Program Advisory Group of Experts (PAGE)

UrbanHealth360 is proud to be supported by a Program Advisory Group of Experts (PAGE) comprised of a Steering Committee and a supporting group of Strategic Advisors—all experts in urban health and population dynamics.

These distinguished experts serve in academia, global nongovernmental organizations, and other entities that focus on population health in general, but specifically on the health of urban populations.

Steering Committee

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Yonette F. Thomas, PhD

Chair


Dr. Yonette Felicity Thomas is the founder and president of UrbanHealth360, an organization of multidisciplinary thinkers centered on a people-oriented, community-focused approach to urban health. Dr. Thomas is a globally acknowledged thought leader, urban health champion, and an advocate for valuing the health of women and girls as an economic imperative. A social epidemiologist/medical sociologist by training, she has served as the chief of Epidemiology at the National Institute on Drug Abuse in the National Institutes of Health, held academic positions at University of Miami Miller School of

Medicine and Howard University, and as a vice president for research. She founded Borjoner International and Strategic Transitions to influence the progress, health, and wellbeing of individuals and communities across the world. As a founding board member of Women’s Economic Imperative (WEI), she leads the organization’s focus on the health of women and girls as an economic value. Her work as global advisor for Evidence for Sustainable Human Development Systems in Africa (EVIHDAF) and the Centre for Urban Health and Development within the Asian Institute of Poverty Alleviation (CUHD-AIPA) extends her focus on the global south and the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals in this last decade. She is the Associate Editor for Women and Girls for Cities & Health.

She is a founding board member of the International Society for Urban Health (ISUH) and recently led the organization into sustainability by serving as the inaugural executive director (as a board member) and has served as a science advisor for urban health to the New York Academy of Medicine. She is a founding board member and former vice president of the Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science (IAPHS) and served on the Steering Committee of the National Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse for more than a decade.

She served on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Revisions to the Common Rule for the Protection of Human Subjects in Research in the Behavioral and Social Sciences. Her primary research and publications have focused on the social determinants of health, health disparities, the health of women and girls as an economic value, the social epidemiology of drug abuse and HIV/AIDS and the link with geography, including edited volumes: Geography and Drug Addiction, Crime, HIV, and Health: intersections of Criminal Justice and Public Health Concerns.

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Srikanth Kondreddy, PhD

Vice President, Research & Policy


Dr Srikanth Kondreddy is a founding member and vice-president (policy and research) of UrbanHealth360. Dr Kondreddy is a social scientist with training in global health policy, governance, and diplomacy. He is an affiliated scientist with Bruyere Research Institute, University of Ottawa, and a Senior Fellow of WHO Collaborating Centre for Knowledge Translation and Health Technology Assessment in Health Equity, Ottawa, Canada. He works with United Nations agencies and governments. Also contributes to Think 20, a policy engagement group of the G20. Between 2019-2020, he served as a Senior officer with the Global Health and Nutrition Bureau, Global Issues and Development Branch, Global Affairs Canada. He previously worked for the Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies (Switzerland), McGill University (Canada), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Public Health Foundation of India, and Population Council (India). He was an ICMR Fellow and JN Tata Scholar. Also, received awards from the Canadian Society for International Health, Eastern Sociological Society, International AIDS Society, J N Tata Endowment, and University Grants Commission. He received research grants from Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Swiss Network for International Studies, Worldwide Universities Network, Global One Health Network, Steinberg Foundation, and JN Tata Endowment. He published in high-impact health policy journals such as The Lancet, Health Policy and Planning, BMJ Global Health, etc. He holds a PhD in Anthropology.
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Blaise Nguendo-Yongsi, PhD

