Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Ken Ross – Founder and President

EKR President, Ken Ross

Ken Ross, son of Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, is the founder of the EKR Foundation (2006) and President (2006-2013 & 2018-Present). He also served on the board of the Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Center from 1989-2005. Ken was the principal care provider for his mother in the last 9 years of her life until her passing in 2004.

His responsibilities include handling over 80 publishers of Dr. Kübler-Ross’ work in 44 languages, public relations, copyright & trademark issues, developing international Kübler-Ross chapters, developing strategic partnerships, as well as preserving her archives.  While growing up, he traveled with her extensively while on her numerous foreign trips witnessing her lectures and workshops. Ken has lectured on his mother’s legacy for hospices and various conferences in South America, Asia, and Europe. There are several film projects that Ken is currently a consultant on including a major motion picture, a television series and various documentaries, both foreign and domestic.

Ken is proud to serve on the board of directors for Open to Hope, as well as being on the advisory council of the Humane Prison Hospice Project and The Beautiful Dying Expo.

See Ken Ross on on

A professional photographer by trade, he has photographed 103 countries.

Author, Real Taste of Life: A Journal by Ken Ross and Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, 2002

Tea with Elisabeth by: Ken Ross, Fern Stewart Welch, and Rose Winters, 2009

Joan Marston – Board Member/Vice President

Joan Marston is based in South Africa and is presently an International Children’s Palliative Care Consultant with PaCCHI – Palliative Care for Children a Humanitarian Imperative; also ICPCN Global Ambassador for Children’s Palliative Care and Director of Education and Development for Sunflower Children’s Hospice in South Africa.

Joan’s background is in Nursing and Social Science and she has 22 years experience in palliative care for children – caring for children when the Executive Director of Bloemfontein Hospice and then founding the Sunflower Children’s Hospice in 1998 in Bloemfontein, South Africa, as well a regional network for life-limited children, the St. Nicholas Bana Pele Network, in 2009. As the national pediatric development manager for the Hospice Palliative Care Association of South Africa, from 2007 – 2010 Joan and her team developed a strategy for a national network of services , promoting the considerable growth of the number of children’s palliative care services for children in South Africa . During that time she was the Project Manager for a program to develop children’s palliative care Beacon centers in Tanzania, Uganda and South Africa.

In 2005 colleagues from 15 countries established the International Children’s Palliative Care Network, with Joan as the first Chairperson from 2005 – 2010, then become the first CEO from 2010- October 2016. The ICPCN now has membership in over 100 countries.

Joan was part of the group that developed the new Guidelines for Persisting Pain in Children, as well as Guidelines for Disclosure in Children, for WHO.

Married to Richard with two adult children living in the UK, and an active member of the Anglican Church, Joan is a Lay Minister in the Cathedral in Bloemfontein; and an Honorary Lay Canon of Blackburn Cathedral in Lancashire, England.

A committed advocate for children’s right to palliative care and pain relief, Joan believes that this can be achieved worldwide when people share knowledge and resources, and work together to expand access to palliative care for all children.

Barbara Rothweiler, Ph.D, ABPP – Board Member/Board Secretary

Dr. Rothweiler, daughter of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross MD, is a licensed psychologist, with board certification in neuropsychology and rehabilitation psychology. In addition to conducting neuropsychological evaluations, she provides consultation liaison services, specializing in medical rehabilitation, but also hospital wide, including palliative care and hospice. She serves on the Aspirus Wausau Hospital Bioethics Committee and the Medical Staff Support Committee. She is a member of the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology, International Neuropsychological Society, National Academy of Neuropsychology, American Psychological Association, and the Wisconsin Psychological Association. She also serves as board member of Mount Sinai Congregation.

Dianne Gray – Board Member

Dianne Gray is Chief Innovation Officer for Acclivity Health Solutions & CEO of Hospice and Healthcare Communications.

