All about the Kiwi Leadership Network USA
Our Vision: To help New Zealanders in the United States achieve their full potential and succeed in their endeavors.
Our Mission: The Kiwi Leadership Network USA's purpose is to inspire, assist and support the growth of New Zealanders in the United States through educational, social and cultural activities and opportunities.
Why: The Kiwi Leadership Network USA has been formed because we know first hand how hard it can be to move to a new country and how important it is to connect with people who can help you along the way. Having built professions and careers over a period of time, we also strongly believe in the power of connecting people with similar and complementary ideas and expertise, because we know this is when doors can open and great things can happen.
Who: The Kiwi Leadership Network is a 501c3 non-profit organized for New Zealanders in the United States to help them achieve their full potential and succeed.
What: The Kiwi Leadership Network USA is focused on these main areas:
1. Organizing in-person events: such as leadership speaking events and other forums with US-based New Zealanders to inspire and connect people.
2. Developing video interviews and profiles: we will interview and profile successful New Zealanders to show how people got their opportunities and overcame various adversities and succeeded in the US.
3. Central online resources: We are developing a central source of useful information, insights, existing resources and networks to help New Zealand know about opportunities and resources available.
4. Scholarships and opportunities: As a 501c3 non-profit we will be looking to develop educational scholarships and opportunities for New Zealanders in the United States
Is at your service
Xaviour Walker - President
Xaviour is originally from Dunedin, New Zealand and graduate of the University of Otago Medical School. He is passionate about helping people achieving their potential and helping others. He was the cofounder and inaugural chair of the Junior Doctors Network, World Medical Association and is triple American Board certified in Internal Medicine, Geriatric Medicine, Public Health and Preventive Medicine. He completed his post graduate medical training from Harvard, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where he also received his Master’s in Public Health, National Institutes of Health (NIH) and University of California, Irvine. He lectures nationally on health aging, preventive medicine and is currently is a physician at Kaiser Permanente. He lives in Irvine, Southern California with his wife and three children and is a life long athlete and marathon runner with best time 2h 36 minutes at the NYC marathon.
Simon Brandon - Vice-President
New York, NY
Simon is a Management Consultant working for Systems Evolution Inc, working out of New York City and Miami, Florida. Simon previously worked as an investment banker in New York and London and has a strong interest in Financial Services, technology and the energy sector. Having grown up in Wellington, New Zealand and Washington D.C. Simon is keen to help support and develop New Zealanders pursuing opportunities in the United States. Simon graduated in 2000 from Victoria University of Wellington with a BSc Hons (1st Class) in Computer Science and Mathematics.
Paul Viskovich - Treasurer
Los Angeles, CA
Born in Auckland, New Zealand and moved to the USA in 2002. Paul is the founder and CEO of Healthfully. Healthfully is a tech health start-up that provides enterprises a solution for delivering a digitally enabled, unified consumer experience across all channels and care settings. Previously Paul was President of Orion Health Inc in North America where he led the company from start-up to one of the leading Health IT companies in North America. Paul is passionate about healthcare and how to apply technology to improving healthcare outcomes. Paul is a graduate of Auckland University of Technology.
N. Margarete Ezinwa - Secretary and Membership
Loma Linda, CA
Margarete received her medical degree from The University of Auckland, New Zealand, before completing residency training in Family Medicine at Franklin Square, and Preventive Medicine at Johns Hopkins including fellowships at the World Health Organization where she worked with a multidisciplinary team creating International Partnerships for Patient Safety and strengthening the network of the WHO global collaborating centers, the Office of Global Research at the National Institute of Health where she initiated collaboration between New Zealand the USA. Currently as Assistant Professor in Preventive and Family Medicine at Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, California, USA, she combines her passions for assisting patients in lifestyle change for the treatment and prevention of Non-communicable disease at an underserved clinic in San Bernardino, and teaching the next generation of Preventive and Family Medicine Residents global-local medicine.
