Her Excellency Dr. Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari, Ph.D., was appointed as Qatar’s Minister of Public Health in January 2016. She is also Managing Director of Hamad Medical Corporation, a position she has held since 2007.
Her Excellency is the chairperson of numerous boards, including the Academic Health System International Advisory Board, the Hamad Healthcare Quality Institute International Advisory Board, and a number of other committees at the Ministry of Public Health. She is also a cochair for the Joint Advisory Board of Weill Cornell Medicine, Vice Chair for the Board of the Qatar Precision Medicine Institute, and a member of the Qatar University Board of Regents, Sidra Medicine Board of Governors, Board of Directors of Qatar Foundation for Social Work, as well as Qatar Foundation’s Qatar Research, Development and Innovation Council. In October 2018, Her Excellency was elected as an international member of the United States’ National Academy of Medicine.
Following completion of a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in health care management, she obtained a Ph.D. in healthcare management from Brunel University in the UK in 2002.
Mir M. Ali, Ph.D., is a health economist at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. A specialist in behavioral health economics, Dr. Ali focuses his research on mental illness, substance abuse, and issues of behavioral health policies affecting children and adults. He has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and numerous government reports on behavioral health care systems and policies.
Lawrence Sao Babawo, B.Sc. (Hon.), M.P.H., RGN, FWACN, Ph.D., is a long-serving faculty member at the School of Community Health Sciences, Njala University, and currently serves as senior lecturer. He is attached to the Department of Nursing and shares workload with the other two departments in the school. He lectures a range of courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. He is a core staff member of the Postgraduate School of the University for the M.P.H. program.
He graduated from University of Sierra Leone with a bachelor of science with honors degree in nursing. He holds a master’s degree in public health from Njala University. His research interests are in infectious diseases; health systems, policy, and development; and public authority and nursing sciences. Professionally, Dr. Sao Babawo is a licensed registered general nurse, a fellow of the West African College of Nursing, and a fellow of the Postgraduate College of Nursing and Midwifery in Sierra Leone.
He has several years of experience in the nongovernmental organization sector with advanced knowledge and skills in training, facilitation, and moderation. He has attended several national and International conferences, seminars, and workshops in a range of fields including but not limited to health.
When the COVID-19 pandemic reached Sierra Leone, Dr. Sao Babawo was appointed a member of the Scientific, Technical, and Advisory Group for Emergencies on COVID-19 by the President of Sierra Leone.
He has a solid publication profile in high-impact factor journals including two textbooks.
Carolina Batista, M.D., M.P.H., is a medical doctor and a recognized global health leader. She holds expertise in health policy, international development, infectious and neglected diseases, research and development (R&D), and migration. She has extensive experience in developing unique and innovative solutions to address public health challenges facing underserved populations throughout the world, including migrants. Dr. Batista has worked intimately with vulnerable communities to identify pressing health issues and to engage the strategic stakeholders necessary to address them. During the span of her career, she has been able to design frameworks and guidelines that have ultimately impacted public policies in countries and communities around the globe.
She is currently a member of the International Board of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), and the Latin America Strategic Advisor for the Barcelona Institute for Global Health.
From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Batista has been actively involved in supporting grassroots associations in various countries, led the MSF medical response to COVID-19 in the Navajo Nation, in the United States, and has published several articles and policy papers about
COVID-19 and access to care during the pandemic. She is currently a member of the Lancet COVID-19 Commission, vaccines and therapeutics task force, and is part of the Board of the Lancet Migration Latin America Hub.
Clinically trained in Brazil, Dr. Batista started her career as a family medicine physician in rural areas of the country. She later transitioned to work with remote indigenous communities in the Amazon region. In 2007, she joined MSF, working in a project in Somalia and has remained strongly connected with the humanitarian organization ever since.
In 2010 she led an assessment on Chagas disease in the United States with a focus on Latin American migrants in the country. The outcome of this influenced the design of approaches to disease advocacy in the United States and other endemic countries. In 2011 she became the medical director at MSF in Brazil. Her primary focus in this role was to support field operations treating neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and emerging infectious diseases. She was also involved in multiple assignments with the organization in Africa and Latin America and helped coordinate various MSF projects with Haitian migrants in Brazil that led to policy change at country level.
After three successful years with MSF-Brazil, Carolina joined the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) Latin America as the Head of Access and Medical Affairs. There, she led regional R&D, medical and scientific activities, and design and implementation of access programs for neglected diseases in the region. Under her leadership, DNDi established successful public–private partnerships to improve R&D and access to diagnosis and treatment for NTDs throughout Latin America. Additionally, during this period, Dr. Batista served voluntarily as an elected member of the MSF-Brazil Board of Directors.
