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Board of Trustees

Vital Strategies’ governing board

Vital Strategies Board of Trustees provides invaluable leadership as advisors, stewards and champions. Their thoughtful oversight has help to steer Vital through its rapid expansion in recent years, as the organization launched a rapid, sustained response to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, and mostly recently, through a participatory process to develop Vital’s strategic plan for the next five years.

The 20-member board’s role is to:

  • Identify and develop financial resources for the organization;
  • Oversee Vital’s relationships with other institutions, the private sector, government bodies and the media;
  • Determine the long-range allocation of resources, together with Vital’s president and CEO, in the context of the needs and expectations of the organization and obligations to donors, partners, key constituents and society.

The Board of Trustees’ main work is carried out by its committees. An executive committee is empowered to act on behalf of all of the trustees between quarterly meetings of the full board.

Bruce Mandell, who joined the board in 2008, began his term as board chair in 2023, stepping into the role following the tenure of Louis James “Jimmy” de Viel Castel, Vital Strategies’ Board Chair since 2007.

Bruce Mandell, Chairperson

“Vital Strategies is building a future where the many facets of public health and the protections it affords are better understood and supported,” Mandell said. “As Board Chair, I look forward to working with my fellow trustees to advance our critical mission and champion the importance of health equity and strong public health systems around the world.”

Mandell is President of Data-Mail, Inc., a family-owned business founded in 1971 and one of the nation’s largest direct marketing, print and production facilities. He is also Chairman and Majority Owner of Hartford Athletic, a professional men’s soccer club that plays out of Trinity Health Stadium in Hartford, Connecticut. Prior to joining Data-Mail, Mr. Mandell practiced corporate law in Manhattan after receiving a J.D. from Georgetown University and his B.A. from Tufts University.

Executive Committee 


Bruce Mandell
President of Data-Mail Inc. and Chairman and Majority Owner of Hartford Athletic

Chief Executive Officer

José Luis Castro

Vice Chair for Programs 

Dr. Renée Ridzon
Medical Officer, Centers for Disease Control (Kenya) 

Vice Chair for Operations

Helen Agerup 
Chairman, H&B Ågerup Foundation 


Marc Sznajderman 
Senior Vice President, Head of Production, Eastern Region Marcus & Millichap Capital Corp. 


Dr. Ram Koppaka
Physician, Pulmonary Medicine and Public Health

Board Members

David A. Caputo, Ph.D.
President Emeritus and Retired Professor of Political Science, Pace University 

José Luis Castro (ex Officio)
President and Chief Executive Officer, Vital Strategies

Frank G. Colella
Attorney at Law 

Dr. Mary-Ann Etiebet
Executive Director, Merck for Mothers

Dr. Roslyn “Roz” Feder
Biopharmaceutical Business Development Consultant 

Dr. Lisa Fitzpatrick
Founder and CEO, Grapevine Health

Mark Foley
President, Pendo LLC 

Scott Halstead 
Investor, Advisor and Board Member, Venture capital and private equity backed technology-enabled service businesses 

Dr. Kelly Henning
Public Health Program Lead, Bloomberg Philanthropies 

Dr. Masae Kawamura
Immunotherapy and Immunodiagnostics Consultant

Meron Makonnen, MPA, JD
General Counsel at ELMA Philanthropies Services

Eric Rosenbaum 
President and CEO of Project Renewal

Jack Salvo
Executive Vice President, Business Development, PharmaSphere 

Dr. Neil W. Schluger
Chairman, Department of Medicine, New York Medical College 

Dr. Dean Schraufnagel
Professor of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago, Section of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep and Allergy, Department of Medicine