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Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Pam Laird (Board Co-Chair)
(im)patient.  creative.  Prior to onset, she earned her BS in Journalism and MBA from Northwestern University, won a San Francisco Woman Entrepreneur Award.  Post onset, she got her MFA in Creative Writing at San Francisco State University.  Her thesis, Looking for Pam, observes the process of re-making a meaningful life with a chronic, invisible, misunderstood, and maligned illness.  She served on the Solve ME/CFS Initiative Board of Directors in 2013 & 2014.


Jennifer Brea (Board Co-Chair)
Jen is a filmmaker, academic and community organizer. She earned her bachelor’s in political science from Princeton University, where she graduated magna cum laude, and was a Ph.D candidate at Harvard in political science and statistics before becoming ill with ME. She co-founded #MEAction, directed Unrest, the Sundance award-winning documentary about ME, and is a TED Fellow.


Ryan Prior (Secretary)
Ryan is a multimedia journalist and social entrepreneur. He was the founder and editor-in-chief of the Georgia Political Review and went on to write for The Daily Beast and USA Today. Currently working at CNN, he was selected as a Stanford Medicine X ePatient Scholar and was recognized as ProHealth’s 2014 ME/CFS Advocate of the Year. He is president of the Blue Ribbon Foundation and serves on the Board of Directors for #ME Action Network. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia. @r_prior


Beth Mazur (Treasurer)
Person with ME and science nerd. Beth earned her Bachelor’s in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from MIT.  She is interested in how to best use technology to empower people with ME and achieve health equality. She worked as a developer and technical product manager for various for-profit and non-profit technology companies including HealClick, Grameen Foundation, and Jaspersoft.


Michelle Pinedo
Michelle Pinedo is VP of Finance & Operations with Episcopal Relief & Development, a global relief organization that works with Anglican and ecumenical partners around the world to find solutions to hunger, poverty, disaster and disease in collaboration with local communities. In this capacity, she is responsible for ensuring that all of the support functions – Finance, IT, and Human Resources are performing at peak level. 

Michelle has over 20 years of senior level experience in leading non-profit organizations to new degrees of efficiency and impact. Before joining Episcopal Relief & Development, Michelle worked as Director of Finance with Amref Health Africa, a Nairobi, Kenya based organization that provides health services and health worker training to over 30 African countries.  

Prior to her work with Amref, Michelle held the most senior finance position with the Museum for African Art.  As Controller, Michelle managed the operational and capital finances for the museum and traveled to over 15 African countries.

A graduate of the City University of New York, she holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business. 

Michelle has seen the devastation of this illness up close and considers herself a strong ally in our fight for recognition of ME.

Advisors to the Board

Katie Bach
Katie Bach is the Managing Director of the Good Jobs Institute (GJI), a non-profit that helps companies improve job quality while better enabling employees to provide a great customer experience. Prior to joining GJI, Katie was a Director of Global Strategy at Starbucks, where she led the company’s annual strategic planning process. Before Starbucks, Katie spent 5 years in management consulting, first with McKinsey & Company, and then with a start-up firm in Kenya. Katie has an undergraduate degree in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from the University of Oxford. She was valedictorian of her Master’s program at the London School of Economics, and received her MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management. At MIT Sloan, she won a Siebel Scholarship, McKinsey Award, and Forte Fellowship, all for outstanding academic and leadership contributions.

Judy Gayer
Judy is Vice President and Deputy General Counsel – General Corporate at Freddie Mac, where she leads a team that handles commercial transactions, intellectual property, privacy, data security, real estate and other general corporate matters. Judy holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Michigan and a J.D. degree from the Harvard Law School. She is a past President of Fairfax Court Appointed Special Advocates (Fairfax CASA), a nonprofit that serves the best interests of abused and neglected children in Fairfax County, Virginia.  She also provides pro bono legal assistance and otherwise volunteers with various nonprofit organizations in her area.