United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Conference

Speaker Bios

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Heidi Ballard - Associate Professor of Environmental Science Education, UC Davis


Heidi Ballard is Associate Professor of Environmental Science Education at University of California, Davis. She conducts research focused on science and environmental education that link communities, scientists, and environmental action. Her work focuses on what and how both adults and youth learn through public participation in scientific research (PPSR), including citizen science and community-based participatory research focused on using science for environmental justice.  She works in varied contexts, from natural history museums to Uganda farmer field schools to native plant and tide-pool monitoring in California, using primarily qualitative research methods in partnership with citizen science practitioners. Her publications span the fields of environmental education, science education, ecology, conservation, social science, forestry, and agriculture.  She was a high school biology teacher and science curriculum developer in California, as well as outdoor and environmental educator, before earning her Ph.D. in Environmental Science, Policy and Management focused on forest ecology and management and community-based forestry.  She trains graduate students across the university in participatory action research methods.



Dr. Michele Barry – Senior Associate Dean for Global Health, Stanford University

Michele Barry, MD, FACP is Professor of Medicine and Tropical Diseases at Stanford University. She is the Director of the Center for Global Health Innovation and is Senior Associate Dean for Global Health at the School of Medicine. She is also a Senior Fellow at Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute and the Woods Institute for Environmental Studies. As one of the co-founders of the Yale/Stanford Johnson and Johnson Global Health Scholar Award program, she has sent over 1500 physicians overseas to underserved areas to help strengthen health infrastructure in low resource settings.  As a past President of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, she led an educational initiative in tropical medicine and travelers health which culminated in diploma courses in tropical medicine both in the U.S. and overseas, as well as a U.S. certification exam.  Dr. Barry is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) and National Academy of Sciences since 2002 .She has been selected for Best Doctors in America and currently sits on the Advisory Board for NIH-Fogarty Center, the Board of Directors of the Consortium of Universities involved in Global Health (CUGH) and the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER). She is the 2010 recipient of the Ben Kean Medal given every three years by the ASTMH. Areas of scholarly interest include clinical tropical and travel medicine, emerging infectious diseases, ethical aspects of conducting research overseas, disruptive technology for global health and the impact of multinationals on health.


Karen Beardsley – Director of Sponsored Programs and Special Projects, UC Davis

Karen Beardsley received her PhD in Geography from the University of California, Davis (UCD). She has worked at UCD since 1994 as a researcher, geographic information system (GIS) specialist, and managing director.  She currently serves as the Director of Sponsored Programs and Special Projects with the Global Affairs Office at UC Davis, after working for over 20 years with the Information Center for the Environment in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy. Her interests include applications of GIS and other geospatial technologies to biodiversity protection and land use planning, as well as developing international connections and opportunities for UCD students and faculty around the world.   In 2015-16, Karen worked as a Fulbright Professor at the Royal Thimphu College in Bhutan.  She taught college students about geographic information science and technology, and arranged and delivered short GIS courses for Bhutanese government staff. Karen served in the US Peace Corps in Kenya from 1986-88 as a secondary school math and science teacher.


Professor Monique Borgerhoff-Mulder – Department of Anthropology, UC Davis

Monique Borgerhoff Mulder, Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Davis, is a human behavioural ecologist working on projects relating to life history, conservation, and global patterns of cultural variation. She does fieldwork in East Africa investigating issues relating to human life history variation, fertility, marriage, inheritance, divorce, sexual conflict, health and household economics, with recent focus on the extent and transmission of inequality. Monique also works on the evolutionary and applied aspects of natural resource management, particularly with respect to conflicts over land use and community conservation, and is involved in the implementation of many conservation and development interventions in Africa.


Katharine Burnett – Founding Director of the Global Tea Initiative for the Study of Tea Culture and Science and Director, East Asian Studies Program, UC Davis


Katharine Burnett is an art historian who enjoys investigating issues of cultural values and collecting in China from the Ming to the modern.  She is Founding Director of the Global Tea Initiative for the Study of Tea Culture and Science and Director, East Asian Studies Program at UC Davis.


