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Meet Our STAR Fellows

As a global health talent hub, STAR provides our Fellows with immersive experiences in global health organizations to build capacity and contribute their technical expertise to address high-impact needs. Meet our STAR Fellows who are making powerful and innovative contributions to global health!

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Name: Abdul Ghafoor

Title: Senior Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis and Global Fund Grant Advisor
Location: Pakistan

Dr. Abdul Ghafoor is a senior Public Health Specialist with a rich clinical experience in TB including Drug Resistance TB. He has been on various leadership positions in TB control program and worked as Provincial Manager TB Control, Director Health Services at Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He also worked as Country Director KNCV Pakistan. He has been engaged in development of National DR TB guidelines since 2009 and had a lead role in revising National DR TB Guidelines in view of new Global Learning and WHO recommendations. He also remained Vice Chair of Regional Green Light committee. He facilitated NTP in introducing new drugs (Bdq, Dlm) , Standard Short Treatment Regimen, All oral Longer treatment Regimen and all oral Short Treatment regimen.

Name: Abdulmalik Abubakar

Title: Strategic Information Advisor
Location: Malawi

Abdulmalik ‘Malik’ Abubakar is an experienced Project Management, Strategic Information/ Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor with over nine (9) years of progressive experience in International Development and Public Health Programs. He is a multiple award recipient in recognition for his superior performance. He has earned PMP and PMD Pro Certifications, Masters in Development Studies, and completed over 50 MOOCs while working full-time.He has experience working with virtual/ remote teams across countries and continents including; the United States of America, Netherlands, Kenya, and Malawi.

Name: Aditiya Wicaksono

Title: TB Public-Private Mix Advisor (Indonesia)
Location: Indonesia

Aditiya Bagus Wicaksono is a medical doctor and an occupational medicine specialist who currently works as a TB PPM Advisor for the STAR-Public Health Institute project. As an advisor, he works collaboratively with the Indonesia Ministry of Health to tackle Tuberculosis problems to achieve a world free of Tuberculosis. He was passionate about global health issues, initiatives, and practices. Aditiya used to work for international and national NGOs, including KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation, Yayasan KNCV Indonesia, and Yayasan Ipas Indonesia. Until today, he has managed several national and district health programs, such as USAID Challenge TB, Global Fund Catalytic Funding, USAID Woman Empowerment in the Workplace to End TB, and UNITAID PODTEC SITRUST project.

Name: Afshan Khurshid

Title: Tuberculosis Advisor (Sindh Province)
Location: Pakistan

Afshan Khurshid is a Medical Doctor and a public health specialist with an experience of more than 9 years working with the NGO, Government, WHO and The Global Fund (TGF) to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Currently she is working in the Health Department, Government of Sindh as a “Provincial TB Advisor (USAID)".  She has worked as an independent collaborator/consultant for the Aga Khan University, St. George’s, University of London, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and other NGOs. She was part of IVLP (International Visitor for Leadership Program) Food safety and Public Health in 2010.

Name: Asif Muhammad

Title: Senior MDR-TB Advisor
Location: Burma

Dr. Asif originally belongs to Pakistan and he is currently serving Myanmar National TB Control Program in the capacity of senior Technical Advisor MDR TB since mid of 2017. During his tenure he has been successfully able to establish NTP Technical Leadership and supported NTP to improve MDR TB management in the country through strategic & well-coordinated role and effectively engaging partners in MDR TB cascade of care. His technical response along with efforts and support of USAID-CTB project NTP accessed to new drugs and implemented shorter regimen along with well-functioning aDSM mechanism establishment earlier in 2018.

