Bios

Paul Emerson, PhD

Dr. Paul Emerson is CWW’s Interim Director since February 01, 2021, bringing over 20 years of experience working in Africa to eliminate trachoma, malaria, and other neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Paul makes strong use of data to plan and focus program delivery, and emphasizes operational research with academic partners to overcome barriers to scale-up and service delivery. He has supported partner ministries of health and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in strategy, program development, training, implementation, monitoring, and impact assessment. Paul serves as the Director of the International Trachoma Initiative (ITI), a sister program of CWW at the Task Force for Global Health that provides comprehensive support to national ministries of health and governmental and nongovernmental organizations to implement the SAFE strategy to fight trachoma.

Prior to joining ITI, Paul worked at The Carter Center where he was director of the Trachoma Control Program and co-director for The Carter Center’s Malaria Control Program. Paul integrated trachoma program delivery with malaria control in Ethiopia, with Guinea worm eradication in South Sudan, and with lymphatic filariasis in Nigeria. The Carter Center is a close partner of ITI and while Paul was there, The Carter Center became the first NGO to support the distribution of more than 100 million doses of Zithromax®.

Paul was instrumental in the formation of the International Coalition for Trachoma Control (ICTC) serving on the executive group as vice chair, chair, or immediate past chair for a total of eight years and setting it up as the successful collaborative membership organization it is today. He currently is a member of the WHO AFRO Regional Program Review Group (for NTDS) and chairs the steering committee of the WHO AFRO Expanded Special Project for the Elimination of NTDs in Africa.

Paul worked in a number of other positions including research fellow and lecturer of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, at the University of Durham where he was the grant holder and principal investigator leading a small team on multi-country evaluations of trachoma control programs assisted by HKI and World Vision. He has worked for the Medical Research Council Laboratories in The Gambia, the Ministry of Education in Botswana, and the Ministry of Education in Kenya.

Paul is an adjunct assistant professor at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. He is an author on more than 130 peer-reviewed papers, and has authored several letters, editorials and manuals on the SAFE Strategy to combat trachoma as well as on the innovation, integration, and surveys and surveillance in the fields of trachoma and malaria control.

Paul holds a doctorate in Biological and Biomedical Sciences from the University of Durham, a Masters in Science. in Applied Parasitology and Medical Entomology from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, a Post Graduate Certificate of Education from Bath Spa University, and a Bachelor of Science. in Zoology from the University of Nottingham.

In 2012, Paul received the Trachoma Gold Medal: For ‘Les service exceptionnels rendus dans la lutte contre le Trachome’ [Exceptional services bestowed in the battle against trachoma] awarded by the International Organization Against Trachoma and the French League Against Trachoma.

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Dr. Theresa Gyorkos

Dr. Theresa Gyorkos is a Canadian-based researcher in global health and infectious (parasite) disease epidemiology. She has over 25 years of experience conducting population-based primary epidemiological field research in Canada and abroad. Her research interests center around deworming control programs for high-risk populations such as those living in extreme poverty in parasitic disease-endemic areas of low- and middle-income countries, malnourished children, and pregnant women.

Dr. Gyorkos is currently a professor at McGill University’s Infectious Diseases and Immunity in Global Health Program.

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Dr. Ajay Khera

Dr. Ajay Khera is Commissioner at the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Government of India. He is responsible for planning, implementing, and monitoring child health immunization-related interventions at the national level. Prior to his current position, he served as the Assistant Director General at the National AIDS Control Organization, where he monitored and evaluated integrated disease surveillance programs. He also served as the Joint Director of Epidemiology at the National Center of Disease Control.

Dr. Khera has a Doctor of Medicine degree, specializing in preventive and social medicine from Lady Hardinge Medicine College and holds a Diploma in Gynecology and Obstetrics and Bachelor’s in Medicine and Surgery from Maulana Azad Medical College.

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Mariana Stephens, MPH

As Deputy Director, Mariana provides strategic leadership and technical direction for the CWW program. Mariana is responsible for overall management, implementation, personnel budget, and financial oversight of the program. Before joining the CWW team, Mariana worked with the NTD Support Center (NTD-SC) providing strategic planning and directed the development and implementation of complex, multi-institutional operational research programs. Her focus was on targeting the special challenges of national NTD programs supported by USAID and providing a rapid research response to these programs. Mariana is also an active member of the Center for Global Safe Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (CGSW) at Emory University. The mission of the CGSW is to enable organizations and communities to provide safe, effective, and sustainable drinking water and effective and sustainable sanitation and hygiene improvements.

