Panel sessions and keynote remarks from Global Health Council's Summit 2020 can be found on the GHC YouTube channel.
This year's symposium focused on Pandemics, Politics, and Privilege: The Good, Bad, & Ugly U.S. Legacy in Global Health. The symposium took place over two days and included deep reflection and dialogue about how we should approach U.S. global health investments and initiatives with a stronger focus on equity, justice, and humility.
Thursday, November 19
8:30 - 9:30 ET
Welcome & Unpacking Race, Privilege, and Intersectional Bias as Drivers of Global Health Policy
Opening Keynote: Solomé Lemma, Executive Director of Thousand Currents
9:30 - 11:00
Special Workshop & GHC Breakout Discussion on Unpacking Race, Privilege, and Intersectional Bias as Drivers of Global Health Policy*
Special Workshop Presentation
Facilitator: Stephanie Kimou, Founder of PopWorks
Angela Bruce-Raeburn, Regional Advocacy Director for Africa, Global Health Advocacy Incubator
Jamila Headley, Chief of Staff, The Center for Popular Democracy
Stephanie Kimou, Founder of PopWorks
Priya Fremerman, Executive Director, GlobeMed
12:00 - 13:00
Opening Keynote: Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa
Panel Discussion: Building Back Better After COVID-19… to What and for Whom?
Moderators: Dr. Ngozi Erondu, CEO, Project Zambezi/ Senior Scholar, O'Neill Institute, Georgetown University/ Associate Fellow, Universal Health Centre, Chatham House; Dr. Dorothy Peprah, Sr. Global Health Security Agenda Advisor, USAID
Dr. Jamechia Hoyle, Science Lead, Toeroek Associates, Inc.
Dr. Joanne McGriff, Associate Director of the Center for Global Safe WASH, Emory University
Dr. John Nkengasong, Director, Africa CDC
Niniola Williams, Managing Director, DRASA
13:00 - 14:00
GHC Breakout Discussion on Building Back Better After COVID-19… to What and for Whom?*
Dr. Ngozi Erondu, CEO, Project Zambezi/ Senior Scholar, O'Neill Institute, Georgetown University/ Associate Fellow, Universal Health Centre, Chatham House
Loyce Pace, President and Executive Director, Global Health Council
Bobby Jefferson, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, DAI Global Health
Dr. Christian Pitter, Director, Infectious Diseases and Health Systems, FHI 360
15:00 - 16:00
Opening Keynote: U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Lee
Panel Discussion: The Future of U.S. Global Health: Reimagining Initiatives and Investments
Moderator: Algene Sajery, Foreign Policy & National Security Expert & Founder of Catalyst Global Strategies, LLC
Travis Adkins, U.S. Policy, Security & African Studies Lecturer, Georgetown University
Caya Lewis Atkins, Founder and Principal, Global DC Strategies
Linda Etim, Sr. Advisor, Global Health Policy & Advocacy, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Dr. Tsion Firew, Emergency Physician and Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, Columbia University
16:00 - 17:00
GHC Breakout Discussion on Reimagining U.S. Global Health Initiatives in Light of Pandemics, Politics, and Privilege*
Crystal Lander, Executive Director, Global Affairs, Pathfinder International
Algene Sajery, Foreign Policy & National Security Expert & Founder of Catalyst Global Strategies, LLC
John Ariale, Principal, Husch Blackwell Strategies
Michele Sumilas, Executive Director, Bread for the World
Friday, November 20
8:30 - 9:30 ET
GHC Virtual Networking Session*
9:30 - 10:00
Keynote and Fireside Chat
Speakers: Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of UNAIDS
Moderator: Lori Adelman, Vice President, Influence & Engagement, Global Fund for Women
10:00 - 11:00
Global Solidarity Panel
Sarah Hillware, Deputy Director, Women in Global Health
Dr. Joannie Bewa, Physician and Sexual & Reproductive Health Researcher, Women in Global Health
Rosebell Kagumire, Curator & Editor of AfricanFeminism.com
Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng, UN Special Rapporteur, OHCHR (invited)
Rashida Petersen, Regional Director, East, Global Fund for Women
U.S. Government Roundtable (invite-only)
Crystal Lander, Executive Director, Global Affairs, Pathfinder International
U.S. congressional staff
U.S. government leaders
CEO Equity Roundtable (invite-only)
Itzbeth Menjívar, Founder, BridgePeople LLC
Dr. Adria Armbrister, CEO & Principal Consultant, Nzoku Consultories, Inc
Dr. Georges Benjamin, Executive Director, APHA
Anucha Browne Sanders, Chief Engagement Officer, UNICEF
Polly Dunford, President & CEO, Intrahealth
Dr. Herminia Palacio, President & CEO, Guttmacher Institute
Gina Lagomarsino, President & CEO, Results for Development
Betsy McCallon, CEO, White Ribbon Alliance
*Due to technological restrictions, breakout space was limited to GHC member organizations and their employees on a first-come, first-served basis.
Speaker & Facilitator Biographies
Vice President, Global Fund for Women
Lori Adelman is Vice President, Influence and Engagement at Global Fund for Women. An advocate and media maker with 10+ years of experience promoting reproductive, racial and gender justice globally, Lori most recently served as the Director of Youth Engagement at Women Deliver, a global advocacy organization, and ran the website Feministing.com. She has also previously worked at Planned Parenthood Federation of America as Director of Global Communications and at the United Nations Foundation and the International Women’s Health Coalition. She has written for a host of print and digital properties including Rookie Magazine, Elle.com and the New York Times. Follow her on Twitter: @Ladelman.
Lecturer, African and Security Studies, Georgetown University
Mr. Travis L. Adkins is a Lecturer of African and Security Studies at the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. As an international development leader, he has two decades of experience working in governance, civil society and humanitarian affairs in over 50 nations throughout Africa and the Middle East. This includes serving as Staff Director of the House Subcommittee on Africa, working with leading international NGOs and think tanks, as well as within several branches of the United Nations system.Travis is an alumnus of the International Affairs Fellowship at the Council on Foreign Relations, an Aspen Ideas Festival Scholar and a recipient of academic appointments from Carnegie Mellon and New York Universities. Mr. Adkins has served in numerous international election observation missions in Africa and the Middle East with the National Democratic Institute, and is the creator and host of the “On Africa” podcast, which engages diverse thought leaders in conversation on the continent's politics, history and culture.
