Kiwi Leadership Network USA

    Inspiring, Assisting, and Supporting Kiwis in the United States

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  • Recent Past Webinars

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  • About Us

    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

  • KIWI CONFERENCE Los Angeles - Kiwis Can Fly

    Watch the Highlight Reel From Kiwis Can Fly Conference Los Angeles

  • Our Team

    Is at your service

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    Xaviour Walker - President

    Dunedin, NZ / Southern California

    lifelongpostgraduateachieveco-founderis Xaviour is a graduate of the University of Otago Medical School and 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), University of California, Irvine and worked at Kaiser Permanente Orange County. He lectures nationally on health aging, preventive medicine and is currently a consultant geriatrician physician at Te Whatu Ora and a senior lecturer at University of Otago. He is now based in Dunedin with his wife and four children and regularly travels to the United States. He is a life long athlete and marathon runner with best time 2h 36 minutes at the NYC marathon.

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    N. Margarete Ezinwa - Secretary and Membership

    Redlands, 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.

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    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.

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    Divya Dhar Cohen - Digital Communications

    San Francisco, CA

    Divya Dhar Cohen is VP of products of Cognito Therapeutics, Inc., bringing the first digital therapeutic platform for Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases to market using a new field of science, optogenetics. Divya previously was Product Manager for Google Maps at Google, a co-founder of Swish and P3 Foundation. Divya is a physician from the University of Auckland Medical School and was awarded the Young New Zealander of the Year, Young University of Auckland Alumni of the 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 the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University.

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    Liz Arnold

    San Franscico, CA

    Liz is Director of Brand & Business Impact at Rarebase. Born and raised in New Zealand, Liz developed an early interest in life sciences and healthcare. After finishing her undergraduate studies, she ventured into marketing, initially working in consulting and later transitioning in-house to the pharmaceutical industry. After moving to the US, she completed her MBA from Boston University whilst working full-time in brand management in the rare disease sector. Alongside her professional commitments, she serves as a brand advisor and mentor for start-ups, leveraging her entrepreneurial spirit and marketing expertise.

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    Amy McDonald

    Jackson Hole, WY

    Amy Macdonald is a Principal and Resilience Practice Leader at Thornton Tomasetti, where she specializes in helping clients to prepare, endure, adapt and thrive in this disruptive and changing world we live in. Amy’s experience spans four continents and includes reconnaissance following the 2015 Nepal earthquakes, damage assessments after hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, and Sandy, along with leadership of the Earthquake Commission’s engineering response to the 2010-2011 Canterbury earthquake sequence in New Zealand. With a keen passion for innovating, Amy worked with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory on a product which uses AI, remote sensing and satellite technology to improve how we respond to disasters. Expanding upon this post-disaster experience, Amy informs the development of resilience strategies for complex scenarios where natural hazards intersect with the urban environment. Amy continues to lead the development and design of high profile flood mitigation and climate change adaptation strategies for public, healthcare, commercial, real estate and NGO sector clients. She is an Urban Design Forum Forefront Fellow, where she focused on the the role of the built environment in the transition to a circular economy, on the American Institute of Architects Design for Risk and Reconstruction committee, vice chair of the NCSEA Resilience Committee, co-leader of the transportation working group currently working on NYSERDA's climate assessment for New York State, and instrumental in guiding the philanthropic activities of the Thornton Tomasetti Foundation.

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    Zaman Toleafoa

    New York, NY

    Zaman is Partner at Bruswick Group in New York. He has over 20 years’ experience providing senior counsel to financial services firms in the world’s financial capitals of London and New York, in areas such as reputation management, issues management, media relations and crisis communications. Current and former clients span the financial services spectrum from private equity, investment banking, wealth management and asset management. Experience managing complex, cross border client relationships and engagements with an international network and relationships spanning the US, UK, Europe and Australasia. Considerable In-house communications experience, having held public relations roles at insurance conglomerate AXA Group in London, and at Bank of New Zealand in Auckland, New Zealand.

  • Our Advisors

    They help us row in the same direction

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    Chris Lewis

    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.

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    Rod Dixon

    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.

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    Leo Celi

    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.


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    Campbell Murray

    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.

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    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.

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    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.


  • Support Us

    Develop New Zealand's Next Generation of Leaders. The Kiwi Leadership Network USA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit. The Kiwi Leadership Network USA relies on donations to help with costs of administration, events and establishing educational scholarships. Your donation is tax-deductible and a tax receipt will be provided.

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