Our people

We are a technical consultancy but our business is about people – those we work with and those our work assists.

Our in-country programme teams and technical experts are supported by skilled managers and administrators who oversee our programmes around the world. We have an active database of over 1,500 consultants, including leading experts and individuals who are known for delivering results and achieving positive change.

Jo Elms
Managing Director
Jo has been the Managing Director of Options since 2013, bringing insights gained over a career of more than 25 years in international development. Jo has held leadership positions in a range of organisations, both businesses and NGOs, and has substantial experience of developing strategies and partnerships across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. Since joining Options in 2006, Jo has directed its portfolio of international programmes and has ensured the growth of Options has been combined with high standards of delivery. Jo is on the Board of Options for International Health (OIH), ensuring the programmes funded through OIH complement and benefit from the Options’ broader work in health, with governments, donors and a range of partners across Africa and Asia.
Alison Dembo Rath
Technical Director
Alison Dembo Rath leads Options’ health systems work, with a particular focus on South Asia. She has over 20 years’ experience in design, management, monitoring and evaluation of health systems development programmes at policy and implementation levels. Building on her early career in nursing in the UK, Alison has particular expertise in delivering quality maternal and newborn health care services. Alison has experience of working across Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, managing UKAid-funded maternal health and health sector programmes in India and Nepal.
Maya Jaffe
Director of New Business and Partnerships
Maya Jaffe leads the processes through which Options develops new business and is responsible for the successful bidding for work. Prior to working at Options, Maya was a Senior Health Advisor for Crown Agents, where her work focused on strategic planning, business development, design and delivery of training courses and project management. Maya’s skills include: programme design, project management, health systems strengthening, grant management, procurement and supply chain management and organisational development.
Sara Bandali, DrPH
Director, Design and Innovation
Sara Bandali has over 15 years’ experience in health sector development, including research, policy development and programme design and implementation. She has worked within government, for implementing organisations and the UN. Sara has expertise in maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS, malaria, community health, health systems strengthening, and water supply and sanitation. She has facilitated policy dialogue on cross-sectorial initiatives including HIV/AIDS and gender and early childhood development. Sara is a leading expert on use of evidence and development of accountability mechanisms to advocate for better maternal and newborn health services.
Sarah Hepworth, DHealth
Director of Programmes
Sarah Hepworth provides management oversight to Options' programmes. She leads the Programme Team’s strategic planning and programme quality assurance functions. Sarah is a health sector specialist with 15 years’ experience delivering complex, high-profile projects within the corporate and development sectors. She is experienced in providing technical and management support to sexual and reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, health policy and planning, and health sector strengthening programmes in South Asia, South-East Asia and Africa with a focus on health financing. She also has expertise in corporate social responsibility and the private sector.
Steve Breagan
Director of Finance
Steve Breagan is responsible for Options strategic and operational financial management across the organisation. Steve has over 25 years of relevant experience gained in a variety of senior financial / risk assurance roles across the commercial, not for profit and social enterprise sectors. Steve has worked extensively across the Africa, Asia & Latin America regions auditing, capacity building and installation of financial systems and procedures.
Bethany Brady
Assistant Director of Programmes
Bethany Brady supports the Director of Programmes in the development, direction and strategic management of Options international programmes. Bethany manages the programme management team to ensure the effective, high quality delivery of Options short and long term international assignments. She is a global health professional experienced in implementing and managing complex programmes in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, including fragile and conflict affected states. Her thematic interests lie in sexual and reproductive health/family planning, maternal and neonatal health and health systems strengthening. Bethany is committed to designing programmes and leveraging strategic partnerships to enhance social return on investments through the most sustainable mechanisms.
Camille Vercken
Assistant Director of Programmes
Camille Vercken supports the Director of Programmes in the development and strategic management of Options’ international programmes. Camille manages the programme management team to ensure the effective and high quality delivery of Options’ international assignments. She is a public health professional initially trained in finance and business management, and has 15 years’ experience providing operational and strategic management support to the delivery of large, complex and multi-donor health interventions in more than 15 sub-Saharan African and Asian countries. She has experience of long term assignments in Congo-Brazzaville and Angola overseeing the delivery of HIV/AIDS, water and sanitation, primary health care and social marketing interventions. Her interests lie in health system strengthening and health financing.
Eva Rahman
Assistant Director, New Business and Partnerships
Eva Rahman supports the Director of New Business and Partnerships in the development and strategic management of new business opportunities, the development of high-quality tenders and in the implementation of Options’ strategy. Eva has over 20 years’ experience in business development, partnership development, strategic communications, marketing and knowledge management. She has 12 years’ experience in the global health and development sector and a strong understanding of health systems strengthening, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health approaches. Eva has worked for both the private and the civil society sector, and as a technical consultant in Nigeria.
Joanne Hemmings, PhD
Assistant Director of Design and Innovation
Joanne helps to lead the Department for Design and Innovation, which spearheads the development of scalable and sustainable innovations to deliver transformational change for women and girls. She provides technical expertise to Options’ programmes across sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender, research and evaluation, social and behaviour change, and business and strategy development. She’s currently supporting programming to end female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) and to support girls’ choices to reduce unsafe abortion.
Kenneth Macharia
Country Representative
Kenneth Macharia is the Country Representative for Kenya where he oversees Options' operations. He is part of the Programme Management team, supporting the Director of Programmes with strategic planning and programme quality assurance. In addition, he drives strategic growth for Options in Kenya and the wider region. Kenneth is a performance driven business professional with over 21 years international experience designing programmes, developing and executing effective business strategies for revenue and market share growth in the UK and Africa.
Sarah Fox
Assistant Technical Director
Sarah Fox is a health economist with over ten years’ experience in health systems strengthening and health financing across more than 20 low and middle income countries. Sarah’s expertise includes support to health financing reforms, strategic planning and policy development, social franchising, results-based financing, costing and expenditure tracking. Much of Sarah’s work has been in the context of sexual and reproductive health and family planning programmes. Sarah has worked for Ministries of Health, both directly as an embedded technical assistant in Sierra Leone, and as a consultant in countries including Cameroun, Kenya, Liberia, Republic of Congo, South Africa, South Sudan and Tanzania.

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