Global Lead - Africa


H. Blaise Nguendo Yongsi was born in Cameroon. He earned his B. Ed. at Laurentian University, his B.A. and M.A. at Yaoundé University, his M.Sc. at the University of Paris IV-Sorbonne, and his Ph.D. at Paris-X. His doctoral dissertation investigated risk factors of diarrheal diseases among young children in Cameroon. He has a longstanding interest in Human and regional geography at the local and international scales. His areas of specialization encompass environment and health, population health (geography of diseases and health care systems) and epidemiology of communicable diseases. Nguendo Yongsi’s work involves an integrative understanding of the broad determinants of population health and research on environment and health linkages. From 2000 to 2010, he has empirically focused on the spatial disparities of communicable diseases and access to health care in Cameroon. Interested in the human health impacts of environmental exposure, from 2010 and 2015, his work in this area involves examining the links between drinking water and health outcomes. His recent work since 2015 involves issues in urban health and vulnerable populations. Nguendo Yongsi believes in the complementarity of quantitative and qualitative methods of analysis. A growing interest in the explanation of the human face of disease and health status has led him to investigate the socio-cultural aspects of health in a variety of African settings using humanistic theories and qualitative methods.
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Greg Williams

Global Lead - Europe


Greg Williams is a Senior Lecturer in Public Health and Deputy-Director of the Master of Public Health programme at The University of Manchester. He is also the Vice-President of the Urban Public Health section of the European Public Health Association and a Member of the Faculty of Public Health through Distinction.

As well as his teaching-focused role, Greg is a keen researcher and has an extensive background in public and urban health research with multiple peer-reviewed publications from local, national and international research projects. He has worked on and managed projects that have ranged from urban health indicator data collection to healthy ageing interventions, through to the evaluation of programmes aimed at reducing health inequalities.

As well as a background in public health research and teaching, Greg has been on the organising/scientific committee of the International Conference of Urban Health, the International Festival of Public Health, the Society for Social Medicine’s annual scientific meeting, the European Conference on Urban Health and the European Public Health Conference. Greg is a member of multiple international networks including working on the steering group of the European Health Information Initiative, which is an EU, WHO and OECD initiative focused on harmonising data collection and reducing the reporting burden of WHO European Region member states.

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Jean Christophe Fotso, PhD


Jean Christophe Fotso is the Founder and Manager of EVIHDAF. He is a research and evaluation professional with more than 15 years’ experience in designing and applying state-of-the-art approaches to program monitoring and evaluation and dissemination. He has considerable experience in research, using a wide range of methodologies in the area of family planning and reproductive health, maternal, newborn and child health, nutrition and food security, human resources for health, and use of mobile technologies to reduce barriers to health care.

Until December 2016, he served as Director, Monitoring and Evaluation at Concern Worldwide USA, an international NGO working with the poorest communities in 29 countries. In this capacity, he led the evaluation of an eight-year program, Innovations for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, comprised of nine projects in five countries (Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, India, Sierra Leonne), and two cross-project agenda on human-centered design, and alignment with human rights principles. Prior to joining Concern Worldwide in early 2013, he was the head of the population and reproductive health research program at the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) in Nairobi, Kenya, leading and managing projects in many African countries including Kenya, Ethiopia, Congo DR, Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal.

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Sainath Banerjee, PhD

Global Lead - Asia


Sainath Banerjee, is a Medical Anthropologist by training, holds Ph. D in Population Genetics and was a research fellow with National Institute of Health and Family Welfare (NIHFW), New Delhi, India. Dr. Sainath has over two decades of experience in the field of development in public health, particularly in program designing, management and scale up. For the last fourteen years, he has been engaged in designing and implementation of evidence based urban health program such as Environmental Health Project (EHP), Extended Urban Health Program, and Community Based Urban Health Program in collaboration of John Hopkins University, Urban Health Initiative (UHI) and more recently, Health of the Urban Poor (HUP) supported by USAID and Gates Foundation. He played a critical role in designing and initially rolling out support to National Urban Health Mission (NUHM), Govt. of India by providing key policy, technical and program- architectural support on urban health, both at National and state level. He has worked with many national and international organizations such as PFI, Care India, EHP, and Development Alternatives and has also served as founder board member of Urban Health Resource Centre (UHRC). His area of interest in urban health are Health System, Governance and Planning, Addressing Equity, Convergence, Capacity Building, Measurement and Learning. Currently, Dr. Sainath is associated with Asian Development Bank (ADB) supported Technical Assistance Support Program to Government of India on National Urban Health Mission (NUHM).