Principal, Husch Blackwell Strategies
John Ariale brings more than thirty years of senior level experience in congressional relations, legislative politics and advocacy to Husch Blackwell Strategies. John provides clients a comprehensive knowledge of the intricate and complex details of the appropriations process with policy expertise in the areas of effective foreign assistance, international relations, defense, the foreign assistance framework, global development, global health, homeland security, defense and financial services.
John joined the federal lobbying firm Cloakroom Advisors, LLC after leading Ariale Strategies, LLC. Prior to those endeavors, John served as Congressman Ander Crenshaw’s Chief of Staff and his Appropriations Associate, the Member’s liaison to the House Committee on Appropriations. John worked extensively on the portfolio of issues under the jurisdiction of the Subcommittees on State, Foreign Operations, Homeland Security, Financial Services, and Defense.
John worked closely with House Leadership as a result of Chairman Crenshaw’s roles as a House Majority Whip, in his service as a Deputy Whip, and as an Appropriations Chairman’s Associate. His extensive public service in Congress has resulted in a prolific network on Capitol Hill. John has served on the Board of Directors of the House Chief of Staff Association, and as the President of RAMS, the GOP’s highly networked Chiefs of Staff Association.
John was the principal drafter of the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE Act). He continued to work with the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS), Autism Speaks, and a broad coalition of stakeholders to pass the legislation in December 2014.
John developed legislative proposals to reform international food aid, the United Nations, and reform the evaluation, accountability, and transparency reporting of foreign assistance. He created, developed and coordinated the activities of the Congressional Caucus on Effective Foreign Assistance and implemented all policy briefings and programmatic activities for that caucus as well as the Congressional Nepal Caucus, the International Conservation Caucus and the Congressional Malaria Caucus.
John graduated from Stetson University and earned his J.D. from Stetson University’s College of Law.
Dr. Adria Armbrister
CEO & Principal Consultant, Nzoku Consultories, Inc.
Dr. Adria Armbrister is an international development professional and founder and CEO of Nzoku Consultores Inc., a consulting firm whose mission is to increase the capacity of Latin American and Caribbean NGOs, CBOs and municipal governments to win and successfully execute international development contracts. She has more than 15 years of experience in project management of social initiatives in Latin America and the Caribbean; social science research; and policy analysis. She has led the definition, consultant selection and administration of 6 RCT Impact evaluations and gender equality programs in Latin America and the Caribbean that have shown positive results in reducing women's experiences of domestic violence and men's perpetration of intimate partner violence. She has also designed and executed one-stop-shop service programs for women at risk of intimate partner violence in Medellin and Quibdo, Colombia and has 6 years of field experience living in Colombia and Peru, serving governments across Latin America and the Caribbean. Dr. Armbrister is a native English speaker with fluency in spoken and written professional and colloquial Spanish and Portuguese.
Caya Lewis Atkins
Founder and Principal, GlobalDC Strategies
Caya Lewis is a domestic and global health policy and programming professional with over 20 years of experience providing leadership, program management, advice and analysis in government, NGOs and foundations. She has extensive experience collaborating and negotiating with high-ranking members of governments, multilateral organizations, NGOs and donor entities. Her professional interests and expertise include the Affordable Care Act, domestic and global public health, HIV/AIDS, women’s health and reproductive health, health disparities and community advocacy and capacity building.
Ms. Lewis is the former Deputy Coordinator for Multi-Sector Responsibility and Diplomacy in the Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator (OGAC) at the U.S. Department of State. In that role she led the multilateral diplomacy and private sector engagement work of the office including collaboration and negotiation with high-ranking members of governments, multilateral organizations including WHO and UNAIDS, the private-sector and foundations, and NGOs. OGAC oversees the implementation of the $6 billion U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) operating in more than 36 countries through bilateral and regional programs.
Immediately prior to working at OGAC, Ms. Lewis served as the Counselor to the Secretary for Science and Public Health at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS). In this role, she directly advised the HHS Secretary on a range of public health and science issues and helped to develop and lead Administration initiatives related to programs administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Health Resources and Services Administration, National Institutes of Health, the Indian Health Service, and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health. Prior to assuming this position, Ms. Lewis was the Chief of Staff for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Director of Outreach and Public Health Policy with the Office of Health Reform, and the Deputy Staff Director for Health for the Senate HELP committee under the chairmanship of the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy.
She has been a member of several advisory committees including the Presidential Advisory Committee on HIV/AIDS under the Clinton and Bush administrations and has given frequent presentations and speeches at national and community-level conferences and meetings.
Caya received a BA from Spelman College and a Masters of Public Health from the University of Michigan.
Dr. Georges Benjamin
Executive Director, APHA
Georges Benjamin is known as one of the nation’s most influential physician leaders because he speaks passionately and eloquently about the health issues having the most impact on our nation today. From his firsthand experience as a physician, he knows what happens when preventive care is not available and when the healthy choice is not the easy choice. As executive director of APHA since 2002, he is leading the Association’s push to make America the healthiest nation in one generation.
He came to APHA from his position as secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Benjamin became secretary of health in Maryland in April 1999, following four years as its deputy secretary for public health services. As secretary, Benjamin oversaw the expansion and improvement of the state’s Medicaid program.
Benjamin, of Gaithersburg, Maryland, is a graduate of the Illinois Institute of Technology and the University of Illinois College of Medicine. He is board-certified in internal medicine and a fellow of the American College of Physicians, a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, a fellow emeritus of the American College of Emergency Physicians and an honorary fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health.
An established administrator, author and orator, Benjamin started his medical career in 1981 in Tacoma, Wash., where he managed a 72,000-patient visit ambulatory care service as chief of the Acute Illness Clinic at the Madigan Army Medical Center and was an attending physician within the Department of Emergency Medicine. A few years later, he moved to Washington, D.C., where he served as chief of emergency medicine at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. After leaving the Army, he chaired the Department of Community Health and Ambulatory Care at the District of Columbia General Hospital. He was promoted to acting commissioner for public health for the District of Columbia and later directed one of the busiest ambulance services in the nation as interim director of the Emergency Ambulance Bureau of the District of Columbia Fire Department.
In April 2016, President Obama appointed Benjamin to the National Infrastructure Advisory Council, a council that advises the president on how best to assure the security of the nation's critical infrastructure.
