Lisa Butler, Executive Director, GBS/CIDP Foundation International

Lisa Butler first joined the GBS|CIDP Foundation community as the parent liaison for parents with children diagnosed with GBS, following her son Stuart’s diagnosis of GBS in 2002. She brings a wide breadth of experience in managing strategic relationships and the management of volunteers, special events, patient communications, and program expansion. 

For nearly 10 years, Butler was responsible for leading customer service teams, underwriters, and technical associates, for the mortgage and insurance industries. Additionally, her philanthropic interests and experience include multiple seats on various Boards of Directors for foundations with a particular interest in education and community service, including the Germantown Academy and Morris Arboretum.

Butler officially joined Foundation staff in December 2013 as the volunteer coordinator, where she managed over 200 global volunteers. Her role quickly grew to include the management of advocacy programs for grassroots and  

high-level advocates and has since expanded to the direction of the Foundation’s marketing and development programs.

In 2013, Butler was appointed the Executive Director, where she now manages 17 employees, holds the Foundation’s vision, and leads their mission to ensure that no one faces these rare conditions alone.

She is responsible for engaging with high-level corporate donors, initiating and re-designing patient programming, and leading legislative efforts that affect the lives of their patient population. She was recognized by Patient Services Inc., with the 2016 Extraordinary Support Award.

Butler recently joined the Board of Directors at the National Health Council (NHC) where she is a member of the Finance Committee and Chair of the Audit Committee . She is also a member of the Late-Onset Neuromuscular Disease Consortium (LONDC) Steering Committee.

She and her husband Tom – a mergers and acquisitions specialist – have three sons and enjoy spending time in Boston, Colorado, and Philadelphia.   

David Elvira-Martinez, Global Corporate Public Policy Head, Sanofi

David Elvira is economist by training (Universitat Pompeu Fabra), PhD in Pharmacology and MSc in Applied Economics (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona). He is the Global Corporate Public Policy Head at Sanofi. He is currently heading the department that specialises on international health policy topics, defining the company’s global position on relevant policy issues and coordinating Sanofi’s global policy contributions at the key international trade associations; such as EFPIA’s International Board Sponsored Committee, PhRMA’s International Senior Executive Committee and IFPMA.

Previously to his global responsibilities, he headed Public Affairs for oncology, immunology, and multiple sclerosis in Europe, supporting regional and country teams in health care and market access-related policy topics. Prior to joining the European team, he also led the Public Affairs and Field Market Access team in Spain, coordinating HTAs’ engagement policies and leading price and reimbursement negotiations with the national and sub-national authorities.

David has a long professional experience in HTA and reimbursement policies. Before joining Sanofi, he was commissioned by the Catalan Health Minister to design and implement the first ever Health Observatory in Spain as part of his duties as Senior Director of Evaluation at the Catalan HTA Agency (AQUAS), previously known as Catalan Agency for Health Technology Assessment (CAHTA) and one of the first HTA agencies in Europe and founder of INAHTA. He was the Health General Secretary of the Catalan Health Ministry and Chief Executive Officer of the Catalan National Health Service. During his term in office, he implemented the mandatory use of MCDA methodology in the assessment of medicines and he promoted regulatory reforms to include compulsory consultations to patients during the pharmaceutical reimbursement decision process.

Beyond his experience as a health policy maker, he was advisor and international consultant for the World Health Organization, the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank for healthcare planning and financing policies as well as medicines’ price and reimbursement policy reforms in European and American countries. Currently, he is member of the International Strategic Advisory Council at the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).

David has combined his professional career in health policy and the pharmaceutical sector with 18 years as a graduate and post-graduate teacher in health economics, including an academic and research background as researcher at Pompeu Fabra University and Automona University in Barcelona and visiting researcher at Keyo University and Kyoto University in Japan.