Strategic Advisors

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Charlotte Marchandise


Charlotte Marchandise is an expert in Global Health, currently working for the WHO Academy. She has been working as consultant and lecturer in the fields of innovation, public health, social work, education, and environment, and has been an activist in several NGOs since the 1990s, advocating for people's empowerment, with an eco-feminist perspective.

From 2014 to 2020, she was Deputy Mayor for Health and Environment in Rennes, France. She worked to integrate the inhabitants in policy making while working with academics to ensure evidence-based decisions. She launched actions to fight against social inequalities, facilitated cooperation and intersectoral actions such as Healthy Urban Planning and integrated Health in all municipal policies. Her local commitment led to her election as president of WHO Healthy Cities French Network (2014-2020), co-chair of the Political Vision Board of European Healthy Cities (2016-2020), and co-chair of GUAPO, the Global Urban Air Pollution Observatory (2017-2020).

Through those networks, she advocated for Urban Health, Democracy and acted as spokesperson to amplify the voice of local actors heard at national and global levels. Her leadership led to the growth of the networks as well as some legislatives changes. She contributed to open the road for a new role for cities within the UN system and high-level decisions.

In 2016, she ran for the French presidential elections as the winner of LaPrimaire.org, a movement which organized open primaries, independent of the political parties, to allow French citizens a free, transparent, and democratic choice for presidential elections. She is active in several democratic movements to promote the participation in public life of the most vulnerable citizens.

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Omolade Femi-Ajao, PhD, FRSPH


Omolade Femi-Ajao is a Lecturer in Global Oral Health developing an international profile in global health with a specific focus on how the strengths of ethnic minority NGOs and FBOs can be used to address health inequalities. Dr. Femi-Ajao explored multiple perspectives on how individuals from ethnic minority groups can have access to and utilize existing health and social care services.

Dr. Femi-Ajao's career aim is to become a fully independent researcher and contribute to the implementation of the United Nations SDG -5 on Gender Equality and Women Empowerment in the UK, by focusing on the role of immigrant NGOs and FBOs in addressing health inequalities.

Dr. Femi-Ajao began her academic/research career as a teaching/graduate assistant in 2007, working in the Dept of Public and Allied Health, Babcock University, Nigeria. Her varied job role was the motivation for the completion of a MSc in Social Research Methods and Statistics from CMIST (University of Manchester).

Over the last ten years, Femi-Ajao has been involved with Greater Manchester-based domestic violence charities and voluntary organizations to explore strategies for improving the access of immigrant women to appropriate professional services. She has also worked with leaders of FBOs to ensure their capacity is enhanced for supporting women with lived experience of intimate partner abuse.

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Charles Ebikeme, PhD


Dr. Charles Ebikeme is a Policy Officer in the Department of Health Policy. Charles is currently part of the LSE team working on the African Health Observatory Platform on Health Systems & Policies (AHOP). The partnership includes WHO’s African Health Observatory, the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies and leading research institutions in Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda and Senegal, with further expansion planned. The Platform seeks to promote evidence-informed policymaking in the African region by synthesizing existing research and generating new evidence on health systems performance.

Charles received his PhD in Parasitology from the University of Glasgow. His PhD focused on understanding how drugs work against parasites and how parasites become resistant to drugs. In the case of African trypanosomiasis, transport related phenomena have been central and a major research area has been associated with understanding drug resistance. His research investigated the inner workings of the parasite that causes African sleeping sickness and the development of novel treatments for the disease. He holds an MSc in Infectious Diseases from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and a BSc in Biochemistry from University College London.

