked for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Research Competitiveness Program, where she led strategy teams to evaluate the progress and outcomes of multidisciplinary STEM research and training programs for university consortia. She also designed peer-review systems for externally organized competitions and facilitated workshops to build research capacity and competitiveness in the U.S. and abroad.
Aninye completed her PhD in molecular and integrative physiology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where her research focused on identifying and characterizing novel small molecule inhibitors of progesterone receptor action in breast cancer. As a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, she expanded her work in endocrinology and metabolism, studying thyroid hormone action in development and reproduction.
In addition to research, Aninye has dedicated her career to engaging the scientific community through academic service, outreach, and teaching. At the National Institutes of Health (NIH), she developed CEU courses in biotechnology and innovation for clinicians and basic researchers through the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (FAES@NIH). She was also a member of the biology faculty at Loyola University Maryland.
With a passion to diversify the face of STEM and increase the involvement of underrepresented groups in the sciences, she serves as a mentor and advisor to students and early-career scientists, and she has provided leadership on multiple educational program, career development, and award review committees at professional societies, universities, and community organizations.
A Washington, DC, native, Aninye attended the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) as a Meyerhoff Scholar and holds a BS in biochemistry and molecular biology.
Phone: (202) 496-5006
Carolyn McPhee, MPH
Carolyn is an experienced program manager of nonprofit programs in health care. She is passionate about improving health and health equity through increased research, education, and awareness. She received her Master of Public Health (MPH) with a community health education concentration in 2017 and enjoys baking in her spare time.
Gabriella Watson, MS
As the Science Programs Coordinator at SWHR, Watson supports the planning and execution of the organization’s science programs that aim to identify research gaps and address unmet needs.
Watson has dedicated her academic career to understanding the barriers that women disproportionately face in accessing health care services. Prior to joining SWHR, Watson attended graduate school at the University of London’s School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where she received her MS in Reproductive and Sexual Health Research. Previously, she received her BS in Global Health with a minor in Gender Studies from the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine in 2018. She is passionate about reducing inequalities and disparities in women’s health care.
Phone: (202) 496-5067
In her role as a Science Program Fellow, Black contributes to various projects including the development of reports and interventions to address gaps and needs in women’s health research.
Black is currently a Master of Public Health (MPH) student at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her concentration is in women’s reproductive health and health policy. Prior to graduate school, Black served as a research coordinator for 3+ years at the Stanford University Cardiovascular Institute. Black is passionate about reducing health disparities and bridging the gap between scientific research and policy.
A San Francisco Bay Area native, Black received her BS in Biology with a minor in Public Health from Santa Clara University.
Policy & Communications
Lindsey Horan, MA
Horan provides oversight of SWHR’s government relations, communications, and advocacy functions. A member of SWHR’s senior team, she is responsible for helping to drive SWHR’s policy agenda, build relationships with key stakeholders and policymakers, and guide activities to improve women’s health through science, policy, and education.
Previously, Horan served as the assistant director of government affairs for the American Association for Dental Research (AADR), where she was responsible for developing and implementing AADR’s federal policy agenda, spanning federal budget and appropriations issues, international scientific collaboration, scientific workforce matters, and tobacco policy.
Prior to AADR, Horan served as a senior manager for advocacy at AcademyHealth, where she supported efforts to raise the visibility and promote the value of health services and systems research.
Horan received her master’s degree in global communication, with a concentration in public diplomacy, from The George Washington University. She received her ABJ in public relations and her BA in international affairs from the University of Georgia.
Phone: (202) 496-5003
As the Communications Manager at SWHR, Lefton conducts media relations, social media, and internal and external communications efforts for the organization. She works closely with the chief advocacy officer and team members across SWHR to ensure that the organization’s key messages and its publications and other collateral materials are shared in a timely, clear, effective, and creative manner. She also provides general project management support to the SWHR team.
Prior to joining SWHR, Lefton worked in corporate public relations at FleishmanHillard, serving health systems, medical device companies, and health thought leader clients with media relations and strategy support. She has cultivated a love of research and writing in her time working.
Lefton graduated from Emory University with a BA in English concentrated in literature of marginalized groups and a minor in behavioral economics. She cares deeply about access to education, health equity, and climate sustainability, with a focus on how these areas affect women and children.
Luther recently joined the SWHR team as the communications and policy intern. She works closely with the Communications Manager and the Chief Advocacy Officer, assisting with the organization’s social media presence and publications. Luther is passionate about the value and benefit of a high quality life for all, specifically related to health care, human rights, and equity. She graduated from Washington College in 2022 with a BA in Anthropology and a minor in Communications & Media Studies.