News & Events

South Africa Partners names JudyAnn Bigby, M.D. as Executive Director

Boston, MA, Monday, May 8, 2017 – The Board of Directors of South Africa Partners chose JudyAnn Bigby, M.D. as the organization’s new Executive Director, replacing Mary Tiseo who stepped down after 20 years of service.

South Africa Partners ( builds mutually beneficial partnerships between the United States and South Africa in the areas of health and education. Serving as a catalyst of innovative approaches, South Africa Partners links people, strengthens communities, promotes social justice and fosters leadership in both countries.

Dr. Bigby is a nationally recognized health policy expert who brings over 30 years’ experience in health care delivery systems reforms, community health program implementation and evaluation, and strategies to achieve health equity. She has been involved with South Africa Partners as a member of the board of advisors and the board of directors for more than 15 years. She has also provided consultation on South Africa Partners’ programs, including the Albertina Sisula Executive Leadership Programme in Health.

Appointed by Governor Deval Patrick, Dr. Bigby served as Secretary of Health and Human Services for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from 2007 to 2012. Prior to her appointment as Secretary, Dr. Bigby served as the Director of Community Health Programs at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston working with community-based organizations, providers, public health departments to improve population health and address disparities in health with a focus on low-income and minority women.  In 2011, President Obama appointed her as one of the inaugural members of the advisory group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health of the National Prevention, Health Promotion and Public Health Council. She holds a B.A. from Wellesley College and a M.D. from Harvard Medical School.

“We are delighted to announce that JudyAnn Bigby will assume the role of Executive Director,” said Ilana Hurwitz, Board President of South Africa Partners. “We believe we have found the ideal person to lead the organization going forward and we are confident that, under Dr. Bigby’s leadership, we will deepen our impact on health and education in South Africa.”

“I am very excited to start work with South Africa Partners in my new role,” said Dr. Bigby. “South Africa Partners is committed to advancing health and education opportunities for all South Africans as the path to achieving true equality. I look forward to working with the board and all our partners in the U.S. and South Africa.”

The international search and executive transition process for South Africa Partners was led by Third Sector New England ( and Patricia Duarte. Third Sector New England is a nonprofit organization providing consulting, training and management services to help nonprofits better meet their mission, and deepen their community impact.

About South Africa Partners

 South Africa Partners launched in 1997 emerging from the U.S. anti-apartheid movement. South Africa Partners was established to channel that passion and commitment to social justice by bringing together the skills, talent and resources needed to help build the new South Africa.

South Africa Partners facilitates relationships between individuals and institutions in the U.S. and South Africa. These partnerships have developed programs that make life better in the hard corners of South Africa and are helping build the next generation of leaders in education, health care, and community service delivery.

About Third Sector New England, Inc.

Since its founding in 1959, Third Sector New England has focused on building the knowledge, power and effectiveness of nonprofits, so they can better help communities leverage resources, solve problems, identify opportunities – and thrive. Today, we are using new tools and strategies in our work to support our clients and partners, and the many others committed to social justice. TSNE serves as an effective capacity builder, fiscal sponsor, convener, trainer, consultant, and grant maker to hundreds of nonprofits throughout the region.

Pictured Above: JudyAnn Bigby (center) with Board President Ilana Hurwitz (left) and outgoing Executive Director, Mary Tiseo (right) at South Africa Partners’ 20th Anniversary Celebration       

For More Information: Rebecca Leclerc,

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