Dr. Joannie Bewa
Public Health Research Associate, University of South Florida/Interim Board Chair, Women in Global Health
Dr. Joannie Marlene Bewa is an influential global health expert, multi-award-winning family medicine physician and researcher (sexual, reproductive health and cancer) at the University of South Florida College of Public Health (USA). She is the interim Board Chair of Women in Global Health, a movement with 24 chapters, more than 23 000 supporters in more than 90 countries. She has a decade of experience in healthcare, technical consultancy, advocacy and research in the US and Africa; serves as an advisory Board Member for Merck for Mothers and is the Chair of the African Women Leaders Young Women Caucus, a joint UN Women and Africa Union.
She founded the Young Beninese Leaders Association in 2010 in Benin Republic, which reached over 20 000 adolescents and youth on sexual and reproductive health, HIV prevention and leadership. She has been appointed by the UN Youth Envoy as UN SDG Young Leader. Her global impact was acknowledged by governments, bilateral and multilateral institutions including the United Nations, the Governments of Canada and Benin, the African Union, ONE Campaign, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Goalkeepers, the U.S State Department, the First Lady Michelle Obama YAWL Grant program and the Secretary Clinton Women in Public Service Project.
Executive Director, UNAIDS
Winnie Byanyima is the Executive Director of UNAIDS and an Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations. A passionate and longstanding champion of social justice and gender equality, Ms. Byanyima leads the United Nations’ efforts to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030. Ms. Byanyima believes that health care is a human right and was an early champion of a People’s Vaccine against the coronavirus that is available and free of charge to everyone, everywhere.
Before joining UNAIDS, Ms. Byanyima served as the Executive Director of Oxfam International, a confederation of 20 civil society organizations working in more than 90 countries worldwide, empowering people to create a future that is secure, just and free from poverty. Ms. Byanyima was elected for three terms and served 11 years in the parliament of her country, Uganda. She led Uganda’s first parliamentary women’s caucus, championing ground-breaking gender equality provisions in the county’s 1995 post-conflict constitution.
Ms. Byanyima led the establishment of the African Union Commission’s Directorate of Gender and Development and also served as Director of Gender and Development at the United Nations Development Programme. She founded the Forum for Women in Democracy, an influential Ugandan nongovernmental organization, and has been deeply involved in building global and African coalitions on social justice issues. A global leader on inequality, Ms. Byanyima has co-chaired the World Economic Forum and served on the World Bank’s Advisory Council on Gender and Development, the International Labour Organization’s Global Commission on the Future of Work and the Global Commission on Adaptation.
Ms. Byanyima is a recipient of several awards, including an honorary doctorate from the University of Manchester, United Kingdom, an honorary doctorate from Mount Saint Vincent University, Canada, and the 2018 Human Rights and Solidarity among Peoples Prize, awarded by the Latin American Council of Social Sciences.
She holds a master of science degree in mechanical engineering from Cranfield University and an undergraduate degree in aeronautical engineering from the University of Manchester.
President & CEO, Intrahealth
Polly Dunford has dedicated over 25 years to building teams and partnerships that lead to meaningful, measurable progress toward health and development goals around the world. She has almost 20 years of experience with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Cambodia, Haiti, Jordan, Mozambique, Nigeria, and Washington, D.C., most recently serving as the global director for HIV/AIDS. In this role, she led the agency’s efforts to help countries achieve and sustain epidemic control of HIV/AIDS under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). This included overseeing a $2.5 billion annual budget, leading a team of 160 staff, and providing guidance and direction to 50 USAID missions worldwide.
Dunford’s experience at USAID also includes serving as mission director for Cambodia, Southern Syria assistance coordinator, USAID/Jordan deputy director for Syria-related programs, and deputy director of the USAID mission in Mozambique.
Dunford has managed large, diverse portfolios targeting HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, maternal and child health, reproductive health, and nutrition. She helped launch PEPFAR in Haiti during 2002–2004 and led the rapid scale-up of PEPFAR in Nigeria and Mozambique. She also oversaw the development of the Global Health Initiative strategy in Mozambique, including the President’s Malaria Initiative and the Feed the Future Initiative.
Before joining USAID, Dunford served as the country director of the Near East Foundation in Morocco and was a Peace Corps volunteer in Côte d’Ivoire.
A native of New York City, Dunford holds a master’s degree in public health from Tulane University and a bachelor’s degree in history from Northwestern University.
Ngozi Erondu, PhD, MPH
CEO, Project Zambezi/ Senior Scholar, O'Neill Institute, Georgetown University/ Associate Fellow, Universal Health Centre, Chatham House
Ngozi Erondu PhD, MPH is trained as an Infectious Disease Epidemiologist and is a health system policy and global health governance expert. She runs the social enterprise the public-private partnership, Project Zambezi, a novel tech-enabled logistics approach to improve access to essential medicines throughout sub-Sahara Africa. Currently, Dr. Erondu is a Senior Scholar with the Global Health Policy & Politics Initiative at the Georgetown Law Centre O’Neill Institute and she is also an Associate Fellow at the Chatham House.
Dr. Erondu was an Assistant Professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine where she taught disease outbreak response and epidemiology and was a Senior Public Health Advisor at Public Health England. She often provides technical support to the Africa Centres for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organisation, the Nigeria CDC, the US CDC, and other governments across sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and South East Asia. Her support is aimed at strengthening institutional capacity to control infectious diseases such as COVID-19, Ebola, meningitis, malaria, and poliomyelitis. She is a Trustee at two UK Charities: Imperial Health Charity and Castlepines Medical Foundation and is a Fellow with the Aspen Institute and the John Hopkins University Emerging Leader in Biosecurity Programme.
Senior Advisor, Global Policy and Advocacy, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Linda Etim is the Senior Advisor for Global Policy and Advocacy at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Ms. Etim most recently served as the head of the Africa Bureau for the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID) where she was responsible for more than $7 billion of assistance funding to 46 countries in Africa as well as over 1,000 staff. Ms. Etim brings nearly two decades of foreign affairs experience including as the Director for African Affairs at the White House National Security Council.
Dr. Tsion Firew
Emergency Physician and Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, Columbia University
Dr. Tsion Firew is an emergency physician and assistant professor of Emergency Medicine at Columbia University in New York and an advisor to the Ministry of Health for the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. In her role at the ministry, she supports and oversees several programs, including emergency care capacity building through training and research, emergency preparedness, and the response of Ethiopia’s Public Health Institute to mobilize resources with initiatives to assist in the attainment of Ethiopia’s Health Sector Transformation Plan. At the ministry, she established a women's leadership forum for all management and executive committee leaders. She created a platform for both men and women to engage in dialogues of tackling gender-based violence and implicit biases in the workplace. These dialogues have helped inform both men and women on how to build a gender-sensitive environment and how to foster women leadership within their institution.