Kenneth Mendez, CEO and President, Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
Kenneth Mendez became CEO and President of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) in early 2018. He came to AAFA from AdvaMed, the world’s largest medical technology association, where he served as Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer for 12 years.
Mendez’s career has bridged the corporate and non-profit sectors. Early in his career, he worked on Wall Street in investment banking and then in business development at The Walt Disney Company. His career focus evolved to the non-profit sector based on a connection to causes about which he is passionate. Mendez, an avid fly fisherman, left Walt Disney to become the Chief Operating Officer of the nonprofit, Trout Unlimited, America’s largest cold-water fisheries conservation organization. Based on his success at Trout Unlimited, he was recruited by AdvaMed to develop and launch new business 
initiatives, manage business operations and lead strategic planning. He has built his career in the senior leadership of nonprofits by growing the reach of these organizations, a track record he brings to AAFA.
Since joining AAFA, he has led the organization in establishing a new multi-year strategic plan that emphasizes dramatically reducing the impact of asthma and allergies on the underserved and tripling the size of AAFA’s online asthma community. The new strategic plan’s vision is for AAFA to be recognized as the most trusted ally serving the asthma and allergy community.
Mendez has quickly become a thought leader in the asthma and allergy community. He served as an External Reviewer for the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review’s (ICER) asthma assessment. In that role, he informed ICER on how to better represent the patient voice. In 2019, Mendez served as a patient advocacy expert for ICER’s review on emerging peanut allergy therapies.
Under Mendez’ guidance, several patient advocacy organizations have joined together to advocate on issues important to people with food allergies – including sesame allergy. He also leads communications with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on ongoing access barriers to epinephrine auto-injectors.
He is quoted in outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post and NBC Nightly News, among others. Mendez has an MBA in marketing from Columbia Business School and a B.A. in American History and American Art from Harvard College. Mendez also has a personal stake in AAFA’s mission as he and two of his children manage asthma and allergies.

Dani Mothci, CEO International Alliance of Patients’ Organizations (IAPO)

Dani Mothci is a social policy professional with a strong commitment to creating opportunities for people to feel empowered within their own communities. She has experience in community development, co-production, policy design and implementation, and project management

Mothci joined IAPO in 2016 to work on the membership portfolio, converting members’ needs, interests, and ideas into joint efforts and actions at regional and global levels. She also led IAPO’s international partnerships, one of the key pillars of IAPO’s work.

Before moving to the United Kingdom, Mothci worked in NGOs and public institutions at both the local and state levels in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to address local priorities of low-income groups by securing the collaboration of organizations from across the public, private and third sectors.  

 She has an MSc in Social Policy and Development from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Law degree from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).

Jeff Todd, President and CEO, Prevent Blindness

Jeff Todd is President and CEO of Prevent Blindness, the leading eye health and safety patient advocacy organization in the United States dedicated to preventing blindness and preserving sight across all ages and eye conditions.

Since joining the organization in 2003, his contributions have focused on expanding the public health scope of Prevent Blindness, including launching the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health, a resource that promotes a continuum of eye health care for children across the country; fostering an annual national summit as a forum for the exchange of ideas relating to vision and public health; and overseeing the development of leading public health research, which has become widely used to capture the prevalence and cost of vision problems across the United States.

In addition to his work at Prevent Blindness, Jeff is currently Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Health Council, and serves on the Advisory Committee to the Prevent Child Injury coalition, the Executive 

Committee of Vision 2020 USA, for which he formerly served as Chair, and the Advisory Board to Jonas Children’s Vision Care at Columbia University Medical Center. He is a past chair of the Vision Care Section of the American Public Health Association, has served on the Board of Directors of Chicago-based Howard Brown Health Center, and is a member of the District of Columbia (D.C) Bar Association.

Harold Wimmer, President and CEO, American Lung Association

Harold Wimmer is the President and CEO of the American Lung Association, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to saving lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. Fostering a culture of innovation and a distinct mission-first approach, Wimmer directs the executive operations of the Association to deliver high impact services and initiatives to improve the lung health of all Americans.

His work with the American Lung Association began in 1978, and he became President and CEO in February 2013. The organization serves as the nation’s premier resource for lung health, and under his leadership has evolved to meet emerging, urgent lung health issues facing Americans today, including:

  •  Improving the lives of all those living with lung disease by accelerating research and doubling our research investment.
  • Increasing awareness of lung cancer and the new availability of lifesaving screening to ensure more eligible Americans are screened
  • Addressing and reducing the youth e-cigarette epidemic
  • Advocating for zero-emission transportation and energy technologies to reduce the harms of air pollution and climate change
  • Sharing science-based information about COVID-19 vaccinations and treatments, funding COVID-19 research and being a committed partner in the global effort to end COVID-19

Under Wimmer’s leadership, the Lung Association has deepened its commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) internally and for the external communities it serves. The Lung Association is committed to promoting lung health equity, and fostering diversity, equity and inclusion in our systems, programs, policies and practices.

Prior to leading the nationwide organization, Wimmer served in key executive positions in the American Lung Association in Illinois and the American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest. Earning a B.S. in Community Health and an M.S. in Health Administration & Policy from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, he has been an active alumni member at U of I, serving on the Applied Health Sciences Alumni Board.

Wimmer also serves as the Treasurer of the National Health Council, Co-Chair of the Advisory Council to the World Resource Institute Electric School Bus Initiative and Advisory Member to the International Union on TB and Lung Disease. He has also served in an advisory role to two presidential administrations on issues including COVID-19 and youth vaping.