Senior Leadership Team

John L. Lehr, President & Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Lehr can be reached at

John L. Lehr leads the Parkinson's Foundation as president & chief executive officer (CEO) with more than two decades of nonprofit fundraising and management experience and a strong focus in the voluntary healthcare and medical research sectors.

John played a pivotal role in merging two legacy Parkinson’s organizations into the Parkinson’s Foundation in 2017. Since then, the Foundation has nearly doubled its revenue to $35 million. Under John’s leadership, the Foundation earned a 4-star charity rating from Charity Navigator and a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

At Parkinson’s Foundation, John has overseen the expansion of the Foundation’s Center of Excellence Network, which now includes 47 Centers at leading academic centers globally; the launch of PD Generation, a groundbreaking study that is conducting genetic testing, counseling, and biobanking of genetic data on thousands of individuals with PD for clinical and research purposes; and, most recently, the launch of the Newly Diagnosed Initiative to reach the more than 60,000 individuals diagnosed in the U.S., each with PD, and to connect them to the many Foundation educational resources. John has also overseen the build out of the Foundation’s regional network, expanding the Foundation’s signature grassroots fundraising and awareness event ― Moving Day ― to more than 45 markets, and opening 17 regional chapters to better serve the Parkinson’s community.

Before joining the Parkinson’s Foundation, John served as President of Orr Associates, Inc. (OAI), a consulting firm that serves the nonprofit sector. Among his clients were Georgetown University, Arthritis Foundation and Special Olympics. Previously, as CEO of Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) John merged two legacy organizations into one national organization focused on finding medical solutions for people with food allergy. At FARE, John led advocacy efforts that resulted in the signing of the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act by President Obama.

From 2009 to 2012, John served as CEO of CureSearch for Children's Cancer, a national research and advocacy organization focused on children’s cancer. From 2004 to 2009, John directed the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's Milestones to a Cure Campaign which raised $175 million for CF therapeutics discovery and development. Earlier in his career, John spent many years at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in various roles.

John earned his BA and MA in History from Villanova University. From 1990-1991, he served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Sri Lanka. Read more about John’s expertise in the Parkinson’s and nonprofit industries.

Read More

James Beck, PhD, Senior Vice President, Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Beck can be reached at

James Beck, PhD, has led the scientific affairs of the Parkinson's Foundation since 2008. Dr. Beck oversees the foundation’s research strategy and programs, including management of grants that support research centers, individual investigators, fellows and collaborative projects. In his role, he has changed the parameters of investigator-initiated grants programs to provide additional funding and multi-year support to Parkinson’s-focused scientists; expanded funding for early-career Parkinson’s researchers, established Conference Awards and instituted the inclusion of Parkinson's Foundation’s Research Advocates in the foundation's own programs. Dr. Beck is a member of the Forum on Regenerative Medicine of the National Academies of Sciences and the Udall Center Coordinating Committee and also serves on the Milken Institute’s Aligning Science Across Parkinson’s (ASAP) Advisory Council.

Dr. Beck is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Neuroscience and Physiology at the New York University School of Medicine. Previously, he taught at Long Island University as Assistant Professor in the Biology Department. Additionally, Dr. Beck was a recipient of National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding and has been published in journals, such as the Journal of Neuroscience, Journal of Neurophysiology and Journal of Comparative Neurology. His research focused on the neural control of vertebrate motor systems and behavior.

Dr. Beck holds a BS from Duke University and a PhD from the University of Washington, Seattle. He completed his postdoctoral training at the New York University School of Medicine. Dr. Beck frequently comments in the media about the implications of the latest Parkinson's science headlines.

Read More

Yasnahia Cortorreal, Vice President & Chief Human Resources & Administration Officer

Yasnahia can be reached at

Yasnahia Cortorreal directs all Parkinson’s Foundation employee functions in accordance with the organization’s policies and practices, the ethical and social consciences of business, society and the laws, regulations and administrative rulings of governmental organizations. She is also responsible for the strategic human resource planning to provide the organization with the best potential employees available and to position the organization as the employer of choice by being aware of policies, practices and industry trends. Yasnahia also directs all the foundation’s administrative functions in accordance with objectives and policies, industry standards and regulatory agencies.

Yasnahia brings more than 20 years of experience in business administration, human resources, finance and information technology. She began her career in non-profit management for the Dominican American Chambers of Commerce in New York, where she helped raise awareness. She is a member of the Society of Human Resources Management.

Yasnahia and her husband, Emmanuel, live in New Jersey with their two sons. Yasnahia serves as a volunteer board member for her local Congregation (CDV), a New York nonprofit organization that works with the community to serve those in need.

Curt De Greff, Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer

Curt can be reached at

Curt joined the Parkinson’s Foundation in 2016. In his role, he manages all financial aspects of the foundation’s operations and information technology. Curt also provides leadership and coordination in business planning, accounting, finance and budgeting functions.

Previously, Curt founded World Wide Financial Consulting, LLC, to help firms implement profitability improvement initiatives. He was also an adjunct professor at Johnson and Wales University and Miami Dade College, where he taught Accounting, Marketing and Statistics. Previously, he served as Senior Vice President of Finance at Americas at Regus, the world's largest operator of business centers, where he oversaw mergers and acquisitions, shared service centers and the finance function. He also led the Regional Finance and Administration function for the Americas at Bureau Veritas. Curt also previously served as country Managing Director in Latin America and in West Africa at Texaco, where he held senior financial roles. Earlier in his career, he was a consultant for the predecessor to Accenture.

