About Us


Liya WHO

Liya Kebede launched the Foundation in conjunction with her appointment as a World Health Organization Goodwill Ambassador in 2005.

LKF is a 501c3 non-profit foundation that supports leading organizations working to reduce maternal and newborn deaths in Africa through advocacy, education, grantmaking and partnerships.

We focus on training, community education and safe birth service delivery priorities.

Learn more about how this helps women who need care most.


Founder – Liya Kebede

Supermodel, designer and maternal health advocate, Liya Kebede has been featured in major magazines, runway shows and print campaigns for leading designers and brands and has acted in several feature films. Learn more and connect with Liya on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Executive Director – Melissa Janis

MJ Headshot

Melissa Janis

Melissa Janis comes to LKF with 15 years experience in international health and economic development.  Prior to joining LKF, she served in senior positions with Pfizer and Alcoa Foundations and in the U.S. Foreign Service.


We are grateful for the generous contributions and collaboration of the following organizations to promote safe motherhood:



lemlem which means “to flourish” in Amharic works closely with LKF to help Ethiopian communities do just that.  Proceeds and special promotions from Kebede’s handwoven clothing and accessories line made in Ethiopia support LKFs mission.  Visit & Shop lemlem.


The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation



David Yurman




654 Madison Ave, Suite 708 |New York, NY 10065


* Please note LKF does not accept unsolicited requests for funding.