Eric Ottesen is the Director of the NTD Support Center at the Task Force and serves as Chief Technical Advisor for the ENVISION project at RTI International.
He received his A.B. from Princeton University in 1965, his M.D. from Harvard University in 1970, and is board certified in pediatrics. Formerly head of the Clinical Parasitology Section of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases NIH (1975-1994), he was the Project Leader in establishing the Global Programmeto Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis at the World Health Organization (1995-2001).
Eric's research interests have focused principally on host responsiveness to parasitic helminth infections (primarily filariasis, onchocerciasis and schistosomiasis), on the relationship between allergic and parasitic diseases, and on the challenges of implementing global health programs based on mass drug administration.
Pat Lammie is Chief Scientist of the NTD Support Center at The Task Force for Global Health, where he provides technical guidance and strategic oversight to the projects. Prior to joining The Task Force, Pat served for more than 20 years at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where he continues to contribute to the Disease Elimination and Control Group in the Division of Parasitic Diseases.
With a principal focus on lymphatic filariasis, Pat is heavily invested in efforts to develop new tools and strategies to monitor and evaluate filariasis and other NTDs. He serves on WHO’s NTD Monitoring and Evaluation Working Group and Regional PRGs for AFRO, SEARO and WPRO.
Pat received his PhD from Tulane University in 1983 following doctoral research on the immunology of experimental filariasis.
Elias Amin is a Financial Analyst for the Neglected Tropical Diseases Support Center (NTD-SC). Prior to joining the NTD-SC, Elias has had extensive experience with CARE (working in Ethiopia, Atlanta HQ, Roving Controller in Sierra Leone, DRC, and with Somalia) mostly in the areas of Finance Leadership, reporting, analysis, Treasury and program support. As Finance Controller for CARE Somalia, he led the team that was successful on A-133 & Financial Report audits and that drove sub-grant/partner management improvements in assessment, capacity building, liquidation, reporting and monitoring.
Elias holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from The Open University, UK and a Bachelor of Art degree in Accounting, and an Associate degree in computer science from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia.
Kira Barbre is an Associate Director of Programs for the Neglected Tropical Disease Support Center at The Task Force for Global Health. In this role, she provides technical support for operational research projects. Previously, Kira spent five years working at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where her work focused infectious diseases among international travelers. She was also involved in international emergency responses for MERS-CoV and Ebola.
Kira holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Health and Society from Beloit College and a Masters of Public Health with a focus on Global Epidemiology from Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health.
Katie Gass is the Director of Research at the NTD Support Center, where she provides technical expertise and strategic guidance to the operational research portfolio. Prior to this position, Katie served as the epidemiologist at the NTD Support Center. Katie has also provided statistical and programmatic consulting for other public health programs including UNICEF, RTI, Helen Keller, and the A2Z Micronutrient Project at the Academy for Educational Development. Katie also served as a Peace Corps Community Health volunteer in Peru from 2003-2005.
Katie's research interests lie in the development of monitoring and evaluation strategies that can help NTD programs reach their end targets. Her expertise is in sampling designs and analytic tool development. Katie earned her PhD and MPH in Epidemiology from Emory University and holds a BA in Mathematics and Theatre from Oberlin College.
Waithera Kagira-Watson serves as the Associate Program Director of Finance for the NTD Support Center at The Task Force for Global Health. Waithera has over 15 years of grant and project management experience. She has managed multiple international projects that are funded by private donors and the US government. Prior to joining The Task Force, Waithera worked as a Financial Associate at Harvard University for more than seven years. She has also worked with various companies in Kenya and in the Finance Department of the Baha'i World Center in Haifa, Israel.
Waithera holds an MBA in Project Management from Keller Graduate School of Management, an MPH from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting, and a graduate Certificate in Special Studies in Administration and Management with a concentration in International Management from the Harvard University Extension School.
Julie Kenyon is a Project Manager for the NTD Support Center. She joined the team in 2015 as a Program Associate. In her current role, Julie helps to ensure that the more than 120 operational research projects NTD-SC facilitates are completed on time, within budget, and meeting established goals. She engages with external parties involved in the research and ensure smooth day-to-day operations of NTD-SC projects.
Prior to joining the Task Force for Global Health, she served as Research Associate for the Morehouse College Public Health Sciences Institute (PHSI) where she provided data management, research support, and grant procurement. She has experience developing promotional materials, conducting staff trainings, and promoting conferences. Her public health background includes workforce development, program evaluation, community engagement and supply chain management. She serves as a member of the Neglected Tropical Diseases Supply Chain Forum.