Name: Birru Shigut Gondol

Title: Senior Tuberculosis and Global Fund Grant Adviser
Location: Malawi

Birru Shigut Gondol earned a bachelor's degree in Public Health and master’s degree (Hons) in General Public Health from the Haramaya University of Ethiopia. He is an innovative and insightful expert in public health with over 19 years of experiences as public health practitioner particularly in the field of TB and TB/HIV Programming, Birru worked for both Malawi and Ethiopia Ministry of Health at capacity of senior technical advisor to the National TB Control Program specifically in the area of  Global fund and Drug Resistance TB which includes development of Funding Requests/Concept Notes, support in effective grant negotiations, implementation and reprogramming, budget revision and monitoring, development of  periodic Progress Update and Disbursement Request, Drug resistance TB and health system strengthening for more than eleven years.

Name: David Omotayo

Title: Senior Programmatic Management of Drug-Resistant TB Advisor
Location: Malawi

Dr. Omotayo is a TB-Specialist/MDR-TB Consultant, results-focused, experienced, and accomplished Public Health Specialist and Stop TB (DR-TB Clinical Consultant) with a solid track record supporting development, implementation, and enhancement of public health programmes.  He has been MDR- TB Consultant to WHO, USAID, and URC across Gambia, South Sudan, South Africa, and Sierra Leone. He worked with the MDR-TB Programme in Lesotho under Partners In Health (PIH) from 2007 to 2017 and he started the MDR-TB programme South Sudan in 2017. Presently working as a Senior PMDT Technical Advisor to NTP Malawi under USAID-STAR/PHI Project.

Name: Dr Adneen Moureen

Title: TB New Technologies and Diagnostics Advisor (Bangladesh)
Location: Bangladesh

Dr. Adneen Moureen graduated from International Indian School, Al, Jubail, KSA in 1996.  She completd her MBBS from Jahurul Islam Medical College in Mymensingh, Bangladesh in 2004 and MPhil in Medical Microbiology from Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University in 2012. She worked as a Microbiologst in World Health Organization, Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh in Laboratory Supervision of COVID-19 RT-PCR Assay with 26 laboratory staff members under her supervision. During this period, she was part of a Seroprevalence study for the detection of Covid 19 Antibodies among the Forcibly Displaced Myanmar Nationals (FDMN).

Name: Ezinwa Osuoha

Title: COVID-19 Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Advisor
Location: United States

Ezinwa has expansive research experience in social determinants of disease at domestic and global levels, specifically how conflicts and aspects of culture impact diseases amongst populations. She has experience researching health outcomes in Yemen and Syria and has field experience in Borneo, Malaysia. In addition to global health experience, she has worked in sustainable development, international governance, indigenous studies, and ethical community engagement. Ezinwa is currently an MPH Candidate at Yale School of Public Health and is a recent graduate from Cornell University.

Name: Ferdiana Yunita

Title: Senior Multisector Partnership for TB Control Advisor (Indonesia)
Location: Indonesia

Ferdiana Yunita, MD, MPH, PhD serves as USAID's TB STAR senior advisor for TB control multisector partnership. She is an expert of TB programmatic activities and TB-collaborative activities from multiparters consisting of international, national, provincial and district counterparts.  She is a committee of Indonesian TB research network as a TB research specialist and research trainer. She is also a public health lecturer at Gunadarma University and formerly served as  a health systems strengthening and innovation coordinator for Challenge TB.

Name: Ghenimelle Rose (Ghen) Pasumbal

Title: Procurement and Supply Chain Management Advisor
Location: Philippines

Ghen is a pharmacist by profession currently working as PSCM advisor, with history of working with the World Health Organization, Global Fund and Department of Health focused on procurement and supply chain, health information system, regulatory systems strengthening and program management in the public health setting. Among her current assistance include supply chain management strengthening, capacity building, registration of health programs priority medicines in the country that are not locally available. Her major achievement in the past is the inclusion of the TB First Line Drugs dispersible tablets for pediatrics in the Philippines Essential Medicine List.