Professor Michael Carter – Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, UC Davis

Michael Carter, professor in the department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. Focused on his research, which falls into three primary areas: wealth-biased access to capital; land policy and poverty reduction in agrarian economies; and poverty traps and income distribution dynamics. He has conducted more than twenty household surveys around the world. Carter’s research has been published in leading development economics journals and policy conferences and has been quoted by international policymakers and major donor organizations such as the World Bank and the United States Agency of International Development. He has published more than 50 journal articles, co-authored 3 books, and written more than 25 book chapters. Cater has also served as editor for Studies in Comparative International Development, World Development, and American Journal of Agricultural Economics and has refereed articles for many other publications. 


Dr. Patricia Conrad – Associate Dean for Global Programs, UC Davis

Dr. Patricia Conrad DVM, PhD is Associate Dean for Global Programs at the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis and Co-Director of the UC Global Health Institute. Dr. Conrad is a professor of parasitology whose research is focused on the transmission of protozoal parasites between wildlife, humans and domestic animals. She received her DVM from Colorado State University and PhD from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. After doing post-doctoral research at the International Laboratory for Research on Animal Diseases in Nairobi, Kenya, she joined the faculty of the University of California, Davis’s School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Conrad has published over 220 scientific papers and book chapters in the fields of emerging infectious diseases, parasitology, ecology of fecally-transmitted waterborne pathogens and One Health; emphasizing the value of collaborative research and education that considers the interconnectedness of humans, animals and environmental change worldwide. As a scientist and advocate for the One Health approach, she promotes engagement and experiential learning by students working with underserved communities in California and globally. She is actively engaged in collaborative research and education that includes the development of novel computerized educational programs to encourage active problem-based learning in global health. She is the recipient of the Carl J. Norden Distinguished Teaching Award, Pfizer Award for Research Excellence, Oscar Schalm and Norman Levine Lectureships and an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellowship. Dr. Conrad is an American Academy of Microbiology Fellow and member of the National Academy of Medicine.


Kathryn Dewey – Distinguished Professor in the Department of Nutrition and Director of the Program in International and Community Nutrition, UC Davis

Kathryn Dewey is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Nutrition and Director of the Program in International and Community Nutrition at the University of California, Davis. Her research focuses on maternal and infant nutrition, including clinical and community-based research in the United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, Peru, Ghana, Malawi, and Bangladesh. She has led an international research consortium that developed and is evaluating a novel approach to enrich diets with lipid-based nutrient supplements designed for prevention of malnutrition in pregnant and lactating women and their children under the age of two in low-income countries. Her professional service includes consultation for WHO, UNICEF, PAHO, NIH, and the National Academy of Medicine, scientific advisory committees for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the UK Medical Research Council, member of the Board for the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, and serving as President of the Society for International Nutrition Research and of the International Society for Research on Human Milk and Lactation. Dr. Dewey has mentored more than 40 graduate students and produced more than 350 publications. She has received several national and international awards, including the Kellogg Prize for International Nutrition, the Macy-György Award from ISRHML, and the E.V. McCollum International Lectureship.


Dr. Nancy Erbstein – Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Human Ecology, UC Davis

Dr. Nancy Erbstein is an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Human Ecology. Her work focuses on how communities and regions produce and disrupt disparities in adolescent well-being, with emphases on disparities associated with race, ethnicity, immigration, socio-economic status and geographic location. Early in her career she co-founded a field-building, non-profit intermediary organization that supported youth participatory action research, evaluation and planning among under-represented populations and places; the organization focused on K-12 school reform, public health, and community and youth development. Since joining academia she has published in journals focused on youth development, education, public health, community development and research methods. A current strand of her research entails exploring and supporting neighborhood and regional approaches to changing youth conditions that integrate typically under-represented youth populations as mobilizers, georeferenced data users and knowledge-producers. She pursues this work with community collaborators in California and Nepal. She and holds BAs in Education and South Asian Studies from Brown University and an MA and Ph.D. from University of California, Berkeley. 


