Our Mission

The mission of the Nina Brekelmans Memorial Foundation is to continue Nina's dream of fostering sports opportunities for young women in the Middle East by supporting running programs in Jordan to encourage healthy living, expand participation in the sport, and promote women’s empowerment. The foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit registered in Washington, DC.

The life and legacy of Nina Brekelmans are defined by her tireless dedication to high achievement and community engagement on a global scale. Nina’s passions were many, and she consistently sought opportunities to combine her interests in the Arabic language, distance running, public service, and women’s empowerment. The Nina Brekelmans Memorial Foundation was formally established in September 2016 to carry forth these ideals and support running programs in the Middle East aligned with Nina’s vision. The foundation provides a formal structure and financial support to expand the scope and impact of legacy programs in Amman, Jordan, including the Nina Brekelmans Running Camp for Girls and Nina Brekelmans Race for Girls.

Members of the Board and Jordan Leadership Team after the 2018 Race.

Members of the Board and Jordan Leadership Team after the 2018 Race.

Jordan Leadership Team

Co-Head Coach - Rawda Hamadneh

Co-Head Coach - Ru'a Al-Abweh

Jordan Director of Operations - Sophie Zinser 

Board of Directors

President and Board Chairman - Mary Grace Pellegrini

Vice President and Development Chair - Dickson Mercer

Secretary and Merchandising Chair - Andrea Krushefski

Treasurer - Ali AlNajafi

Board Representative - Gail Brekelmans

Board Representative - Nico Brekelmans

Board Representative - Rob Brekelmans

Advisory Board

Legal Counsel - Katherine Gomer

Marketing and Design Chair - Kelly Kurkjian

Communications and Social Media Chair - Jodi Brignola

Evaluation and Impact Chair - Sruti Ramadugu

Advisor - Summer Forester

Advisor - Lilly Frost

Advisor - Emily Gallagher

Advisor - Phillmon Haile

Advisor - Matt Liston

Advisor - Maddie Ulanow

Advisor - Sophie Zinser

ALUMNI Council

Advisor - Craig Browne

Advisor - Alice Gissinger

Advisor - Afaf Al-Khoshman

Advisor - Michael Brill


Carol Fadalla

Sandy Alkoutami

2018 Fulbright Leadership Team

Hayden Bates

Nicole Khamis

Sophie Zinser

Amanda Swenson

2017 Fulbright Leadership Team

Lilly Frost

Lena Hamvas

Matthew Liston

2016 Fulbright Leadership Team

Summer Forester

Emily Gallagher