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Our Team

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Kelly Close

Founder, The diaTribe Foundation

Kelly L. Close is the founder and Chair of the Board of The diaTribe Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of people living with diabetes and prediabetes, and advocating for action. Since 2006, she has been the Editor-in-Chief of diaTribe, our free website focused on making people with diabetes healthier and happier and advocating for action. Since 2002, she has also run Close Concerns, a healthcare information firm exclusively focused on diabetes and obesity. Each year Kelly and her colleagues attend over 50 scientific, regulatory, and economic conferences around the world, focused on diabetes and obesity; they read the key medical literature in the field and write regularly about 50-plus private and public companies and nonprofit organizations. Kelly's passion for diabetes comes from her extensive professional work as well as her personal experience as a type 1 patient for nearly 30 years.

Prior to starting Close Concerns, Kelly was an analyst in the financial sector, writing about medical technology companies, and she also worked at McKinsey & Company, where a majority of her work was focused on healthcare. Kelly is recognized as an expert on diabetes and obesity markets, and she is a frequent speaker on the public health implications of diabetes and obesity. A longtime diabetes patient advocate, Kelly was previously on the Board of Directors of the Diabetes Hands Foundation, the Behavioral Diabetes Institute, and the Executive Board of the San Francisco Bay Area JDRF. Kelly is a graduate of Amherst College and Harvard Business School. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and three children.

Adam Brown

Senior Editor, The diaTribe Foundation

Adam Brown joined diaTribe in 2010 as a Summer Associate, became Managing Editor in 2011, and now serves as Senior Editor. Adam brings nearly 15 years of experience with type 1 diabetes to all of his work at diaTribe, especially in testing out new technology like glucose meters, CGMs, insulin pumps, automated insulin delivery, and mobile apps. Adam also writes an acclaimed column for diaTribe, Adam's Corner, which focuses on actionable tips for living well with diabetes. Through his work at Close Concerns and diaTribe, Adam has brought a patient perspective to numerous venues, including FDA meetings, scientific and industry conferences, and patient events. Adam graduated summa cum laude from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 2011 pursuing concentrations in marketing and health care management & policy. He is passionate about exercise, nutrition, psychology, and wellness, and spends his free time cycling in San Francisco.

Alijah Marquez

Manager of Strategic Partnerships and Development, The diaTribe Foundation

Alijah Marquez joined The diaTribe Foundation in 2018 as the organization’s first Development Coordinator. Alijah completed her Bachelor Degree in Collaborative Health and Human Services at California State University, Monterey Bay in 2014 and her Master in Public Health degree at San Jose State University in 2017 – both with an emphasis on community health. Alijah brings over five years of non-profit involvement, with a focus on health education, program development and implementation, community outreach, and organizational development. Alijah has served as a long-standing volunteer and intern for numerous health-related nonprofits which include The Compassionate Friends bereavement support organization, Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, Community Health Resource Center, and the Brisbane Lions Club. Alijah is passionate about health and wellness, sustainable and recycled fashion, animals, vegetarian food, and coastal hikes.

Mallory Erickson

Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships & Organizational Development, The diaTribe Foundation

Mallory Erickson joined The diaTribe Foundation in 2017 as the organization’s first Managing Director. Mallory brings nearly 12 years of non-profit leadership experience, with a focus on strategic planning, capacity building, program development, and management. Mallory graduated from the University of Michigan in 2007 pursuing concentrations in Sociology and Political Science, with a focus on education and social change. She received her Masters in Education from Lesley University through a teaching fellowship with Citizen Schools, where she later went on to be a Campus Director. Following her role at Citizen Schools, Mallory became a non-profit consultant and supported organizations to train their first-year Americorps members. For the last five years, Mallory has been the Managing Director and Executive Director for Global Student Embassy (GSE). At GSE, she transformed a small, startup non-profit into a growing, thriving organization with environmental youth leadership programs in three countries, sustainable gardens in twenty Bay Area high schools, and student groups on 18 university campuses throughout the United States. Mallory is passionate about traveling, exercise, recycling, reading, and art. She spends her free time hiking around the Bay Area or exploring a new country.

Emily Fitts

Senior Associate, The diaTribe Foundation

Emily Fitts joined The diaTribe Foundation in 2017 after graduating cum laude from Amherst with a degree in Psychology and a certificate in Culture, Health, and Science. She was previously a Summer Associate for Close Concerns in 2016. Emily completed a senior honors thesis that investigated the social norms surrounding stress, sleep, and related-disclosure and the influence of perfectionism on misperception of such norms. During her time at Amherst, she pursued her passion for public health by serving on the Executive Board of GlobeMed, a global health group that seeks to promote health, raise awareness, and foster partnership on campus and within the global community. Emily worked as the Head Tour Guide for her junior and senior year, where she expressed her love of Amherst to prospective families and managed 70+ tour guides to ensure a positive visitor experience. To engage with the local community, Emily worked as a Reading Mentor for Reader to Reader, which provided her an opportunity to share her love of reading with students from low-income schools. Prior to her summer internship with Close Concerns, she worked for The Union for International Cancer Control in Geneva, Switzerland, where she explored the business side of a public health nonprofit organization as the Business Development and External Relations intern. Emily was an avid member of the Rowing Team at Amherst and looks forward to continuing spending her free time outside with friends.

