Board of Directors

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Our dedicated Board of Directors provides their talent, time and expertise to ensure that the Heather Abbott Foundation has the right tools, strategies and vision to fulfill our goals.


Heather Abbott is a RI native and currently a Newport, Rhode Island resident. She has a B.S. in Accounting from Stonehill College and an MBA from Providence College. Heather has spent most of her career in Human Resources Management and remains a part-time employee with Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems.

Heather has been recognized by the Orthopedic Association in 2014 with their Spirit of an Active Lifestyle Award, was named Providence Business News’ 2015 Woman to Watch in the area of social services, received the President’s Medal of Excellence in 2015 from Stonehill College and was given an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters in 2015 from Framingham State University as well as an honorary Doctorate in Public Service in 2016 from Providence College.

Additionally, Heather has been interviewed in many national media publications and broadcasts including People Magazine, Glamour Magazine, CNN, ESPN, the Today Show, and a variety of others. Heather leads the Board of the Heather Abbott Foundation in addition to speaking to audiences across the country about her experiences since the Boston Marathon bombing.



Cynthia Lima is President of C-Suite Communications LLC. She is also a Senior Partner at SP Consulting, a nationally recognized public affairs and public relations firm. Cynthia is a leading communications strategist, executive coach, and media/public speaking trainer. As Chairman of the HAF Board of Directors, Cynthia is most interested in helping The Heather Abbott Foundation establish corporate partnerships and mutually-supportive relationships with other non-profit organizations and agencies.

JAMES BANKS, Secretariat

James O. Banks is a Sr. Program Manager at Raytheon Company where he has been employed for 32 years. Jim specializes in the management of large programs focused primarily on U.S. Navy, Homeland Security, Intelligence Community and NATO efforts. Jim holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Rhode Island. Jim resides with his wife Lori in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. They have four adult children – two sons and two daughters.


Malina Jacobowitz is the Director of Marketing at Authentic Israel. An award-winning marketer, she has long experience in design, branding and campaign management, as well as a background in web development, usability and project management. Malina studied Anthropology at The Evergreen State College (Olympia, Wa), and the George Mason University (Fairfax, Va), and currently resides in Alexandria, Virginia with her two daughters.