Name: Jeanne Ntiranyibagira

Title: Senior Malaria Technical Advisor
Location: Djibouti

Jeanne Ntiranyibagira is a Medical Doctor, with an Msc in Public Health/Health Program management. She has served as the Coordinator of the National Malaria Control Program in Burundi with high level knowledge and skills in mass campaign distribution of ITN and Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS), in project designing and accountability in actions. She has experience working with global funds for Malaria, Tuberculos and HIV fight and in multisector context of stakeholders and partners for integration and impact. She also has experience working with USAID while having been an employee of USAID in Burundi, and implementing partners of USAID as multi-year health and nutrition programs.

Name: Laura Raney

Title: Senior Family Planning High Impact Practices Advisor-*
Location: United States

Ms. Raney has served as the Senior Advisor, High Impact Practices in Family Planning (HIPs) for the past four years. In this role, she provides direct support to FP2030 commitment-making countries in the use of evidence-based family planning practices to advance access for girls and women. Laura collaborates closely with USAID staff and WHO-based staff at the IBP Network. She has over 20 years of experience in international reproductive health and family planning and has worked with Jhpiego, FHI 360, the Institute of Reproductive Health, the Population Council, Abt Associates, the World Bank, and USAID.

Name: Maka Akhalaia

Title: Senior TB Laboratory Advisor
Location: Tajikistan

Maka Akhalaia has been working in the TB field since 1996 and is happy to be part of a huge TB family worldwide. She started from the TB program in Georgia and then her work area extended to countries of EE, CA, India, Africa. From 1996 to 2000 she was working as a TB epidemiologist for the TB program Georgia. From 2000 till 2012 she was working as Deputy-head of the National Reference Mycobacteriology Laboratory of the National Center for Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases of Georgia. Her experience concerns the organization of TB laboratories in the network of NTP, as well as upgrading the existing TB laboratory at Georgian TB Center.

Name: Maria Idrissova

Title: Senior Drug-Resistant TB Advisor-*
Location: Kyrgyzstan

Maria Idrissova is a TB expert with more than twenty years of progressive and diverse experience in Central Asian region as a TB clinical expert, program advisor, team leader, program implementer and supporter. As a Senior Regional TB Advisor from 2011 Dr.Idrissova provided technical assistance to CAR the national TB programs (in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmentistan) and Ukraine in programmatic and clinical management aspects, including development policies (guidelines, protocols, training modules, standard operational procedures etc), capacity building, monitoring and evaluation & cohort analysis and other program related activities.

Name: Mary Beth Hastings

Title: Senior Gender Advisor
Location: United States

Mary Beth Hastings is an expert analyst of global health programs and their impact on women and girls. She has more than 25 years of academic and professional experience in gender integration and mainstreaming, international sexual and reproductive health, and human rights issues. For the past seven years, she has been a Senior Associate at Iris Group, specializing in gender and social inclusion. As gender liaison for SHOPS Plus, she conducted gender analyses and assessed programmatic opportunities to improve family planning outcomes through attention to gender in the private health sector.

Name: Md Abdul Hamid Selim

Title: Uniquely Skilled Senior TB and Global Fund Grant Adviser
Location: Bangladesh

Dr. Md Abdul Hamid Selim is a Public Health Specialist working in the field of TB over 29 years in the country and abroad. Presently he is working with USAID STAR programme as an Advisor to NTP Bangladesh. Dr. Salim is highly experienced in the Programmatic Management of Drug resistant TB in Bangladesh and in Indonesia.Under his leadership, since 1997 Damien Foundation initiated to treat MDR TB in Bangladesh and conducted several operational researches on MDR TB. He was the principal investigator for the Shorter Treatment Regimen for MDR TB (Bangladesh Regimen) in collaboration with Antwerp Topical Institute, Belgium.

Name: Nana Zarkua

Title: Senior Tuberculosis Technical Advisor
Location: Tajikistan

Nana Zarkua is a Medical doctor; since 2000 working overseas, mainly on infectious diseases. She has worked with MSF in various countries in TB, HIV and malaria programs and has been based in Tajikistan since 2017 as a Senior TB Advisor. .

