Our Board

Heather Ibrahim-Leathers | Founder

Ms. Ibrahim-Leathers founded Global Fund for Widows following the passing of her grandmother in 2009. Since then, the Global Fund for Widows has raised over $1,000,000 for economic empowerment programs in Egypt, India, Tanzania, Nigeria, Bolivia, and the Dominican Republic. With its focus on training and financing widows and female heads of households into building sustainable and inelastic micro-enterprises, the Global Fund for Widows has enabled more than 10,000 widows to become economically empowered and self-sustained. Ms. Ibrahim-Leathers has further ensured the sustainability and economic viability of each widow’s micro-enterprises by developing intricately interdependent value chains, affording purchasing power and high visibility into their income streams.

In addition to technical and economic programming, Ms. Ibrahim-Leathers is an active advocate for the rights of widows and child widows at the United Nations, presenting regularly including at the Human Rights Council in Geneva, at the Commission on the Status of Women in 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2015 in New York. Ms. Ibrahim-Leathers has also presented on widows at the United Kingdom’s House of Lords.

Prior to her career in non-profit, Ms. Ibrahim-Leathers served as a Vice President, in Credit Suisse’s Leveraged Investment Group, where she was directly responsible for over $1 billion in high yield and leveraged loan assets. Prior to Credit Suisse, Ms. Ibrahim-Leathers worked at JPMorgan where she was an Emerging Markets Fixed Income analyst responsible for over $4 billion worth of debt issuance. Ms. Ibrahim-Leathers earned the coveted Institutional Investor Award in 1997 for her seminal research on Brazilian banks.

Ms. Ibrahim-Leathers co-authored Toddlers ON Technologyin 2013, a parental guide to explaining the benefits and risks of toddlers and their use of touch screen technology.

Ms. Ibrahim-Leathers earned her Bachelors in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.


Dr. Dena Tadros, MD | Secretary

Dr. Dena Tadros was born in Egypt and immigrated to the United States with her family at the age of 5. She graduated from Siena College in 2002 and earned her Doctor of Medicine from Albany Medical College in 2006. She completed her residency in Pediatrics at NYU Hospitals Center and was a Fellow in Pediatric Oncology and Hematology at NYU Hospitals Center. Currently, Dena is pediatrician at Beth Israel Hospital. Dena joined the Board of Directors of Global Fund for Widows in 2009 as Secretary, and is responsible for the Orphanage Assistance Program. In 2010, Dena traveled to the Dominican Republic with Airline Ambassadors and the Mandell School to conduct wellness exams on the orphaned survivors of the earthquake in Haiti.


Jennifer Wu | Director

Jennifer joined the Global Fund for Widows in 2012 as a board member and is responsible for the Fund’s social media strategy. With over 20 years of work experience in financial services and strategic consulting, she has held numerous positions at global institutions across United States, Europe and Asia.

She holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.


Sandy Debbas

Sandy Debbas serves as Underwriting Counsel forTitleVest where she focusses primarily on New York Commercial transactions. She is also responsible for overseeing the 1031 Exchange division at TitleVest.

Sandy began her career working as an insurance defense attorney for New York City law firms where she litigated insurance coverage matters.

In September 2012, Sandy joined IAG Title Insurance Agency, a joint venture partly owned by TitleVest. At IAG she served as underwriting counsel and Director of Operations. During her time with IAG, Sandy worked on several high profile transactions such as the Dream Hotel and 425 Park Avenue. She later transitioned to Underwriting Counsel at TitleVest. TitleVest was acquired by First American shortly thereafter.

Sandy is currently a member of the New York State Bar Association and New Jersey Bar Association.  She also serves on the board of Global Fund for Widows, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering women to overcome poverty by helping widows achieve financial stability.

Sandy holds a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University- Honor’s College and a juris doctor degree from Touro Law School.

Reem Messeih

Reem Messeih

Reem is a former corporate Human Resources consultant with over 14 years of experience in Change Management and Organizational Effectiveness and Design.

For the first eight years of her career she worked for global bank, ABN Amro as their North America Change and Communications Specialist and traveled across the globe supporting program implementations and HR operations in Mumbai and Amsterdam.  In 2009, Reem joined Health Care Services Corporation (HCSC), an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, as their Corporate Change Management and Communications Lead. In this role, she primarily worked to spearhead the company’s implementation of the mandates of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) as it related to the employee population.

Reem retired from her corporate career in 2014 to raise her three boys and began an virtual, social commerce business. Her business today has hundreds of independent consultants across the US, Canada and Australia.

In March 2018, Reem attended the 62nd annual UN Commission on the Status of Women where she witnessed first hand the atrocities that occur to women in the event of their widowhood across developing nations. She is committed to raising awareness for the empowerment of widows and female heads of households across the world.