Born and raised in Ethiopia, Firew received her undergraduate degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of Georgia. She received her medical education at New York Medical College and completed her residency in emergency medicine at New York University and Bellevue Hospital. During her fellowship, she received her masters in public health from Columba University in population and family health along with a certificate in humanitarian assistance. She has had the opportunity to respond in a humanitarian crisis in Haiti and recently in Mosul Iraq during the war against ISIS. Before joining the ministry, she worked on emergency medicine assessment and capacity building in Ghana, Ethiopia and worked as an intern at the World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters in Geneva under the WHO’s emergency, trauma, and acute care program. Firew played a vital role in advocating for the proposal of the resolution on emergency care and co-authored the resolution with colleagues at the Ethiopian Ministry of Health and garnered support from member states to lead the adoption of the resolution at the World Health Assembly.
Executive Director, GlobeMed
Priya Fremerman serves as the Executive Director of GlobeMed. GlobeMed mobilizes a community of university students and grassroots leaders to work together to improve the health of people around the world. Priya joined the GlobeMed network a decade ago as a student in the George Washington University chapter, where she supported community-led maternal health initiatives in Washington, DC and Butare, Rwanda. Before joining GlobeMed's Global Headquarters in Chicago, Priya worked at the Aspen Institute supporting connectivity, communications, and systems-development for a network of 2,000 values-based entrepreneurial leaders (the Aspen Global Leadership Network). Most recently, she served as GlobeMed's Director of Operations, where she was in charge of internal operations and systems, finances, and promoting data-driven strategies across the organization.
Jamila Headley, PhD
Chief of Staff, The Center for Popular Democracy
Jamila Headley is the Chief of Staff for The Center for Popular Democracy. She has more than 10 years of experience in non-profit management and leadership, strategic advocacy, policy analysis, and supporting grassroots leaders, organizations and movements. Jamila has also previously worked as a Program Officer at Open Society Foundations’ Public Health Program, where she led work on innovative financing, tax justice, and citizen-led approaches to accountability and transparency in the health sector. She is a 2017 Aspen New Voices Fellow and the recipient of the 2006 Vermont State Madeline Kunin Public Service Award for her commitment to social justice. Jamila holds a doctorate in Public Health and a Masters in Global Health from the University of Oxford, where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar. She is a strategic, impact-focused leader that thrives at the intersections of strategy and implementation, global and local, blue-sky thinking and planning for the here and now, between caring for the organization and for the individual people in it.
Deputy Director, Women in Global Health
Sarah Hillware is an award-winning social entrepreneur, global health strategist and advocate for girls and women. She currently serves as Deputy Director of Women in Global Health, a global movement founded in 2015, which has more than 20,000 supporters in more than 90 countries and continues to grow.
Sarah brings more than a decade of experience in international development and global health, most recently having worked as a senior-level consultant at the World Bank for four years, and, in 2012, founding Girls Health Ed, a grassroots non-profit focused on delivering comprehensive sexuality education in schools, community centers and health clinics to underserved adolescent girls through a proven model. Girls Health Ed has served more than 4,000 girls to date and has been profiled in The Washington Post, Huffington Post and Global Citizen, among others. The organization has since hired employees to manage day-to-day operations, but Sarah continues to serve as Board Chair.
Throughout her career, Sarah has worked at the intersection of project operations and stakeholder engagement to drive global action and national policy reform across the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), having co-led several program launches and advocacy campaigns. She has been a member of leadership teams overseeing portfolios up to US$2 billion across multiple countries, and comes with a deep understanding of “Health in All Policies,” as well as operations and procedures of UN agencies. Sarah is known to facilitate strategic inter-ministerial collaboration for greater development impact and has previously worked for World Health Organization (WHO), World Food Program (WFP), UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), and Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Foundation.
Sarah has experience on a range of issues, including universal health coverage, air pollution and climate change, nutrition, sexual and reproductive health and rights, menstrual health, HIV/AIDS, TB and HPV. Sarah's research and experience on school- and community-based health interventions and global women's issues have led her to give talks at TEDxBerkeley as well as at the United Nations through TEDxUNPlaza. She was profiled in 2016 by Population Services International (PSI) for Leaders, Makers and Risk-Takers, alongside First Lady Michelle Obama and former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan for her work in public and global health innovation. In 2014, she was named to the Leadership Center for Excellence 40 Under 40 list. Sarah also serves on the Board of Directors for the Osgood Center for International Studies.
Science Lead, Toeroek Associates, Inc.
Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, DAI
Bobby Jefferson, a leader in information and communications technology for development (ICT4D), works to expand DAI’s range of digital health services. Bobby serves as Board advisor for health technology startups THINKMD, ClickMedix, CodePartners, DataElevates, Covelocity.Health, and MobileODT. He is responsible for sourcing, evaluating, and implementing technology startup investment opportunities. He performs technology reviews of early-stage companies, startup innovations, and early-stage social venture to apply digital health and cybersecurity to address key issues in international development and LMIC. He has performed technology due diligence of pre-revenue startups, early-round innovators, niche health solutions in collaboration with incubators in Maryland, Massachusetts, and North Carolina. He uses private-sector digital health, interoperability, and cybersecurity solutions to support international development projects for the U.S. Agency for International Development and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
He has roles as a competition judge, technology reviewer, and judge of early-stage funding, including the Innovation to Action Challenge, Global Health Innovation Prize, and InnovateHealth@Yale Prize. In his role as Board Advisor or Board Observer during (post-deal) implementation, is to protect the investment, assess the soundness of the business model and technology, and foster the venture’s impact to achieve a global scale.
Curator & Editor, AfricanFeminism.com
Rosebell Kagumire is a feminist writer, award-winning blogger and socio-political analyst with her writing appearing in international media like The Guardian, Al Jazeera, Quartz and Mundo Negro. She is the editor of African Feminism- AF, a platform that documents narratives and experiences of African women. Her experience spans gender and governance, peace and conflict, migration and media studies. Rosebell was honored with the 2018 Anna Guèye Award for her work on digital democracy, justice and equality by Africtivistes. The World Economic Forum recognized Rosebell as one of the Young Global Leaders under the age of 40. She holds a Masters in Media, Peace and Conflict Studies from the University for Peace in Costa Rica. Other studies include Global Leadership and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, and Nonviolent Conflict at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Her undergraduate degree is in Mass Communication from Makerere University, Uganda.