Since 2018 Dr. Batista has worked as a strategic consultant in multiple projects in global health and international development and is currently the Head of Global Health Affairs at Baraka Impact Finance.
Dr. Batista holds a combined master’s degree in international public health from the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, and the Royal Tropical Institute, Amsterdam.
Simone Blayer, Ph.D., has worked in vaccine development and production in biotech and multinational pharmaceutical companies throughout Europe and Asia for more than two decades. He brings diverse industry experience in all aspects of chemistry manufacturing control, including vaccine process development and optimization, production at scale, technology transfer, facility engineering, project management and leadership, and business development. Prior to joining PATH in 2019, he founded the chemistry manufacturing control function at the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations. As its first head, he led essential plans and activities for 26 separate vaccine projects.
He was also the Global Project Director for Batavia Biosciences in Leiden, the Netherlands. While there, he championed the RV3 rotavirus vaccine project in collaboration with Bio Farma and was an advisor to the Grand Challenges Inactivated Polio Vaccine Univercells project, among others.
Dr. Blayer is an Italian-Israeli national and earned his Ph.D. in biochemical engineering from University College London.
David Blumenthal, M.D., M.P.P., is President of the Commonwealth Fund. Previously, he served as Chief Health Information and Innovation Officer at Partners Health System and was Samuel O. Thier Professor of Medicine and professor of health care policy at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. From 2009 to 2011, Dr. Blumenthal was the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology under President Barack Obama. As a renowned health services researcher and national authority on health information technology adoption, he has authored more than 300 scholarly publications, including the seminal studies on the adoption and use of health information technology in the United States.
David A. Broniatowski, Ph.D., Director of the Decision Making and Systems Architecture Laboratory, conducts research in decision making under risk, group decision making, the design and analysis of complex systems, and behavioral epidemiology. This research program draws upon a wide range of techniques including formal mathematical modeling, experimental design, automated text analysis and natural language processing, social and technical network analysis, and big data. His work on systematic distortions of public opinion about vaccines on social media by state-sponsored trolls has been widely reported in the academic and popular press.
Danilo Buonsenso, M.D., is a pediatrician at the Gemelli University Hospital in Rome who led the first attempt to quantify “long COVID” in children. His main areas of research are pediatric and infant diseases. Dr. Buonsenso is a final-year Ph.D. student in public health and biomolecular sciences. He sits on the Scientific Committee of the Global Health Research Center of the Catholic University of Rome, Italy, is an active member of several European societies, and has received awards from the ESPID 2020.
Michael Burke, D.V.M., obtained a degree in animal science from Cornell University in 2004, upon which he attended the University of Pennsylvania and subsequently obtained a doctorate in veterinary medicine in 2009. Throughout his veterinary career his professional experience has spanned the diverse clinical settings of regulatory, companion animal, food production, laboratory animal, wildlife, and zoological medicine. Most of his civil service experience has been with the United States Department of
Agriculture, where he was first involved in food safety while working for the Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS). Following FSIS, he transitioned to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s Veterinary Services and served as a veterinarian and then Director for the New York Animal Import Center, a federal facility responsible for ensuring animal health through quarantine and biosecurity protocols, diagnostic testing, and enforcement of import and export regulatory requirements for animals and livestock embarking or disembarking from the United States. He is now employed by the Department of Homeland Security Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction’s Food, Agriculture, and Veterinary Defense Division where his program office has the responsibility to understand the future risk landscape of the food and agriculture sector, and to better coordinate and integrate defensive countermeasures that include a capacity to absorb unexpected consequences and build stronger resilience at the national level. He has a strong belief in the One Health approach and seeks to help facilitate the adoption of a strengthened food defense readiness stance by ensuring a whole-of-community approach.
Helen Clark, M.A. (HONs), was Prime Minister of New Zealand for three successive terms from 1999 to 2008.
Throughout her tenure as Prime Minister and as a Member of Parliament over 27 years, Ms. Clark engaged widely in policy development and advocacy across the international, economic, social, environmental, and cultural spheres. She advocated strongly for New Zealand’s comprehensive program on sustainability and for tackling the problems of climate change. She was an active leader of her country’s foreign relations, engaging in a wide range of international issues.
In April 2009, Ms. Clark became Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). She was the first woman to lead the organization, and served two terms there. At the same time, she was also Chair of the United Nations Development Group, a committee consisting of all UN funds, program, agencies, and departments working on development issues. As Administrator, she led UNDP to be ranked the most transparent global development organization. She completed her tenure in 2017.
Ms. Clark came to the role of Prime Minister after an extensive parliamentary and ministerial career. Prior to being elected to the New Zealand Parliament in 1981, Ms. Clark taught in the Political Studies Department of the University of Auckland, from which she earlier graduated with her B.A. and M.A. (Hons) degrees.