Prior to joining LSE, Charles worked at the intersection of research and policy, focusing on mainstreaming health into sustainable development topics such as climate change and urbanisation. He has managed global research programmes and spearheaded policy and advocacy initiatives globally.

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Jose Siri, PhD


José Siri is the Senior Science Lead for Cities, Urbanization and Health for the Welcome Trust's Our Planet Our Health Programme, helping to manage the programme's portfolio of urban research and build strategic engagement to advance the field of planetary health. He is a member of the World Economic Forum Global Future Council for the Future of Cities and Urbanization, an advisor to the Future Earth Urban Knowledge Action Network, and an editorial advisor for Cities and Health journal. He was previously a commissioner on the Tsinghua-Lancet Commission on Healthy Cities in China and a founder and member of the executive committee of the LAC-Urban Health research network. Over his career in research and policy, José has worked to develop and apply systems approaches to urban health, focusing on leveraging science for healthy development, developing simple systems tools to catalyse better decision-making, and improving understanding of complex challenges.
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Jesse Uneke, MD, PhD


Prof. C. Jesse Uneke is a professor of medical parasitology & health policy/systems. He obtained his PhD from University of Jos, Nigeria, where he commenced his academic career in the AIDS/Leishmaniasis Research Laboratory as a Research Fellow. In 2003, he was appointed a lecturer in the Department of Medical Microbiology/Parasitology of Faculty of Clinical Medicine, Ebonyi State University Abakaliki, Nigeria, where he rose to the rank of professor in 2015. Prof Uneke is the Founder/Director of the African Institute for Health Policy & Health Systems, a WHO supported and collaboration Centre in Ebonyi State University. The Institute undertakes training in health policy & health systems research (HPSR), knowledge translation/brokering/ management platform, and supports decision-making institutions and government ministries/agencies in Nigeria in evidence-informed policymaking. Prof Uneke is a major promoter of evidence to policy process and has served as a consultant and principal investigator of several WHO, USAID, IDRC, and WAHO health related projects in Nigeria and across the West African sub-region. In 2019, he was appointed the Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of academic matters in Ebonyi State University Abakaliki. Prof Uneke believes strongly in mentorship and independent productive scholarship.
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Emmanuel Tsekeleves, PhD


Emmanuel Tsekleves currently works at the Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts (LICA), Lancaster University. Emmanuel leads research at the intersection of design, health, wellbeing and technology at the Imagination Lancaster research lab. He conducts research in the design of technology-inspired health interventions and services, which are created by end-users and are aimed at improving the quality of life and wellbeing of people into old age, including people with chronic health problems (i.e. Dementia, Parkinson’s, Stroke). Emmanuel also researches preventative tools that encourage healthier behaviors and conducts research in public health in developing countries.
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Kefa Otiso, PhD


Kefa M. Otiso is Professor of Geography, Graduate Coordinator for the School of Earth Environment and Society, and Director of the Global Village at Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio, USA. He has a PhD in Urban and Economic Geography from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, USA, and has a scholarly focus on urbanization, globalization, international migration, development, governance, and cultural change in the context of Africa and North America. He is the author of two books and numerous journal articles and book chapters. He is a former editor of the African Geographical Review.
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Shamim Talukder, MD


Dr. Md. Shamim Hayder Talukder graduated from Rajshahi Medical College in 1996 and later acquired M.Phil in International Community Health from University of Oslo, Norway in 2003. He is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Eminence Associates for Social Development (EASD) since 2003. With over a decade of experience as a development professional in areas of public health, he has been exploring the scope of innovative ideas and skills in research, designing the essential and need-based study, surveys, and techniques. Being a focal point of Eminence, he has been providing overall technical and strategic leadership for the expansion and scale-up of activities for the sustainability of the organization and maintaining excellent relations with high government officials, policymakers, donors, and coordination and strong partnerships. Moreover, having scopes to work as the secretariat of different national and international society related to health and nutrition leading participation in policy formulation and implications process, he has acquired combine strong analytical, and management skills with expertise in the participatory appraisal, Strategic Planning, Operations, and Program Management, Review, Policy Advocacy and Analysis, research and evaluation focusing Maternal and Child Health, Reproductive Health, Non-Communicable Disease (NCDs), Urban Health, Communicable Disease, and Nutrition.