Curt and his wife, Sheryl, who owns a Pilates Studio, have two children. He is active in the community as a member of the Miami Rotary Club and South Miami Toastmasters Club.

Christiana Evers, Vice President, Chief Community Engagement Officer

Christiana can be reached at

Christiana Evers is responsible for leading efforts to ensure that the foundation is continually identifying, listening and responding to the needs of the Parkinson’s community as collaborators and partners. In this role, she guides and oversees the development and execution of the foundation’s community engagement activities, including grantmaking, national and community-based programs and public policy efforts. She previously served as the foundation’s Vice President of Communications.

Before joining the Parkinson’s Foundation, Christiana served as the Director of Special Projects at the National Alliance of Breast Cancer Organizations. Prior to that, she was the Assistant Director of the Evergreen Network, Inc., a grassroots organization in Bridgeport, CT, serving families impacted by HIV/ AIDS. Christiana has authored numerous posters that were presented at meetings of the American Academy of Neurology, International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society and the World Parkinson Coalition.

Christiana holds an MA in Public Administration with a specialization in Public and Nonprofit Management from the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at New York University and her BA in Psychology from the College of the Holy Cross. She has received several awards for public service and is active in youth and community affairs.

Kayln Henkel, Senior Vice President, Chief Development Officer

Kayln can be reached at

Kayln Henkel guides and oversees fundraising initiatives, operations and revenue growth for the Parkinson’s Foundation. Since 2013, Kayln has served in various roles at the Foundation where she has overseen national fundraising activities.

Kayln is passionate about fundraising in the non-profit health sector. Previously, she led large-scale fundraising initiatives for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, Palomar Pomerado Health Foundation and the Arthritis Foundation. At Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, Kayln helped build a national walk program from inception to a robust thriving program in less than five years. Prior to that, Kayln managed community special events and fundraisers.

Kayln earned her BA in Spanish and Biology from the University of San Diego.

Leilani Pearl, Senior Vice President, Chief Communications Officer

Leilani can be reached at

Leilani Pearl guides the public relations and communications strategy of the Parkinson’s Foundation, a national non-profit dedicated to making life better for people living with Parkinson’s disease. She leads the Foundation’s branding efforts and has garnered several awards for best nonprofit visual identity and rebrand during her tenure.

She is passionate about global health issues and health care advocacy. She began her career in non-profit communications at Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, where she worked on statewide public health campaigns. Prior to that, she spent nearly a decade in education, teaching literature and writing at the university and high-school level.

Leilani holds an M.A. in English from Boston College and a B.A. in English from the University of Vermont. She was recently included on the 2019 PR NEWS’ Top Women in PR Awards.

Elizabeth “Eli” Pollard, Vice President & Chief Education and Training Officer

Eli can be reached at

Eli Pollard designs and oversees the foundation’s Professional Education and online programs. She recognized early on that the best way to ensure people with Parkinson’s receive quality care is to ensure that health professionals better understand Parkinson’s. She leads the foundation’s push to make training and educating healthcare providers a top priority from early on in their professional training.

She started working in the Parkinson’s field in 2004, when she began overseeing the creation of the World Parkinson Congress. She splits her time between the foundation and the World Parkinson Coalition. She is passionate about social justice issues, including access to information and education, which she feels can eliminate inequities and help people with Parkinson’s live better lives. This includes ensuring people with Parkinson’s understand the disease, have access to treatment options and qualified healthcare professionals.

Eli holds an MA from the School for International Training in Vermont, a BA in Education from Michigan State University and a certificate of African Studies from the University of Zimbabwe. After earning her degree, she spent almost 10 years living in Zimbabwe, Switzerland and Japan.

Veronica “Ronnie” Todaro, Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer

Ronnie can be reached at

Ronnie Todaro has served the Parkinson's Foundation for more than a decade. As Chief Operating Officer, she ensures that the foundation’s resources meet the needs and priorities of people living with Parkinson’s through organizational strategy, execution and day-to-day operations. She is a recognized leader in patient engagement at the foundation and in the community. As an advocate amongst industry, government, academia and nonprofits, she has worked to change the understanding of people with Parkinson’s, seeing that their insights are recognized and drive the foundation’s work in improving treatments and finding a cure.

Previously, Ronnie held several leadership positions in the public health field, including her time with Planned Parenthood. She was formerly the Chair of the Patient Leadership Council, which was part of the Executive Committee for the Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative (CTTI). She has been an invited speaker at national and international conferences hosted by the NIH, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Society for Clinical Trials and the World Parkinson Congress. Ronnie currently serves as a member of the Advisory Panel on Patient Engagement for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) and on the Advisory Committee of North America for the Drug Information Association and the Institutional Review Board at the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System.

Ronnie earned her MA in Public Health in Planning and Administration from the University of Michigan and her BA in Public Policy at Cornell University.


Sign Up for Our E-Newsletter

Get the latest news about PD research, resources and community initiatives – straight to your inbox.

Please enter a valid email

Skip step

Invalid year format. Eg: 2020
Skip step
Skip step

*Please note that not all content is available in both languages. If you are interested in receiving Spanish communications, we recommend selecting “both" to stay best informed on the Foundation's work and the latest in PD news.

Skip step

Thanks for Signing Up

We are proud to have you as a part of our community. To ensure you receive the latest Parkinson’s news, research updates and more, please check your email for a message from us. If you do not see our email, it may be in your spam folder. Just mark as “not spam” and you should receive our emails as expected.

mail icon

Subscribe here to get the latest news on treatments, research and other updates.