Ms. Clark continues to be a strong voice for sustainable development, climate action, gender equality and women’s leadership, peace and justice, and action on pressing global health issues. In July 2020, she was appointed by the Director-General of the World Health Organisation as a Cochair of
the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response, called for by the World Health Assembly, which will report in May this year. She chairs the boards of the Extractive Industries Transparency Organisation and the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, and is a member of other public good organizations and initiatives.
David Cutler, Ph.D., has developed an impressive record of achievement in both academia and the public sector. He served as assistant professor of economics from 1991 to 1995, was named the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of Social Sciences in 1995, and received tenure in 1997. He is currently the Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics in the Department of Economics and holds secondary appointments at the Kennedy School of Government and the School of Public Health. Dr. Cutler was associate dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences for Social Sciences from 2003 to 2008.
Honored for his scholarly work and singled out for outstanding mentorship of graduate students, Dr. Cutler’s work in health economics and public economics has earned him significant academic and public acclaim. He served on the Council of Economic Advisers and the National Economic Council during the Clinton administration and has advised the presidential campaigns of Bill Bradley, John Kerry, and Barack Obama as well as being senior health care advisor for the Obama presidential campaign. Among other affiliations, Dr. Cutler has held positions with the National Institutes of Health and the National Academy of Sciences. Currently, Dr. Cutler is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a member of the National Academy of Medicine, and a fellow of the Employee Benefit Research Institute. He advises many companies and groups on health care.
Dr. Cutler was a key advisor in the formulation of the recent cost control legislation in Massachusetts, and is one of the members of the Health Policy Commission created to help reduce medical spending in that state.
Dr. Cutler is author of two books, several chapters in edited books, and many published papers on the topics of health care and other public policy topics. Author of Your Money Or Your Life: Strong Medicine for America’s Health Care System, published by Oxford University Press, this book and Dr. Cutler’s ideas were the subject of a feature article in the New York Times Magazine titled “The Quality Cure” by Roger Lowenstein. Dr. Cutler was recently named one of the 30 people who could have a powerful impact on health care by Modern Healthcare magazine and one of the 50 most influential men aged 45 and younger by Details magazine.
Dr. Cutler received a B.A. from Harvard University in 1987 and a Ph.D. in economics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1991.
Joseph DeRisi, Ph.D., is recognized as an early pioneer in functional genomics. During his graduate career at Stanford University in the laboratory of Patrick
O. Brown, he developed much of the automation, software, and methodology for producing DNA microarrays. In 1997, he was the first to produce and publish experiments using a DNA microarray representing an entire eukaryotic genome (S. cerevisiae). Dr. DeRisi has since exploited genomic technology for the study of infectious disease, including malaria and viruses. His lab was the first to provide a high-resolution transcriptome for the blood stage transcriptome for P. falciparum, and during the same year, his lab deployed a viral discovery array to assist with the identification of the SARS coronavirus during the global 2003 outbreak. Dr. DeRisi’s lab has specialized in the use of ultradeep sequencing technologies, sample preparation methodologies, and bioinformatic techniques to identify viral pathogens in both human and veterinary medicine, especially with respect to neurological disease.
More recently, through his role as Co-President of the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, he has redirected his efforts to providing large-scale, rapid turnaround clinical COVID-19 testing through a University of California San Francisco/Biohub collaboration called the “CLIAHUB.” As of August, the CLIAHUB has returned more than 100,000 clinical results to Californians, in addition to thousands of full-length SARS-CoV-2 genomes for genomic epidemiological studies.
Renée DiResta, is the Technical Research Manager at the Stanford Internet Observatory, a cross-disciplinary program of research, teaching, and policy engagement for the study of abuse in current information technologies. Her work examines the ways in which distinct actor types leverage the information ecosystem to exert influence—from domestic activists promoting health misinformation and conspiracy theories, to well-resourced, full-spectrum information operations executed by state-sponsored actors—and draws on those findings to consider policy, education, and design responses.
Ms. DiResta has advised Congress, the State Department, and other academic, civic, and business organizations. At the behest of SSCI, she led outside teams investigating both the Russia-linked Internet Research Agency’s multiyear effort to manipulate American society and elections, and the GRU influence campaign deployed alongside its hack-and-leak operations in the 2016 election. She is an Ideas contributor at Wired and The Atlantic; an Emerson Fellow; a 2019 Truman National Security Project fellow; a 2019 Mozilla Fellow in Media, Misinformation, and Trust; a 2017 Presidential Leadership Scholar; and a Council on Foreign Relations term member.
