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.
Yonette F. Thomas, PhD
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.
Srikanth Kondreddy, PhD
Vice President, Research & Policy
Blaise Nguendo-Yongsi, PhD
Global Lead - Africa
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.
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.
Sainath Banerjee, PhD
Global Lead - Asia
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.
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.
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.
Jose Siri, PhD
Jesse Uneke, MD, PhD
Emmanuel Tsekeleves, PhD
Kefa Otiso, PhD
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).
Franz Gatzweiler, PhD
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.
Jasneth Mullings, PhD
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.
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.
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.