Susannah Allison leads a program that supports neurobehavioral and psychosocial studies involving infants, children, and adolescents impacted by HIV (such as born to a mother living with HIV) or at-risk for HIV. Before working at NIMH, Dr. Allison worked similar populations in Baltimore, Miami and Washington, DC. She earned her doctorate in Clinical Child Psychology with an emphasis in child health psychology at the George Washington University.
Before beginning her career in research, Jeannie Annan worked for nongovernmental education and child protection programs in Kosovo, northern Uganda, and South Sudan. Dr. Annan oversees a wide range of research at the IRC while her specific research focus is on evaluating prevention and response programs for women and children affected by violence. She earned a PhD in psychology with a minor in African studies from Indiana University. After conducting postdoctoral work at Yale University, she joined the IRC. She also serves as a visiting scientist in the Department of Global Health and Population at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Before becoming a managing partner at her law firm, Tonbofa Eva Ashimi was Director-General of Due Process and E-Governance Bureau of the Bayelsa State Government, Special Adviser to the Bayelsa State Government of Trade, and Coordinator of the Bayelsa State Government Child Development Account Pilot Project. That pilot project, using the Suubi-Uganda Projects model, is an initiative sponsored by Columbia University, the World Bank and New America Foundation with Fred Ssewamala as Principal Investigator. Tonbofa received her LLB degree from the University of Lagos, Nigeria, and her Master of Law degree from Harvard Law School.
Rev. Fr. Joseph Kato Bakulu works to ensure sound educational policies, standards, and procedures within the Diocese of Masaka. In 2004 he became involved with the Suubi Projectsin Uganda, even housing the research offices for the first cohort at his parish. Since then, Fr. Kato has represented the Diocese of Masaka with Fred Ssewamala’s Suubi Projects. These projects have since grown into a fully-fledged International Center for Child Health & Asset Development (ICHAD) with two offices in Uganda.
Alida M. Bouris’ primary research is in the development of family-based interventions to reduce health disparities in HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections, and unplanned pregnancies among African American and Latino young men who have sex with men, and Latino adolescents and young adults. Professor Bouris received her PhD, MPhil, and MSW degrees from the Columbia University School of Social Work, and her undergraduate degree in Women’s Studies from the University of California at Berkeley.
Mark Canavera is a humanitarian aid and development worker who focuses on child protection in West Africa. He has worked on former child soldier reintegration in northern Uganda, small arms control in Senegal, girls’ education promotion in Burkina Faso, and child welfare system reform in Côte d’Ivoire, Niger, Benin, and Cameroon. He holds master’s degrees in Peace Studies from Notre Dame University and in Public Policy from Harvard University.
Josh Chaffin leads a global group dedicated to building economic strength and child protection through a sub-network of the Columbia University-led Care and Protection of Children in Crisis Learning Network. Previously he served as editor of two national Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers. He also has served as editor of the national Human Development Report for the Republic of Azerbaijan. In 2006-7, he managed a USAID-funded reintegration program for children and women affected by the fighting forces in Liberia. He holds a master’s degree in International Affairs from Columbia University.
Robert J. Chaskin researches community organizing and development, community social organization, comprehensive community initiatives, youth development, associations and nonprofits, philanthropy and social change, knowledge utilization and evaluation, and cross-national research. Professor Chaskin received his master’s degree in Anthropology and his doctoral degree in Sociology from the University of Chicago.
Lucie Cluver works closely with the South African government, USAID-PEPFAR, UNICEF, WHO, and Save the Children to provide research evidence that can improve the lives of children affected by HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. Cluver’s recent projects include the Young Carers and Orphan Resilience Studies for AIDS-affected children in South Africa. She holds a PhD in Child Psychiatry and a master’s degree in Social Policy from Oxford University, and a MSW from Cambridge University.
Deborah Gorman-Smith is the Principal Investigator and Director of the Chicago Center for Youth Violence Prevention, one of six national Academic Centers of Excellence funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Her program advances knowledge about development, risk, and prevention of aggression and violence, with specific focus on minority youth living in poor urban settings. Professor Gorman-Smith received her PhD in Clinical-Developmental Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Neil Guterman’s scholarly interests concern services targeting children and violence. He also researches services targeted with preventing child abuse and neglect, as well as the impact of children's exposure to violence outside the home. He earned a PhD in Social Work and Psychology from the University of Michigan, as well as a MSW in Clinical Practice from the University of Michigan.
Julia R. Henly’s research focuses on the intersection of family poverty, low-wage employment, and public policy, especially child care and family policy. She is interested in the economic and caregiving strategies of families, with particular attention to how work conditions, public policies, and social networks support or complicate poverty management and economic mobility. Henly received her PhD in Social Work and Social Psychology, and her MSW in Policy and Planning from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.