Founder & Lead Consultant, PopWorks Africa
Stephanie Kimou is the founder and lead consultant for PopWorks Africa. She is an international development professional responsible for successful communications and advocacy programs related to sexual and reproductive health and rights. With a background in youth and gender, she has extensive in-country experience in francophone Africa, particularly with building and advising advocacy strategies, infusing meaningful youth engagement into development agendas, and building relationships and partnerships with governmental agencies and INGOs for sustainable and locally rooted development solutions.
Executive Director, Global Affairs, Pathfinder International
Crystal Lander is an experienced senior policy and development expert both in the United States and globally. Ms. Lander was recently announced as the new executive director of global affairs leading the design and delivering advocacy campaigns, overseeing advocacy strategies, and serving as an ambassador for the organization globally.
Prior to this role, Ms. Lander developed and led the advocacy team at Living Goods, where she managed the organization’s engagement on global health policy. She and her team worked to drive lasting and systemic impact that will enable every family to access quality health care in the community in which they live. Ms. Lander also developed and led the advocacy unit at Management Sciences for Health (MSH) for more than seven years where she successfully managed the organization’s engagement on global health policy in the United States and in more than 30 countries.
Ms. Lander is a graduate of the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish and Economics and a Master of Public Health from Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine with a degree in International Health Policy. She is engaged in her local community as an active member of the National Association of Parliamentarians, Alexandria West Rotary Club and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee
U.S. Representative, CA 13th District
Congresswoman Barbara Lee represents California's 13th Congressional District. Lee received her B.A. degree in psychology from Mills College in 1973 and her M.A. degree in social work from the University of California at Berkeley in 1975. Upon graduation, Lee worked for Congressman Ronald V. Dellums after serving as a legislative intern there during graduate school. While there, she managed Congressman Dellums’ offices in Washington, D.C. and Oakland, California for eleven years and eventually rose to the position of senior adviser. In 1990, Lee was elected to the California State Assembly; and, in 1996, she was elected to the California State Senate. As a Democrat, she worked successfully with California’s Republican administration in those years and sponsored sixty-seven bills that were signed into law by then-Republican Governor Pete Wilson. Lee’s political agenda focused on issues such as education, public safety, environmental protection, health, labor, and women’s rights. In 1998, she became the first woman to represent the State of California’s then-9th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives and served as chair of the Congressional Black Caucus from 2009 to 2011. She was later elected as the first woman to represent California’s now-13th Congressional District in 2013. Lee also published a memoir, Renegade for Peace and Justice: A Memoir of Political and Personal Courage (2008).
Lee’s honors and distinctions include receiving the Dean’s Appreciation Award from the University of California at Berkeley School of Social Welfare, and the Willie L. Brown, Jr., Leadership Award, both in 2001. Lee was also nominated for the Alfred R. Nobel Peace Prize. In 2009, The National Urban League honored her with the Congressional Leadership Award; and, in 2012, she received the Lifetime Legacy Achievement Award from the United Nations Association. Lee is the mother of two sons, Tony Lee and Craig Lee.
Executive Director, Thousand Currents
As Executive Director of Thousand Currents, Solomé works closely with the board to set the strategic direction and is responsible for ensuring Thousand Currents remains a dynamic, innovative, and financially-sound organization, rooted in its support of grassroots partners.
As a champion of social transformation through community-driven initiatives, Solomé co-founded and led initiative Africans in the Diaspora (AiD) for four years before its merger with Thousand Currents. Previously, she served as Global Fund for Children’s Senior Program Officer for Africa for over five years, managing a portfolio of over 100 grassroots organizations in about 25 countries. Solomé has also worked with the UN Development Programme in Ethiopia, Human Rights Watch in New York City, and International Rescue Committee in Liberia. Solomé currently serves on the steering committee of the Trust-Based Philanthropy Project.
Born in Ethiopia and moving to the United States at a young age, Solomé quickly learned of the skewed perspectives held of Africans. As a co-founder of Africa Responds, Solomé also led a diaspora-led humanitarian effort to galvanize fundraising for grassroots organizations that fought the Ebola outbreak in parts of West Africa. She is a White House Champion of Change for her work with diaspora communities.
Solomé received a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School and a Bachelor’s in International Relations from Stanford University. During her 15+ years of experience in philanthropy and social change, Solomé has become a strong voice against “inequitable and ineffective partnerships” and a fierce supporter of local leadership. Solomé’s work and writing has been featured in Forbes, the Washington Post, The Guardian, Inside Philanthropy, and Africa is a Country, among others, and she has appeared on NPR, BBC, and Al Jazeera discussing aid and philanthropy in Africa. She has been an invited guest speaker at community events, conferences, and universities such as the University of Vermont, Columbia, and NYU. Solomé was named as one of Foreign Policy Magazine’s “100 women to follow on Twitter” at @innovateafrica.
President & CEO, Results for Development
Gina Lagomarsino is president and CEO of Results for Development (R4D). Throughout her career, Ms. Lagomarsino has focused on expanding health coverage to low-income populations. As one of the original co-founders and managing directors at R4D, she helped galvanize energy and political will around a global push for universal health coverage by coordinating an early global task force convened by the Rockefeller Foundation and co-authoring a frequently cited 2012 Lancet article on universal health coverage.
Ms. Lagomarsino went on to develop several key partnerships that continue to influence health systems around the world today, including the Joint Learning Network for Universal Health Coverage, a network of policymakers in low- and middle-income countries working together to develop practical solutions to the challenges of achieving universal health coverage, and the Center for Health Market Innovations, which has identified and is promoting learning among more than 1,500 innovative health efforts in 110 countries. Additionally, Ms. Lagomarsino played a key role in launching the Primary Health Care Performance Initiative, a partnership of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Bank and the World Health Organization.
From 2013 to 2016, she served as chief operating officer at R4D, building the financial, human resources, and operational systems necessary for a growing organization.
Prior to her work in global development, Ms. Lagomarsino spent a decade working to improve health systems in the United States. She served as senior health policy advisor to Washington, D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams, where she designed and implemented the reform of a free public health coverage program serving low-income D.C. residents. Before that, she was an engagement manager in the healthcare practice of McKinsey & Company, where she advised senior executives of health insurance and hospital organizations on strategy and operations. She spent her early career at Kaiser Permanente, a large integrated health system based in California, where she worked closely with doctors and nurses to implement a new model of primary health care.
