PureMadi Officers


President: Rebecca Kelly

Rebecca Kelly is a medical student at Case Western Reserve University. She previously worked as a research assistant at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. Rebecca graduated from the University of Virginia in 2013 with majors in Biology and Psychology and got involved with PureMadi in 2011 because of her premed and global health interests. She traveled with the student team on a grant from the Center for Global Health to South Africa to help start filter production at the Mukondeni Filter Facility in the summer of 2012. She traveled to South Africa again in the summer of 2014 to work with the Mukondeni Facility as well as help start up the Dertig Facility. Rebecca can be contacted at rkk4bs@virginia.edu

Vice President: Theresa Hackett

Theresa Hackett is an Audit Associate with KPMG in Tysons Corner, VA, and is pursuing her CPA license.  She is a double hoo, graduating with a B.S. in Commerce with concentrations in Accounting and Marketing in 2014 and a Masters of Accounting in 2015. Theresa has been involved in the ceramic water filter project since her first-year at UVa, traveling to South Africa during the summers 2011 and 2012 under Jefferson Public Citizen (JPC) grants.  During that time, she and fellow students and faculty worked to establish PureMadi's first filter facility in Ha-Mashamba.  She returned in summer 2014 to continue working at Ha-Mashamba, as well as begin preliminary plans to create our second facility in Dertig.  Theresa  is excited about PureMadi's growth and can be contacted at theresamhackett@gmail.com

Treasurer: Molly Tyeryar

Molly Tyeryar lives in northern Virginia and works in IT Consulting. She graduated from the University of Virginia in 2012 with a BA in Economics. Molly traveled to South Africa in the summers of 2010, 2011, and 2012; participating in the ceramic water filter facility feasibility study, construction, and start-up. Molly looks forward to all of the PureMadi successes to come and hopes to return to South Africa in the future. Molly can be contacted at mtyeryar@gmail.com

Secretary: Thy Nguyen

Thy Nguyen is a student in the Premedical Program at Harvard Extension School. She is also working as a Technical Research Assistant in the Department of Anesthesia, Perioperative, and Pain Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. Thy graduated from the University of Virginia in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and a specialization in Environmental and Biological Conservation. With an interest in increasing access to potable water, preventing waterborne illness, and improving community health, Thy joined PureMadi during her third year at UVA. She worked with a JPC team to distribute and test the efficacy of the ceramic filters and the MadiDrop in Limpopo, South Africa. She is excited to be a part of this organization that works to empower communities and address the global water crisis. Thy can be contacted at nguyen.thy.bao@gmail.com.

South Africa Technical and Cultural Coordinator: Rachel Schmidt

Rachel Schmidt is currently pursuing her MBA and MS in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Rachel graduated from UVA in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering.  After graduation,  she moved to South Africa for 9 months with a Fulbright Grant to support the UVA, UniVen, and Mukondeni Pottery collaboration.  While in South Africa, Rachel worked closely with the potters, UniVen staff and students, and local government to technically understand, develop, market, and sell ceramic water filters. Upon returning from South Africa, Ms. Schmidt worked as a Water Resources Specialist for 3 years in Denver for a global engineering and consulting firm.  Rachel can be contacted at rschmidt019@gmail.com

Grant Writer and Student Coordinator: Chloe Rento

Chloe Rento graduated in 2017 from the University of Virginia with a Chemical Engineering degree and Civil and Environmental Engineering minor. She has been involved with PureMadi since the summer of 2013, when she traveled to South Africa on a Jefferson Public Citizen (JPC) grant to test the filters for technical efficacy in the field. She has continued to study the filters and another technology known as the MadiDrop while in Charlottesville, and returned to South Africa in the summer of 2014 for a follow-up study supported by grants from JPC and the Center for Global Health. She loves working with PureMadi and seeing the impact the organization has had on the people it aims to help.  Chloe can be contacted at ctr4nj@virginia.edu

Website manager: Veronica Son

Veronica Son works in Northern Virginia for a civil engineering design and consulting firm. She graduated from UVA in 2016 with a bachelor's degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering. She has been involved with PureMadi since 2013 and has studied the efficacy of the filters and MadiDrops at the university labs in Charlottesville during the school year. She has been to South Africa during the spring and summer of 2014 to perform follow-up studies on the point-of-use water filtration technologies. Veronica can be contacted at vs7bm@virginia.edu

Board Members

  Director:     James A. Smith   (Civil & Environmental Engineering)

Director: James A. Smith (Civil & Environmental Engineering)

James A. Smith is the Henry L. Kinnier Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Virginia.  He has BS and MS degrees in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech and a PhD in Civil Engineering from Princeton University.  He has been a member of the faculty at the University of Virginia since 1992 and has also worked as a research hydrologist for seven years with the U.S. Geological Survey.  For the past 10 years, his research, service, and teaching activities have focused on technologies to improve developing-world water quality.  He has conducted extensive research on metal-ceramic point-of-use water treatment technologies in both the laboratory and field (Guatemala, South Africa) settings.  In partnership with Dr. Rebecca Dillingham, he founded PureMadi in 2011, and he has actively been involved with the development and testing of ceramic technologies in households in Limpopo Province, S. Africa since 2008.

  Becca Dillingham   (Medicine)

Becca Dillingham (Medicine)

Rebecca Dillingham, MD/MPH is the Director the University of Virginia’s Center for Global Health. Dr. Dillingham’s faculty positions are in the Division of Infectious Disease and International Health and in Public Health Sciences. Dr. Dillingham has led the development of global health training across UVa’s campus as the director of the UVa Framework Program in Global Health which is supported by the Fogarty International Center of the National Institute of Health.




  Pamela Kelly (Law)

Pamela Kelly (Law)

Pamela B. Kelly has been a corporate finance attorney at Latham & Watkins, LLP. for the past 27 years. She has a BA in Economics and Psychology from the University of Virginia and a JD from the University Of California Los Angeles School Of Law. She was an adjunct professor of law at the UCLA School of Law for 10 years. At Latham & Watkins, she practiced in the areas of corporate finance, negotiated acquisition, and emerging company and public company representation. Her corporate finance expertise included: public and private debt offerings, equity offerings, representation of issuers, institutional investors and investment banks. Pamela is also a member of the Board of Trustees at Echo Horizon School. She and her husband Peter first visited South Africa in 1996 and fell in love with the people and the country. In 2006, they took the first step toward making a positive difference in this place they had grown to love. Pamela and Peter made gifts to the University of Virginia to endow an interdisciplinary project in Limpopo Province, South Africa, eventually leading to the formation of PureMadi.