Our people

​Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow (President of the Board of Directors)

Magnus has lived in Argyll, Scotland, since the age of nine and began his career as a fish farmer. However, when the Bosnian conflict was making headlines in the early 1990s, Magnus and his brother Fergus were moved to help.

He was named one of 2010's ‘Top 10 Heroes’ by broadcaster CNN and received an OBE in the 2011 New Year’s Honours list. Magnus has also been awarded Honorary Degrees by the University of Stirling, Glasgow Caledonian University and the University of Hull.

Before Mary’s Meals, Magnus played shinty for Glenorchy Camanachd Club and was capped four times by Scotland at senior international level.

Magnus is married to Julie, a trained nurse from Inverness. She became his co-driver on some of the first deliveries of aid to Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1993, and has been devoted to the charity ever since. They live in Dalmally with their seven children.

Jacob Allen (Board Chair)

Now a Director with The Cicero Group, Jacob has spent his career working with non-profit organisations and businesses around the world. His strengths are in strategy, performance management, and monitoring and evaluation (M&E).

Jacob designed and managed the M&E system for The Goldman Sachs Foundation’s 10,000 Women initiative, and developed the strategy for their 10,000 Small Businesses initiative. He has also managed microfinance and microenterprise development initiatives in Latin America.

With such a depth of experience in non-profit management, it’s great to hear Jacob say of Mary’s Meals: “I’ve never seen an NGO that so effectively and efficiently combines such a simple solution with such an intrinsic need.”

Along with the rest of the Mary’s Meals family, he believes that everyone can make a lasting difference to children in the most desperate of circumstances.

Jacob is married with six children and loves to spend his spare time running, hiking, and skiing on snow or water - depending on the weather!

Alison Klein (Board Secretary)

Alison is Associate General Counsel and Secretary of The Reader's Digest Association, Inc. She joined RDA as Associate General Counsel in 2011 after practicing corporate and securities law at Latham & Watkins, LLP in Washington DC and New York.

In 2014, she was named Secretary of the Company, with responsibility for all corporate and governance matters.

She is a graduate of the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and the University of Virginia School of Law.

Alison joined our board in May 2014 as Secretary and Chair of the Governance Committee.

Ayla Hussain Farnos (Board Member)

Ayla is an entrepreneur in the skin care industry. She has extensive professional experience with brands in both the luxury and mass markets. Her most recent endeavor was SUNDARI, a prestige skin care company she co-founded with partners Cavan Mahony and Christy Turlington. They launched the brand in 1998 and sold the company in 2003.  Previously, Ayla worked at Morgan Stanley in the investment banking division, Cartier (Paris) and Revlon (New York). She has a bachelors degree from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service (1990) and an MBA from Harvard Business School (1996). Ayla is currently living in Greenwich, CT. She serves as an active member of the Friends Committee of New Yorkers for Children.

Daniel B. Hébert (Board Member)

Daniel B. Hébert is the Co-Founder & COO of Bernstein Equity Partners LLC. He has held managing director positions at Sandler O’Neill, North Sea Partners, LLC and Tri-Artisan Partners. Daniel began his career in the corporate Finance Department at Morgan Stanley in 1982. He holds a BA from Acadia University and an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business. 

He was a former member of the Executive Committee of Continuum Health Partners, which, prior to its merger with Mt. Sinai, was a non-profit hospital health system in New York City with an annual operating budget of $2.1 billion. His current board affiliations include Chairman of Jet Ready, LLC a privately held FAR 135 aircraft charter company based in Florida. 

Daniel resides in New York City.

Enrica Arengi-Bentivoglio (Board Member)

Enrica worked in Public Affairs for the United Nations in New York until 2011. Her professional experience includes time with the Inter­American Development Bank in Washington DC and the European Union in Brussels.

She holds MAs in International Affairs from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University in New York, and in Political Sciences from the University of Rome and the lnstitut d'Etudes Politiques of Paris.

Enrica joined our board in May 2014. She also serves on the Board of the Metropolitan Opera Guild and previously sat on the Board of Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education. Born in Italy, she speaks French, Spanish, English, Portuguese and German along with her mother tongue.

Gil Kirkpatrick (Board Member)

Gil is a Senior Vice President, Commercial Banking at Huntington Bank. Prior to Huntington, Gil worked for ING Bank as a Managing Director and Chief Representative responsible for regulatory supervision within the New York Representative office.

Gil joined our board in 2015 and serves on the Audit Committee. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, where he lives with his wife Lisa and two daughters.​

 

 

Josette Persson (Board Member)

Josette Persson is an award-winning producer with an emphasis in storytelling, show running for live television, live-to-tape, features, and high-profile interviews. She has extensive international production experience, shooting in Ghana, Brazil, Haiti, Iceland, Sweden, Japan, and the Caribbean.

As Executive Producer at Point Studio, Josette is involved with every aspect of the company from development and directing/producing to running large international production teams. She previously worked on breaking stories and features for ABC News’ Emmy Award-winning show ‘Good Morning America’.

Josette also worked with Universal Music Group to launch original programming for their network, IMF, and created shows at TechTV in San Francisco.

Josette graduated from St Mary's College of California with a BA in Communications, played in soccer tournaments in Sweden, Denmark and Germany. Josette is a member of the Jr. Board of Directors for The New York Foundling, helping children in the foster care system.

Kate Maloney (Board Member)

Kate is the Executive Director of the Infosys Foundation USA, the philanthropic arm of the technology consulting company, Infosys Ltd. She was previously a Director at KPMG LLP within the Development and Exempt Organizations practice, where she provided strategic consulting services to UN agencies and funds, international development organizations, private foundations, NGOs and the public sector across a range of emerging market development matters.

Her particular interests are children and youth; global hunger and food security and women’s empowerment. Prior to KPMG, Kate spent a number of years working in Washington, DC and internationally as the Country Manager for Mexico and Central America at the US Trade and Development Agency and for Senator Richard G. Lugar on the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  

She received a BA in Spanish with a minor in Political Science from Wake Forest University and a MA in International Economics with a focus on Latin America from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Kate is a member of the Wake Forest University Alumni Council and is a mentor for the Global Citizens Initiative. She joined our board in October 2013.

Michael George (Board Member)

With his high energy and personable style, PwC Audit Partner Michael George focuses on his ultimate goal to be a trusted business advisor to his clients. Through his 19 years’ experience at PwC working with health care, higher education and not for profit organizations, Michael leverages his deep technical and industry expertise to add value to his clients which allow these companies to perform at a higher level.

Michael’s broad-based experience in accounting, auditing and business advisory was utilized while at PwC’s National office to create an operating model for an industry focused team that advised engagement teams and clients on complex accounting and audit issues. This model is still being used as PwC’s framework in advising clients in the healthcare, higher education and not-for-profit industries.

Michael is a frequent speaker at not-for-profit seminars and conferences on accounting and auditing topics. Michael also leads the Engagement Performance & Quality (EPQ) in New York Metro for Health Industries and is PwC’s National Learning and Education Leader for the Higher Education and Not-for-Profit Practice.