Skye Duncan - Strategy and Publications
New York, NY
Skye is the Director of the Global Designing Cities Initiative (GDCI) at the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO). Following over 15 years of experience in architecture, urban design, and planning, her team has published the Global Street Design Guide and currently provide ongoing technical assistance to cities around the world on safe and sustainable street design and mobility. Prior to NACTO, she spent over seven years working as a Senior Urban Designer at the New York City Department of City Planning in their Office of the Chief Urban Designer, has worked as an International Urban Design Consultant, and has been an Associate Adjunct Professor at Columbia University in New York City. She graduated as a Fulbright Scholar at Columbia in the Master of Science in Architecture and Urban Design program and has a Bachelor of Architecture with Honors from Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand.
Divya Dhar Cohen - Digital Communications
San Francisco, CA
Divya Dhar Cohen is the Product Manager for Google Maps at Google. Previously, she was the co-founder of Swish and P3 Foundation. Divya is a physician from University of Auckland Medical School and was awarded the Young New Zealander of the Year, Young University of Auckland Alumni of Year and Indian New Zealander of Year. She co-founded and sold her last health tech start up Seratis. Divya is a Fulbright Scholar and has an MBA/MPA from University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University.
New Brunswick, NJ
Originally from Otago, Max is a former New Zealand representative in athletics. After beginning his studies at the University of Otago, Max moved to the US on a scholarship to Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island. He is an All- American athlete and holds the New Zealand Under 20 mile record holder at 4min 01 and is the 12th fastest all time New Zealander for the mile, just behind the legendary Dick Quax with a personal best time of 3min 56. For over 10 years Smith has been dedicated to the footwear industry previously working for Adidas, Puma, and currently for Swiss based On AG, as director of sales. Max is married to former Olympian and Rutgers University coach Marina Muncan, they and their two children are based in New Jersey.
Bel Air, MD
Anna Gardner (née Wilson) is originally from Dunedin. Anna is a former Olympian and top international New Zealand swimmer, winning multiple New Zealand titles and breaking multiple national records. In 1993, she was awarded NZ Junior (U21) Sportswoman of the Year, and in 1995 was ranked no. 2 in the world for the 400m individual medley short course. She represented New Zealand at the 1994 Commonwealth Games where she was 5th in the 400m individual medley, at the 1994 World Championships where she was 10th 400m individual medley, and at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, USA. Anna attended the University of Arizona on an athletics scholarship for Swimming and graduated with a BSc in Public Health in 2001 and a BSN in Nursing in 2004 (Summa Cum Laude). Anna is a registered nurse in Maryland and is finishing her MSN from Drexel University to become a family nurse practitioner. She lives with her husband Warren in Bel Air, MD with their two children.
They help us row in the same direction
1983 Wimbledon Finalist, Former World Junior #1, Former Coach of Ivan Lendl, World #1
Chris Lewis is one of New Zealand's greatest tennis players and sportspersons. As a former professional tennis player, he reached the 1983 Wimbledon final against John McEnroe, which was one of New Zealand's greatest sporting moments. Also in 1983, he received the New Zealand Sportsman of Year Award. During his career, he won three singles titles, reached the final of ten Tour events, and achieved a career-high singles ranking of World No. 19 in April 1984. He also won 8 doubles titles during his 12 years on the professional tour. Lewis became only the third player from New Zealand to reach the finals of a Grand Slam singles event, and he is the last player from New Zealand to reach the finals of a Grand Slam. In 1982, he led the NZ Davis Cup team to the semifinals in which New Zealand lost a close tie against France. In 1975, Chris was ranked the number one junior in the world, winning Junior Wimbledon and finishing runner-up in the US Open Juniors. As a coach, he has coached some of the top players in the world, including Ivan Lendl (former world no. 1), Carl Uwe Steeb (former world no. 14), and New Zealand's Marina Erakovic (former world no. 39). Lewis is currently Co-founder and Co-Owner of the Brymer Lewis Tennis Academy in Irvine, CA, where, together with his two partners, he is responsible for the development of over 500 aspiring young players.