Miranda Durham, M.D., currently serves as the NW Region Health Officer and Vaccine Planning Chief for the New Mexico Department of Health. She is a family physician who worked with the Indian Health Service (IHS) for 20 years before joining the health department. She worked extensively on
health care quality improvement projects with the IHS Improving Patient Care Initiative. She also served as the Medical Director on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services–funded Partnership to Advance Tribal Health, an all IHS quality improvement organization. She graduated from Albany Medical College in 1994 and completed residency at the University of Rochester in 1997.
Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., is director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the U.S. National Institutes of Health where he oversees an extensive research portfolio focused on infectious and immune-mediated diseases. As the long-time chief of the NIAID Laboratory of Immunoregulation, Dr. Fauci has made many seminal contributions in basic and clinical research and is one of the world’s most-cited biomedical scientists. He was one of the principal architects of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, a program that has saved millions of lives throughout the developing world.
Sandro Galea, Dr.P.H., a physician, epidemiologist, and author, is dean and Robert A. Knox Professor at Boston University School of Public Health. He previously held academic and leadership positions at Columbia University, the University of Michigan, and the New York Academy of Medicine. He has published extensively in the peer-reviewed literature, and is a regular contributor to a range of public media, about the social causes of health, mental health, and the consequences of trauma. He has been listed as one of the most widely cited scholars in the social sciences. He is past chair of the board of the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health and past president of the Society for Epidemiologic Research and of the Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Galea has received several lifetime achievement awards. Dr. Galea holds a medical degree from the University of Toronto, graduate degrees from Harvard University and Columbia University, and an honorary doctorate from the University of Glasgow.
Lauren Hahn, M.B.A., is a senior innovation manager at the Center for Digital Health within Penn Medicine, the University of Pennsylvania Health System. Centered on digital products, she works with teams to design, develop, and implement new care programs across the health system. She seeks to improve care delivery for patients, providers, and caregivers by leveraging digital health and novel strategies. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she helped lead the design and implementation of community vaccination clinics with a focus on equity, highlighted by Operationalizing Equity: A Rapid-Cycle Innovation Approach to Covid-19 Vaccination in Black
Neighborhoods (https://catalyst.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/CAT.21.0094). Ms. Hahn received her master’s in business administration with a concentration in marketing and analytics from Villanova University in 2019, and she received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware in 2012.
Akiko Iwasaki, Ph.D., received her Ph.D. in immunology from the University of Toronto (1998) and completed her postdoctoral training at the National Institutes of Health before joining Yale University’s faculty in 2000. She has received awards and honors, including the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award in Biomedical Sciences, the Wyeth Lederle Young Investigator Award, Burroughs Wellcome Fund Investigator in Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases, the BD Biosciences Investigator Award, the Seymour & Vivian Milstein Award for Excellence in Interferon and Cytokine Research, and the Meritorious Career Award from the American Association of Immunologists. Dr. Iwasaki has been a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator since 2014. She was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2018, the National Academy of Medicine in 2019, the American Academy of Microbiology in 2020, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2021. Dr. Iwasaki is at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic, with respect to research, science communication, and public service. Dr. Iwasaki is also well known for her advocacy for women and underrepresented minorities in the science and medicine fields and has a large follower base in social media.
Anupam B. Jena, M.D., Ph.D., is the Ruth L. Newhouse Associate Professor of Health Care Policy and Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He is an internist at Massachusetts General Hospital and a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Dr. Jena received his M.D. and Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago and his residency in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Jena’s research involves several areas of health economics and policy including the economics of physician behavior and the physician workforce, health care productivity, medical malpractice, and the economics of medical innovation. He is the host of the Freakonomics, M.D. podcast. His work is frequently featured in the media, including the New York Times, Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and others.
Margaret E. Kruk, M.D., is professor of health systems at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Kruk’s research generates evidence on how health systems can improve health for people living in low-income countries. Working with colleagues in Ethiopia, Kenya, Nepal, South Africa, and India, among other countries, she develops novel measures of health system quality and studies the links between quality and population demand for health care, health outcomes, and confidence in the system. Dr.
Kruk and her team use implementation science and econometric methods to evaluate large-scale health system reforms.
Dr. Kruk is Director of the QuEST Centers and Network, a multicountry collaboration to produce a global evidence base for improving health systems. The QuEST Network responds to the findings of the Lancet Global Health Commission on High-Quality Health Systems in the SDG Era (HQSS Commission), a global initiative chaired by Dr. Kruk. QuEST will develop new instruments to assess health system quality, test structural and policy solutions to systemic quality deficits, and support expansion of high-impact health systems research in partner countries.
Prior to coming to Harvard, Dr. Kruk was associate professor of health policy and management and director of the Better Health Systems Initiative at Columbia University. Previously, she was assistant professor of health management and policy at the University of Michigan. She has held posts at the United Nations Development Program and McKinsey and Company and practiced medicine in northern Ontario, Canada. She holds an M.D. degree from McMaster University and an M.P.H. from Harvard University.