Prior to joining the NTD-SC, Mariana has worked with CARE, World Vision International, and Habitat for Humanity International in various technical areas focused on WASH, maternal and child health, food security and nutrition, embracing program design, and monitoring and evaluation. She began her career in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mali serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the late 1980s. Mariana holds a master’s degree in public health and a bachelor’s degree in environmental design.

 

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Dr. Alejandro Krolewiecki

Dr. Alejandro Krolewiecki is the National Director for Diseases and Risk Prevention in Argentina’s Ministry of Health. He also works as a researcher at the Tropical Diseases Research Institute at the National University of Salta, Argentina. Previously, Dr. Krolewiecki served as the Director of Clinical Research at Guest Foundation, a Buenos Aires-based public health organization that has been working to secure rights to health since 1989.

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Ms. Seung Lee

Ms. Seung Lee is the Senior Director of School Health and Nutrition (SHN) at Save the Children. She has over 25 years of experience in international development specializing in health and education, including WASH in schools. She has a strong background in partnership building among governments and international agencies and working cross-sectorally in health and education. Ms. Lee joined Save the Children (SC) in January 2004 as the SHN Advisor for Africa, based in Ethiopia. She returned to Washington, DC in March 2006 and is now the Sr. Director for SHN. Through her work with Save the Children, Ms. Lee has provided strategic direction and technical assistance to SC’s SHN programs and leads a team of SHN specialists and project managers to ensure quality programming globally. She supports the FRESH (Focusing on Resources on Effective School Health) partnership and was a steering committee member of the UNAIDS Inter-Agency Task Team on Education (IATT). Previously, she worked for the World Bank supporting national-level SHN efforts in Africa and assisted in the World Bank’s support for HIV/AIDS and education programming. Seung has a BA from Dartmouth College and an MA from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

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Dr. Bruno Levecke

Dr. Bruno Levecke is the coordinator of Starworms, a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded project that aims to develop and validate tools to strengthen monitoring and surveillance of drug efficacy and anthelmintic resistance in soil-transmitted control programs based on preventive chemotherapy. Dr. Levecke is also a trained veterinarian and holds both a PhD degree in Veterinary Sciences and an MSc degree in Statistical Data Analysis of Ghent University.

Dr. Levecke has been working extensively in the STH arena in areas such as diagnosis and drug efficacy. He is currently the head of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Monitoring Drug Efficacy against soil-transmitted helminths.

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Sanjaya Dhakal, PhD

As an Epidemiologist, Sanjaya leads in the development of survey tools, provides country-specific scientific leadership in survey implementation, data management, curation, and analysis. Sanjaya brings experience in both the government and private sectors. His prior experience includes working at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for eight years in different capacities, including a tour as an EIS Officer at the Food and Drug Administration. He was part of the CDC’s response to the H1N1 outbreak in the U.S. and the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. He also worked as a consultant at BlueCross BlueShield Association and the World Health Organization. His research domains include outbreak investigations, epidemiologic methods, and public health program development and evaluation.

He holds a doctorate in epidemiology from the University of Pittsburgh, an MPhil from the University of Bergen, Norway, and an MSc from Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur, Nepal.

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Dr. Hadley Matendechero Sultani

Dr. Hadley Matendechero Sultani is a consultant psychiatric pharmacist with a master’s degree in clinical pharmacy from the University of Nairobi. He currently serves as the Head, Division of Vector Borne and Neglected Tropical Diseases in the Kenya Ministry of Health. With encouragement from colleagues and stakeholders, he took up the role of national NTD program pharmacist in January 2014 and rapidly rose through the ranks to the position of national NTD program manager in late 2015. This appointment completed his shift of focus from mental health to NTD control. His goal is to achieve elimination of at least five NTDs in Kenya by 2025. Dr. Sultani currently serves as a member of the National Executive Committee of the Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya. He is a member of the Soil-Transmitted Helminthiasis (STH) Coalition, STH Advisory Committee, and the External Advisory Committee of the Scientific Research Partnership for Neglected Tropical Snakebite (SRPNTS). He is the current chairman of the Leishmaniasis East Africa Platform (LEAP) Advisory Committee, where his main objective is to establish a common regional strategy towards elimination of Kala Azar.