Her life is dedicated to helping seriously ill, dying and grieving people around the world live as fully as possible.
Dianne believes that dying and grieving are personal (not just medical) journeys. She’s enormously thankful for the work of Dr. Kübler-Ross,
who informed her decade-long hospice and palliative care experience with her healthy daughter, Christina and son, Austin, who died at age 14 from a
rare, degenerative neurological syndrome.
She is a/an:
  • Certified Death Doula
  • Grief Mentor
  • End of Life & Grief Education Content Producer
  • Film Producer
  • Researcher
  • On-camera Host
  • Award-winning Author
  • Global Keynote Speaker
  • Founder, Austin’s Kitchen Garden at Cura Orphanage, Kenya
  • Adventure, Nature & Animal Lover
Education: BS in Sports Mgt/Sports Medicine w/a fascination for neurology & neuroscience
                  Certification / Grief Specialist : Univ. WI Madison
                  Over 100+ hours in Specialty Palliative Care Courses
Her Message: Live fully. Love unconditionally. Exude grace.
Her Giveback: Global Ambassador, International Children’s & Palliative Care Network @icpcn, Former President / Current Board, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Foundation @elisabethkublerrossfoundation, Content Curator: Choose Love Movement @chooselovemovement
You can follow her at: @diannebgray / Instagram & Twitter & @diannegrayhospice / Facebook, Email:
Stephen Connor, PhD – Board Member

Stephen R. Connor, Ph.D. is the Executive Director of the London, UK based charity, the Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance (WHPCA), an alliance of over 350 national and regional hospice and palliative care organizations in over 100 countries worldwide. Dr. Connor has worked continuously in the hospice/palliative care movement since 1975 and has been the CEO of four US hospice programs. After serving for 11 years as vice-president of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (US), he is now focused on palliative care development internationally with the WHPCA and has worked on palliative care globally in over 27 countries including as international palliative care consultant for the Open Society Foundations. He serves on several technical working groups of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva. Connor also serves as Senior Research Scholar to Capital Caring Health in the Washington DC Area.
In addition to being a hospice and association executive, he is a researcher, educator, advocate, and psychotherapist, licensed as a clinical psychologist in California. Dr. Connor’s areas of research interest in palliative care include bereavement, denial, outcome measurement and evidence-based care for the dying. He has chaired the board of the International Work Group on Death, Dying, & Bereavement, is on the Scientific Advisory Board for the National Palliative Care Research Center, and is a member of the board of the Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Foundation and the International
Children’s Palliative Care Network (ICPCN). Dr. Connor is on the editorial board of the Journal of Pain & Symptom Management and has published over 145 peer reviewed journal articles, reviews, & book chapters on issues related to palliative care for patients and their families. He is the author of Hospice: Practice, Pitfalls, and Promise (1998), Hospice and Palliative Care: The Essential Guide (2009 & 2018), and editor of Building Integrated Palliative Care Programs and Services (2017) and the Global Atlas of Palliative Care (2014 & 2020), a WHPCA publication in partnership with the WHO.
Twitter @thewhpca
M. R. Rajagopal, MD – Board Member


Dr. M.R. Rajagopal was born in Trivandrum in Kerala, India and graduated from Trivandrum Medical College. He did his post-graduation in Anesthesiology from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. While working as Professor and Head of Anesthesiology in Calicut Medical College, he with his colleagues founded the Pain and Palliative Care Society in 1003 offering free pain management and palliative care to poor patients. In 1995, this was declared a WHO demonstration project and grew to the present Institute of Palliative Medicine with a network of over 100 palliative care centers in the state of Kerala. This initiative resulted in palliative care reaching about 40% of the needy in Kerala compared to the national average of less than 1%.

Currently, he is the director of the WHO Collaborating Center at Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Sciences and the founder-chairman of “Pallium India”, a trust that he founded to improve access to palliative care in India, focusing on balancing increased coverage with improved quality. His initiative has also led to the development of a Government policy on Palliative Care in the state of Kerala in 2008.

He also works with the WHO Collaborating Center at Pain and Policy Studies Group (PPSG) in Madison-Wisconsin and with the Access to Essential Medicines program of WHO, to remove regulatory barriers in availability of oral morphine for pain relief. Over a 15 year period, this resulted in simplification of narcotic regulations in 17 of India’s 28 states.

Dr. Rajagopal is a life time advisor to the International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care (IAHPC) and is the vice chairman of Asia Pacific Hospice Network (APHN). He is a member of the International Experts’ Committee of the WHO Collaborating Center at Madison-Wisconsin. He is also an Associate faculty member of the Institute of Palliative Medicine at San Diego, USA. He is on the editorial board of several international journals and has authored/edited two textbooks, several book chapters (including Oxford Textbook of Palliative Medicine) and more than 30 publications in scientific journals.

The New York Times ( wrote an article which described his work in 2007. In 2008, the International Association for Pain and Chemical Dependency honored him at Philadelphia with the Marie Nyswander Award for his contributions to the field of pain management. In 2010, International Association for Study of Pain (IASP) honored him with its award for excellence in pain management in developing countries, at the World Pain Congress at Montreal. He was also the recipient of the Ranbaxy Science Foundation Award for Public Health of 2012.

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