As head of the organization, he proactively spends time in different tiers of health and nutrition-related projects and program implementation and management of the technical team, encouraging learning and promoting the increased and efficient service delivery that results in sustainable and effective change in the public health sector of Bangladesh. He has expertise in heading organizational budgeting, projection, reporting, policy formulation, and its better execution. Being a focal point of Eminence, he is maintaining a very good relationship with different stakeholders, donors, partners at the national and international level for mobilizing resources and partnership development for its sustainability. Since its beginning, providing technical assistance to design programs, surveys, surveillance, and innovative study design and scopes to work with over 100 studies. Over the years serving as Member Secretary of the Bangladesh Non-Communicable Disease Forum (NCD-F), is a common knowledge-sharing platform bringing all national agendas together and complement inputs for better strategic directions. Bangladesh Civil Society Network for Promoting Nutrition is a platform headed by Eminence to scaling up nutrition (SUN) in Bangladesh from the start- to ensure sustainability and widely participatory. Also being a former President of the International Society of Urban Health (ISUH) created an opportunity to bring national focus and interest in the international arena.

Dr. Shamim Talukder has 17 years of experience in research, advocacy, training, program implementation, behavior change communication, community business and influential marketing. He has been doing it with utmost sincerity and professionalism since the creation of Eminence. Eminence does both organized professional development courses and provide various tailor-made, demand-based training services for the range of clients. Eminence over years specializes delivering several on-job and off-job training programs for various individual client groups. The training unit is organized with three (3) well-equipped training rooms at its national office, pool of in-house and external resource persons. Institutional and vocational trainings are organized by Eminence to improve the health and developmental situation and IT skills that is needed to interpret and utilize information around us in the best possible way. Need-based trainings are formulated to improve the skills and knowledge of the health and developmental activists. Dr. Talukder has so far conducted training on Occupational Health, Adolescent Health and Communication Skill Development for the staffs of Save the Children (USA).

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Franz Gatzweiler, PhD


Prof. Franz W. Gatzweiler studied Agricultural Economics at the University of Bonn and the Humboldt University of Berlin. His doctorate research was on the ‘Nature of Economic Value and the Value of Nature’. He received stipends and research grants from the German Research Foundation (DFG), the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH), the Volkswagen Foundation, and the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research. He was research fellow at the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University, USA established by the late Nobel laureate Elinor Ostrom. In 2015 he earned a habilitation (fakultas docendi) for resource economics from the Humboldt University of Berlin. His research interests lie at the edge of ecological, economic and social sciences and have covered problems of value in complex socio-ecological, living systems, institutional change in polycentric organization, marginality and technology innovations for productivity growth in rural development. He was senior researcher at the Center of Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn, Germany from 2004-2014. Currently he is the executive director of the International Science Council's global program on “Urban Health and Wellbeing: a Systems Approach”, based at the Institute of Urban Environment at the Chinese Academy of Science, Xiamen, China.
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Joel Ugborogho, MA


Joel Ugborogho is Founder and CEO of CenHealth, a health technology company that specializes in digital health services and health technology solutions by leveraging emerging technologies; Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), Blockchain, Mobile apps and Cloud Computing.

With over 20 years of global experience under his belt in the areas of Technology Strategy, IT Portfolio Management, Enterprise Resource Planning, Digital Transformation and Emerging Technologies. His skills and expertise have allowed him to thrive in the developed markets of UK, Europe and the US and deliver impact across various industries in emerging economies throughout East, South and West Africa.

