2016 Conference Speakers
Executive Director, PMNCH
Robin Gorna is the Executive Director at the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH) at the World Health Organisation which was created in 2005 to help achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5 and aims to continue to promote a post-2015 agenda in support of women’s and children’s health. She has close to thirty years’ worth of experience working on global health and development issues.
Having received her BA and MA (Hons) in Theology from the University of Oxford, Robin focused her career on issues of gender and health and in particular HIV & AIDS. This led her to work across a variety of regions and continents from Australia as the Executive Director of the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisation (AFAO) to the UK and then Southern Africa working on behalf of the UK government’s Department for International Development (DFID).
She established and led the Global AIDS Policy Team for the UK government’s Department for International Development and represented the UK on delegations to the UN General Assembly and UNAIDS and led the focus on AIDS and Africa through the UK’s G8 and EU Presidencies in 2005. Robin then took on the role of Executive Director of the International AIDS Society (IAS) – a global organisation of more than 14,000 AIDS professionals working across 190 countries.
Prior to joining PMNCH, Robin founded and spent close to five years as the Executive Director of AIDS Strategy, Advocacy and Policy (ASAP) – a community-based consultancy with a clear commitment to end the AIDS crisis and poverty. ASAP delivers on a variety of projects and supports an extensive range of clients to advance programmes and develop strategies that focus on gender and health issues as well as AIDS, TB and malaria.
Find out more about Robin and her current role at PMNCH here.
Sir Eldryd Parry
Founder, Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET)
Professor Sir Eldryd Parry is founder of the Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET) – a global health organisation that trains and supports health workers in close to thirty countries across Africa, Asia and the Middle East mainly through ties with their counterparts in the UK. Sir Eldryd has countless years of experience working as a physician and as an academic in global health in numerous developing countries.
Sir Eldryd graduated B.Chir in Natural Sciences (for Medicine) in 1955 from Emmanuel College, Cambridge. He went on to train as a physician in Cardiff and subsequently in London where he was seconded to Ibadan, Nigeria from 1960 to 1963. He then spent more than twenty years in academic medicine across Africa becoming Dean of Medicine at the University of Florin, Nigeria, and the now Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana.
In 1988, Sir Eldryd founded THET which he chaired until 2007. Over its close to thirty year existence, THET has supported health worker training projects in over 200 health partnerships with hospitals and universities as well as managing Somaliland and Zambia’s national health programmes. Its primary focus is to bring long-term improvements to health care in developing countries and provide international volunteering for graduates of British medical schools.
Throughout his prolific career, Sir Eldryd has received countless honours for his work. He is an honorary fellow at the University of Cardiff, Emmanuel College, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (from which he also received a lifetime achievement award in 2007) to name but a few. He is the senior editor of the award-winning Principles of Medicine in Africa. He received his OBE in 1982 and was appointed KCMG in 2011.
Find out more about Sir Eldryd and THET here.
Founder, Operation Fistula
Seth Cochran is the founder of Operation Fistula – a start-up charity which was created in 2008 in order to focus on building and expanding healthcare capacity to treat obstetric fistula in the developing world. Seth is an award-winning social entrepreneur and contributor to numerous charities and maternal health projects and whose field work has provided him with first-hand experience across five continents.
Initially training as an engineer, Seth graduated from Cornell University with a BSc in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering and a joint MEng in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering & Financial Engineering before eventually joining ADC Telecom as Head of Operations Finance. There he led the construction of a manufacturing plant in the Czech Republic and developed ADC Telecom’s corporate foundation activities in Germany.
However, in 2008 Seth decided to leave the corporate world behind and founded Operation Fistula (then OperationOF). This would lead Seth to embark on a 5,000 mile journey across East Africa to develop Operation Fistula and evaluate existing public and community based healthcare systems and organisations. Operation Fistula’s focus is on finding and funding medical local medical professionals in developing countries who perform fistula repair surgeries for those in need.
As well as sitting on the Board of Directors of Operation Fistula, Seth continues to expand his focus within maternal and child health. He provides independent consulting for charities such as Smile Train and MiracleFeet and recently joined Baylor College of Medicine as an Assistant Professor. In 2010 Seth was named by Ashoka and the Maternal Health Task Forceas one of 15 Young Champions of Maternal Health.
Find out more about Seth and his current role at Operation Fistula here.
Director of Global Affairs, Global Issues at Glaxosmithkline (GSK)
After receiving her degree in Classics and Modern Languages at Trinity College, Oxford, Priya started her career with the Stop Tuberculosis department of the World Health Organisation. She the went on towork in a number of roles in the public sector including the HumanTissue Authority and the Department of Health before joining the UK Pharmaceuticals business at GSK.