Tometi K. Gbedema – Department of Human Ecology at UC Davis

Tometi K. Gbedema is currently a part-time lecturer in Community & Regional Development (CRD) Program at the Department of Human Ecology at UC Davis. He received a PhD degree in Geography and an MS in Community Development and from UC Davis. Before arriving at UC Davis, he earned an MA in Translation with French and English as his working languages from Université du Bénin in Lomé, Togo, West Africa, and worked as a translator-interpreter at EGK Bruce Translation Center and a high school English teacher in Lomé. At UC Davis, Gbedema’s community services on the campus led to his honoring with a UC Davis Community Service Award in 2005. He has volunteered in several roles on the Davis campus. He has worked with Humphrey and Fulbright Scholars who come to UC Davis to further their education and training in addition to serving as a GSR, TA and associate instructor. He recently served as a Peer Collaborator for the Mandela Fellows who arrived from Africa at UC Davis for the 1st Energy Institute of the Mandela Washington Fellowship. Gbedema’s PhD research dissertation examines Africa’s interaction with the global world focusing on the relationships between Diaspora Africans and Africans at the “must-see” slave forts/world heritage sites in Ghana. He is the director of The Otwetiri Project (www.otwetiri.org), a nonprofit organization he launched in the city of Davis in 2007 to improve the educational environments for children in poor and underdeveloped nations.


Julie Herlihy – Assistant Professor in Pediatrics at UC Davis School of Medicine

Julie Herlihy, MD, MPH, is a board-certified pediatrician with over 20 years of experience working in sub-Saharan Africa on community-based child survival projects. Currently, Dr. Herlihy is an Assistant Professor in Pediatrics at UC Davis School of Medicine with a research focus on designing and evaluating public health programming to reach underserved pediatric populations both domestically and abroad. Since 1997, Dr. Herlihy has worked with communities in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Liberia, Boston and Sacramento to create large-scale programs that partner with communities to deliver more equitable healthcare with improved access. Her research has involved evaluating different community health worker models and low-cost interventions to improve child mortality. She has worked with refugee communities, persons living with disabilities, and families with historically poor access to care. Dr. Herlihy completed her clinical training in pediatrics at Boston Medical Center and Children’s Hospital Boston and she holds a Medical Degree from the University of Massachusetts Medical School, a Master of Public Health degree in international health from the Harvard School of Public Health, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology and education from Brown University.


Ralph Hexter – Interim Chancellor, UC Davis


Ralph J. Hexter was appointed Acting Chancellor on April 27, 2016, and became Interim Chancellor on September 15, 2016. As the top institutional leader and primary public representative of UC Davis, including the Human Health System in Scaramento, he oversees all aspects of the university’s mission of teaching, research, and public service.

Hexter came to UC Davis on January 1, 2011, as the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor, the university’s chief academic and budget officer, primary liaison to the Academic Senate, and the chancellor’s representative in her absence. In coordination with the chancellor and working closely with faculty and deans, Provost/EVC Hexter was responsible for leading the development of academic priorities and strategies, recruiting and retaining a diverse and talented faculty, overseeing the university’s planning processes, allocating resources to advance strategic priorities, and monitoring the daily operation of the campus. As Provost and EVC, he oversaw the work of the deans, vice provosts and those in other similar positions, many of whom he recruited to UC Davis. 

Throughout his career, Hexter has made it a priority to foster excellence across the full range of disciplines and professions, and to promote equal opportunity, diversity, and inclusion for students, faculty. and staff. A recipient of the University of Massachusetts’ Continuing the Legacy of Stonewall Award (2008), he was also a founding member of LGBTQ Presidents in Higher Education.

After earning degrees at Harvard, Oxford (Corpus Christi College) and Yale, Hexter taught for a decade in Yale’s classics department before moving to the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he directed the graduate program in comparative literature. In 1995 he joined the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley, as professor of classics and comparative literature, advancing to posts as chair of Comparative Literature, and then dean of Arts and Humanities and ultimately executive dean of the College of Letters and Science, the last two concurrently. From 2005 through 2010, Hexter served as president of Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, a selective liberal arts college with approximately 1,400 students known for its innovative of student-centered pedagogy and curriculum.

At UC Davis Hexter holds an academic appointment as distinguished professor of classics and comparative literature.  Throughout his administrative career, he has continued to teach, lecture, and publish on the interpretation and meaning of classical Greek and Roman literature from antiquity through the Middle Ages to modern times.

In 2016, Hexter was elected to the National Academy of Arts and Sciences.


