The ILCA Board of Directors has decision-making powers regarding matters of policy, direction, strategy, and governance of the organization. They steer the organization toward a sustainable future by adopting sound governance and financial management policies, and ensuring adequate resources.

Officers and Directors are elected to serve for a three (3) year term. The ILCA Board of Directors has the option to invite a board member to renew his/her term for a second three-year period. Any Director invited to serve a second term must be ratified by vote of the ILCA voting members.




President (2016-2018) 

Old Lyme, CT, United States

Growing up in a family of many women, Michele learned that women are powerful nurturers of families and she has been a passionate advocate for women’s issues for as long as she can remember. As a nurse, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant® and public health professional, she believes that breastfeeding provides a critical opportunity for women and children to reach their full human potential. Because of this, she believes that social barriers that restrict or prevent women who choose to breastfeed from doing so, are unjust. Michele has years of experience in grassroots coalition building and advocating for policies that protect the rights of breastfeeding women and children in the U.S. and abroad. Her experience in social activism has informed her research surrounding experiences of racism and breastfeeding outcomes among Black women in the U.S. She is particularly interested in the applicability of mindfulness-based interventions for women and children who are marginalized by race as well as other social characteristics that ultimately, restrict their opportunities to health and well-being. Michele was selected as a 2016 Mind & Life Institute Summer Research Fellow and was the first recipient of the Connecticut Breastfeeding Coalition’s Leadership Award in 2016. Michele is also the recipient of the 2015 Connecticut Nurse’s Association Award for Public Service and the University of Massachusetts Graduate School of Nursing’s Lillian R. Goodman Award which recognizes a doctoral student who exemplifies a humanitarian approach to leadership, scholarship, and a deep commitment to the development of professional practice, education and research. Other research interests include scientific understanding of the foundations of human connection and compassion as they pertain to the mother and child and also how they relate to the care that we provide as clinicians. She believes that we must be willing to change ourselves first, in order to change the world. 


Lisa Mandell, MBA, IBCLC, Havertown, PA, USA, ILCA Board of Directors 


Secretary (Second Term: 2014 - 2017)

Havertown, PA, United States

Lisa Mandell has been working with breastfeeding mothers and babies for over fifteen years, first as a volunteer breastfeeding counselor through La Leche League, and then as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant®. Lisa has a private practice seeing mothers and babies, works as a corporate lactation consultant, and has also worked as a lactation consultant in hospitals and a pediatrician’s office. She has been involved in her United States Lactation Consultant Association chapter as President, as CERP Coordinator, and providing information for those wishing to become IBCLCs®. She is pleased to use her education and experience in business and marketing, as well as her passion for breastfeeding, to help in her work on the ILCA Board of Directors.


Albert Wolf, MD, MBA, IBCLC, Pittsburgh, PA, USA, ILCA Board of Directors


Treasurer (First Term: 2014 - 2017)

Pittsburgh, PA, United States

Albert Wolf has been a pediatrician and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant® since 2000. Since that time, he has helped form the Breastfeeding Center of Pittsburgh, a regional breastfeeding center with sixteen IBCLCs® on staff that work directly with their pediatric practice, Kids Plus Pediatrics. The Breastfeeding Center of Pittsburgh's ongoing position as the first and only Advisor to the United State Breastfeeding Committee allowed him to work in nonprofit and advocacy roles before coming to the ILCA Board of Directors. In 2011, he helped to co-found the National Breastfeeding Center, a consulting company that works with physician offices, hospitals, businesses, and organizations to teach how to provide breastfeeding services in a financially sustainable manner.


Lisa Akers, MS, RD, IBCLC Harrisonburg, VA, USA, ILCA Board of Directors


First Term: 2014 - 2017 

Harrisonburg, VA, United States

Lisa Akers is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant® (IBCLC®). She completed her Bachelor and Master of Science Degrees in Clinical Dietetics from James Madison University. She recently completed her Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Strategic Leadership Studies with a concentration in Nonprofit and Community Leadership from James Madison University. Lisa believes that governance is leadership and thus has focused her research on investigating the organizational factors and guidance of healthcare leadership that influence perinatal quality of care and The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. Lisa has been working in the field of public health and human lactation for over 16 years. Her former position as the State Breastfeeding Coordinator supported and promoted breastfeeding endeavors for all of the Commonwealth of Virginia, which includes the development of public policy and media campaigns, curricula, publications and training; oversight of the Virginia WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program; and service as the Virginia Department of Health liaison to the Virginia Breastfeeding Advisory Committee. Lisa recently earned the Excellence in Practice of Women’s Health Award from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Women’s Health Dietetic Practice Group. Lisa has served on numerous national and international boards. In her spare time, Lisa enjoys spending quality time with her husband and young son.