Health Policy Advisor, Oxfam
As the Health Policy Advisor at Oxfam, Anna oversees Oxfam’s international work on health policy with a specific focus on policies pertaining to healthcare financing and delivery. Anna received a Masters in Development Studies from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban. She has worked as an editor for Eldis, an online information service that shares international development policy, practice and research at the Institute for Development Studies. She has also worked as a Programme Officer for the NGO International Care and Relief, or as it is known today, Build Africa. This organisation works to eradicate poverty in rural communities in Kenya and Uganda through educationand livelihood programmes.
Jeffrey W. Mecaskey
Partner, Health Partners International (HPI)
Jeffrey has worked in the field of international development for 35 years with a specific focus on health and political economy as well as healthpolicy and management. He has worked and consulted in a range ofcountries including Bangladesh, Cameroon, Egypt, Morocco, Vietnam, Zimbabwe, France. Jeffrey has previously worked as the Head of Health and HIV at Save the Children, constructing policy on health equity and health systems as to secure child rights internationally. Currently he is a partner at HPI, which is owned and managed by health and development professionals. Jeffrey also served there as the Managing Director of Health Partners International and as the chair of a programme to improve access to health care in Northern Uganda. Additionally, he is the Senior Technical Expert on EU Support to Immunisation Governance in Nigeria (EU-SIGN), a project to improve maternal, new-born and child health with improved routine immunization.
Project Director of the Universal Health Coverage Policy Forum, Chatham House
Prior to his current position, Robert worked as a Senior HealthEconomist for the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the World Health Organisation. He is also a member of the ‘Health for All’ Thematic Group of the UN’s Sustainable Development Solutions Network. He is widely regarded as an expert on progressive health financing and Universal Health Coverage.
Researcher, Institute of Development Studies (IDS)
Robert Chambers is a leading figure in participatory development research methods and practice in the field of international development studies. He has played a major contribution in shifting the focus of development studies towards people-centered and bottom-up approaches, placing the poor and marginalizedat the centre of development policy. Robert is an honorary fellow of theInternational Institute of Social Studies (ISS) and has over 40 years of experience as a researcher at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS).
Mary ‘Flowa’ Houldsworth
Nurse and Midwife, Médicins Sans Frontières
Mary is an experienced nurse and midwife working at Medecins Sans Frontieres/ Doctors Without Borders (MSF). Throughout her 18-year career, she has worked in a number of MSF missions in the following areas: Afghanistan, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Calcutta and Liberia. As part of a team of 80 international staff, Mary spent six weeks working in the largest purpose built MSF Ebola centre in Monrovia, Liberia. Mary has also worked as part of the Refugee Crisis in the Greek Islands.
Director, Health Poverty Action
Martin is the Director of Health Poverty Action, an international NGO working to improve the health of the world’s poorest and most marginalised people. Previously, Martin was Head of Campaigns for Christian Aid for close to 10 years, playing a major role in Jubilee 2000, Drop the Debt and the Trade Justice Movement and was also a coordinator of Make Poverty History. Initially an award-winning grass-roots community development worker, Martin now hasmore than 20 years of experience in the development sector.
Research Fellow, Institute of Development Studies (IDS)
Pauline has over 20 years of international experience in public health research and advisory services. She has developed and managed programs around the world, from the US and Europe to Africa and Asia, most notably focusing onsexual and reproductive health and HIV as well as gender and human rights issues for Medecins Sans Frontieres, UNDP and Amnesty International to name but a few. She is currently working at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS)as a research fellow.
Marc Koska is the Founder of SafePoint, a charity that aims to inform and solvebasic healthcare problems such as the unsafe re-use of syringes for injections. He invented the K1 Auto-Disable syringe as a practical and affordable solutionand pushes public awareness campaigns to educate public healthcare providersand governments of these issues. He has devoted close to 30 years of his life to injection safety and injection safety and was honoured OBE for his efforts.
Global Health Fellow
Mary is currently a Global Health Fellow in a GP specialty training programme inthe South West of England. Prior to this she worked for 3 years in South Africa: first, in a district level hospital in Cape Town and later with MSF in its Khayelitsha project. During her time with MSF Khayelitsha, she managed its clinical mentoring programme, developed its prevention of mother to child transmission programme and created training modules to aid the dissemination of several of the projects HIV/TB related health initiatives.
Advocacy Manager, International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB)
Zoe Gray works as an Advocacy Manager at the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB). She provides centralized support to work groups, regional staff and members on advocacy and supports advocacy strategy for the organization. Zoe has worked in the field of development and human rights for the last 15 years with a particular focus on advocacy efforts for vulnerable groups and the promotion of their rights. Zoe has a MA in International Developmentfrom the School of Oriental and African Studies.
Advocacy Officer, STOPAIDS
Saoirse Fitzpatrick is an Advocacy Officer at STOPAIDS, an organisation workingto maintain a global response to HIV and AIDS. STOPAIDS works to properly support people with HIV with a fully financed response to HIV and AIDS thatpromotes and observes human rights. Saoirse leads campaigns and advocacyefforts to achieve a fully funded and effective Global Fund that has helped to save 17 million lives since 2002. Additionally, Saoirse works on campaigns that push for affordable and accessible medicines for HIV patients.