Professor Jan Hopmans – Professor of Vadose Zone Hydrology, UC Davis

Jan W. Hopmans is Professor of Vadose Zone Hydrology at the University of California, Davis. His research and teaching focuses on soil hydrology, irrigation water and nutrient management, and climate change impacts on California hydrology. He has about 200 peer-reviewed publications in soil science and water resources journals. He is Fellow of the Soil Science Society of America, the American Geophysical Union, and the American Association of the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He was Chair of the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources and Chief Editor of Vadose Zone Journal. Since 2009, he is serving as Associate Dean for the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), being Director of the CAES International Programs since 2015. He was the 2014 President of the Soil Science Society of America. He was Interim Associate Vice Provost of Global Affairs in 2015 and most recently served as the Interim Director of the UC Davis World Food Center in 2016.


Alison Kent - Graphic Recorder

Alison Kent grew up in Spain, where as a child she was mesmerized by the Paleolithic art of the Altamira caves and Goya’s etchings in the Prado. After studying and working for several years in the U.K. and France, she moved to Boston, Massachusetts, where she studied Graphic Design at the Massachusetts College of Art while working at Harvard University Press as an Assistant Editor. Continuing to blend words and images at the University of California, Santa Barbara and then UC Davis, she discovered graphic recording while studying conflict resolution at UC Davis Extension.

Alison is based in Davis, California, near Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area, and is happy to travel to help people and organizations transition their way through change.


Maureen Kinyua – Assistant Professor Civil and Environmental Engineering, UC Davis

Maureen Njoki Kinyua is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Her research focuses on livestock, human (fecal) and solid waste treatment and nutrient and energy recovery for communities, especially those in developing countries. Her research also focuses on sanitation and menstrual hygiene management for women empowerment. This research assists in improving community public health, environmental and economical status which concurrently increases their quality of life. She received her PhD from University of South Florida in Tampa, FL and did her post doctoral research at Columbia University. Maureen is the recipient of the 2016 UC Davis CAMPOS Faculty Scholar and a Management member of the International Water Association (IWA) Sanitation and Water Management in Developing Countries group.


David Lopez-Carr – Professor of Geography, UC Santa Barbara

David López-Carr is Professor of Geography at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he directs the Human-Environment Dynamics Lab (HED) and is Population-Environment Area Director for the Broom Center for Demography. At the UC-level, he is Associate Director of the UC Global Health Institute Center of Expertise on Migration and Health and has served in multiple UC Senate roles, most recently as Chair of the Committee on Affirmative Action and Diversity and member of the UC Senate Academic Council. López-Carr received a PhD in Geography from the University of North Carolina in 2002, where he held a two year NIH post-doctoral fellowship in Biostatistics in the School of Public Health and Carolina Population Center. He has lived, worked, and traveled extensively in Latin America and in over 70 countries worldwide and speaks Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, and rudimentary Q’eqchí Maya.

López-Carr’s research focuses on links among population, health, rural development, and natural resource use and conservation through projects in Latin America and Africa. López-Carr is a Kavli Frontiers of Science Fellow and is Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He has authored over 130 scientific publications with colleagues and students thanks to funding from over 50 fellowships, grants, and awards from NASA, NSF, NIH, the Mellon and Fulbright Foundations, and numerous other sources.


Dr. Genevieve Maricle – Policy Adviser to the US Ambassador (ECOSOC) US Mission to the United Nations

Genevieve Maricle (Ph.D., ENVS, 2008), is Policy Adviser to the US Ambassador (ECOSOC) US Mission to the UN.  Genevieve previously served as USAID’s Environment and Climate Change Policy Advisor where she was responsible for coordinating climate change policy and strategic planning efforts across the agency, and for representing USAID in its work with the other U.S. government agencies responsible for the President’s international Global Climate Change Initiative.  Her dissertation is titled “Shaping Science: How to Turn Science Studies into Science Action.”


Jonna Mazet – Professor of Epidemiology and Disease Ecology and Executive Director of the One Health Institute in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine

Jonna Mazet, DVM, MPVM, PhD, is a Professor of Epidemiology and Disease Ecology and Executive Director of the One Health Institute in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, where she focuses on global health problem solving, especially for emerging infectious disease and conservation challenges. Dr. Mazet is active in international One Health research programs, most notably in relation to disease transmission among wildlife, domestic animals, and people and the ecological drivers of disease emergence. Currently, she is the Global Director of a $175 million viral emergence early warning project, named PREDICT, that has been developed with the US Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Emerging Pandemic Threats Program. She was elected to the US National Academy of Medicine in 2013 in recognition of her successful and innovative approach to emerging environmental and global health threats.   


