CEO transition & our ongoing commitment to high-quality healthcare for all

Dear Colleagues,

Eight years ago, Marc Mitchell, D-tree’s Founder and visionary leader, took a chance and hired me to join D-tree as a Program Manager based in Tanzania. I grew from that role to Chief Program Officer and then four years ago, I worked closely with Marc to support his retirement as I stepped into the role of CEO. I have had the honor to work with inspiring colleagues, health workers, government officials, donors and partners who share my conviction that advances in digital technology have the potential to make Universal Health Coverage a reality.

This has been a period of incredible professional growth and personal fulfillment. Now, it is time for me to transition out of my role as CEO. As much as I have loved serving in this position, I have realized that I want to make more time for my family at this point in my life, while creating space for a new leader. This is a difficult decision given D-tree’s growth and the increasing impact we are having on improving people’s lives, but ultimately it is the right decision for me at this time. I am leaving the organization in the strongest financial position we have ever been in, with strong leaders at all levels. We are poised for significant additional growth in the next 3-5 years as we work with governments to build people-centered health systems that make healthcare more personalized, convenient and coordinated – ultimately leading to improved health and wellbeing for all.

Photo of Erica Layer, Chief Executive Officer, D-tree International
Erica Layer, Chief Executive Officer, D-tree International

I am very proud of what we have accomplished over the past four years. Working with committed governments, partners and donors, D-tree tripled its revenue and we more than doubled the size of our team. In Zanzibar, we supported the government as they nationally scaled our program model of digitally enabled community health workers providing personalized services to families in their communities. We deepened our engagement in Mainland Tanzania and Malawi, and we are in the process of opening an office in Zambia.


The field of digital health has also been growing and evolving, which D-tree has contributed towards. Today, the important role that technology can play in improving healthcare and health systems is undisputed. Governments globally are developing digital health strategies and rolling out technology to support their health workforce. And people are accessing higher quality, more personalized and more coordinated care than ever before. We have come a long way, and much remains to be done to institutionalize digital health systems and realize the full potential that technology has to play in improving health.


Although I have decided to step down from my role as CEO, I am deeply committed to supporting D-tree to achieve its mission and work towards Marc’s vision of a world in which everyone, no matter who they are or where they live, has access to high-quality healthcare. I will continue in my current role as CEO through mid-2022 or until my replacement is identified and onboarded.


I am immensely grateful to everyone – colleagues, advisors, mentors and friends – who have been part of my journey as CEO over the last 4 years. I have learned so much from you all and feel optimistic about the future of D-tree and the broader field.


In solidarity,

Erica