Interior Hero

2018 Board of Directors Elections

The Board of Directors meets regularly to make decisions on behalf of the organization and set the strategic goals and direction of the organization.

2018 Board of Directors Announcement

A message from our 2018 President, Ana Paula Markel


Congratulations to the following leaders who have been elected to the 2018 Board of Directors.

Image alternative text - ALT text.


Each year our membership elects directors to serve in leadership on the DONA International Board of Directors. The applications for 2018 board positions went through an intensive vetting process. Applications, resumes and professional references were thoroughly reviewed and discussed and only those applicants that met the position criteria were placed on the slate. The results of our member-wide election are in!

President Elect 

Ravae Sinclair, JD, CD(DONA), LCCE

Ravae is a certified birth doula, certified Lamaze childbirth educator, lactation counselor and postpartum doula in the Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C. areas. Since she began her career in 2002, Ravae has supported nearly 500 families through a wide variety of birth experiences.  As a business owner, Ravae intentionally serves multicultural and international families. Ravae has worked as a doula in a variety of settings, including on the staff at Columbia Center Birth Place. Currently, she serves on the board of directors for DONA International as Intercultural Director, is the Chairperson for the Grievance Committee, serves as a standing committee member on the Advocacy, Publications and Conference committees and has worked on Ad Hoc Committees to address policy and by-laws changes when needed. In addition to her birth work, Ravae is also a licensed attorney in the state of Wisconsin and serves as Parliamentarian for the Fort Washington Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.

 The President Elect provides organizational leadership and guidance to the full board of directors and to the membership with the intent to move into the position of president. President Elect is a three year commitment (President Elect, President, Past President).


Kathrin Auger, RN (retired), CD/PCD/PDT(DONA)


In her almost 25 year career in the childbirth community, Kathrin Auger held the position of director of postpartum services at a local family center where she was entrusted with  handling income and payments and analyzing and devising budgets. Additionally, she served as president of the parent association at her children’s school where she had the responsibilities to fundraise and allocate those funds. Kathrin Auger is an active member of the doula community in Southern California where she lives with her husband and two children.

The DONA International treasurer works to oversee the finances of the organization.  The treasurer works with a full staff who handle income and expenditures, and the board director is a liaison between staff and our full board.  This position is a three year term.

East Membership Director


Tonya Daniel is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a DONA certified birth doula, birth doula trainer, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Lamaze program trainer, and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. Beginning her work with families in 2000, Tonya is passionate about meeting birthing/parenting needs of families, especially in areas of limited resources. She has joined birth workers to train in the United States, Kenya and Kuwait to improve pregnancies, births, and maternal/child health globally. Tonya has served the past year as Southeastern US Regional Director and was the SPAR for NC for two terms. Above all, her most valued achievement is being the wife to her husband of 25 years, mom to four amazing kids and a four-legged pit, Bella.

The DONA International membership director works with the leadership and members of DONA International to provide support to the Regional Directors and local doulas.  The Membership Directors will work to ensure that the needs of the members are being met and will bring awareness and information from the local level to the Board of Directors as needed.  

Intercultural Director

Rina Ríos Crane, AdvCD/BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE

Rina Ríos Crane is a mother of two in New York City, where she has lived her whole life. She is truly passionate about labor and birth and is thrilled to share this passion along with her knowledge and experience with pregnant families, as well as childbirth professionals. She strives to help families learn about birth and about their ability to advocate for themselves before, during and after labor. She also relishes opportunities to talk about birth outside of these circles, where eyes might be opened to the need for change. Rina is an advanced certified doula through DONA International, a DONA Approved birth doula trainer, a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, and Lamaze Childbirth Educator Trainer through Passion for Birth. Rina was inducted as a Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators in 2015. She is a founding member and Advisor to the Board of the NYC Doula Collective and the founder and coordinator of several volunteer doula programs for underserved populations in New York City.

The DONA International Intercultural director works with the leadership and members of DONA International to promote cultural awareness and sensitivity within the organization, as well as to offer assessment and guidance on the needs of the intercultural doula population and the communities they serve.  

