Officers and Directors

Dr. Ramin Yazdani (Ph.D.)
In 2002, I was inspired to join Sahaya International after visiting various cities in India and seeing so many people living in poverty and suffering. My main visit was to help cities in India reduce greenhouse gas emissions but after I came back to Davis, I read an article about Sahaya International that inspired me to join Sahaya. I wanted to make a difference by helping families that were suffering and that Sahaya was doing it.  Since 2002, I have visited Sahaya’s programs in India several times and I have seen first hand how it has improved living conditions for women, children, and the community.  My profession as a civil & environmental engineer has been useful in educating the local villages as to how they may reduce their impact on the environment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by using solar cookers.   I am grateful to be part of this great organization and be able to give back to our global family & community. Making a difference starts today by helping someone in need and showing that we care. It is everyone’s responsibility to create a compassionate and caring global community.
“If you contribute to other people’s happiness you will find the true meaning of life. The key point is to have a genuine sense of universal responsibility.” By Dalai Lama 
Dr. Koen Van Rompay (DVM, PhD),
I was born and raised in Belgium. My passion for animals led me to become a veterinary doctor at the University of Ghent (Belgium). Thanks to a fellowship from the Belgian-American Educational Foundation (BAEF), I came to the University of California, Davis (UCD), where I have been doing HIV/AIDS research. I am currently Full Research Professor at UCD. In 1997, I became involved in India, which led to the start of Sahaya International, as described elsewhere (click here). I spend most of his free time on the daily management of Sahaya International. I enjoy making a difference and meeting many inspirational people along the way.

Koen has received several awards, including the 2006 Alumnus of the Year Award by the University of Antwerp, the International Peace-Maker Award (Teach Peace Foundation), the 2010 Excellence in Research Award (Academic Federation, University of California), the 2010 Community Service Award (University of California, Davis).
Dr. Adele Moussas (M.D.),
I was first drawn to Sahaya by the beautiful hand embroidered cards. Learning about the women who make them, I became curious about the other programs sponsored by Sahaya and READ. What made me decide to join Sahaya and eventually become a Board member was the direct connection, the direct help I could be to these people on the other side of the globe. Wanting to connect even more with them spurred me to go to India to visit the people benefiting from our sponsorship and see the programs in action. The villagers won my heart as can only happen when interacting one on one. I am grateful for my training as a Family Practice physician because this knowledge helped me participate in presenting HIV/AIDS awareness information, which is desperately needed in these villages. If you feel any stirrings of desire to help others, I encourage you to honor that desire and join us or do work for the good of others in your local community.
Mary Philip,
I have worked for many years as a social workers in Mumbai, India. Upon moving to the USA, she worked for the California Department of Public Health and recently retired. She is involved with many charities, and is also vice-president of International House Davis.
Dr. Rino Dizon (D.O., family physician),
As an undergraduate at UC Davis, I worked in the virology and immunology lab, where I met Dr. Van Rompay.  His passion for philanthropy inspired me to help in making a direct impact to those affected by the AIDS epidemic.  Sahaya is the true embodiment of compassion.
Since 2001, I've had the pleasure serving as board member and I continue to learn new ways of improving our humanitarian missions.   Sahaya has helped me realize the true meaning of hope and with that, make a difference to those in need. 
Danielle Newberry,
Vinita Domier,
Serving on the board of Sahaya International is a highly rewarding and deeply meaningful experience for me, as I have always wanted to make a difference.​ I enjoy working collaboratively with others towards common goals, and have helped organize numerous events and fundraisers while volunteering for many local school, youth, social, and non-profit organizations since moving to Davis in 1993. I continue to lead the Davis Astronomy Club at Explorit Science Center where I share my love for science in general and astronomy in particular with local enthusiasts of all ages.
Dr. Paulina Crook-Zielinska (D.V.M., M.P.V.M., M.P.H.),
I am a veterinarian from Poland and I moved to Davis in 2008 to pursue a master's degree in the Preventive Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis. During the program, I began my work in global health, coordinating an HIV/AIDS prevention project in collaboration with the CDC in Hyderabad, India. I was able to visit READ and witness the immense impact that Sahaya has made on those programs. After that, I went on to complete my master of public health degree at Harvard University where I focused on global health. Currently I am the Director of the Office for Global Programs in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM), where I work as a liaison and communication leader for the office, networking with other programs and institutions across the campus and UC system as well as SVM partners globally.