Ramanan Laxminarayan, Ph.D., is Founder and Director of the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy in Washington, D.C., and New Delhi, and a senior research scholar at Princeton University. He is an affiliate professor at the University of Washington and a visiting professor at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland and at the University of Kwazulu Natal in South Africa. Dr. Laxminarayan chairs the board of GARDP, a global product development partnership created by the World Health Organization that aims to develop and deliver new treatments for bacterial infections. He is Founder and Board Chair at HealthCubed, which works to improve access to health care and diagnostics worldwide.
Lindsey Leininger, Ph.D., is a public health scientist who specializes in data-driven health policy. She is on faculty at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College where she teaches current and future health care leaders how to make sense of medical data. As part of an all-woman team of “Nerdy Girl” scientists, she runs the science communication campaign @Dear Pandemic on social media. Prior to joining Dartmouth, she spent a decade leading research and technical assistance projects for public health insurance programs, both in academic and think-tank settings. Dr. Leininger earned her Ph.D. in health policy from the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy.
Shari Ling, M.D., is the Deputy Chief Medical Officer for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Her leadership experience includes service as the Acting Chief Medical Officer for CMS from February to July
2020, and as the Acting Director for the Office of Clinician Engagement from December 2016 to March 2018. Dr. Ling also contributes her clinical expertise as a geriatrician, internist, and rheumatologist to the development and implementation of the CMS response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. She currently leads CMS’s efforts to address the nation’s opioid and substance use disorders crisis with a strong focus on strengthening behavioral health services.
Dr. Ling earned a master’s in gerontology from the University of Southern California, and an M.D. degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine. She performed postgraduate fellowships in rheumatology at Georgetown University Hospital and in geriatric medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She continues her clinical work as a dementia care provider at the VA Loch Raven outpatient clinic and has retained her appointment as part-time faculty in the Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Her clinical focus and scientific interest is the areas of dementia, multiple chronic conditions, and long-term services and supports.
Syra Madad, D.H.Sc., M.Sc., M.C.P., is an internationally recognized public health leader and epidemiologist in infectious disease and special pathogens preparedness and response. She serves as the Senior Director of the System-wide Special Pathogens Program at NYC Health + Hospitals and Health and Safety Lead of the Enhanced Investigations Unit of NYC Test and Trace Corp. Her work focuses on the preparedness for, response to, and recovery from infectious disease outbreaks with an emphasis on health care and public health biopreparedness. Dr. Madad earned her doctoral degree in health science with a concentration in global health studies from Nova Southeastern University in 2014, master of science in biotechnology with a concentration in biodefense and biosecurity, and holds numerous professional certifications, including Advanced Emergency Planning Certification, All Hazard Response (CBRNE) Training for Laboratory Personnel, Infection Control and Prevention Certification, Biosafety Level III Training, and Identification of the Primary Select Agents of Bioterrorism Training.
Dr. Madad built NYC Health + Hospitals special pathogens program from the ground up, maintaining readiness at the nation’s largest municipal health care delivery system for all communicable infectious disease threats through ongoing training, education, drills, developing protocols, processes, and more. She has responded to multiple infectious disease outbreaks as an infectious disease epidemiologist including Ebola, measles, and Zika. In addition, Dr. Madad is a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs where she regularly publishes on the latest public health guidance, epidemiological concepts, and scientific literature to help the public understand complex topics using
infographics and simplified science communication. She is also Core Faculty in the National Emerging Special Pathogens Training and Education Center and affiliate faculty at the Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases Policy & Research at Boston University. Dr. Madad is prominently featured in the Netflix docuseries, Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak, and the Discovery Channel documentary, The Vaccine: Conquering COVID.
Luz Adriana Matiz, M.D., is professor of pediatrics at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. She is a medical director of NewYork Presbyterian Hospital’s Center for Community Health Navigation where she oversees the clinical integration and model development of the Community Health Worker programs across the health care system. She has created an asthma medical home model for children, a pediatric care management model, and a model of care for children with special health care needs in primary care practices to improve care and reduce preventable health care use.
Dr. Matiz is a native of Colombia, raised in New York City, and is a graduate of New York University College of Arts and Science and the School of Medicine. She completed her pediatric training and subsequent Chief Residency at Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
Tonya Nichols, Ph.D., M.S., has more than 25 years of experience in microbiology and biodefense, and serves as a Senior Science Advisor in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Center for Environmental Solutions and Emergency Response. In this role, she focuses on building interagency collaborations and coordination with White House science policy work-groups related to biodefense. She also represents the EPA on the Biodefense Coordination Team supporting the implementation of the National Biodefense Strategy.