Julie holds a BA in Psychology from Vanderbilt University and an MPH in Behavioral and Community Health Sciences from the University of Pittsburgh.
Charles Mackenzie, a pathologist with expertise in tropical diseases, focuses on laboratory support and country program activities on neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) for the NTD Support Center in conjunction with the Mectizan Donation Program. He has over 30 years experience of working closely with a number of countries in Africa and Latin America on onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis, as well as a long career at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Michigan State University researching the pathogenesis of filarial and other infectious diseases. His main areas of activity at the Task Force for Global Health involve the development of a laboratory support system to aid countries as they move to the elimination and control of NTDs, as well as catalyzing the global efforts to eliminate onchocerciasis. Charles is also the current Chair of the Global Alliance to Eliminate of Lymphatic Filariasis (GAELF), as well as other committees that focus on patient care for NTDs.
Andrew serves as Operations Manager for the NTD Support Center. With more than a decade of international management experience for clinical operations and pharmaceutical studies throughout Africa, the Americas, and Southeast Asia, Andrew will not only provide detailed project management and operational support for each project within the NTD Support Center portfolio, but also track their progress and report to donors.
Previously, Andrew served as Scientific Program Manager for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation supported ‘Death to Oncho and LF (DOLF)’ project at Washington University in St. Louis. In this role, Andrew actively managed the global operations and donor reporting for all research and clinical studies to eliminate NTDs in Africa and Asia-Pacific regions. His professional experience spans project planning from site identification, protocol preparation, IRB approvals, study budgets, logistical support, training and study site initiations, data management, and the conduct of Phase 3 and 4 studies to regulatory approval, labeling, and marketing of Phase 4 approved drugs in the Americas and Asia-Pacific region.
Andrew became passionate about public health when his fellowship started in Africa in 2001, when he lived and actively managed HIV/AIDS VCT centers in Lusaka (Zambia) and Kigali (Rwanda). He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Biology, and a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Animal Science with a focus on Reproductive Immunology. He is published in several peer-reviewed articles and is fluent in French.
Wendi McAfee serves as the Supply Chain Systems Analyst for the NTD Support Center. She is responsible for coordinating program activities and ensuring the smooth day-to-day operations of the NTD-SC supporting our collaborative work by liaising with partners regarding contracts, finances, and travel.
Prior to her work at the NTD Support Center, Wendi served as a guest researcher and public health analyst at CDC. During this time, she coordinated the research activities of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center for the Control and Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis in the Americas, based at CDC. She later served as the operating manager of various parasitic disease research projects, many of which included NTDs in multiple countries. Prior to her career in public health, Wendi worked in the travel industry.
Wendi has a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Sweet Briar College in Virginia and a Certificate in Health and Humanitarian Supply Chain Management from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Nikita serves as the Events Manager with the NTD Support Center at the Task Force for Global Health. She has over 13 years of meeting planning experience and has planned both domestic and international meetings. Nikita also splits her time with the Mectizan Donation Program where she serves as the Program Coordinator and is responsible for providing administrative, meeting planning, and financial management support. Prior to joining MDP, she worked as Program Coordinator for Children Without Worms, also a program of the Task Force for Global Health. Nikita has also worked as program coordinator with the Minority Health Professions Foundation (MHPF) where she served as liaison between the MHPF, its member institutions and funding agencies.
Nikita holds a Masters in Public Health degree with a concentration in Behavioral Science and Health Education from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in Tallahassee, Florida and a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health Administration from Dillard University in New Orleans, LA.
As Associate Director of Mapping Research, Kisito Ogoussan will liaise with partners, especially WHO/AFRO, to complete mapping for preventive chemotherapy Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) in Africa as part of a supplementary grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Prior to joining the NTD Support Center, Kisito worked with the Mectizan Donation Program for 6 years where he was responsible for the operations needed for mass drug administration (MDA) for onchocerciasis with ivermectin (Mectizan) in Africa, Latin America and Yemen. He was member of the program technical review group for the two Onchocerciasis control/elimination regional programs in Africa and Latin America, and participated in the technical working group on loaisis.
Kisito also worked as Research Associate at the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics/University of South Carolina for three years. Prior to that, he worked as Project Director for EAST, an international non-governmental organization working to improve hygiene, sanitation, and environmental health of populations in rural and suburban areas in Benin and Togo through community empowerment, health education, and the building of adapted sanitation facilities.