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Cara Tupps, MScPH

Cara supports the overall technical and operational functions of CWW. Cara oversees CWW’s work in Kenya and is responsible for providing programmatic support to the partners there. She also contributes to the analysis and mapping of program data across multiple counties. Before joining the team, Cara worked in humanitarian relief and development in 10 different countries. Her experience includes capacity building, proposal development, grant management, donor relations, monitoring and evaluation, emergency and outbreak response, and managing country portfolios. She also served as a United States Peace Corps volunteer in Mozambique, where she helped to develop community-based health education programs. She holds a bachelor’s degree in microbiology from Auburn University and an MSc in Public Health for Development from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

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Dr. Rachel Pullan

Dr. Rachel Pullan is an Assistant Professor in Infectious Disease Epidemiology in the Department of Disease Control at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).. She leads the London Applied & Spatial Epidemiology Research (LASER) group which specializes in GIS, spatial analysis, and field-based research, including large-cluster randomized trials of public health interventions. She also serves as Associate Director of the London Centre for NTD Research, and Associate Editor with PLOS NTDs.

Dr. Pullan received a BSc from Imperial College and an MSc and PhD from LSHTM.

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Ms. Lisa Rotondo

Ms. Lisa Rotondo is a leading global expert in the control and elimination of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), having worked extensively with ministries of health, the World Health Organization (WHO), the private sector, and nongovernmental organizations to lead, implement, and advocate for NTD programs around the world. She is currently the Director of USAID’s Act to End NTDs | East Program. She also served as Director for USAID’s ENVISION project—a global flagship project aiming to control and eliminate seven NTDs by the year 2020.

In addition to providing leadership and technical and operations oversight for RTI NTD project activities, Ms. Rotondo serves as a member of the Trachoma Expert Committee and the STH Advisory Committee, provided four years’ executive leadership to the NTD Non-Government Organization Network (NNN), and is a former member of the Uniting to Combat NTDs Stakeholder Working Group. She served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Burkina Faso and is fluent in English and French.

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Dr. Jürg Utzinger

Dr. Jürg Utzinger is the Director of the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH), an associated institute of the University of Basel and Professor of Epidemiology at the Faculty of Science of the University of Basel. He was trained in environmental sciences at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, holds a PhD in epidemiology from the University of Basel, and pursued four years of postdoctoral research in demography and epidemiology at Princeton University in the U.S. Before his appointment as Director of Swiss TPH, Dr. Utzinger headed the Ecosystem Health Sciences Unit at Swiss TPH. His research, teaching, and training interests pertain to epidemiology, diagnosis, and integrated control of neglected tropical disease and malaria and health impact assessment of large footprint projects in low- and middle-income countries. He is engaged in transnational global health projects in Africa and Asia.

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Sallay Manah

As Program Assistant, Sallay provides administrative, programmatic, and logistical support to the CWW team. Before joining CWW, Sallay worked in both domestic and global health. Domestically, Sallay worked at the Department of Health and Human Services’ CMS Innovation Center where she was the Communications and Monitoring and Evaluation Lead for the Value-Based Insurance Design and Part D Enhanced Medication Therapy Management models. Her global health experience includes serving as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer in Namibia. During her tenure, she helped develop and implement antiretroviral therapy adherence programs for adolescents living with HIV/AIDS within the Oshana and Oshikoto regions in the rural northern part of the country. Sallay holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Administration from California State University.

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Rachel Wallace

Rachel Wallace is a graduate student at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University and has been serving as CWW’s communications intern since October, 2020.  In her role, Rachel supports CWW’s external communications by drafting news stories, managing our web presence, and through targeted social media messaging. Before joining the CWW team, Rachel worked as a contact tracer for an Ohio health department,  and in this role, she educated the community about COVID-19, and managed quarantine and isolation cases. Prior to that, Rachel was a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal, where she worked on capacity building, program implementation, monitoring and evaluation of health programming and development projects in West Africa.

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