As a research microbiologist in the National Homeland Security Research Center, Dr. Nichols managed research programs to assess the risks and impacts of exposure to biological agents that have been accidentally or deliberately released into the environment that would require the EPA to respond. Primary research projects included dose-response studies, indoor exposure assessment of aerosolized bioagents, and quantification of endemic background biothreat agents for deriving risk-based cleanup goals for biothreat agents. Additional research efforts focused on recovery and detection of pathogens from environmental matrices (air, soil, and water).
Dr. Nichols cosponsors the One Health Academy in Washington, D.C. On a monthly basis, the One Health Academy brings together health professionals, industry, and policy makers to discuss emerging issues at the intersection of human, animal, plant, and environmental health.
Dr. Nichols received her Ph.D. in microbiology from University of Louisville, her master’s from Baylor University, and her undergraduate degree in biology from University of West Alabama.
Brendan Nyhan, Ph.D., is the James O. Freedman Presidential Professor in the Department of Government at Dartmouth College. His research focuses on misperceptions about politics and health care. He has been named an Andrew Carnegie Fellow by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and a Belfer Fellow by the Anti-Defamation League and is a cofounder of Bright Line Watch, a nonpartisan group monitoring the state of American democracy, and a contributor to The Upshot at the New York Times. Dr. Nyhan received his Ph.D. from Duke University and previously served as professor of public policy at the University of Michigan. He also coauthored All the President’s Spin, a New York Times bestseller, and served as a media critic for Columbia Journalism Review.
Laura Chanchien Parajon, M.D., M.P.H., is the Deputy Cabinet Secretary of Health for New Mexico. As a family physician and public health professional, she has served in a variety of community-based positions, including Medical Director for the City of Albuquerque’s COVID-19 Response for People Experiencing Homelessness, Medical Education Director for Community Health Initiatives for the Department of Family and Community Medicine, and the Executive Director for the Office for Community Health at University of New Mexico’s Health Sciences Center (HSC). After graduating, she spent the next 17 years working in global health in Nicaragua with a focus on rural primary care, training and deploying community health workers at scale. Her goal is “always to work towards health for all people,” which for her means listening to communities and their priorities, building from their strengths and resources, and acting together to serve everyone—especially the most vulnerable.
Patricia Peretz, M.P.H., cofounded and leads the Center for Community Health Navigation at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital where for the last 14 years she has worked alongside clinical and community partners to develop, implement, and evaluate public health initiatives shown to reduce the burden of illness in communities throughout New York City. In this capacity, Dr. Peretz leads multiple citywide community health worker programs with more than 100 team members based in 7 emergency departments, 2 inpatient units, and 10 community-based organizations. Prior to this role, she was an evaluation consultant at Columbia University and also worked at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene where she refined and evaluated strategies to improve the delivery of care for children with special needs. Dr.
Peretz is a graduate of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.
Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable, M.D., (Eh-lee-SAY-oh PEH-rez-eh-STAH-blay) is Director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He oversees NIMHD’s annual budget to advance the science of minority health and health disparities research. NIMHD conducts and supports research programs to advance knowledge and understanding of health disparities, identify mechanisms to improve minority health, and develop effective interventions to reduce health disparities in community and clinical settings. NIMHD is the lead organization at NIH for planning, reviewing, coordinating, and evaluating minority health and health disparities research activities conducted by NIH. NIMHD also promotes diversity in the biomedical workforce, supports research capacity at institutions training underrepresented students and serving populations with health disparities, and promotes information dissemination through regular electronic communications, public education outreach, and scientific presentations.
Since joining NIMHD in September 2015, Dr. Pérez-Stable has been cultivating the Institute’s position on the cutting edge of the science of minority health and health disparities. Through this effort, the Institute has produced a collection of resources that guide and facilitate the conduct of research to promote health equity. These include the NIH Minority Health and Health Disparities Strategic Plan 2021–2025; the NIMHD Research Framework; the PhenX Social Determinants of Health Assessments Collection, a research toolkit; a collection of 30 science visioning Strategies to Promote the Advancement of Health Disparities Science; special journal supplements Structural Racism and Discrimination: Impact on Minority Health and Health Disparities, Addressing Health Disparities through the Utilization of Health Information Technology, and The Science of Health Disparities Research textbook, among other resources.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Pérez-Stable has positioned NIMHD at the forefront of the research response to COVID-19 health disparities by establishing new research programs and collaborating with other NIH Institutes and Centers. He also serves as cochair for two prominent NIH-wide programs that have been established to promote health equity by reducing COVID-19–associated morbidity and mortality disparities experienced by underserved and vulnerable communities: the Community Engagement Alliance Against COVID-19 Disparities and the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics for Underserved Populations initiatives.
