Dr Kristina Wallengren
Meet Dr. Kristina Wallengren, the passionate founder and Director of THINK. She is an accomplished scientist and public health expert who has dedicated her career to making a difference in the lives of those affected by Tuberculosis (TB) and HIV. With a PhD in Cellular & Molecular Biology from Karolinska Institutet and an MPH in International Health from Harvard University, Dr. Wallengren brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her work as the founder and executive director of THINK.
Dr. Wallengren’s technical expertise lies in TB and HIV. She has conducted epidemiological assessments of TB and HIV in various countries in Africa and Asia; served as the TB Focal Point on the Technical Review Panel of the Global Fund; and was Technical Advisor with the World Health Organisation to the Department of Health in South Africa.
As the leader of THINK, Dr. Wallengren has a proven track record of success in implementing research and TB and HIV programs and leading to the development of the first new TB drugs in over 50 years and contributed to shortening the treatment duration for drug-resistant TB. Dr. Wallengren has contributed in leading roles such as Chief of Party, Principal Investigator, and Technical Advisor on projects and programs implemented by THINK and continues to head THINK’s visionary and strategic work.
In line with the growing impact of THINK, she now also heads THINK International in Denmark to serve as the international platform from which to expand the work conducted by THINK in South Africa. The aim is to provide technical leadership and capacity building and work with local implementing partner organizations.
Dr. Wallengren’s passion for making a difference in the world is also the driving force behind THINK. Her inspirational leadership and ability to deliver results, coupled with the organization’s commitment to improving the lives of those affected by TB and HIV, make THINK a trusted partner for funders and collaborators.
Trevor is skilled and passionate hands-on Senior Financial Executive with extensive experience in all areas of finance and administration in diverse industries including non-profit Organisations, manufacturing, financial services, and advisory.
A visionary change agent who builds and leads motivated teams. Has proven ability to improve operations, positively impact business growth and maximize profits through achievements in finance management, cost reduction, internal controls, and productivity /efficiency improvements. Trevor is a reliable and strong business strategic partner and he is motivated in making a difference in the world.
Trevor has a degree in Accounting from Nelson Mandela University and currently studying his MBA with Business school Netherlands. He is a registered or certified Professional Accountant.
Trevor has been with THINK since 2018 and has risen in ranks due to his formidable strategic mindset and ability, Trevor is a fearless leader who will get his hands dirty ensuring the success of his team and the organisation as a whole.
Debbie Gebhardt, described as an exuberant and natural leader, is a veteran Marketing professional with over 25 years’ experience, including 6 years as Marketing Director at Levi’s, 4 years as Chief Marketing Officer at NPO Shout it Now, and 10 years of consulting at an executive level. She is also a qualified Executive Coach.
Her first interaction with HIV & AIDS came in the 1980’s when as a teenager in a small town, she witnessed how a young man diagnosed with HIV was rejected by the community in which she lived. When she joined Levi Strauss as Marketing Director and found herself spearheading a branded philanthropy programme focused on HIV/AIDS, she felt she had come full circle.
Upon leaving Levi’s to consult full time, she was approached by NPO Shout It Now to lead their Marketing efforts in promoting HIV and TB testing amongst at-risk populations.
Debbie and her husband subsequently started a full-service Marketing & Research Agency, Red Fox Group, where she heads up the independent Research and Digital Marketing subsidiaries as Managing Director. She also acts as Chief Marketing Officer for the group and continues to provide consulting services to various clients.
Seeing an opportunity for people to have fun while doing good, Debbie partnered with 3 millennials (one of whom is her stepdaughter) to become CEO and Co-founder of Starlight Media, an online competitions portal that donates 50% of its profits to charity. She also serves as CEO of breast cancer NPO CheckKnowPrevent, which has developed a functional yet attractive sports bra in various designs featuring instructions inside the cups on how to self-examine for signs of breast cancer.
Debbie has an innate drive that compels her to seek out opportunities to partner with like-minded people and organisations on missions to make the world a better place and to create tangible improvements in people’s everyday lives. It is in this space that she finds herself truly fulfilled, able to use her skills and expertise for good.
When the opportunity to act as Non-Executive Director on the THINK board crossed her path she felt it was simply meant to be and she is delighted to play an advisory role in the organisation’s future, which is working with a cause very dear to her.