First Term: 2016 - 2019 

Schull, Co. Cork, Ireland

Geraldine Cahill ,has been working as a private practice lactation consultant in Cork, Ireland, providing home and Skype visits since 2007. She also tutors for a mother support organisation in breastfeeding and childbirth education, and has been a breastfeeding counsellor since 1993 with the same organisation, Cuidiú. She has developed a Training of Trainer course in Lactation Management for Health Care Professionals who provide training in their own work facilities. She has spoken at many Association of Lactation Consultants of Ireland (ALCI) and Cuidiú conference on topics ranging from informed decision making and counselling to anatomy and physiology. She was the ILCA/WABA Chris Mulford Fellow in 2014 and spent time working with WABA in Penang and met with IBCLC'S there as well as providing peer support training. She was a part of the European Panel at the 2014 Lactation Summit, co-hosted by ILCA, IBLCE®, and LEAARC.  She has served on the membership and education committees of ILCA since 2010.  


Sara L. Gill, BSN, MSN, PhD, IBCLC, San Antonio, TX, USA, ILCA Board of Directors


Second Term: 2015 - 2018 

San Antonio, TX, United States

Sara L. Gill received her nursing degrees from the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio (BSN, 1977; MSN, 1983) and the University of Miami (PhD, 1997). She has been an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant® since 1992. During her nursing career, Sara has worked in labor and delivery and mother/baby care. Currently, Sara is Professor and Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio School of Nursing where she teaches, conducts research, and practices as a lactation consultant at a local hospital. She is a member of the San Antonio Breastfeeding Coalition and the Texas Breastfeeding Coalition. She served on the ILCA Research Committee. She has received funding for breastfeeding research and is the author of a number of breastfeeding manuscripts. Her current research focuses on improving breastfeeding initiation, duration, and exclusivity in vulnerable populations.


Mudiwah A. Kadeshe, MSN, RNC-OB, IBCLC, CCE, CLNC, Lanham, MD, ILCA Board of Directors


First Term: 2015 - 2018 

Lanham, MD, United States

Mudiwah A. Kadeshe has more than 25 years of experience in women’s health nursing. Informed by her own birth experiences, she entered the profession wanting to support women in their birthing choices and became a certified childbirth educator and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant® to increase her ability to reach families. Mudiwah established and directed a lactation resource center at a tertiary care medical system hospital that facilitated more than 3000 deliveries per year,. She currently is a community based lactation consultant in one of the most poverty stricken wards in Washington, D.C. and oversees the peer counselor services through the Children’s National East of the River Lactation Support Center. She is currently the Vice President, Program Manager, and lead facilitator for grant-based projects for D.C. Breastfeeding Coalition.


Kathleen Marinelli, MD, IBCLC, FABM, South Glastonbury, CT, USA, ILCA Board of Directors


First Term: 2014 - 2017 

South Glastonbury, CT, United States

Kathleen Marinelli has been a neonatologist for over 25 years, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant® since 2000, and is a Fellow of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (FABM). Although unable to practice clinical neonatology for over a decade due to a significant water-skiing accident, she has continued her life-long commitment to improving breastfeeding, the use of human milk, and the use of donor milk everywhere, but especially in the NICU, through her volunteer roles, research, publications, and teaching, both in the United States and abroad. She is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Connecticut Medical School and a member of the Human Milk Research Center at Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford, CT. She graduated from Cornell University and Cornell University School of Medicine and was a pediatric intern, resident, nephrology and neonatology fellow at Children's National Medical Center at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Additionally, she is founding Medical Director of the New England Mothers' Milk Bank and is currently co-Medical Director of the Mothers' Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes. She is a founding and current member of the Connecticut Breastfeeding Coalition, has been on the Board of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine for many years, and chairs its Protocol Committee. She has served as Chair of the United States Breastfeeding Committee, and was chosen as Chair of the new U.S. Baby-Friendly Hospital NICU Initative.


ILCA is committed to transparency in our operations. Learn more about our financials and our board actions on the organizational documents page.

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