Leyla Ismayilova specializes in the development and adaptation of health promotion and family-based interventions in the international context and has worked in international research projects in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and the former Soviet Union. Her research focuses on developing culturally congruent interventions to improve mental health functioning and reduce such behaviors as sexual risk and substance abuse among at-risk children and youth. She received her doctoral and master’s degrees in Social Work from Columbia University School of Social Work.
Sarah Lyn Jones is focusing her research on international social welfare and violence prevention. In the summer of 2013, Sarah traveled to Addis Ababa to conduct a needs assessment of orphaned youth transitioning out of institutional care, and is now working with Loyola University Chicago to develop intervention strategies based on her findings. Sarah is also pursuing her master’s degree in Divinity at McCormick Theological Seminary. She hopes to work with faith-based organizations in developing nations.
Njeri Kagotho is deeply influenced by her international practice. Her research explores the link between a family’s wealth holdings and the well-being of its members. Her research has focused on the impact of chronic illness on wealth creation and preservation, how wealth moderates health behaviors, and impacts of HIV and AIDS on the intergenerational transmission of human capital. She earned her doctoral and master’s degrees in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis.
Leyla Karimli, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration;
Research Associate, New York University McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research Associate; Columbia University International Center for Child Health & Asset Development
New York, NY, USA
Leyla Karimli's research focuses on examining the effect of economic empowerment initiatives on social wellbeing and psychosocial functioning for poor and vulnerable families in global context. She is also interested in studying informal social safety nets and social capital available to poor and vulnerable families, and the role these safety nets play in improving social wellbeing and reducing poverty and vulnerability.
Leyla Karimli received her PhD in social policy from Columbia University’s School of Social Work. She also holds graduate degrees in Political Science and International Relations from universities in US, France, and Azerbaijan.
Dr. Apollo Kivumbi coordinates Suubi+Adherence, an NICHD-funded with Fred Ssewamala as Principal Investigator at the International Center for Child Health & Asset Development. The Suubi+Adherence study tests the impact of an innovative economic strengthening intervention for poor adolescents on their adherence to HIV treatment. Dr. Kivumbi is located in the Masaka-Uganda field office. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Medicine and Human Surgery from Makerere University Medical School, Kampala Uganda.
Jeanne C. Marsh, PhD
George Herbert Jones Distinguished Service Professor and the Director of the Center for Health Administration Studies (CHAS), University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration
Chicago, IL , USA
Jeanne C. Marsh’s special interests include services for women and families, intersection of multiple service systems, the relation of service delivery to treatment outcome, and knowledge utilization in practice and program decision making. She served as SSA dean from 1988 to 1998 and from 2005 to 2010. She also was a Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics and at Clare Hall, Cambridge University. She has published broadly on substance abuse, social service provisions for women and children, and evaluation of social work interventions. She currently is Principal Investigator on a NIDA-funded study of gender differences in the impact of substance abuse treatment services. She earned her MSW and doctoral degree in Social Work and Psychology from the University of Michigan.
Sanyukta Mathur’s research interests include adolescent reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, youth livelihoods, and social transitions. She is the project director and investigator on two NIH-funded research projects that explore risk factors of HIV incident infections among youth and examine the intersection between reproductive health desires and HIV risk. Prior to joining Columbia University, Mathur worked with the International Center for Research on Women as a Public Health Specialist. She received her PhD in Public Health and Sociomedical Sciences from Columbia University, and a master’s degree in Health Science from Johns Hopkins University.
Mary McKay, PhD
Director, McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research;
McSilver Professor of Poverty Studies, New York University Silver School of Social Work
New York, NY USBefore joining the Silver School of Social Work, Mary McKay served as the head of the Division of Mental Health Services Research at Mount Sinai. She has developed a substantial body of research findings around engagement practices to improve involvement in family-based HIV prevention programs and mental health services by children, youth, and families in poverty-impacted urban areas. She also has conducted HIV prevention and care-oriented studies for 15 years with continuous NIH funding. The author more than 100 peer-publications on mental and behavioral health, HIV/AIDS prevention, and behavior modification, she earned a PhD in Social Work from University of Illinois at Chicago and a MSW from Loyola University of Chicago.
J. Curtis McMillen focuses his work around improving mental health services for children and youth in foster care. These efforts include developing new models of treatment foster care, improving the delivery of psychiatric service to foster care populations, including psychotropic medications, and bringing evidence supported mental health interventions into foster care. He also participates in studying the social service workforce charged with monitoring and improving quality. Professor McMillen received his PhD in Social Work from the University of Maryland and his MSW from the University of Oklahoma.
