Seye Abimbola is a health systems researcher from Nigeria. He is currently a senior lecturer at the School of Public Health, University of Sydney in Australia, where he teaches global health and uses realist methods and theories from institutional economics to study health system governance. Dr Abimbola is also the editor in chief of BMJ Global Health, and the current Prince Claus Chair in Equity and Development at Utrecht University, where he is working on justice in global health research.

Sharon Abramowitz is Associate Research Professor at Georgetown University’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology and Georgetown’s Center for Global Health Science and Security. She is a medical anthropologist who specializes in community engagement, mental health, gender violence, epidemic preparedness and response. She has been a leading global advocate for building national community engagement capacity, strengthening integrated analytics (IOA) and social science, risk communications, and community engagement (RCCE) capacity, metrics, and utilization in public health emergencies.

She is presently on the editorial board of the Journal for Humanitarian Affairs, and is honorary faculty at the University of Hong Kong School of Public Health. She is the author of the Inter-Agency Minimum Quality Standards and Indicators for Community Engagement and the monograph Searching for Normal in the Wake of the Liberian War, co-editor of the book Medical Humanitarianism: Ethnographies of Practice, and has written for Nature Human Behavior, Social Science and Medicine, The Lancet, Global Public Health, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, and the Journal of Infectious Disease. Lastly, Abramowitz leads Communitology, an initiative that connects social science researcher/country-of-origin experts with asylum seekers in the UK, US, Canada, and Europe.

Dr. Atanda is the Policy Advisor at the U.S. DHS Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office where he leads a portfolio of work related to biological and health security threats as well as emerging issues in science and technology, in particular those pertaining to converging technologies in the artificial intelligence, life sciences, and synthetic biology area of work.

Previously, he led work at Ending Pandemics with multisectoral national teams building digital disease surveillance infrastructure in south Africa and south-east Asia through a One Health lens; and supported launch of a web-based, one-stop shop for global influenza-like illness data, an exemplar of utilization of data collected via participatory surveillance. Before that, he was program lead for Maryland’s biosurveillance program – a biological threat early warning system launched post-9/11 in response to Amerithrax, and supported the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics Initiative at NIH during his residency training to identify small U.S. businesses developing innovative technologies to rapidly scale up COVID-19 testing. He has almost two decades of experience supporting multilaterals, INGOs, national public health institutes, local health departments and think tanks.

Professor David Brett-Major is an Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases physician and a Scholar of the UNMC Global Center for Health Security. He has worked at home, in South America, Africa, and Asia as a clinician, educator, researcher, and in health emergency risk management. At the University, he teaches infectious diseases epidemiology, conducts research, and works with both the Global Center for Health Security and the College of Medicine’s Division of Infectious Diseases. As a clinical scientist and medical epidemiologist, his research interests focus on risk, how it may be identified, characterized, and managed from patient- and community-centered vantages, particularly related to emerging and re- emerging infectious diseases.

Ximena Garzon-Villalba is an experienced professional in Public Health, appointed as Minister of Health of Ecuador from May 2021 to July 2022. She was member of the International Vaccine Institute Board of Trustees in 2022. Currently, she is Dean of Public Health at USFQ and member of The World Bank Pandemic Fund Technical Advisory Panel. Dr. Garzon-Villalba obtained her Medical Degree at Universidad Central del Ecuador, she holds PhD in Public Health with a concentration in Occupational Health, and a Post-doctorate in Occupational Health Research and Occupational Epidemiology, both from University of South Florida. Dr. Garzon-Villalba has been professor for undergraduate and graduate programs in several Ecuadorian and U.S. Universities. Her research work focusses on Occupational Heat Stress, published in several indexed journals. She was responsible of the design and implementation of the “Plan Fenix” a comprehensive response to the COVID-19 pandemic and led the emblematic “9/100 Vaccination Plan” which reached 9 million fully vaccinated people (more than 50% of the population) before the 100th day of its implementation. Dr. Garzon-Villalba also lead the development of the “Plan Decenal de Salud del Ecuador”, a holistic, interdisciplinary and intersectoral plan designed to improve the public health of her country under the One Health approach.

­Ellie Graeden, Ph.D., is a Research Professor with the Georgetown University Center for Global Health Science and Security. Dr. Graeden spent the last decade establishing and leading a private company, Talus Analytics, in designing and building data products to solve challenging problems at the intersection of policy, science, and strategy. She now leads the health intelligence research pillar at the Center, including a team of data scientists, where she uses data architecture and engineering to address challenges in global data sharing for health response and investment.