Karl Mohr – Assistant Executive Vice Chancellor, Office of the Provost, UC Davis

For the past eleven years, Karl Mohr has held positions of increasing responsibility in broad areas of resource management and planning at the University of California, Davis.  In the spring of 2012, Mr. Mohr became the Assistant Executive Vice Chancellor, serving as the Chief of Staff to Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Ralph Hexter.  In this capacity, he manages strategic initiatives for the Provost; oversees administrative services (budget & finance, human resources, and information technology) for the Offices of the Chancellor and Provost; and advises the Provost on policy issues spanning the university. 

Previously, Mr. Mohr oversaw the capital planning program at UC Davis, including preparation and implementation of the UC Davis Ten-Year Capital Financial Plan, management of campus space allocation and assignment, and real estate services.  Prior to this position, he worked on a comprehensive update of the University’s Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) and managed the planning and development of the West Village mixed-use neighborhood, in addition to many other campus planning assignments.

Prior to his university experience, Mr. Mohr was the Finance Director for the City of Davis where he managed a staff of 20 that provided comprehensive financial management services for a full-service city.  Responsibilities included budget development and administration, long-range financial planning, cash management, accounts payable and receivable, utility billing, payroll, and related day-to-day financial accounting services. 

Mr. Mohr holds both Masters and Bachelors degrees in Economics from the University of Oregon.  Mr. Mohr previously taught economics as an adjunct faculty member in the Business Division of Sacramento City College and in the Department of Economics at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo.  He has been an instructor for the University of Davis Extension where he taught Financial Aspects of Planning and GIS: An Introduction.


Mathilde Mukantabana – H.E. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Public of Rwanda to the United States of America

Professor Mathilde Mukantabana is the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Rwanda to the United States of America and non-resident Ambassador to Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina.

Prior to her appointment, Ambassador Mathilde Mukantabana was a tenured Professor of History at Cosumnes River College (CRC) in Sacramento, California from 1994 to 2013. She is also co-founder and President of Friends of Rwanda Association (F.O.R.A), a non-profit American relief association created in the wake of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi in Rwanda. Since its inception, FORA’s dual purpose has been to expand the circle of friends of Rwanda and to support survivors of 1994 Genocide through a variety of initiatives and relief efforts. In addition, under the aegis of United Nations for Development Programs (UNDP), Ambassador Mukantabana started the academic program of Social Work at the National University of Rwanda in 1999, and as an Invited Lecturer taught a variety of subjects in their summer program until recently.

Ambassador Mukantabana has been a passionate community organizer for several decades and was a co-founder of many associations and organizations whose main purpose was to promote a positive engagement and collaboration of the Rwandan communities in the United States of America with other groups and organizations for the benefit of their respective countries. She is an active Board Member of the Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Sonoma State University in California and belongs to many local and international organizations including the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS) and the Organization of African Leaders in Diaspora (OALD) that she co-founded and for which she is currently acting as Chair of the Board.

In her capacity as a college professor and as President of F.O.R.A., Ambassador Mukantabana was actively involved in various academic and civic engagements. She organized numerous domestic and international workshops and conferences on genocide and on the Rwandan experience. A featured presenter at several film festivals and an international in-demand speaker, Ambassador Mukantabana has won many awards attesting to her accomplishments including the 2012 Peace and Justice Award from the Center for African Peace and Conflict Resolution (CAPCR); Peace and Global Peace Award (on behalf of Friends of Rwanda Association) by Global Majority, 2012 and Crystal Apple Award for Best Instructor at Cosumnes River College, 2012. In addition, she was listed in Who’s Who among Professionals in America 2003.

Fluent in English, French, Kinyarwanda and Kirundi, Ambassador Mukantabana holds a Bachelors degree in History and Geography from the University of Burundi as well as a Masters degree in Social Work with special emphasis in Community Organization, Planning and Administration and a Masters of Arts in History from California State University in Sacramento, California, USA.