Claude Mellins has clinical expertise in the psychosocial aspects of HIV disease in families and children. She is currently the Principal Investigator of one of the few studies examining mental health and risk behavior in HIV-positive youth and seroreverter. That work is funded by an NIMH grant. She is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Special Needs Clinic at New York Presbyterian Hospital, a mental health clinic for HIV-affected women, children, and families. Mellins earned a PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Southern California.
Project Coordinator, Columbia University International Center for Child Health & Asset Development, Kenya Field Office;
Research Assistant, Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis
Evah Mwangi is the in-country coordinator for the Impact Assessment and Text-Messaging Study, both part of the larger YouthSave Project in Kenya. In partnership with Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis and Kenya Post Office Savings Bank, the Impact Assessment will recruit more than 6,000 Kenyan youth, and the Text-Messaging Study works with more than 15,000 youth currently enrolled in the YouthSave Project. Mwangi began working with the International Center for Child Health & Asset Development in 2011 as a data quality control administrator with the Suubi & Bridges Projects in Masaka and Rakai, Uganda.
Before his current roles, Abel Mwebembezi managed a grant of UNFPA supporting more than 12 NGOs, implementing RH/HIV/AIDS projects, coordinated the Advocacy Project for RH/HIV/AIDS under African Youth Alliance program funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, managed child sponsorship education programs, and coordinated child livelihood projects. Mwebembezi has also worked with United Nations Peace Keeping Mission as a Planning Officer at UNAMID, Darfur, South Sudan. He holds a master’s degree in Population Research from Exeter University in the UK.
Eunice Muthengi’s interests include adolescent reproductive health, population and development, and associations between economic empowerment and health. She manages research studies and interventions related to early marriage, with an emphasis on building social, health and economic assets for vulnerable adolescent girls. She currently is the Deputy Team Leader for the Adolescent Girls Initiative-Kenya, a six-year program using a randomized control trial design to test packages of interventions for adolescent girls. She earned a PhD in Public Health from UCLA, with a focus on reproductive health and demography, and a MSW from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.
Kasio Mutuku is the lead banking representative on the YouthSave Project—a MasterCard Foundation-funded Project, and the Kenya YouthSave Impact Assessment and Text-Messaging Studies, funded by Columbia University’s ICHAD in partnership with KIPPRA, Center for Social Development, and Save the Children. The YouthSave Project is the largest economic empowerment program for children and adolescents in East Africa. Mutuku has participated in these projects since their inception. He also oversees Kenya Postbank branch activities and operations at more than 100 branches across the country.
In her role as branch manager at Centenary Rural Development Bank in Kyotera, Uganda, Sylvia Nabakadde supports Suubi-Uganda studies under ICHAD. Centenary Bank is one of the financial institutions that holds the child savings accounts for the Suubi & Bridges participants who are located in more than 50 schools in six political districts. The bank is also one of the largest financial institutions in Uganda, targeting urban and rural poor.
Dr. Gertrude Nakigozi oversees provision of HIV care and treatment to HIV-positive adults and children in Rakai District, Uganda. She works as a consultant at the International Center for Child Health & Asset Development field office in Masaka. Dr. Nakigozi holds a bachelor’s degree in Medicine and Surgery from Makerere University Medical School, and a master’s degree in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health.
Jennifer Nattabi coordinates the Bridges to the Future study, which is a NICHD-funded study with Fred M. Ssewamala as Principal Investigator. She has worked with the Suubi Projects in Uganda for the past five years. She earned her teaching degree from Makerere University’s School of Education.
Corrinne Ngurukie is the Africa Regional Technical Advisor for the multi-year, multi-country YouthSave Project, a MasterCard Foundation-funded and consortium- project led by Save the Children. Since joining the project in 2010, she has been instrumental in the design and execution of the YouthSave program and in providing support to partner financial institutions in Kenya and Ghana. Her expertise is in youth economic development, financial capability, product development, market research, strategic and product marketing, business process re-engineering, corporate branding, and customer service designing.
Olufunmilayo I. Olopade, MD, FACP
Walter L. Palmer Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine and Human Genetics;
Associate Dean, Global Health;
Director, Center for Global Health,
The University of Chicago Medicine
Chicago, IL USA
Dr. Funmi Olopade is an expert in cancer risk assessment and individualized treatment for the most aggressive forms of breast cancer. She developed novel management strategies based on an understanding of the altered genes in individual patients. She stresses comprehensive risk reducing strategies and prevention in high-risk populations, as well as earlier detection through advanced imaging technologies. Dr. Olopade graduated from the University of Ibadan Medical School.
Timothy Opobo is the Head of Child Protection at ChildFund in Uganda, and the in-country coordinator for the Child Protection in Crisis Learning Network (PLGN). He previously worked with the African Network for the Prevention and Protection against Child Abuse and Neglect-ANPPCAN-in both Uganda and Liberia. He holds a Master’s Degree in Development Studies from University College, Dublin, Ireland, and a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and Social Administration from Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda.
