The role of the International Alliance of ALS/MND Associations’ Governance Committee is to review and report to the Board on items and areas within it’s remit and to develop and monitor procedures to ensure the organisation’s legal and regulatory compliance.
David Ali, MND Australia
David says it is a real privilege to be elected to the Board of the International Alliance. He brings 25 years’ experience as an executive and non-executive Director on government and not-for-profit boards. Apart from MND, he is currently Treasurer of Communities That Care Australia. In his day job, he is the CEO of a not-for-profit membership-based professional peak association so he understands the importance of member-based organisations like the International Alliance. His professional background is in social policy (health, human services, justice) and corporate services. In his spare time David’s focus is on his family, keeping fit (ex long distance runner, now walker) and learning a new language.
David is passionate about helping to make a difference for people living with MND/ALS. For 18 years, he has volunteered his time and skills to the governance of two MND organisations in Australia, supported research, hosted and attended many events supporting MND/ALS, and participated at eight International Alliance meetings. David has been a Director of MND Australia since 2006 and was elected National President in November 2013. He has continued as a Director of MND Victoria since 2000 and was its State President from 2006 to 2013.
Calaneet Balas, The ALS Association
Calaneet Balas became CEO and President of The ALS Association in December 2017. She joined the organization in June 2016 as the Executive Vice President of Strategy, leading all three mission areas, including global research, public policy and care services, which work in an integrated fashion to find a cure, advance treatments and enhance the quality of life for people living with ALS.
Calaneet joined the Board of Directors of the International Alliance of ALS/MND Associations in December 2017. Most recently Calaneet was elected Chairwoman in December 2018.
Marcela Santos, ALS Association of Colombia (ACELA)
Marcela is a Psychologist with Masters in Social Inclusion of People with Disabilities. Her dad lived with ALS for 16 years, and she was one of his primary caregivers. Her dad had a very positive outlook on ALS and the way he embraced it was passed to his daughter. Her father, Alfredo Santos recently passed away on February 8th 2020. She has dedicated all her academic and professional life to the care of people with disabilities in Colombia in public and private entities and NGOs. She has been a volunteer psychologist providing psychotherapy at no cost to PALS and their CALS in Colombia since 2014. Besides her academic history and professional experience, the personal experience with her dad, allows her to give a much more meaningful care to PALS & CALS.
Mary Ellen is counsel at Dentons, and has over 30 years experience working in senior roles in municipalities where she developed a solid reputation as a strategic thinker focused on problem solving. She has actively participated in many governance reviews and has sat on many not-for-profit boards based in Canada and the United States. Mary Ellen has been designated as a certified inhouse counsel (CIC.C) by the Canadian Corporation Counsel Association and the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.