Ada Bacetty is the Department Chief for the Biological Threat Reduction Program of DoD’s Cooperative Threat Reduction program at the DTRA.

Most recently, Dr. Bacetty held positions as a Director for USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service and Senior Policy Advisor for a Chairman of a House Appropriations Subcommittee. From 2008-2016, she served in various roles within the Department of Defense (DoD), to include International Scientific Program Manager, Country Officer, Team Lead, Branch Chief, and Program Manager.

Prior to her DoD career, Dr. Bacetty was a USDA-ARS research scientist conducting studies focused on host-pathogen interactions, mycotoxins, nematology, and pathogen detection. She has authored numerous publications and presented at several national and international fora.

Ada holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from South Carolina State University, a Master’s in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Georgetown University, and a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from The University of Georgia. 

He started his political career after he contested the General elections in 2018 and in the same year he was elected as a representative to the Parliament of the Republic of Fiji as a member of the Opposition, Spokesperson/Shadow Minister of Health and Medical Services and a substantive member of the standing Committee on Social Affairs.

Apart from political career, Hon Dr Lalabalavu is a Medical Officer by profession since 2006 and is currently running his own clinic In Taveuni since2013.Hon Dr Lalabalavu has previously worked as a Resort Doctor in Laucala Island Resort, CWM Hospital, Lautoka Hospital and Nacula Health Centre in the Yasawas.

Dr. Lalabalavu attained his medical qualifications from the Fiji School of Medicine graduating with a Post Graduate Diploma in Anaesthesia as well as a Bachelor of Science and Surgery.

Hon. Dr. Ratu Atonio Rabici Lalabalavu is happily married and has 3 handsome young boys. His hobbies entail farming, catching up on current affairs locally and internationally and following Super Rugby.

Kayla Laserson, ScD, SM, FASTMH, is the Director for the Global Health Center (GHC) at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)where she leads CDC’s global efforts to protect and improve health through science, policy, partnership, and evidence-based public health action.

Prior to becoming the director for GHC, Dr. Laserson served as the deputy director for Infectious Diseases and Vaccine Delivery, India Office of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) where she focused on programmatic support to the government of India and partners on TB, neglected tropical diseases, malaria, and vaccine delivery.  Dr. Laserson also led the BMGF’s COVID-19 response in India from 2020-2022.

Before her role at BMGF, Dr. Laserson was the CDC India Country Director and the CDC India Division of Global Health Protection program director for six years, based in Delhi. In these roles, she oversaw CDC’s platform in India, provided technical assistance to support India’s developing role in Global Health Security, oversaw partnerships and collaborations with the government of India, and directed CDC’s scientific strategy in India.

She also served as the CDC resident advisor and helped build the India Epidemic Intelligence Service Program. Dr. Laserson also served as the director of the Kenya Medical Research Institute/CDC Research and Public Health Collaboration in Kisumu, Kenya from 2006 to 2013. As director, she managed a comprehensive research platform in HIV, malaria, TB, emerging infectious diseases, demographic surveillance, and programmatic service delivery of HIV care, treatment, and prevention programs.

Prior to her role in Kenya, Dr. Laserson worked in CDC’s Division of Tuberculosis Elimination (DTBE), where she started her career as an EIS officer in DTBE’s International Research and Program Branch in 1997 and later became the branch’s deputy branch chief.

In addition to her work in India and Kenya, Dr. Laserson has worked extensively in Mexico, Brazil, Russia, Lativia, and Vietnam. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College and a Doctor of Science in infectious disease epidemiology from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Laserson served as a commander in the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps until 2007

Dr. John N. Nkengasong was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy (S/GAC) May 5, 2022 and officially sworn in on June 13, 2022. In this role, Dr. Nkengasong leads, manages, and oversees the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR); which is the largest commitment by any nation to address a single disease in history, prevent millions of HIV infections, save lives, and make progress toward ending the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Born in Cameroon, Dr. Nkengasong is the first person of African origin to hold this position.

In 2017, Dr. Nkengasong was appointed as the first Director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) headquartered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Through his leadership, a framework for moving Africa CDC into a full autonomous health agency of the Africa Union was established. Dr. Nkengasong led efforts to create policy frameworks to guide countries to establish and strengthen their public health institutes and defined and implemented a system to collate national surveillance data. He also led the COVID-19 response in Africa, coordinating with heads of state and governments across the continent, among other achievements to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, he helped secure 400 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines at the height of vaccine scarcity. During his tenure, he was appointed as one of the World Health Organization’s special envoys on COVID- 19 preparedness and response.

Dr. Nkengasong served as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Global HIV and Tuberculosis’ International Laboratory Branch Chief and as the Associate Director for Laboratory Science. Subsequently, he served as Acting Deputy Director at the CDC Center for Global Health and Co-Chair of the PEPFAR’s Laboratory Technical Working Group.

As a leading virologist with over 30 years of experience in public health, Dr. Nkengasong was appointed as a board member for the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative in New York, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation, in Norway.

He received his B.Sc. from the Faculty of Science, University of Yaoundé, Cameroon; his M.Sc. from the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium; and his Ph.D. from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Brussels, Belgium. He also received a Diploma in Leadership and Management from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Dr. Nkengasong is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards and recognitions. Most recently, he served as one of the World Health Organization Director

General’s Special Envoys for COVID-19. In 2021, Dr. Nkengasong was recognized as Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People, where he was described as “a modern- day hero.” Additional awards include the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Award for excellence in Public Health Protection Research, the Shepard Award, the U.S. Director’s Recognitions Award and the William Watson Medal of Excellence, the highest recognition awarded by CDC; which was awarded for outstanding contributions and leadership in advancing global laboratory services and programs to support the PEPFAR. Most recently, Dr. Nkengasong was invited to become a member of the National Academy of Medicine; became the first-ever laureate of the Virchow Prize for Global Health, for his dedication to improving the health and wellbeing of the world’s most vulnerable people; and received the African of the Year Award from All Africa Business Leaders Award in partnership with CNBC Africa and Forbes Africa. He has authored or co-authored over 250 peer- reviewed papers and book chapters in professional journals

The Hon Dr Lino Tom, MP is from Enga Province, Papua New Guinea. 

He was elected to the 11th National Parliament of Papua New Guinea and appointed Minister for Health in August 2022 – his second term in office. 

Prior to this appointment, Minister Tom served as Minister for Fisheries and Marine Resources. 

Before Minister Tom was elected to Parliament, he served as Provincial Surgeon for Enga, and Medical Superintendent of Sopas District Hospital, establishing the Enga College of Nursing during his tenure. 

Minister Tom is a surgeon and a graduate of the University of Papua New Guinea. He holds a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery, and a Masters of Medicine (Surgery). 


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