Name: Ngoc Le

Title: Regional TB Technical Advisor
Location: Vietnam

 Ngoc Le currently lives in Can Tho city, a city in the South of Viet Nam where she completed her Public Health Bachelor degree in Can Tho University of Medicine and Pharmacy in 2014. After graduation, she worked at the Representative office of the national project against TB- MeKong Delta. She has been a member of STAR since 2020.

Name: Nguyen Thi Nguyen

Title: Procurement and Supply Chain Management Technical Advisor
Location: Vietnam

Nguyen Thi Nguyen is a Pharmacist, working in projects on public health sector since 2010, focusing on the Procurement and Supply Chain Management since 2012. She is strong in the area of data management, rational utility of drug, importation regulations, health system assesment, market analysis and policy consulting. .

Name: Nicholas Ezati

Title: Senior TB Diagnostic Network Advisor
Location: Kenya

Nicholas Ezati, a Medical Laboratory Scientist by profession, currently working as a Senior TB Diagnostic Network Advisor in Nairobi, Kenya since March 2020. In this role, he supports the NTP Kenya to achieve its National Strategic Plan objectives and by translating evidence-based solutions into action. He previously worked as a consultant in Mozambique supporting HIV testing laboratories under USAID support to attain ISO 15189 accreditation. Before that he worked with the PEPFAR and Global Fund recipient Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) as Associate Director, In charge of TB laboratories.

Name: Nikoloz Nasidze

Title: Senior TB Technical Advisor
Location: Uzbekistan

Nikoloz Nasidze is a Medical Doctor by education, and has 15-years of experience being a surgeon and more than 20 years of work in Tuberculosis program management and in Public Health in different countries, with various organizations (USAID, WHO, ICRC). His experience includes knowledge of healthcare in prison system and civilian sector.

Name: Rhehabi Chimzizi

Title: Senior Tuberculosis and Global Fund Grant Adviser
Location: Zambia

Rhehab is a Public Health Specialist with over 20 years of extensive professional experience in managing Public Health programs and projects. Many of these years was TB and HIV and AIDS related programs and projects at national, regional, and global levels. From 1999 to 2003, he was a Project Coordinator for the World Health Organization's (WHO) pilot TB-HIV project in Africa. He later became the first National TB-HIV coordinator for Malawi's Ministry of Health. Between 2008 and 2014, Rhehab worked in Ghana as a Technical Advisor to the Ministry of Health, focusing on TB and HIV services.

Name: Roni Chandra

Title: Senior TB Diagnostic Network Advisor
Location: Indonesia

Roni Chandra began his position as Senior Diagnostic Network Advisor in Indonesia in August 2019.  With background as Medical Microbiologist, he brings to the position over 19 years experience with wide variety of laboratory techniques and scientific research as well. He has experiences in hospitals, multinational companies, universities, and NGOs.He most recently served as Senior Technical Officer/Laboratory Coordinator for KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation Indonesia. Since 2007, he has provided technical assistance to the National TB Program/MoH Indonesia under three consecutive USAID Projects TBCAP, TBCARE I and Challenge TB.

Name: Sambo Boy

Title: Senior Technical Advisor for Laboratory Strengthening
Location: Cambodia

Sambo Boy graduated in medical laboratory from Technical School for Medical Care, he has been working for TB laboratory for almost 20 years from smear microscopy to molecular diagnostic tools. He spent eight years at Pasteur Institute of Cambodia (IPC) as a senior laboratory technician where he performed techniques for smear examination, culture and drug susceptibility testing (DST), and 10 years as a laboratory consultant for National Center for TB and Leprosy Control (CENAT) to assist and support on all TB laboratory works in the country. With his passion on TB and public health, Sambo committed to fight against TB by leading and assisting the health professional on quality diagnosis, expansion of the TB laboratory network and new diagnostic tools to pave the access of TB laboratory services in Cambodia.