Ms. Lagomarsino holds a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in public policy from Stanford University. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and two children.
CEO, White Ribbon Alliance
As Chief Executive Officer of White Ribbon Alliance, Betsy McCallon is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the organization and developing plans, a dynamic team and resources to deliver it. Betsy joined White Ribbon Alliance in 2004 and has contributed to the growth of the Alliance from a loose network to a driver for global attention and commitments to maternal health and rights with a focus on national advocacy and accountability. She was drawn to the White Ribbon Alliance because of its focus on local solutions to address issues of inequality and the huge potential for change.
Betsy is currently a Board Member and Chair of the NGO Constituency for The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH). She participates in multiple maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health coalitions, where she passionately advocates for citizen participation to accelerate advancements for maternal and newborn health and rights.
Betsy has lived in sub-Saharan Africa and Central America and worked in more than 15 countries.
Joanne A. McGriff
Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Assistant Research Professor, Emory University
Joanne A. McGriff, MD, MPH is Assistant Research Professor in the Hubert Department of Global Health at the Rollins School of Public Health and Associate Director of the Center for Global Safe WASH at Emory University. She completed her undergraduate work at Princeton University and earned her MD degree and Masters in Public Health from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry (NY). After completing medical school, Dr. McGriff gained expertise in clinical and community-based research by completing a National Research Service Award (NRSA) post-doctoral research fellowship in geriatric psychiatry.While working with a multidisciplinary team of researchers and clinicians in the Laboratory of Personality and Development at the University of Rochester Medical Center, Dr. McGriff gained instruction and experience in research design, data analysis and managing study logistics.
Early on in her training, she also received an International Medicine Summer Fellowship to conduct medical development work in northern Haiti. A descendent of Haitian parents and fluent in Haitian Creole, this fellowship served as a catalyst to Dr. McGriff’s interest in rural community development and the social and environmental factors in developing countries that impact health. Dr. McGriff went on to complete a masters in public health (MPH) from the University of Rochester Department of Community and Preventive Medicine and has since been active in several community, medical and WASH-related development projects in Haiti. From 2008-2012, Dr. McGriff worked as Executive Director of a non-profit working in rural Haiti. Her work included providing leadership for over 50 clinical and program staff members and management for several US-based programmatic & resource development committees. She was also responsible for overseeing Haitian staff implementing a four-year USAID-PEPFAR grant in HIV prevention in rural Haiti.
Dr. McGriff joined Emory in 2012 and as a research professor and senior administrator of the Center for Global Safe WASH. She is currently working on water, sanitation, and hygiene issues in healthcare facilities globally.
Founder, BridgePeople LLC
Itzbeth Menjívar is the founder of BridgePeople LLC, a consulting firm that helps strengthen leadership teams through cultural competencies and dialogue. Originally from Panamá, Itzbeth has been building bridges through dialogue and human connection with people for over 20 years, in more than 40 countries. She holds a Bachelors in Finance from Florida International University, and a Master of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.
Regional Director, WHO Regional Office for Africa
Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, from Botswana, is the first woman to be elected as WHO Regional Director for Africa. Over the past five years, Dr. Moeti has led the transformation of WHO in Africa to ensure the Organization is accountable, effective and driven by results. A key feature of the Regional Director's leadership is the cultivation of strong partnerships, both with traditional and new partners, including philanthropic foundations, civil society, academia, and increasing engagement with young people and women in global health.
Supported by Dr. Moeti's leadership and advocacy, momentum for universal health coverage (UHC) is building across the Region. Many countries are undertaking reforms to improve health financing and delivery of essential services. No cases of wild poliovirus have been reported in Africa for over three years and the Region is on track to be certified free of wild poliovirus in 2020. WHO is now faster, better-coordinated and more effective in supporting countries to prepare for and respond to emergencies, with the average time to control outbreaks in the Region, reducing from 418 days in 2016 to 51 days in 2018.
Dr. Moeti is a public health veteran, with almost 40 years of national and international experience. She joined the WHO Regional Office for Africa in 1999 and has served as Deputy Regional Director, Assistant Regional Director, Director of Noncommunicable Diseases, WHO Representative for Malawi, Coordinator of the Inter-Country Support Team for the South and East African countries and Regional Advisor for HIV/AIDS.Dr. Moeti is renowned for having led WHO’s “3 by 5” Initiative in Africa at the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, resulting in a significant increase in access to antiretroviral therapy among people living with HIV.
Prior to joining WHO, Dr. Moeti worked with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) as Team Leader of the Africa and Middle East Desk in Geneva (1997–1999); with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) as Regional Health Advisor for East and Southern Africa; and with Botswana’s Ministry of Health as a clinician and public health specialist.
Dr. Moeti holds a degree in medicine (M.B., B.S) and a master’s degree in public health (MSc in Community Health for Developing Countries) from the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, University of London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, respectively.
Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng
UN Special Rapporteur, OHCHR
At its forty-fourth session in July 2020, the United Nations Human Rights Council appointed Ms. Tlaleng Mofokeng, from South Africa, as Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. Tlaleng Mofokeng is a medical doctor with expertise advocating for universal health access, HIV care, youth friendly services and family planning.
Tlaleng Mofokeng is Commissioner at the Commission for Gender Equality in South Africa and member of the boards of Safe Abortion Action Fund, Global Advisory Board for Sexual Health and Wellbeing, Accountability International. She is also the Chair of the Soul City Institute board. She has experience in advocacy training for healthcare professionals and her areas of focus have been on gender equality, policy, maternal and neonatal health, universal health access, post violence care, menstrual health, and HIV management.
Tlaleng Mofokeng has been advisor to the Technical Committee for the National Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Framework Strategy in South Africa, successfully mobilizing across movements working on issues of children and adolescents, persons with disabilities, migrants and persons living with HIV/AIDS. She has briefed the United States Senate congressional staff on the impact of the Global Gag Rule globally and in the region. She has worked as a first responder on matters of gender-based violence, and has been an expert witness in court, leaning on the work of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) to defend the rights of the abused with an interest to ensure access to post violence care.