Dr. Cincin Young (Ph.D.),
My interest and involvement with Sahaya started in 2005 and since then I have been very impressed of how Koen and Sahaya have been making a difference in the lives of people living in three villages in southern India where AIDS is rampant. I was so inspired to make a difference that in 2010 I founded the Mosquito-Dengue Fighters Association (MDFA) in the Philippines. Dengue is the deadliest mosquito-borne disease in the Philippines and MDFA’s mission is dengue-prevention through mosquito population control. The following year, Koen and the Sahaya Board generously agreed to make MDFA a program under Sahaya. I am honored and proud to be a member of the Sahaya Board and will continue working on dengue-prevention. For more information on MDFA, please visit our website at and Sahaya webpage at
Chung Truong (D.D.S.),
I graduated from the University of California, Davis in 2001 with a degree of biological sciences and also graduated from the University of the Pacific in 2006 with a degree of Doctor of Dental Surgery.  Throughout these years, I have seen the tremendous development of Sahaya International.  I have become very inspired by the many lives that Sahaya has helped.  I am very grateful to be apart of such a great humanitarian effort.
Andy Lauer,
is a well-known actor, movie director, and President/Founder of Reelaid.
Best known to America for his role of "Charlie" (for which he was Emmy-nominated) on the hit NBC comedy series Caroline in the City, Andy. Lauer has co-starred on the big screen in Gunshy (Liam Neeson and Sandra Bullock), Screamers (Peter Weller), and Never On Tuesday (Peter Berg), For the Boys (Bette Midler) and Oliver Stone's The Doors (Val Kilmer) and Born on the Fourth of July (Tom Cruise). He has directed a number of short films and documentaries (click here for a more detailed list). In December 2010, Andy spent 2 weeks in India to make a promo-video about Sahaya's work with the NGO READ. The documentary, ("Sahaya Going Beyond" was completed in 2013.
Leslie Anastassatos,
has worked for the past eighteen years on various education and development programs for World Learning, The School for International Training and The Experiment in International Living.  She enjoyed working to send students from the United States on cultural language, environmental and development programs around the world because she believes that kids can be a powerful force for change, and they are our future leaders.  Leslie spent many summers leading field programs to Kenya and Botswana where she worked with Habitat for Humanity and other independent Kenyan organizations to build homes, schools, and women’s health centers. Leslie has been a Sahaya volunteer since 2008, and has enjoyed sharing the support of a child through Sahaya along with seven of her neighbors.  Though they have never met the boy they are supporting, the families in the neighborhood love sharing photos and watching him grow.  Leslie has traveled independently to many countries in Asia and Africa, including one month in India.  She lives with her husband and two sons in Davis, CA, and loves to travel with them as much as possible.
Sara Summers
I was born and raised in England, emigrated to Israel at the age of 19 and am now living in the United States, in Colorado. near my beautiful daughters and their families! I am a meteorologist with a background in air pollution meteorology. I was introduced to Sahaya in 2012 by a colleague who had visited Rehema and who showed me the photos from her trip. I immediately fell in love with the children and contacted Sahaya to see how I could help. I have always believed that providing children with an education is one of the most important things we can do, not only for the children, but for their entire generation. I love the work that Sahaya does and the opportunity they provide for so many children who would otherwise not have access to an education.
Louise Angermann,MPA (Masters of Public Affairs), Director I first learned of Sahaya International shortly after moving to Davis in 2003, when Sahaya was seeking supporters to build a public toilet in a rural part of southern India. Having travelled in India myself during my college years, I knew how great the need was, and I was all-in from that point forward.
In my professional life, I am the Director of Data and Evaluation for a CA non-profit that serves children, families, and people with disabilities in many different capacities. I really enjoy spreading hope and joy, and by being involved with Sahaya for over 20 years, I am hoping to make a positive difference in the world.

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”
Mother Teresa
( to be added) Dr. Mimi Jenkins (Ph.D.),
( to be added) Dr. Laurie Brignolo, director
( to be added) Dr. Laleh Rastegarzadeh, director