Michael Samson has 25 years’ experience working in social protection. He specializes in designing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating social cash transfer programs, recently completing policy design projects for social assistance programs in Malawi, Lesotho, Senegal, Ghana, Rwanda, and Kenya. He currently is working on social protection projects in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Mozambique, Nepal, the Pacific, South Africa, and Uganda. Dr. Samson received his PhD in Economics from Stanford University and his bachelor’s degree in Economics from Yale University.
Gina Miranda Samuels’ scholarly interests include transracial adoption, mixed race and multiethnic identity formation, interpretive research methods, and the development of relational, kinship, and cultural ties among young adults whose childhoods are shaped by foster care and adoption. Her scholarship situates these lived experiences in a broader socio-historical, cultural, and theoretical context to critically explore how personal identity and well-being are constrained and promoted by child welfare policy and by constructions of race and family. She earned he her MSW and her PhD in Social Work and Social Welfare at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
John Santelli, MD, MPH
Harriet and Robert H. Heilbrunn Professor of Population and Family Health;
Harriet and Robert H. Heilbrunn Professor of Pediatrics, College of Physicians and Surgeons,
Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health
New York, NY USA
Dr. John Santelli researches HIV/STD risk behaviors as well as programs to prevent STD/HIV/unintended pregnancy among adolescents and women. He has studied school-based health centers, clinical preventive services, and research ethics. A national leader and advocate in ensuring that adolescents are appropriately included in health research, Dr. Santelli serves as a senior consultant for the Alan Guttmacher Institute and is an editorial board member for the Journal of Adolescent Health and AIDS Education and Prevention. He earned his master’ degree in Public Health from Johns Hopkins and his MD from Buffalo School of Medicine.
Elizabeth Sperber researches religion and democratization in sub-Saharan Africa; the political economy of development; and applied social policy research. She has worked closely with Fred Ssewamala and Mary McKay on social policy research in Uganda, South Africa, and the urban U.S.
Fred Ssewamala, PhD
Director, Columbia University International Center for Child Health & Asset Development, New York, NY USA;
Associate Professor, University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration
Chicago, IL USA
Fred Ssewamala has received continual NIH funding for the past 10 years, as Principal Investigator on several grants, including Suubi-Uganda, Suubi-Maka, Bridges to the Future, and Suubi+Adherence. These grants examine the impact of economic strengthening and asset-development interventions for HIV/AIDS-affected orphaned and vulnerable children and their caregiving families in sub-Saharan Africa. The results of this work have been published in American Journal of Public Health, Social Science and Medicine, Journal of Adolescent Health, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, Social Service Review, Children and Youth Services Review, and the International Journal of Social Welfare. Ssewamala holds a PhD and MSW with a concentration in Social and Economic Development Policy from Washington University in St. Louis.
Lindsay Stark, PhD
Assistant Professor, Program on Forced Migration and Health;
Director, Child Protection in Crisis (CPC) Learning Network,
Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health
New York, NY USA
Lindsay Stark has more than a decade of experience leading applied research on protection of women and children in humanitarian settings. Stark's particular area of expertise is measuring sensitive and difficult-to-measure social phenomenon. She has led assessment and evaluation projects in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, and she currently serves as Principal Investigator and Executive Director of the Child Protection in Crisis Learning Network, a consortium of agencies and academic institutions that work together on global learning associated with children in disaster and war settings. She holds a PhD in Public Health and MPH from Columbia University.
Julia Shu-Huah Wang specializes in Social Policy and Policy Analysis. As a Research Associate with the International Center for Child Health & Asset Development, she is keenly interested in finding out how to best assist people in need in both the developed and developing worlds. She has assisted grassroots organizations in Uganda and Kenya in designing community development projects and in evaluating program impact. Wang received her MSW from Columbia University and a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Services from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Jason Wolfe supports in-country teams, projects, and partners to improve the economic circumstances of families affected by HIV and AIDS. Previously, he served for five years with USAID’s Microenterprise Development office promoting inclusive value chain development, managing the Enterprise Development Implementation Grant Program, contributing to knowledge management and collaborative learning efforts, and coordinating special initiatives with youth, HIV/AIDS-affected households, and conflict-affected environments.
Li Zou leads Center for Social Developments international asset-building work, and directs the five-year large-scale YouthSave Project in Colombia, Ghana, Kenya, and Nepal. She has contributed to CSD's consulting and research efforts on asset-building policy and children’s savings accounts for governments in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, and South Korea. Zou holds MSW and MBA degrees from Washington University in St. Louis.