Kisito Ogoussan received his M.D. from the School of Health Sciences/National University of Benin, and completed his Masters’ degree of Public Health at the University of South Carolina.
Joanna Pritchard is the NTD Scorecard Manager, coordinating data collection for and production of the NTD Scorecard, which tracks progress towards the control and elimination goals for neglected tropical diseases set out by the London Declaration for NTDs in 2012. Prior to joining the NTD-SC, Joanna worked at the International Trachoma Initiative as Program Manager from 2015 to 2017 and as Senior Program Associate from 2013 to 2015. Before coming to the Task Force, Joanna served on health, development and emergency response projects at the UN in Haiti from 2010 – 2012. Prior to working in Haiti, Joanna worked in community health, development and education in the southeastern US for 15 years, ranging from emergency assistance to road safety. A native of the UK, she holds an MA in Economics from the University of Glasgow, UK, and an MA in Anthropology from the University of Florida, with a focus on migration and development in the Caribbean.
Allison Snyder is the Program Support Specialist for the NTD Support Center at the Task Force for Global Health. In this role, she provides administrative and logistical support for NTD Support Center projects, initiatives and operational research programs.
Prior to joining the NTD-SC, Allison served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Rwanda. There, she taught English, led health education initiatives, and developed program materials now used by over 1.8 million school children. Allison has more than six years of experience in program development and management, and project planning, within both international and domestic organizations. Allison holds a Bachelor of Science degree in International Affairs from Florida State University.
Ashley Souza is the Logistics Coordinator for the NTD Support Center at The Task Force for Global Health. In this role, she provides logistical support for NTD Support Center projects, initiatives, and operational research program.
Prior to joining the NTD-SC, Ashley worked as a program coordinator for the University of South Florida Center for Global Health and Infectious Disease Research. She has a background in infectious disease research with more than 3 years of experience working on a drug discovery research program for visceral leishmaniasis. Ashley holds a Masters of Public Health degree with a concentration in Global Communicable Disease from the University of South Florida.
Mariana Stephens is the Senior Associate Director of Special Programs with the NTD Support Center at The Task Force for Global Health. In this role Mariana provides strategic planning and directs the development and implementation of the complex, multi-institutional operational research programs coordinated by the NTD Support Center. Her focus is on targeting the special challenges of national NTD programs supported by USAID and providing a rapid research response for these programs.
Prior to joining the NTD Support Center, Mariana has worked with CARE, World Vision International and Habitat for Humanity International in various technical and management positions. She began her career in Zaire and Mali serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Mariana holds a Master’s in Public Health from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health and a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Design from Texas A&M University. Mariana also is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES).
Chelsea Toledo serves as Associate Director of Communications and Development for the Neglected Tropical Diseases Support Center (NTD-SC) at The Task Force for Global Health. In this role, Ms. Toledo is responsible for promotion of the NTD-SC's work and engagement with key partners, including activities related to the Coalition for Operational Research on Neglected Tropical Diseases (COR-NTD).
Ms. Toledo has been active in the field of communication since 2008, most recently supporting the health advocacy efforts of The Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington, DC. There, she was chiefly responsible for promoting the organization's initiatives to support biomedical research and to address antibiotic resistance. She has also worked as a science writer for the National Institute of General Medical Sciences and for Mindspec's Autism Reading Room.
Ms. Toledo received a bachelor's degree in Linguistics and a master's degree in Health and Medical Journalism, both from the University of Georgia. She is currently pursuing a Master of Public Health degree in Prevention Science from Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health.
Wendy Worthington serves as a Project Manager for the NTD Support Center. Wendy is a public health professional with more than 10 years of experience in global health, environmental health, chronic disease, water & sanitation, food safety epidemiology, and coalition building at international, federal, and local levels. Prior to joining the NTD Support Center, Wendy served as a Project Manager with the Training Programs in Epidemiology and Public Health Interventions Network (TEPHINET). Wendy’s previous assignments at CDC ranged from coordinating a meningitis surveillance network in Africa to environmental preparedness work related to Ebola. She is a graduate of CDC’s Public Health Prevention Service (PHPS), and her placements included CDC Atlanta, University of New Mexico, and DeKalb County Board of Health. Wendy served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cameroon in the agroforestry program, with a primary focus on sustainable agriculture.
Wendy holds a BS in Ecology and a BA in Environmental Studies from Brevard College, as well as an MPH with a focus in Global Environmental Health from Emory University. Outside the office, Wendy has been spotted enjoying hiking, travel, fitness, and furry canines.