Prior to becoming NIMHD Director, Dr. Pérez-Stable was professor of medicine and chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine, at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Dr. Pérez-Stable’s research
interests have centered on improving the health of racial and ethnic minorities through effective prevention interventions, understanding underlying causes of health disparities, and advancing patient-centered care for underserved populations. Recognized as a leader in Latino health care and disparities research, Dr. Pérez-Stable spent 32 years leading research on smoking cessation and tobacco control in Latino populations in the United States and Latin America, addressing clinical and prevention issues in cancer control research, supporting early career scientists in research on minority aging in clinical and community settings, and addressing research questions in clinical conditions such as hypertension, asthma, diabetes, and dementia.
He has published more than 300 peer-reviewed papers and was continuously funded by NIH grants for 30 years prior to becoming NIMHD Director. Dr. Pérez-Stable was also Director of the UCSF Center for Aging in Diverse Communities, which is funded by NIH’s National Institute on Aging, and Director of the UCSF Medical Effectiveness Research Center for Diverse Populations. He was a career mentor for many students, residents, and faculty, and a research mentor for more than 70 minority investigators.
Dr. Pérez-Stable was elected to the National Academy of Medicine (formerly Institute of Medicine) of the National Academies of Science in 2001 and the American Society of Clinical Investigation in 1996. He earned his B.A. in chemistry in 1974 and M.D. in 1978 from the University of Miami. He then completed his primary care internal medicine residency and a research fellowship in general internal medicine at UCSF before joining the faculty as an assistant professor in 1983. Dr. Pérez-Stable practiced primary care internal medicine for 37 years at UCSF following a panel of about 200 patients, and supervised and taught students and residents in the ambulatory care and hospital settings.
Roger Pielke, Jr., Ph.D., has been on the faculty of the University of Colorado Boulder since 2001, where he teaches and writes on a diverse range of policy and governance issues related to science, technology, environment, innovation, and sports. Dr. Pielke is a professor in the Environmental Studies Program. He has degrees in mathematics, public policy, and political science, all from the University of Colorado Boulder. He has served on multiple National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine committees and studies over the past 20 years. Dr. Pielke is currently focusing his research on a National Science Foundation–sponsored, 16-country evaluation of science advice in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Christine Prue, Ph.D., is the Associate Director for Behavioral Science at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center on Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases. She works to apply and advance the science of health behavior and health communication to prevent and control
infectious diseases that result from the interaction of people, animals, and the environment. Dr. Prue has a diverse portfolio of applied research projects supporting programs addressing food safety, vaccine safety, One Health, Lyme disease, and viruses including rabies, Zika, and Ebola. Dr. Prue has expertise in program evaluation, risk communication, community engagement, as well as scientific and health literacy. She is the coauthor of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Clear Communication Index. Dr. Prue works to advance the integration of social and behavioral science in public health scientific and programmatic activities from modeling disease transmission to designing interventions that are effective, doable, and acceptable to individuals and communities. She has worked as part of hundreds of outbreak responses over the years, both domestically and abroad. She is most fulfilled when she is engaging with community members (the public) in public health efforts. Dr. Prue received her doctorate’s degree in health education (focusing on health behavior and health communication) from the University of Maryland in 1998. She received a master of science of public health degree from the University of Massachusetts in 1988. She received a bachelor of science degree in biology from the University of Maine in 1986.
Guillermo Sequera, M.D., M.P.H., M.Sc., is currently General Director of Epidemiological Surveillance in the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Paraguay. In that capacity, he has led key aspects of the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the response to other recent outbreaks such as dengue. Dr. Sequera is a Ph.D. candidate in public health at the Universidad de Barcelona, Spain, and holds a masters in research methods in health sciences, Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain; and a master’s in public health, Universidad Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain. He graduated as a medical doctor with a specialization in internal medicine at the Universidad Nacional de Asunción, Paraguay. He has extensive experience in epidemiological research and public health work in several countries including Mozambique, Brazil, Uruguay, and Spain. Dr. Sequera is also adjunct faculty in Public Health in the faculty of Medicine at the Universidad Nacional de Asunción, Paraguay.
Brian Southwell, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, Communication, 2002, is Senior Director of the Science in the Public Sphere Program in RTI International’s Center for Communication Science. He also is adjunct professor and Duke-RTI Scholar with Duke University and a graduate faculty member and adjunct associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Southwell has published widely on topics such as public understanding of science and emerging infectious diseases, and he has extensive experience with stakeholder engagement strategies. Dr. Southwell
has led a series of publications on medical misinformation, including the 2018 book, Misinformation and Mass Audiences. He co-founded the Duke Program on Medical Misinformation, a clinician training initiative to improve patient–provider conversations about misinformation. He also has organized several summits on trust in science and medical misinformation, such as the Misinformation Solutions Forum sponsored by the Rita Allen Foundation in conjunction with the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C. Dr. Southwell is a frequent contributor to National Academies forums and events, including talks on topics such as misinformation, effective communication about obesity, and the future of clinical trials. In addition, Dr. Southwell created and hosts The Measure of Everyday Life, a public radio show that translates research for general audiences on WNCU, a station based at North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina.