Joel is also a keynote speaker with a unique approach to mapping the relevant, viable technology strategy and solutions to an organization's business objectives, strategy, challenges and problem statements. His presentations are insightful, innovative and motivational in content. Joel holds an MSc Information Systems Development from the London School of Economics (LSE) and a BSc in Biochemistry. He is also a certified Practitioner in PRINCE2, P3O and COBIT5.

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Jasneth Mullings, PhD


Jasneth Mullings has been working as an Epidemiologist/Research Scientist at the Office of the Dean, Faculty of Medical Sciences, The University of the West Indies since 2013. She also received her PhD degree in Epidemiology at the The University of the West Indies. Over the last decade she has contributed to the design and implementation of community health research, educational and intervention programs within the Caribbean. This work has incorporated training and service delivery. Through these programs, critical partnerships have been forged with governmental and non-governmental organizations. More recently her work has expanded to include an examination of the effects of neighborhood structural and social processes on the health of the Jamaican population, with a focus on mental health effects.
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Robert Ndugwa, PhD


Robert P. Ndugwa is currently the Officer in charge of the Global Urban Observatory Unit in the Research and Capacity Development Branch at the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) in Nairobi, Kenya. He is primarily responsible for the UN-Habitat 's global urban monitoring and reporting on SDGs and also doubles as the chief statistician for UN-Habitat. Prior to joining UN-Habitat, Robert worked with UNICEF as head of Research, Evaluation and Statistics in Kenya Country Office; London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine-UK; University of Heidelberg-Germany; African Population and Health Research Center, Kenya, and Makerere University Kampala.

Robert holds a PhD in Epidemiology and Biostatistics. His research interests include slum estimations, city prosperity measurements, urbanization and health systems dynamics, urban inequalities and marginalization, urban spatial analysis and mapping, mobile technologies for data collection in urban and remote areas, urban demographic surveillance systems, and urbanization and adolescents' transitions. He has contributed to several book chapters and peer-review articles in Journals such as: Journal of Urban Health, Lancet, International Journal of Epidemiology, Journal of Child Health, Malaria Journal, Studies in Family Planning, Bulletin of World Health Organization, and more.

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Blessing Mberu, PhD


Professor Blessing Mberu is a Senior Research Scientist and Head of Urbanization and Wellbeing Research Unit at African Population and Health Research Center, Nairobi Kenya and an Honorary Professor of Demography and Population Studies, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. Blessing works on migration, urbanization, and urban health in sub-Saharan Africa. He holds an MA and PhD degrees in Sociology from Brown University (USA); an MSc from the University of Ibadan and a BSc. Hons. from Imo State University, now Abia State University (Nigeria).

Blessing joined APHRC in 2008 as a Post-Doctoral Fellow and previously worked in the Center as a Research Intern and Travel Scholar between August 2004 and June 2005. Prior to APHRC, Blessing worked at Abia State University, Nigeria from August 1988 as a Graduate Assistant in the Department of Sociology and a Senior Lecturer between 1999 and 2002. He is in the International Advisory Board of Sierra Leone Urban Research Center, Freetown and in the Governing Board of International Society for Urban Health.

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Rowena Estwick, MA


Rowena Estwick currently heads up international and national partnerships at a UK based urban health foundation. Her role builds strategic partnerships with key national and international stakeholders to support the Charity’s aims and raise its profile. She currently leads the Charity’s international cities work, developing networks, research and learning opportunities with those working in similar cities and neighborhoods in other parts of the world, to better understand the roots to health equity.

Rowena has 20 years of experience working in the third sector, having founded a grassroots youth organization in her neighborhood as a teen. She is currently vice-chair of a School Trust board and holds degrees in Environmental Science and Urban Regeneration.

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