She has extensive experience developing quantitative approaches for global-scale decision making. With an emphasis on applying the best available data to decision-making during emergencies, she has led projects in support of the Federal government to coordinate data-driven decision-making for public health emergencies and other hazards. In addition, Dr. Graeden helped lead a team developing tools to collate and analyze data on the investments in global health security, the results of which were presented at the United Nations Biological Weapons Convention Meeting of Experts and used to inform costing estimates for the Global Fund and the G20. These tools, developed in collaboration with partners across the Center, are available at Also available as part of GHS IDEA, Dr. Graeden has designed and developed data systems to collect and analyze health security policy data in the context of HIV and COVID-19.

In addition, Dr. Graeden has led efforts with CDC and states to develop data platforms for health care visibility, vaccination coverage, and response efforts for influenza and COVID. Dr. Graeden earned her undergraduate degree in microbiology from Oregon State University and her doctorate in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Roojin Habibi is an Assistant Professor at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law (Common Law Section) and a Senior Visiting Fellow of the United Nations University’s International Institute for Global Health. Bridging the fields of international law, health law, and human rights, her current research program examines normative interpretation and change in global health law. With her interdisciplinary and collaborative approach to research, she has convened several international conferences and published in a range of venues, including journals of public health and medicine, law and social science reviews, commissioned reports, foundational law textbooks, and public news and media outlets. In 2022, she was appointed by the WHO Director-General to the Review Committee regarding amendments to the International Health Regulations (2005), providing technical recommendations to WHO Member States on more than 300 proposed amendments to the Regulations. Alongside these roles, she has led on consensus-building initiatives at the frontiers of global health law and human rights, founding a partnership between the Global Health Law Consortium and the International Commission of Jurists that culminated in the 2023 Principles and Guidelines on Human Rights and Public Health Emergencies.

Sara Hersey is an infectious disease epidemiologist who has served in global public health leadership roles over the past two decades with the World Health Organization (WHO), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Bank, and Resolve to Save Lives (RTSL).  Her professional experience spans more 50 countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the Caribbean where she has led efforts in surveillance, outbreak preparedness and response, infectious disease prevention and treatment, strategic planning, policy, financing and program management.

Sara joined WHO in 2023 as the Director of Collaborative Intelligence for the Division of Health Emergency Intelligence and Surveillance Systems in the WHO Health Emergencies Programme.   In this role, she is based in Berlin with the WHO Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence where she leads external partnerships, collaborations, and networks.

Previously, Sara was a senior advisor on health security and COVID-19 seconded to the World Bank by RTSL.  Sara was the first US CDC Country Director in Sierra Leone, leading their Ebola response and establishing the Global Health Security Agenda program for the US Government.  She was also the US CDC Country Director in South Sudan through the 2013-14 civil war.   Sara has worked as an epidemiologist with the US CDC in Malawi and South Africa, with UNHCR responding to complex emergencies, and with FHI 360 in the Asia Pacific region.   Sara started her international career with the US Peace Corps in Malawi and her public health career with Planned Parenthood.

Joseph Harris is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Boston University and one the leading scholars of health politics and policy in low-and-middle-income countries today. His book, Achieving Access: Professional Movements and the Politics of Health Universalism(Cornell University Press 2017), examined how and why resource-constrained countries make costly commitments to universal health coverage and AIDS treatment after transitioning to democracy. Achieving Access is one of the first books to examine struggles to institutionalize universal access to healthcare and medicine in the industrializing world comparatively (exploring Thailand, Brazil, and South Africa), and it has been used to teach officials within the Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health about comparative health systems. While he has won two Fulbrights for his research on health politics in Thailand, he has published on issues related to the politics of healthcare access and infectious disease response on a broader range of countries that include Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, Turkey, and others. At Boston University, he directs the Global Health Politics Workshop, which has become the premier academic forum for work on global health politics internationally. He is currently Vice Chair of the International Studies Association’s Global Health Section, Deputy Editor of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, past Associate Editor of Social Science and Medicine, and an Editorial Board member at Health Systems and Reform and Studies in Comparative International Development. He regularly contributes to stories in major media outlets, such as National Public Radio, Washington Post, and U.S. News and World Report.

A/Prof Carmen Huckel Schneider is Deputy Director at the Menzies Centre for Health Policy and Economics at the University of Sydney where she is also lead of the Health Systems and Governance theme. Associate Professor Huckel Schneider holds positions of Co-Director, Academic Education, Sydney School of Public Health; Adviser, Knowledge Exchange, at the Sax Institute; and Honorary Senior Fellow at the George Institute.  A/Prof HuckelSchneider’s areas of expertise are the application of systems approaches for the analysis of health policy (financing, systems, institutions, services and technologies); health system governance and operational models; knowledge translation and exchange; and global health policy and governance.


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