Stephen B. Thomas, Ph.D., is Founding Director of the Maryland Center for Health Equity and professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management in the School of Public Health, University of Maryland in College Park. Dr. Thomas is one of the nation’s leading scholars on community-based interventions to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities including obesity, diabetes, hypertension, HIV AIDS, and violence. He is a highly experienced Principal Investigator (PI), having served as PI of multiple five-year National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) P60 grants including “Excellence in Partnership through Community Outreach, Research on Health Disparities and Training (EXPORT)” (5P60 MD000207; 2002–2007), the Research Center of Excellence in Minority Health Disparities (7 P60 MD000207, 2007–2012), and with Dr. Quinn, as Joint PIs of the Center of Excellence in Race, Ethnicity and Health Disparities Research (P20 MD006737, 2012–2017, NIMHD). He has also served as PI (along with Dr. Quinn) on a prestigious Grand Opportunity (“GO”) grant sponsored by the Office of the Director, NIH, NIMHD, and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) titled “Bioethics Research Infrastructure Initiative: Building Trust between Minorities and Researchers” (7RC2MD004766). He has leadership experience on culturally tailored, community-based interventions where he was responsible for the recruitment and retention cores on these large multisite clinical trials including, but not limited to, (1) Bypass Angioplasty Revascularization Investigation 2 Diabetes Trial (BARI 2D) NIH (2001–2009), (2) Viral Resistance to Antiviral Therapy of Chronic Hepatitis C or VIRAHEP-C. NIH-NIDDK (2002–2008), (3) Asthma-Network NIH-NHLBI (2009–2016), and (4) the UCSF Health ePeople Resource for Mobilized Research Institute: National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (2015-2020). In each example, the recruitment and retention cores exceeded their respective goals for accrual of racial
and ethnic minority study participants. Over the decades, Dr. Thomas has developed a significant network of relationships and leadership roles across multiple sectors that influence health disparities, including academic researchers; health care providers and service organizations; community leaders; national foundations; and local, state, and federal policy makers. He has specific expertise in the development, implementation, and evaluation of community-engaged minority health and health disparity interventions. He also has extensive experience in overcoming barriers associated with the legacy of the U.S. Public Health Service Syphilis Study at Tuskegee (1932–1972) and conducting scientifically sound and culturally tailored community-based interventions designed to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities to achieve health equity.
He was awarded the 2005 David Satcher Award from the Directors of Health Promotion and Education for his leadership in reducing health disparities through the improvement of health promotion and health education programs at the state and local levels, and he received the 2004 Alonzo Smyth Yerby Award from the Harvard School of Public Health for his work with people suffering the health effects of poverty.
He completed his B.S. degree from the Ohio State University, his M.S. degree from Illinois State University, and his Ph.D. degree from Southern Illinois University.
K. “Vish” Viswanath, Ph.D., is Lee Kum Kee Professor of Health Communication in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and in the McGraw-Patterson Center for Population Sciences at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He is also the faculty director of the health communication core of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center.
Dr. Viswanath’s work, drawing from literatures in communication science, social epidemiology, and social and health behavior sciences, focuses on translational communication science to influence public health policy and practice. His primary research is in documenting the relationship between communication inequalities, poverty and health disparities, and knowledge translation to address health disparities. He has written more than 270 journal articles and book chapters concerning communication inequalities and health disparities, knowledge translation, public health communication campaigns, e-health and digital divide, public health preparedness, and the delivery of health communication interventions to underserved populations.
Siouxsie Wiles, Ph.D., is associate professor at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. She studied medical microbiology at the University of Edinburgh, followed by a Ph.D. in microbiology at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in Oxford and Edinburgh Napier University. Dr. Wiles has
won numerous awards for both her science and her science communication, including the Prime Minister’s Science Prize and the Royal Society Te Apārangi’s Callaghan Medal. In 2019 she was appointed a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to microbiology and science communication. When the pandemic arrived, Dr. Wiles joined forces with Spinoff cartoonist Toby Morris to make the science of the pandemic clear and understandable. Their award-winning graphics have been translated into multiple languages and adapted by various governments and organisations. Dr. Wiles was the Supreme Winner of the Stuff Westpac 2020 Women of Influence Award, named by the BBC as one of its 100 influential women of 2020, and in 2021 was named Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year.
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