Name: Samuel Kasozi

Title: Senior TB and Global Fund Grant Advisor
Location: Zimbabwe

Samuel Kasozi is a public health expert with 22 years of experience in clinical care, research, project design, and management including implementation of public health interventions in both public and private sector, funded by government and donors (USAID, CDC and Global Fund). He is a recognized expert in areas of TB, TB/HIV, MDR-TB, TB Infection Control (TB IC), and population-based surveys (TB, Asthma, EPI) as well as quality improvement approaches. He is a target oriented manager with excellent skills and ability to manage larger integrated health project. He has hands on experience on the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the DOTS Strategy, the Stop TB Strategy as well as the current WHO End TB strategy with its three pillars; (1) integrated, patient-centred care and prevention; (2) bold policies and supportive systems; and (3) intensified research and innovation.

Name: Sharofiddin (Sharaf) Yuldashev

Title: Senior TB and Global Fund Grant Advisor
Location: Uzbekistan

Dr. Sharaf Yuldashev, MD is a Senior TB and Global Fund advisor under USAID’s Sustaining Technical and Analytic Resources (STAR) program. Dr Sharaf Yuldashev is a medical doctor and healthcare management expert with more than 18 years of experience in managed care and public health. Since 2012, he has held various executive and program management positions of increasing responsibility covering various aspects of healthcare management in USAID projects in Uzbekistan, including TB CARE I and Challenge TB projects. In 2019-2020 he successfully supported National TB Program (NTP) of Uzbekistan in getting Primary Recipient status for the Global Fund grants, which confirms NTP capacity in program management and financial administration of multimillion-dollar projects.

Name: Shiza Farid

Title: Family Planning Data Analysis Advisor
Location: United States

Shiza Farid joined the Public Health Institute (PHI) as a Family Planning Data Analysis Advisor in April 2022. She is seconded to the FP2030 team and supports analyses related to global family planning. Prior to joining PHI, Shiza supported analyses related to family planning and demography at Avenir Health. She also has experience conducting data analysis, data cleaning, and creating data visualizations for UNICEF’s gender portfolio, University of Washington’s Global Center for Integrated Health of Women, Adolescents, and Children, and PATH’s Sayana Press team. Additionally, from 2011-2016, Shiza was at the United Nations Foundation as a Manager of Global Policy for the Universal Access Project (UAP).

Name: Tiar Salman

Title: TB Procurement and Supply Chain Management Advisor
Location: Indonesia

Tiar has over twelve years of experience in supply chain and pharmaceuticals. In 2009 he became  a Senior Technical Officer for Drug Management and TB Health Information Systems at Challenge TB Project, where he was responsible for giving technical assistance to the National TB program. He has assisted the NTP on the development of procurements and supply chain management for both the Global Fund and WHO Stop TB PartnershipHe supported the successful supply transition from conventional MDR treatment to shorter treatment regimen without any stock out and minimized loss  from expired drugs in 2017-2018.

Name: Timur Bazikov

Title: Senior Tuberculosis Advisor
Location: Kyrgyzstan

Timur Bazikov is a public health professional with over 20 years of experience in Central Asia, Russia, Georgia and Ukraine. Before assuming the Senior Technical Advisor role in Kyrgyzstan, Mr. Bazikov served as Regional Program Director for TB CARE I in Central Asia with KNCV TB Foundation; prior to that, he managed various portfolios at American International Health Alliance in Washington, DC.

Name: Victor Falokun

Title: Senior Tuberculosis and Global Fund Grant Advisor (Liberia)
Location: Liberia

Victor is a public health physician and a certified management consultant, grounded in the art of planning, designing, implementing and assessing complex public health programs in developing countries. He has meritoriously risen through the ranks of service delivery from being a volunteer 16 years ago to currently serving as a Senior Advisor/STAR Fellow with USAID/Liberia to support its PEPFAR TBHIV program, the NTP of Liberia and its Global Fund Portfolio. He has occupied a number of managerial and advisory roles at both sub-national and national levels in the past 8 years. Prior to Victor’s present position, he worked with KNCV in Nigeria for almost 4 years in different capacities before resigning as the Senior Technical Advisor on its USAID TB-LON project providing technical guidance to senior managers and advisors.