Divya Gopisetty

Associate, The diaTribe Foundation

Divya Gopisetty started as a summer intern at Close Concerns in 2017, and joined The diaTribe Foundation as a full-time associate in 2018 after graduating from Stanford University with a B.A. in Human Biology. Divya’s younger sister was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 11 years ago. Her sister’s resilience has inspired Divya to work in the diabetes space for the last four years in a variety of roles, including clinical research, patient advocacy, and community engagement. During her senior year, she co-directed a novel design challenge, Disrupt Diabetes, which created a new framework for patient-driven innovation. At diaTribe, she is co-leading diaTribe’s d19, an Executive Innovation Lab that strives to tackle the type 2 diabetes epidemic from a systems approach. Divya is passionate about the intersection of medicine and social justice, using diaTribe’s advocacy efforts to highlight diverse patient voices. In the future, she hopes to have a diabetes clinical practice, while also working to prevent chronic disease in vulnerable populations.

Jeemin Kwon

Senior Associate, The diaTribe Foundation

Jeemin Kwon joined The diaTribe Foundation in 2017 after graduating cum laude from Yale University with a BS in Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental Biology. As an undergraduate, her academic work was focused on neurobiology, culminating in a senior project researching the effects of inhibiting a brain-specific protein in Alzheimer’s disease. She also pursued other academic interests related to psychology and public health. Outside the classroom, Jeemin enjoyed playing flute with Yale’s pops orchestra and performing with the traditional Korean drumming group. In addition to diabetes and other matters of health, Jeemin is passionate about boba, exploring cities on foot, and animated films. As a Bay Area native, she is excited to be working in SF with the diaTribe team! 

Jimmy McDermott

Associate, The diaTribe Foundation

Jimmy McDermott joined the diaTribe Foundation in 2018 after graduating cum laude from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. He majored in science, technology, and international affairs, with a focus on security and global health. As an undergraduate, Jimmy worked for a DC-based policy research organization to assist in US global health policy decision-making. His passion for improving health literacy and disparities drove him to work with children at public schools in the DC area, teaching a weekly course on HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and stigma. While completing a Pre-Medical Post-Baccalaureate program, he conducted research at the MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, focusing on healthcare disparities and the impacts of the Affordable Care Act Medicaid Expansion on access to quality surgical care. Jimmy rowed on the Georgetown Varsity Crew Team and now competes in Ironman triathlons, currently ranking top 10 in the world for his age group at the half-ironman distance.

Caroline Pappajohn

Chief Strategy & Sustainability Officer, The diaTribe Foundation

Caroline joined The diaTribe Foundation in 2018, where she brings her passion and expertise in strategy, product management, and development to help improve the lives of people with diabetes. Most recently, Caroline was director of strategy and innovation for Providence Health & Services in Portland, Oregon, where she worked with service line executives to decide where to focus to create the greatest value. This included developing strategic and business plans for, among other things, the launch of their primary care retail strategy, and measuring success through the creation and monitoring of performance dashboards.

Prior to healthcare, Caroline spent a dozen years in nonprofit leadership, including a decade at New Door Ventures in San Francisco, where she helped grow fundraising revenues 450% in three years and started a new social purpose cafe to help at-risk youth transition to a healthy adulthood. She also spent a decade in high tech in the Bay Area, launching and marketing new products for a global telecom software company and an Internet start-up for women’s sports gear that she co-founded.

Caroline began her career as a policy advisor to US Senator Arlen Specter in Washington, D.C. where she learned about tackling big thorny issues with a mixture of determination, impatience, compromise and creativity. 

Caroline has a B.A. in Political Science and an MBA from Stanford University.  Caroline and her husband recently moved from Portland to Minneapolis to be close to Caroline’s large Greek family. Caroline and Paul are overjoyed parents of three children.

Emma Ryan

Senior Associate, The diaTribe Foundation

Emma Ryan joined The diaTribe Foundation in 2017 after graduating cum laude from Amherst College with a degree in Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought. At diaTribe, she helps lead the dSeries Executive Innovation Labs, which foster systemic change to address the type 2 diabetes epidemic and improve the health of our nation. Emma also writes for diaTribe.org with a particular interest in the cost of care, insurance coverage, and health policy. She focused on the intersection of science and community during her time at Amherst, writing a thesis on the impact of functional neuroimaging on criminal responsibility and helping launch an initiative to improve the experience of underrepresented minority students studying science and math. Emma was also a captain of the women’s rowing team, a volunteer ESL tutor, and a staff writer for a humor publication.

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