Executive  Board


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Marco Cardenas
Rita Peiling Hu profile Website.jpg
Dr. Rita Peiling Hu

Marco Cardenas was born and raised in Guadalajara, Mexico. From an early age, Marco has sought to not only understand human nature but longed to accept the diversity of thought and belief. He has passion for the arts, philosophy and the sciences.  He earned a degree in Pharmacology and Biochemistry from University of Guadalajara with some advanced studies in Molecular Biology. Through perseverance and dedication, he was invited to the US to conduct a 15 year research study in the Human Genome Project at Washington University. During his acclimation to the US, he discovered the importance of meeting people from all over the world and learning of their contributions to our community including Baobab People.

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Dr. Meilun He

Dr. Meilun He was born and raised in the city of Hefei in Anhui province, China. She received her M.D degree from Anhui Medical University in China, and worked in the department of respiratory medicine at the First Affiliated Hospital from 2014 to 2015. From 2015 to 2018, Dr. He worked as a visiting scholar in the department of endocrinology at NYU Langone Medical Center. Now she is a Master of public health candidate at Washington University in Saint Louis, specializing in epidemiology and biostatistics.


Dr. He loves spending time with people and listening to their stories which is why she is excited to be part of the Baobab People team. She values diversity and is passionate about social justice issues.


Her interests include traveling, reading and attending baseball games.

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Andre Jackson

Dr. Rita Peiling Hu teaches writing in the College Writing Program at Washington University in St. Louis, where she specializes in supporting first-generation and international students. She received her M.A. degree in English from Taiwan University (Taipei, Taiwan), and Ph.D. in English from Rutgers University, New Jersey, with a focus on race studies. Rita is married to her German-born husband, a geneticist, and they have one daughter. As a bi-national family living in a third country, they use three languages—English, Mandarin, and German—at home and try to keep three cultures equally alive. Their daughter attends a Jewish daycare, from which she brings back home yet another language (Hebrew) and another culture (Jewish) every day. Rita believes in the importance of stepping out of one’s comfort zone to reach out and understand other communities. She hopes the world will be a more tolerant, just, and equal place for the next generation.

Jerry Bryan - Baobab Board Member Websit
Jerry Bryan


Jerry Bryan is a principal of WebSanity and president of Bryan Consulting, focused on technology and strategic management. He began his career as a journalist, then was press secretary to the Governor of Missouri, an investor relations consultant, director of public affairs for the U.S. companies of a multinational industrial group, and corporate vice president of a 5,000-person international professional services firm. He is a fellow and former board member of the Public Relations Society of America, and former chairman of the Business Marketing Association. Jerry currently serves on the national public relations council of Washington University in St. Louis, and has cumulative service of more than 100 years on the boards of foundations and civic, charitable, professional, and faith-based groups. He is widowed, active in church leadership and in the lives of his children and grandchildren.

Andre enjoys being around different kinds of people and hearing stories about their backgrounds and experiences. A junior at Gateway Science Academy in Saint Louis, Andre’s favorite subject is World Religions, which offers him the opportunity to explore various avenues people follow in search for connection with God. He is also passionate about the medical and athletic fields. Andre is an active member of Third Baptist Church of Saint Louis and enjoys attending and leading various youth events. He is excited to be on the Baobab People team particularly due to the work we do to carefully and respectfully create open spaces where people can engage one another in conversation so we can learn how to value our differences.