Name: Virginia Thonyiwa

Title: Senior DREAMS Coordinator and Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW) Technical Advisor (Malawi)
Location: Malawi

Virginia Thonyiwa Ms. is a Public Health Expert with a Nursing background.  She has over 15 years’ experience in Program implementation and research with a bias on Adolescent Girls and Young Women, Sexual Reproductive and Health Rights (SRHR) Gender Based Violence (GBV), and HIV/AIDS.Before joining STAR fellowship, Virginia worked for various NGOs and Humanitarian Organizations as Program Officer and focal person on Protection against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA); as DREAMS Coordinator on AGYW; as District Officer for a Canada funded Global Affairs project; as Study Coordinator for a WHO funded PMTCT Uptake and Retention study and Team Leader for Adolescent and Adult AIDS Clinical Trial Groups with University of North Carolina (UNC) Project.

Name: Yasir Waheed

Title: Tuberculosis Advisor (Islamabad Capital Territory)
Location: Pakistan

Yasir Waheed is working as a TB Advisor with more than 9 years of experience in different capacities at National TB Control Program (NTP), Islamabad, Pakistan. After completing his MBBS from Pakistan, he went on to Australia to pursue Master degree in Public Health (MPH) from UNSW. His work experience includes working as National Technical Officer (Infection Control), M&E Officer and MDR Specialist during his stay at NTP. His major achievements are development of National TB Infection Control guidelines, upgradation of 32 PMDT (hospitals) sites on principles of airborne infection control, development of National DRTB guidelines and handbook of aDSM.

Name: Yom An

Title: Senior Operational Research and Strategic Information Technical Advisor
Location: Cambodia

Dr. Yom AN, MD, MPH, has almost 20 years of experience in health sector in Cambodia, in clinical, management and research roles. For the past 1.5 years, he has worked for STAR. His roles are to provide technical advice to the National TB Program (NTP) on the overall operational research linkage with the monitoring and evaluation strategy and support the development and implementation. He has been working closely with NTP to coordinate the establishment and support the functionality of the Cambodia Committee for TB Research (CCTBR) which engages WHO, USAID and different research institutions from government and NGOs as the CCTB’s members.

Name: Yusie Permata

Title: Programmatic Management of Drug-Resistant TB Advisor-*
Location: Indonesia

Yusie Permata is a medical doctor with a master’s in international health degree, with a passion in infectious diseases control and child health.She has worked in the TB field in Indonesia since 2015, including with the TB Reach wave 3 (2015), with KNCV TB Foundation for Challenge TB project/USAID (2015-2019), and with Stop TB Partnership/UNOPS as short-term technical consultant to develop National Acceleration Plan for PMDT in Indonesia 2020. .

Name: Zeleke Alebachew Wagaw

Title: Senior TB and Global Grant Fund Advisor
Location: Ghana

Zeleke Alebachew is an Epidemiologist by profession, graduated with MPH in Epidemiology. Currently he is working as Senior Tuberculosis and Global Fund Grant Adviser to the National Tuberculosis Program of Ghana, seconded by STAR/USAID. He has more than 15 years of experience in public health and more than six years at international level. He worked more than 13 years on programmatic management of TB, TB/HIV, MDR TB and Pediatric TB. He worked as WHO temporary advisor to the National TB Prevalence Survey and provided support to Ghana, Sudan, and Rwanda. He worked at national level in various positions including Monitoring and evaluation advisor, TB prevalence survey coordinator, HIV most at risk population survey coordinator and lecturing at one of the national universities in Ethiopia.

Sustaining Technical and Analytic Resources (STAR) is a project of the Public Health Institute Implemented in partnership with University of California, San Francisco and Aspen Management Partnership for Health (AMP Health).

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