John Nkengasong, PhD
Director, Africa CDC
Dr. Nkengasong is the Director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prior to his current position, he served as the acting deputy principal director (acting) of the Center for Global Health, United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S. CDC), and Chief of the International Laboratory Branch, Division of Global HIV and TB., U.S CDC. He received a Masters in Tropical Biomedical Science at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium and a Doctorate in Medical Sciences (Virology) from the University of Brussels, Belgium. He has received numerous awards for his work including Sheppard Award, the William Watson Medal of Excellence, the highest recognition awarded by CDC. He is also recipient of the Knight of Honour Medal by the Government of Cote d’Ivoire, was knighted in 2017 as the Officer of Loin by the President of Senegal, H.E. Macky Sall, and Knighted in November 2018 by the government of Cameroon for his significant contributions to public health. He is an adjunct professor at the Emory School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA. He serves on several international advisory boards including the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Initiative – CEPI, the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) among others. He has authored over 250 peer-review articles in international journals and published several book chapters.
President and Executive Director, Global Health Council
Loyce Pace, a leader who has worked on the ground in more than 10 countries delivering health programs and mobilizing advocates, has served as Global Health Council’s (GHC) President and Executive Director since December 2016. Loyce comes to the role having held leadership positions in global policy and strategic partnerships at LIVESTRONG Foundation and the American Cancer Society. Additionally, she has worked with Physicians for Human Rights and Catholic Relief Services.
Over the course of her career, Loyce championed policies for access to essential medicines, testified for congressional global health appropriations, and launched the Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) Roundtable under GHC, which convenes organizations representing multiple issues and sectors around shared advocacy goals. She has been recognized by the Union for International Cancer Control as a Young Leader at their World Cancer Summit and has been an invited speaker at high-level forums hosted by the World Health Organization, U.S. National Academy of Medicine, and other policymaking agencies.
Loyce holds a Bachelor’s degree with Honors in Human Biology from Stanford University and a Master’s degree in Public Health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where she was inducted into the Delta Omega Society. She is a current member of the InterAction and United Nations Association board of directors, and a past member of Phillips Academy (Andover) Alumni Council. She speaks several languages, including Spanish as well as some French and Japanese, and has lived in Africa, Asia, and Europe.
Dr. Herminia Palacio
President & CEO, Guttmacher Institute
Dr. Herminia Palacio joined the Guttmacher Institute as President and CEO in August 2019. In this role, Dr. Palacio guides the Institute in fulfilling its mission to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights in the United States and globally. She works to create a strong organizational culture, provide leadership and inspiration for the Guttmacher staff, and shape the Institute’s long-term vision to ensure the continued impact of its work. (Learn more about Dr. Palacio’s vision for Guttmacher in The Lancet’s November 2019 profile.)
Prior to joining the Guttmacher Institute, Dr. Palacio served as Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services for the City of New York. In this role, she was in charge of coordinating transformation efforts across the city’s public health and health care system, expanding access to social services and ensuring that agencies serving the city’s most vulnerable populations are run compassionately, equitably and effectively. She oversaw 11 city agencies and mayoral offices, which were entrusted with protecting the health and well-being of all New Yorkers and which had a combined budget of $24 billion—approximately a quarter of the city’s budget.
Dr. Palacio brings more than 25 years of experience across a broad range of sectors, including academic and clinical medicine, governmental public health and philanthropy. She previously served as Director of Advancing Change Leadership at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), where she was responsible for developing and implementing new health leadership programs. Prior to joining RWJF, she served for 10 years as Executive Director of Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services.
Dr. Palacio is a crisis management expert who was charged with serving as Medical Branch Director for the Hurricane Katrina Houston/Harris County Reliant Park/Astrodome megashelter operation in 2005. In this role, Dr. Palacio was responsible for standing up and overseeing the public health and health care delivery emergency response operations for 27,000 evacuees from the New Orleans area. Her work during Hurricane Katrina earned her the Excellence in Health Administration Award from the American Public Health Association in 2007. Dr. Palacio also addressed a variety of public health challenges as a Special Policy Advisor to the Director for the San Francisco Department of Public Health.
In addition to her policy work, Dr. Palacio practiced clinical medicine for nearly 20 years, including almost 15 years at San Francisco General Hospital during the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. She has also held a number of full-time or adjunct academic appointments, including at the University of Texas School of Public Health, Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine.
Dr. Palacio received her medical degree from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, a master of public health from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health and a BA in biology from Barnard College at Columbia University.
Christian Pitter, MD, MPH
Director, Infectious Diseases and Health Systems, FHI 360
Dr. Christian Pitter serves as Director, Infectious Diseases and Health Systems at FHI 360, overseeing a portfolio of global divisions including HIV, Tuberculosis, Neglected Tropical Diseases, Laboratory Sciences, Health Systems Strengthening, and Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Dr. Pitter came to FHI 360 from University Research Co. LLC (URC), where he was Senior Technical Advisor at URC’s home office, providing technical leadership and supporting business development across URC’s international portfolio, and had previously served as Chief of Party and Country Director in Cambodia. Prior to that, Dr. Pitter spent 8 years at the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF), serving as Senior Director of Global Technical Policy and Partnerships, which entailed leading integration in HIV services and the development of program standards and technical and programmatic partnerships. He also served as the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Uganda’s Principal Advisor for Antiretroviral Treatment Programs, which included leading the initiation, development and implementation of HIV care and treatment programs. Dr Pitter was also Assistant Professor at the University of California, San Francisco, holding a joint appointment in the Institute for Global Health and the Department of Pediatrics.
Dr. Pitter earned his MPH from Harvard School of Public Health, his MD from Emory University School of Medicine and holds a BSc Biology from Yale University. He completed his residency in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and a post-doctoral fellowship with the UCSF Center for AIDS Prevention Studies.
Regional Director, East, Global Fund for Women
Rashida’s career has been built on expertise gained from leading major fundraising and development initiatives in developing countries as well as expanding U.S. -Africa trade and investment. Working within the development departments of international nonprofits, she has been responsible for annual funding goals of over $16 million dollars in institutional funding and over $1.3 million dollars cumulative in unrestricted donations.
Her steadfast focus on causes with strong community involvement and local impact was the catalyst to establish consulting firm 1847 Philanthropic and technology start-up, DIA-Fund. DIA-Fund was a hybrid micro-philanthropy platform that connected members of the diaspora in the U.S with vetted community-based organizations in their home country and was developed out of 1847 Philanthropic as a technology solution to the problem of expensive due diligence costs and identification of grassroots organizations.
She began her career at the U.S. Department of Commerce, where she served as the East Africa desk officer within the International Trade Administration. Additionally, she served as the acting senior commercial officer with the African Development Bank. She was formerly the director of membership and marketing for The Corporate Council on Africa, a trade organization devoted to increasing U.S. trade and investment in Africa.
