Our People

Operation Smile is an international medical charity whose global network of thousands of credentialed medical volunteers from over 80 countries is committed to helping improve the health and lives of children from more than 60 countries. Since 1982, we've worked with local medical professionals, governments, hospitals and other NGOs to deliver the safest care to each of our patients, and have established care centres wherever possible to give children ongoing medical treatment. Operation Smile continues to provide training and education for local medical professionals so they can provide care within their own communities and help others around the world. To date, we have provided more than 240,000 free surgeries for children and young adults born with cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities.



Dr William (Bill) P. Magee Jr., is a leading plastic and craniofacial surgeon who founded Operation Smile in 1982 with his wife, Kathleen S. Magee, and serves as the organisation's Chief Executive Officer.

Dr Magee has trained and mentored thousands of physicians worldwide. A featured guest on many network television programs, Dr Magee is also a sought-after keynote speaker for corporate and national meetings. In July 2013, he gave one of the keynote addresses to the National Speakers Association (NSA) in Philadelphia.

Dr Magee received a D.D.S. from the University of Maryland, M.D. from George Washington University Medical School, served his general surgery residency at the University of Virginia Medical School, and received the Fulbright-Hays Scholarship Grant to study in Paris, France with Dr Paul Tessier in 1975. He then received his plastic surgery training at the Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia.

Dr Magee has been awarded honorary doctorates from some of the finest universities worldwide, including the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden in 2014. He was awarded the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ Honorary Citation Award in 2014, the American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons’ Tagliacozzi Award in 2013, was highlighted in US News & World Report’s issue “America’s Top Leaders” in November 2009, and was given the National Medal for Peace and Friendship Among Nations in Vietnam in 2009. In 2007, UNICEF presented the Magees with a special recognition on behalf of Operation Smile and he received the Distinguished Service Award from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

He entered into the Plastic Surgery Practice in Norfolk, Virginia in 1978 and became president of the group which at the time was the largest private training program in the USA.

Dr Magee maintains a private practice in Norfolk, Virginia, and is the Director of the Craniofacial Institute at the Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters. He is also an Associate Professor of Surgery at the Eastern Virginia Medical School, in Norfolk, Virginia.



Kathleen S. Magee, B.S.N., M.Ed., M.S.W., a former nurse and clinical social worker, founded Operation Smile in 1982 with her husband, William P. Magee Jr., D.D.S., M.D. Mrs Magee serves as the president of Operation Smile on a full-time, volunteer basis and is a lifetime member of the Board of Directors.

A dedicated advocate for children around the world, Mrs Magee travels overseas extensively to nurture and maintain key corporate, diplomatic and medical partnerships that enable Operation Smile to carry out its surgical missions. She has been instrumental in establishing several Operation Smile international foundations, which handle all of the logistical aspects of the medical missions and has led a majority of the organisation’s fact finding missions.

Mrs Magee is deeply involved with Operation Smile's Student Programs, which provide the opportunity for students to learn about volunteerism and support Operation Smile's work by raising funds and awareness. Since the mid-1980s, Student Programs have grown to involve thousands of students in hundreds of student associations around the world.

Mrs Magee's work on behalf of children around the world has led to the receipt of numerous awards and honours including the first $1 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize in 1996 for "… exemplary and significant contributions to ease human suffering" and the Servants of Peace Award from the UN representative to the Vatican in 1997. In 1999, the Magees received the Golden Plate Award, "representing the many who excel in the great fields of endeavour" by the American Academy of Achievement. In February 2004, Mrs Magee was inducted into the Toledo-based Medical Mission Hall of Fame, in honour of making a difference in the health of her fellow human beings; and in 2004, the organisation was awarded The Humanitarian Rose Award from The People’s Princess Charitable Foundation, Inc., London, England. In 2005 Mrs Magee was awarded the Operation Smile Lifetime Volunteer Achievement Award, and in 2007, USAID presented the Magees with the President’s Call to Service Award from President George W. Bush. 

Mrs Magee is the recipient of honorary degrees from Fordham University, Mt. St. Mary's College, Loyola College, Old Dominion University, College Misericordia and Denison University and was inducted into the Alumni Association Hall of Fame at the University of Maryland in 2000. In 2014, she received a prestigious honorary doctorate from the Karolinska Instituet in Sweden. She has also remained active in the World of Children organisation and serves as a member of the Executive Committee for the Hilton Laureates Collaborative.

A New Jersey native, Mrs Magee received her B.S.N. from College Misericordia in Pennsylvania, her M.Ed. from the University of Maryland and her M.S.W. from Norfolk State University in Virginia. She also completed graduate work at the University of Virginia and the Jung Institute in Switzerland.


The current Board of Trustees maintains responsibility for governance and administrative issues, as well as providing leadership and opening doors for new fund-raising opportunities to accelerate the growth of Operation Smile South Africa.  The Board of Trustees is also responsible for signing off our annual, independently audited accounts found in our Financial Information section.

Jason Sive  - Chairman

Jason has been involved with Operation Smile since 2015 and has since then attended a variety of missions as well as using his extensive network to extend the organisations reach.

Professor Anil Madaree

Professor Madaree has been with Operation Smile since 2006. He currently heads the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu Natal.

Larry Auret

Larry has been with OSSA almost since inception and we are grateful for not only his knowledge when it comes to everything financial but also his wisdom and support.

Richard Vander Burg

Richard is based at our global headquarters in Virginia Beach, USA where he serves as the Chief Program Strategist. He has been involved with Operation Smile since 1996.

Catherine de Maid

Catherine has served on the Operation Smile South Africa board since 2009 and brings her extensive legal knowledge to bare on many aspects.


Working with a team of highly respected medical professionals, Operation Smile’s Medical Sub-Committee sets the standards for recruiting and credentialing medical volunteers within South Africa.  The drive of the committee is to ensure that our Global Standards of Care are met and implemented on all medical projects and at every stage in the volunteer credentialing process.

The Medical Committee is comprised of experts in their fields, who attend medical projects regularly and are in contact with fellow Operation Smile volunteers.

Prof Anil Madaree - Medical Director: Co-Chair Plastic Surgery

Dr. Conrad Pienaar - Co-Chair Plastic Surgery

Dr. Ian Osborn - Regional medical officer for Sub Saharan Africa. Anaesthesia Chair

Dr. Christian Kampik - Anaesthesia Co-Chair

Dr. Pamela Rapiti - Paediatric Chair

Olivia Haslam (RN) – Nursing Chair

Robin Whittal – Bio-medical Chair

Basil Sodalay - Dental Chair

Alida Ellis - Speech Therapy Chair





“Every child that has a facial deformity is our responsibility. If we don’t take care of that child, there’s no guarantee that anyone else will.”

- Kathy Magee, Operation Smile Co-founder and President