Team

Delivering On Our Promise

We're moms helping moms, neighbor serving neighbor, companies giving back. Led by a team of dedicated professionals, together we strive toward one goal: strong moms with healthy babies.

  • Heidi Murkoff

    President/Co-Founder

    Heidi Murkoff is the author of the world’s best-selling pregnancy and parenting series, What to Expect, that began with What to Expect When You’re Expecting. She is also the creator of WhatToExpect.com and founder of the What to Expect Foundation. TIME Magazine named Heidi one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World for 2011. Most recently, Murkoff was honored by the Smithsonian Associates with the prestigious John P. McGovern Award which recognizes an individual for their contribution to the understanding of the family in America.

    Heidi Murkoff conceived the idea for What to Expect When You’re Expecting during her first pregnancy, when she couldn’t find answers to her questions or reassurance for her worries in the books she’d turned to for much-needed advice. Determined to write a guide that would help other expectant parents sleep better at night, Heidi delivered the proposal for What to Expect When You’re Expecting just hours before delivering her daughter, Emma. On February 12, 2013, Emma, the inspiration who started it all, gave birth to the newest member of the What To Expect family, son Lennox Page Ali.

    Dubbed the ‘pregnancy bible, What To Expect When You’re Expecting, has spent 600 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and is now in its fourth edition, with more than 17 million copies in print. Furthermore, USA Today named it one of the most influential books of the last 25 years and also determined that it is read by 93 percent of women who read a pregnancy book.

    The sequel, What to Expect the First Year, has sold over 10 million copies internationally and is in its 2nd edition. Other titles in the series include, Eating Well When You’re Expecting, What to Expect Before You’re Expecting (a complete preconception plan), and the newest member of the What to Expect family: What to Expect the Second Year, the must-have guide for parents of toddlers. The What to Expect books have sold more than 35 million copies internationally, and are published in more than 30 languages. In 2005, she was inducted into the Books For A Better Life Hall of Fame.

    Heidi’s What to Expect Kids picture-book series for preschoolers includes What to Expect When Having a Baby, What to Expect When the New Baby Comes Home, What to Expect When You Use the Potty, and What to Expect at Preschool.

    In 2005, Heidi expanded the What to Expect (WTE) brand online with www.whattoexpect.com – the interactive, state-of-the-Internet companion to WTE books, and home to vibrant, vast, yet close-knit community of 3 millions parents. In 2009, WTE went mobile with the WTE Pregnancy Tracker (the most popular pregnancy app in the world), the WTE Fertility Tracker, the WTE Baby Name Finder, and the WTE First Year Tracker.

    Heidi’s passionate commitment to moms and babies led to the creation of the What to Expect Foundation (whattoexpect.org), a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping underserved families have healthy pregnancies, safe deliveries, and healthy, happy babies. With a beautiful, culturally appropriate low literacy pregnancy guide (provided at no cost) and comprehensive prenatal health literacy support, the WTE Foundation’s groundbreaking Baby Basics program-available in English, Spanish, and Chinese – has helped over 500,000 expectant moms-to-be in need and their babies. The foundation is currently preparing a global initiative in an effort to help moms in need around the world.

    Heidi has appeared on hundreds of television and radio shows, including the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, the CBS Early Show, Oprah, BBC Breakfast, and Good Morning Australia. She connects daily with her WTE family online at WhatToExpect .com, as well as on Twitter (http://twitter.com/#!/HeidiMurkoff) and Facebook.

    In 2012, Lionsgate released “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” a film inspired by the spirit of the book. The romantic comedy all star cast included Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Chris Rock, Matthew Morrison, and Elizabeth Banks. Heidi and her husband Erik served as executive producers on the film.

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  • Lisa Bernstein

    Executive Director/Co-Founder

    Lisa is the former Associate Publisher of Brain Quest, with previous experience in the publicity, marketing, and editorial departments at commercial book publishers including: The New Press, Bantam Books, Henry Holt and Co., Little, Brown and Co., and Workman Publishing where she promoted Heidi Murkoff's What To Expect pregnancy and parenting series. Passionate about literacy education as a way to break cycles of poverty and infant mortality, Lisa co-founded The What To Expect Foundation with Heidi, with the initial goal of creating a lower-literacy pregnancy guide that addressed the needs of underserved pregnant families. Today, she has grown to become a passionate advocate for moms around the world.  A native of Philadelphia, Lisa is a graduate of Carnegie-Mellon University and lives in New York City with her husband and two children. She also serves on the PBS Kids and NY Reach Out and Read Advisory Boards.

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  • Our Team

  • Ruth Turoff

    Managing Director

    Ruth is an organizing force of the Foundation. Working for the Foundation for over 10 years, she has helped to develop our signature program from the beginning. Her path to arriving at the Foundation, however, was not a typical one. Her first career was in the music industry where she scouted out new musicians and managed them for various recording companies including Sony and Virgin. As the internet grew, Ruth's great ear (and eye) for talent, coupled with unparalleled organizational skills, brought her into website project management for a variety of start-up firms.  Her leap into non-profit began as a project manager for The What to Expect Foundation, and for other agencies including Childbirth Connection and Forty Weeks PR. As the Foundation grew, Ruth took over the daily management of our publishing agenda and training program. Today she oversees the management of the entire organization, and is the person most likely to identify, break down, and then fix problems as they arise.

  • Jeanne McMahon

    National Program Director

    Jeanne's been committed to improving women's health for over 15 years and is a passionate advocate for women and children. Formerly Program Director of the Hudson Perinatal Consortium of New Jersey where she developed and managed reproductive and maternal child health outreach and education programs, Jeanne also spearheaded New Jersey's first Community Doula program, Jersey City's first Teen Health Initiative, the Jersey City Healthy Mothers/Healthy Babies Coalition, and the integration of the Baby Basics Program and Moms Clubs throughout northern New Jersey. With a bachelor's degree in Anthropology and Women's Studies from City University of New York at Hunter College, Jeanne is currently a MPH candidate in Urban Health Administration at University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She is also a DONA certified birth doula and childbirth educator.

  • Bexsy Rodriguez

    Executive Associate

    Bexsy joined the Foundation in 2011 bringing with her top level experience as a highly effective Senior Coordinator. Prior to joining the Foundation, she worked in Public Relations at Fleishman Hillard for 12 years alongside the Senior Partner and Director of the Consumer Marketing Group managing and spearheading projects to meet clients’ needs in outreach, media strategy, event planning and product launches. Her attention to detail, organizational skills and keen ability to multi-task have been instrumental to her success in following through with projects and meeting deadlines. Working as an Executive Associate at the Foundation and closely with the Managing Director, she coordinates our program trainings, handles invoices and sales for our Baby Basics materials and assists in the day-to-day operations of The What to Expect Foundation, supporting the office and team.

    Interested in joining our team, volunteering or interning?