Rashida is a noted speaker on topics related to international development, organizational development, and local impact, fundraising, as well as the importance of diversity in international affairs at conferences and events around the world.
Rashida holds an International Business degree from the University of Maryland. She currently serves on the advisory board of the University of Maryland’s Center for Global Business; is a member of Bridge Institute’s Africa Policy Group; member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and a virtual mentor for College Bound in Washington, D.C.
Regional Advocacy Director, Africa, Global Health Advocacy Incubator
Angela Bruce-Raeburn is the Regional Advocacy Director, Africa for road safety. Angela is a senior policy and advocacy advisor, keynote speaker and opinion writer on diversity and inclusion in international development. She brings more than 10 years of experience in public policy advocacy, strategic planning, human rights, humanitarian response and governance. Prior to joining the Global Health Advocacy Incubator, Angela worked at Oxfam America, serving as the senior policy advisor for the humanitarian response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Angela is a native of Trinidad and Tobago and is fluent in French.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Catalyst Global Strategies, LLC
Ms. Algene Sajery is founder and CEO of Catalyst Global Strategies, LLC. She is a seasoned foreign policy and national security policy expert with over 20 years of legislative and political affairs experience in the U.S. Congress, as well as the corporate and nonprofit sectors. At Catalyst, Ms. Sajery and her clients are ‘catalysts for good’ who develop and execute government relations and public affairs strategies to improve global health, foster economic development, promote human and civil rights, and solve complex global security challenges.
Prior to launching Catalyst, Ms. Sajery was senior foreign policy and national security advisor to U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (MD) from 2012 to 2020. From 2015-2018, Sajery concurrently served as democratic policy director of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations (SFRC). Prior to the Senate, she held several leadership roles in the House of Representatives, including as democratic staff director of the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights.
As the first woman of color to serve in a senior leadership role of SFRC, Ms. Sajery is dedicated to increasing woman and minority representation in national policymaking. She recently launched The Minority Leaders, a podcast highlighting the journeys of women of color change-makers in Washington. She serves on the Steering Committee of the Leadership Council for Women in National Security, and the Human Rights committee of Women of Color Advancing Peace and Security. She is also in the 2020-2021 cohort of the National Security Scholars and Practitioners Program (NSSPP) at SAIS. Ms. Sajery holds bachelor’s degrees in English and African American Studies from Howard University and completed graduate studies in Global Security at John Hopkins University.
Anucha Browne Sanders
Chief Engagement Officer, UNICEF
Anucha Browne is Chief Engagement, Advocacy and Global Programs Officer for UNICEF USA. She joined the organization in November 2017 and is responsible for overseeing the implementation and integration of the organization’s current and future strategic plans, and developing and implementing a comprehensive engagement strategy to involve the American public in UNICEF’s lifesaving work for children around the world. Previously, she was the NCAA’s vice president of women’s basketball championships beginning in August 2012, where she set the strategic direction for, and oversaw the operation and management of, the Division I, II and III women’s basketball championships. She served as regional, national, and international spokesperson for NCAA women’s basketball and was the primary liaison to the women’s basketball committees and the 1200 public and private colleges and universities on all matters related to the sport. Browne provided strategic oversight of the site-selection process for each championship and was the primary liaison to the NCAA’s broadcast partner ESPN. Her work in this role raised the profile of the sport in the national and international media. She also spearheaded a strategic initiative to ensure the ongoing collaboration across all levels of the sport (FIBA, USAB, WNBA, NCAA, and AAU).
Before joining the NCAA, Browne was named the senior associate athletic director for marketing at the University at Buffalo in 2007 where she was responsible for marketing the revenue sports while overseeing ticket operations, promotions and corporate sales efforts. Browne also served as the senior women’s administrator focusing on the gender equity issues within the athletic department and was responsible for annually reporting to the U.S. Department of Education.
In addition to her work in college athletics, Browne was hired in 2000 by Madison Square Garden where she served as the New York Knicks’ senior vice president of marketing and business operations, responsible for all franchise brand marketing initiatives and revenue generation ($180 million 2005). In this role, Browne became one of the highest-ranking female executives in professional sports. Before the Knicks, Browne spent 11 years at IBM in various marketing and sales roles – most notably, leveraging IBM’s technology investments in the NBA, tennis Grand Slams, the PGA and the 1996, 1998 and 2000 Olympic Games. Browne also led a technology giving project at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia that enabled the museum to utilize IBM proprietary watermark technology to digitize rare Eastern European art collections (www.hermitagemuseum.org). She got her career start working at Eastman Kodak after graduating from Northwestern University with a BS degree in communications.
Browne also earned a Master’s degree in Communication at Florida State University.
Executive Director, Bread for the World
Michele Sumilas manages the daily operations of Bread for the World and Bread for the World Institute and assists the president in directing their overall strategies. She has extensive, successful experience as a manager. Before joining Bread, she worked at the US Agency for International Development (USAID), including as chief of staff. While at USAID, Michele played a key role in the U.S. response to the Ebola crisis. USAID is a 10,000-person government agency with 13 bureaus in Washington, D.C., and 75 missions around the world.
Michele previously served on the House of Representatives’ appropriations subcommittee on state and foreign operations, where she oversaw the U.S. government's development policy and budget. Prior to serving in government, Sumilas worked at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where she led a global health advocacy portfolio. She also served as the director of government relations for the Global Health Council.
Managing Director, DRASA
Niniola Williams is the Managing Director of DRASA (DR. Ameyo Stella Adadevoh) Health Trust, a public health organization reducing the spread of infections to improve public health. DRASA works with government, local and international partners, community leaders, students, and health workers to promote adequate sanitation and hygiene, reduce and prevent the spread of infectious diseases, and strengthen Nigeria’s health security and emergency preparedness.
Prior to leading DRASA, Niniola worked with Management Sciences for Health (MSH), a global health organization operating in over 50 countries with a focus on priority health issues such as HIV & AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. Before MSH, Niniola worked with a brand agency while also serving on the core team of Keiyo Soy, a Kenyan nonprofit focused on water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) projects as well as medical outreach programs.
Niniola holds a BA in cognitive science/neuroscience from the University of Pennsylvania and is certified in Social Sector Management, Infection Prevention and Control (IPC), and Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). She is a Most Influential People of African Descent (MIPAD) Class of 2018 honoree, Avance Media 100 Most Influential Young Nigerians 2018 honoree, TEDx speaker, and an Acumen West Africa Fellow.