Campaigns Coordinator, Médicins Sans Frontières
Mary Gallagher is currently working as a Campaigns Coordinator at Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in the UK. Mary works for the MSF Access Campaign, which argues for the increased access to, and development of, affordable, practical and effective medicines, diagnostic tests, and vaccines for patients around the world. Previously she worked as a Policy and Advocacy Officer at Practical Action and co-authored the briefing‚ The Energy-Water-Food Nexus at Decentralized Scales‘ that reflected on the potential of decentralized energy to meet the demand for energy in remote areas during that time.
Director, Evidence Aid
Jeroen is currently serving as the director of Evidence Aid. He is the former Headof the Programmes Unit at Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in London and a current board member of MSF Spain. Jeroen is a pioneer in leading an evidence- based approach to the planning and delivery of humanitarian aid. His first-hand experience of the need for evidence in the field stems from his plethora of field assignments for MSF in countries such as Afghanistan, Liberia, Nigeria and South Sudan. He previously served as Programme Manager in Pakistan for Marie Stopes International.
Professor Maya Unnithan
Director, Centre for Cultures of Reproduction, Technologies and Health (CORTH)
Maya was programme convenor of the Master’s programme in Medical Anthropology from 2003-2010. She is advisor to the Global Health Policy Centre, and the University of Sussex‘ Environment and Health Research theme and director of the Centre for Cultures of Reproduction, Technologies and Health (CORTH) which she helped establish in the School of Global Studies. She currently serves on various committees including the Medical Anthropology Committee of the Royal Anthropological Institute and the Peer Review College of the Economic and Social Science Research Council. Previously she served among others on the Council of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland and the World Health Organization (WHO) steering committee on theimpact of rights on maternal and child health. She is on the editorial boards ofthree journals: the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Ethnicity andHealth, and Anthropology and Medicine.
Professor Gail Davey
Professor of Global Health Epidemiology, Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS)
Gail Davey is the professor of Global Health Epidemiology at Brighton and Sussex Medical School and a medical epidemiologist specialising in non-communicablediseases in developing countries, with a particular focus on podoconiosis. Gail has worked to raise podoconiosis’s international profile; establishing Footwork, the International Podoconiosis Initiative, and advocating for the disease’s inclusion in the World Health Organisation’s list of Neglected Tropical Diseases.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS)
Leena works at Brighton Sussex Medical School (BSMS) as a postdoctoral researchfellow in Global Health in the Department of Clinical medicine. Within the field of Global Health, Leena is currently focusing on bacterial genetics and the field of medical microbiology, more specifically antibiotic resistance in hospital-acquired infections. Leena received her PhD from the University of Edinburgh in 2013. She has worked as a Clinical Researcher for two years at a Children’s Cancer Hospital to coordinate the clinical protocols and research studies in infectiousdiseases.
Scientific Advisor, Alliance to Save our Antibiotics
Cóilín is a scientific adviser to the Soil Association and to the Alliance to SaveOur Antibiotics. For over 15 years, he has campaigned against the overuse of antibiotics in farming , and has co-authored a series of reports on antibiotic resistance and antibiotic residues that highlight the human-health impact of excessive antibiotic use in intensive livestock farming. Since studying mathematics at the universities of Brussels, Cambridge and Oxford he served as a trustee of Feasta, as an expert witness to the Commons Select Committee of Science and Technology on ensuring access to working antimicrobials.
Medical Doctor, Médecins Sans Frontières
Rob Verrecchia is a medical doctor who has worked for Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in The Central African Republic and The Democratic Republic of Congo. Prior to this he worked in rural South Africa where he developed an interest in HIV/TB and maternal health. He is also a keen photographer and kept a photo blog in his most recent mission, collaborating with HIV patients to share their stories. He is currently undertaking an MSc in public health.
Writer, Director and Producer of ‘Every Last Child’
Tom is the writer, director and producer of ‘Every Last Child‘ – a documentary following the struggle to end polio in Pakistan. The film documents the dramatic stories of five people who have been impacted by this devastating disease. Tom is a multi-award winning BAFTA and Emmy nominated documentary film director and producer with dozens of films to his name with subject matters ranging from the war in Afghanistan to the Arab/Israeli conflict to homeless children on the streets of Britain.
Global Health Correspondent, BBC
Tulip is currently the Global Health Correspondent for the BBC. She has also worked on the BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat programme, the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, and Newsday on the BBC World Service. Her work for the BBC includes her reports from Helmand, Afghanistan, on the conflict and its impact on local communities as well as work covering the lives of Polio workers in Peshawar in 2012. More recently, she reported for the BBC and world media onthe Ebola virus epidemic in Sierra Leone.