Olympic Medalist, NYC Marathon Winner, Founder Rod Dixon's KiDSMARATHON Foundation
Olympian Rod Dixon winner of the 1983 New York City Marathon and bronze medal winner of the 1500 meters at the 1972 Olympic Games. Rod also competed in the 1976 Montreal Olympics and prior to Montreal (1995) Track and Field magazine ranked him first in the world for the 5000 meters event. He eventually turned to road-running and was one of the more successful athletes on the US road racing circuit in the early '80s, including wins at the Falmouth Road Race (1980), Bay to Breakers (1982 & 1983), the Lynchburg, Virginia 10 miler (1981 & 1983), and the Philadelphia Half-Marathon (1980, 1981). His gradual move to longer distances culminated in his 1983 marathon victory in New York City. He finished 10th in the marathon at the 1984 Summer Olympics, and in the 1985 Bay to Breakers when he was unable to compete due to an injury he guided a blind runner to the finish. Dixon's athletic triumphs include: winning the national 1500m titles of New Zealand, France, U.S.A, and Great Britan; running the fifth fastest 1500m of all time (3:33.89) in 1974 at the Christchurch Commonwealth Games. Over his career, Dixon beat all the greats - Steve Prefontaine, John Walker, Lasse Viren, Henry Rono, Ben Jipcho, Brendan Foster, Dick Quax, Emil Puttemans, and many other world-class runners. In addition to his running, for three years he was race director of Auckland's Round the Bays run, which boasts some 80,000 runners, and was appointed as the coach for the Fijian Olympic team at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.
Rod is the founder of the Rod Dixon's KiDSMARATHON charity which helps educate KiDS about exercise and nutrition, empowering them to take their health into their own hands, and inspiring them with visits from running champions.
MIT Principal Research Scientist and Harvard Critical Care Physician
Leo Anthony Celi MD MS MPH has practiced medicine in three continents, giving him broad perspectives in healthcare delivery. As clinical research director and principal research scientist at the MIT Laboratory for Computational Physiology (LCP), and as an attending physician at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), he brings together clinicians and data scientists to support research using data routinely collected in the process of care. Leo also founded and co-directs Sana, a cross-disciplinary organization based at the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science at MIT, whose objective is to leverage information technology to improve health outcomes in low- and middle-income countries. He is one of the course directors for HST.936 – global health informatics to improve quality of care, and HST.953 – collaborative data science in medicine, both at MIT. He is an editor of the textbook for each course, both released under an open access license. Finally, Leo was an intensive care and infectious disease consultant at Dunedin Hospital and a senior lecturer at Otago University School of Medicine from 2002-2007. He been a mentor and help advised many young New Zealanders to study and research in the United States, including at Harvard and MIT and collaborates with New Zealand based researchers with his work with MIT and medical informatics.
Managing Director, Norvartis Venture Funds
Campbell Murray is a experienced venture capital investor with a demonstrated history of working in the biopharma industry and life sciences. He is managing Director of Norvartis Venture Funds (NVF) in Cambridge, MA, USA. Prior to joining NVF, he worked at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research as the Director of Special Projects. Campbell is originally from Auckland, New Zealand and a graduate of University of Auckland Medical School and previously worked at Auckland Hospital. He is a Kauffman Fellow and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and an MPP (public policy) from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he was a Knox Fellow and Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar. Campbell serves as a director on the boards of Annexon, Expansion Therapeutics, Galera, and Lemonaid Health and is an observer on the board of Akouos.
VP - US Operations Rocket Lab
Founded by New Zealander Peter Beck in 2006, Rocketlabs is an American aerospace manufacturer with a wholly owned New Zealand subsidiary. Rocket Lab develops and launches advanced rocket technology to provide rapid and repeatable access to orbit for small satellites. Shane Fleming is responsible for the management operations of Rocket Lab's headquarters in Huntington Beach, California. Previously, Shane managed the operations at Rocket Lab's Auckland, New Zealand facility, as well as Launch Complex 1. With a decade of experience developing and commercializing innovative and disruptive technologies, Shane is accustomed to leading diverse teams and navigating complex international projects. Prior to Rocket Lab, Shane spent seven years at biotechnology firm LanzaTech, leading the Global Engineering Operations and managing teams of engineers, scientists, and technicians at five production facilities in four countries across China, Taiwan, Japan, and the US. Shane has a background in mechanical engineering from the University of Colorado Boulder.
