The ReachOut Team
Nicola Survanshi, Executive Director
Nicola is a champion for ReachOut’s sustainability! She strongly believes that online resources and mobile technology can be powerful tools in improving the lives of teens and young adults. After graduating with a B.A. from Emory University, she began her professional career in the U.S. Air Force as an Intelligence Officer, stationed at Hickam AFB in Hawaii. She later realized her passion for public health and enrolled at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, graduating with an MPH in 2012. During her time at Columbia, she had the opportunity to develop a communications strategy with Ascel Bio, a disease forecasting start-up. She also joined in a research project under the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health and Society Scholar program, investigating the use of text messaging in community empowerment and health. Discoveries from the research sparked the concept for her thesis on the role of text messaging in mental health literacy and help-seeking with adolescents. Due to her husband’s love of consistently mild weather, they moved back to San Francisco with their pitbull mix rescue, Rigby. Nicola enjoys the California lifestyle by practicing yoga, and you can find her and Rigby running through Crissy Field most mornings.
Emily Morrissey, Youth Engagement Advisor
Emily O’Brien is the youth engagement advisor for ReachOut USA. One of her primary roles is to develop and implement ReachOut's youth engagement strategy. Over the course of her career, Emily has worked in health care, Australian federal government, disaster relief, youth program management, schools, community outreach and organizing positions providing individual and family case management and counseling services, and community building support. Emily earned a Bachelor of Social Work and Sociology from the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. She went on to complete a Masters of Social Work, with a specialization in Community Based Practice, from Portland State University, Oregon. Emily believes that every young person has immense potential. She is dedicated to working in partnership with young people on the issues that affect their lives so that they can overcome personal and community challenges. She is trained and interested in anti-oppressive, strength and resiliency based interventions. Emily enjoys hiking, travel, art, socializing and having a laugh.
Ann Marie Dobosz, MA, MFT, Mental Health Specialist
Ann Marie Dobosz, MA, MFT, is a licensed therapist who has been working in mental health and social services for more than a decade in a variety of roles. She has worked as a high school counselor, a behavioral therapist for children with autism, and a guide dog mobility instructor, where she got to train dogs and teach clients with visual impairments how to work with their new canine partners.
Ann Marie attended Sarah Lawrence College in New York, and after a first career in magazine writing and editing, she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to switch professional fields and get away from cold, snowy winters. Her former sarcastic New York self would barely recognize the current yoga-practicing, redwoods-hiking, meditating San Franciscan she’s become.
Having always loved working with young people, Ann Marie now specializes in treating teens and young adults in her psychotherapy practice in San Francisco, CA, and overseeing the ReachOut program as Mental Health Specialist.. She lives in San Francisco with her wife and their dog and cat.
Michelle Walker, Operations Manager
Michelle Walker has always found happiness in helping people in her professional life as well as her personal life, so working as the Operations Manager is a perfect fit. Michelle is responsible for the Operations, HR and Finances for ReachOut USA, and does some program work. After attending Washington University in St. Louis, where she was a peer counselor and trainer, Michelle earned a BA in Psychology, as well as one in History just for fun. She has a background in operations and human resources from her previous lives. Michelle loves traveling and cooking and reads entirely too much. She got married in a hot air balloon, but insists that she's not a balloon person.
Michael Young, Youth Programs Manager
Michael Young is the Youth Programs Manager at ReachOut USA. He has recently completed his MA in English at CSU East Bay. While receiving his BA in English, Michael toured North America as a musician and now that he has returned to the California, he has planted himself in a community of writers and artists attempting to reflect the diversity and beauty of the Bay Area. Previously, he worked as a Youth Program Director where he began developing a passion for young people and a love for hearing and sharing in their stories. He currently lives in Oakland with his wife, his typewriter and his bicycle.
John Foong, Chair
John Foong is the Global Director for Strategic Partnerships: a global deal-making team for Google Apps and Drive, Google’s premier Cloud Computing product. After starting his career as a consultant at McKinsey & Co. in Australia, John worked for TechnoServe/USAID in Mozambique, helping to kickstart the local poultry industry. For the last eight years, John has worked as a manager and executive at Google in London, Dublin and now Mountain View: in AdWords marketing and intelligence, Search Quality Management and Operations and as a Regional Sales Manager. John’s expertise lies in understanding business models and disruptive technologies, and forming high-performing teams to meet opportunities as fast as possible. Previously, John worked for the United States Agency for International Development in Mozambique (with TechnoServe) as a Poultry Project Manager and as a Consultant at McKinsey and Company in Sydney. Originally from Australia, John began his career in Information Technology, Project Management and Accountancy. John holds a First Class Honours degree in Information Systems and Management from the University of New South Wales (Australia) and a Masters of Arts (Education Reform) and an MBA from Stanford University (USA).
Jack Heath, Secretary
Jack Heath is the Founder of the ReachOut USA. From 1997 to 2009 Jack was the Executive Director and Founder of the Sydney-based Inspire (Australia) Foundation which was established following on from the suicide of Jack’s 21-year-old cousin on the family farm. Jack continues to serve as a director of the Inspire (Australia) Foundation and is a Director of the Inspire Ireland Foundation and CEO of Inspire.org (which coordinates Inspire’s international activities), both of which were established in 2008. Jack is a Law and Honors Arts graduate from the University of Melbourne and has undertaken Nonprofit Executive courses at both Harvard (2001) and Stanford (2006) Universities. Prior to founding ReachOut, Jack worked in Government service including as a diplomat in Thailand where he was the catalyst for the Australian Government’s decision to build the Friendship Bridge linking Thailand and Laos by land for the first time. He was a member of the first Western delegation to meet with Cambodian President Hun Sen in 1989 while working closely with the Personal Advisers to Thai Prime Minister Chatichai. Jack served as the speechwriter to the Australian Trade and Foreign Affairs Ministers in 1993 and was a Senior Advisor and Speechwriter to Prime Minister Paul Keating in 1994. He was a Torchbearer for the Sydney 2000 Olympics and a national organizer for the Dalai Lama’s 2002 Australian tour. In 2003, Jack was awarded a Centenary Medal for services to the community and he received the Equity Trustees National Non Profit CEO Award for Innovation in 2004. In 2005 he was a NSW Finalist in the Australian of the Year Awards and in 2007 was the Ernst & Young Australian Social Entrepreneur of the Year. In 2009 he was a TED Global Ambassador for the Charter for Compassion.
Katherine Chon is past President and co-founder of Polaris Project, a global non-profit organization combating modern-day slavery where she worked directly with survivors of human trafficking, established comprehensive victim service programs, and steered a partnership with federal and local law enforcement to create a community-wide victim response system. She currently is a Senior Advisor at the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She advises on anti-trafficking strategies, policies, training, and evaluation across multiple programs at the Department and coordinates anti-trafficking initiatives with other Federal partners. Katherine received her Sc.B. in Psychology from Brown University, M.P.A. from Harvard Kennedy School, and completed the Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Lance J. Descourouez is an internationally recognized business consultant and executive coach as well as the founder of Lance Consulting (CEO coaching) and LCI Global Communications (a cross-cultural training firm). He has lived and worked in 34 countries across 3 continents. Prior to starting his own practice, Lance Descourouez served as a company president; director of international business development and senior consultant in the areas of global organizational development and executive leadership. In addition, Mr. Descourouez is a published author, adjunct professor, and celebrated speaker. His education includes an MS in Organization Development and an MA in Cross-Cultural Psychology.