Director of Advocacy (new appointment)

Sarah Hodin, MPH, CD(DONA)

Sarah was certified as a doula through DONA International in 2013 after witnessing her first birth in a mud hut in Uganda. She received her Masters in Public Health from the Harvard Chan School of Public Health and has extensive experience in maternal health research and communications. Sarah currently works at Harvard’s Maternal Health Task Force writing about the latest evidence-based practices in maternity care. In 2017, Sarah has successfully served in the capacity of Advocacy Committee Chair until the position was appointed to the Board of Directors in November.

The DONA International Advocacy director works with the leadership and members of DONA International to provide guidance and direction to advocacy committee members as the committee seeks to meet the organizational advocacy goals: health disparities for persons of color, third party reimbursement, credentialing & licensure, doula profession promotion, research & data collection and legislative action. This is a new position on the Board of Directors and appointed per the organizational by-laws.  

Thank you 2017 Board of Directors!

As we say hello to new leaders, we also say goodbye to others.  We are thankful for the time and commitment of our 2017 Board of Directors, and we wish you well as you move into 2018.

Thank you to the following outgoing 2017 Board of Directors members: 

Denise Bolds – Northeastern US Regional Director

Karen Faulk – Mexico Regional Director

Royah Khorsandi – Eastern Canada Regional Director

HeatherGail Lovejoy – Past President

Kyndal May – Director of Education

Karen Palumbo – Midwestern US Regional Director

Ann Pollack – Treasurer

Thank you to the following continuing 2018 Board of Directors members:

Elena Carrillo – International Development Director

Johanna D’Aleo – Certification Director

Melissa Harley – Marketing and Public Relations Director

Yana Katzap-Nackman – Western Membership Director

Ana Paula Markel – President

Virginia Rivenbark- Past President

Sherri Wilkerson – Publications Director


Current Regional Director Positions Available

DONA International Regional Directors are the liaison between the membership and the board of directors.   RDs work closely with state/provincial area representatives to connect with the DONA International membership on the local level.  These non board (not elected) leadership positions are three (3) year terms and are presented to the board for approval by the nominations committee.

Southeastern US Regional Director (2018)

Western Pacific US Regional Director (2018)

Midwestern US Regional Director (2018)

Western Canada US Regional Director (2018)

Ready to learn more?  Check out the job descriptions below.

Regional Director Job Description

We work hard; and we have a little fun too!


Additional Info

The Board of Directors meets regularly to make decisions on behalf of the organization and set the strategic goals and direction of the organization. Serving on the Board of Directors is an excellent opportunity to utilize your leadership skills for this large non-profit membership organization. In addition, serving the DONA International membership, it’s also an opportunity to join fellow DONA doulas and build relationships within the organization.

We are beginning the recruitment and vetting process for the 2018 election cycle. Information will be coming soon in regard to nomination committee selection as well as available leadership positions for 2019. See below important dates for the next DONA International board leadership election.

In 2017 we will be electing board members for terms to begin on January 1, 2018. Each position is for a three (3) year term. Here are some important dates about the 2017/2018 election cycle. Is this your year to join DONA International leadership?

Important Dates:

Applications accepted for 2018 Nominations Committee Members: Coming soon!

Applications accepted for 2019 Board of Directors: January 1, 2018 – July 1, 2018

Application processing complete: July 2018

Candidates presented to Board of Directors for approval: August 2018

Membership elections and new director announcements: Fall 2018 (dates to be announced).

 Direct any questions to

Positions Open for 2019

(Applications due 5/1/18)

President Elect (2019)

Director of Certification (2019)

Director of Publications (2019)

Director of Public Relations and Marketing (2019)

Regional Directors Positions (Appointments)

Southeastern US Director (Immediately available)

Western Pacific US Director (Immediately available)

Midwestern US Director  (Immediately available)

Western Canada Director (Immediately available)

Image alternative text - ALT text.