Founder and Executive Chair World Mentor
Leigh is an innovator, business woman, educator, mentor and speaker. She runs a portfolio of projects, she is co-founder of Cal Berkeley’s SkyDeck, with roles on Strategy Council, a SkyAdvisor and a global SkyDeck speaker. Leigh is co-founder of Seoul’s HanYang University Global Alliance Council and co-founder and owner of Mt Beautiful Winery/Teece Family Farms in New Zealand. See www.mtbeautifulwines.com.
As President of the Teece Family Foundation, Leigh gives funding and fellowships to UPenn, Yale, St Petersburg State University (Goedinghaus Fellowships), Phillips Andover, Eaglebrook Junior Boarding School and Bentley School. Leigh is founder and Chair of World Mentor/Mentored Pathways, which has mentored over 50,000 primarily high schools students online, one-on-one with professionals, for multiple semesters since 1995. With others from Cal and the Hoover Institute, Leigh is leading creation of a partnership between top research universities and U.S.congressional leaders for fair use of intellectual property.
Leigh is on the advisory boards of the Kravis Leadership Institute of Claremont McKenna College and of Global Citizen Year. Leigh is creating an advisory board for SkillZilla (Japan); she is mentor creator/manager for BridgeUSA. Leigh is co-founder of the Global Council on Woman & Power, on the Executive Board of Women Leaders of the World, and a Global Advisor of How Women Lead. Leigh is on the Board of UC Berkeley's Cal Performances; she leads development of its futuristic Performing Arts Center. Prior to raising four children, Leigh was research assistant at the High/Scope Educational Research Foundation, co-founder and SVP of Technology Interlink, VP of Technology Funding, and VP of Wells Fargo & Co. Leigh earned her MBA from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, and her BA from the University of Southern California’s School of International Relations. Her commitment to life-long learning is reflected in her receipt of Columbia University's School of Business's Certificate in Executive Education.
Professor Richard Webby
World Renowned Scientist and Influenza Expert
Professor Richard Webby obtained his PhD from the University of Otago, Dunedin. He then moved to St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, USA for a postdoctoral fellowship under the guidance of Professor Robert G. Webster, world-renowned influenza pioneer and also graduate of University Otago, who helped identified the avian strain of influenza known as H5N1, the causative agent of avian influenza or "bird flu"; that emerged in Hong Kong in 1997.
Dr. Webby is a Professor in the Department of Infectious Diseases and directs the World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Studies on the Ecology of Influenza and a US NIH-funded Center of Excellence in Influenza Research and Surveillance. Richard’s research interests focus on understanding the factors that govern interspecies transmission of influenza viruses and developing counter measures. This work involves combining field studies in both animal and human populations with laboratory activities with a focus on emerging influenza threats. His important work on influenza has been profiled in Nature and he has been recognized by Scientific America and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Dr. Webby has been a mentor and supervisor to post doctoral students, including from New Zealand.
Helen Klisser During
International Art curator, Advisor, and Photojournalist
Helen Klisser During is an art advisor, curator, and photojournalist who has championed global art projects for over 25 years. As well as numerous international consultancies, Klisser During serves as an international ambassador at large for Auckland Art Gallery and Auckland University of Technology; and as the U.S. Development Manager for The Helen Clark Foundation. Klisser During is recognized by KEA as a World Class New Zealander.
She has curated hundreds of exhibitions which have been at the forefront of the contemporary art world. She organized notable exhibitions and supplemental programs to promote social justice including “A Night of Nurturing Nature” a discussion with Helen Clark and featured photographer Edward Burtynsky; “On the Wire Veiled Rebellion” a conversation with Helen Clark about Lynsey Addarios photos depicting Afghan women’s lives, “Hope in Haiti,” an exhibition of photographs taken by 50 children from the Carma Foundation Orphanage in Haiti; “Champions to End Malaria,” an exhibition for which she was awarded curatorial role at the United Nations; and “Malawi with Love," a collaborative exhibition with Save the Children. Klisser During is the artistic director and co-founder with Mary Himes of #UNLOAD: Arts Trigger a Conversation, a statewide initiative in Connecticut to promote conversation through arts and education, around the divisive issue of gun violence in America. Helen is an award-winning international photojournalist. She served as the still photographer for Gaylene Preston's 2016 film "My Year with Helen: The Helen Clark Documentary," and her photographs and photo essays have been published in a wide range of national and international publications.