Somen Nandi – Adjunct Professor of Chemical Engineering and Co-founder/Managing Director of Global HealthShare® (GHS) Initiative, UC Davis

Somen Nandi is an Adjunct Professor of Chemical Engineering and Co-founder/Managing Director of Global HealthShare® (GHS) initiative at University of California (UC), Davis. Somen has experience with multidisciplinary and collaborative scientific research projects and that enabled him to appreciate the importance of intricate and multifaceted programs in various resource-limited settings. During past years, individually or collectively, Somen is making substantial research effort to understand the effect of resource integration, particularly in developing a sustainable livelihood among small holders. He has extensive and successful experience on working and mentoring in both developing and developed countries, and managing teams with diverse expertise, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds. These experiences motivated him to initiate GHS (http://ghs.ucdavis.edu). GHS is a multi-institutional, global, and virtual organization that running pilot projects to address some of the world’s most challenging global health problems to create healthy communities and economies.

Before joining UC Davis Somen has served as Senior Scientist and Director at Ventria Bioscience for 12 years and helped developed several commercial products that are currently in market. Somen has published several research-articles/book-chapters/training-manuals/patents with over 100 co-authors and continued procuring multimillion-dollar research funding during the past 18 years from various federal agencies and private companies. Somen is a global mentor and teacher of many as well as at UC Davis and feel privileged to share his knowledge with others.


Deb Niemeier – Professor Civil and Environmental Engineering and in the School of Education, UC Davis

Dr. Niemeier is a Professor in the Dept of Civil and Environmental Engineering and in the School of Education at UC Davis. Her research focuses on emissions modeling and travel behavior, including the identification and modeling of environmental health disparities. She is also interested

in improving understanding of formal and informal governance processes associated with climate change. In 2014, she was named a Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science for distinguished contributions in energy and environmental science and in 2015, shereceived a Guggenheim Fellow for the study of pro bono service in engineering.


Dr. Ndola Prata – Professor in Residence Maternal and Child Health, UC Berkeley

Ndola Prata is a physician and medical demographer from Angola. She is a Professor in Residence in Maternal and Child Health and the second holder of the Fred H. Bixby Endowed Chair in Population and Family Planning in the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley. She is also the Director of the Bixby Center for Population, Health and Sustainability, a campus-wide multidisciplinary research group. She earned her medical degree from the University of Angola and an MSc in medical demography from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She began her career practicing medicine in Angola for 10 years and served as Head of the Social Statistics Department at the National Institute of Statistics of Angola. Shortly after moving to the US, while beginning her tenure as a researcher and lecturer at UC Berkeley, she served as a Demographer/Analyst for CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health for six years, a role she resumed briefly from 2010 to 2011. Prata’s current research is based in sub-Saharan Africa, she is especially interested in family planning, abortion, reproductive health, women’s health and empowerment and maternal mortality. Her research focuses on the design, implementation, and evaluation of family planning and maternal health interventions that maximize distribution and financing mechanisms to increase access to contraceptives in developing countries, particularly for the underserved populations. Her projects investigate strategies for harnessing existing resources, including human capacity and health care infrastructure while also gathering evidence for setting priorities on national health agendas. Dr. Prata teaches courses and has published extensively on topics related to family planning, financing and ability to pay for reproductive health programs, the role of the private sector in health care, adolescent sexual behavior in developing countries, priorities for maternal health, the use of misoprostol in obstetrics and women’s empowerment, fertility and family planning.


Joanna Regulska - Vice Provost, Global Affairs, UC Davis

Dr. Joanna Regulska currently serves as the vice provost and associate chancellor at University of California, Davis, where she is also a professor of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies. With over 30 years of international experience in higher education, she has developed and led large-scale educational projects and programs that have transformed institutions, established new degree programs and collaborative partnerships, and substantially improved the delivery of internationally focused services to students, faculty, and staff. In 2013, she was a winner of the Fulbright U.S.-Korea International Education Administrator Award.

As Rutgers University’s first vice president for international and global affairs, she led a major effort to build—from the ground up—the first centralized office, the Centers for Global Advancement and International Affairs (GAIA Centers). GAIA Centers oversaw university-wide internationalization initiatives. In 2014, Rutgers received 2014 Senator Paul Simon Award for comprehensive internationalization, awarded by NAFSA.

Her commitment to diversity, social justice, and the empowerment of women led her to establish graduate degree programs in gender studies at the Central European University (Hungary) and Tbilisi State University (Republic of Georgia).  In 2011, she received a Doctor Honoris Causa from the Tbilisi State University in recognition of the importance of her work in Georgia.

In 1989, recognizing a crucial moment of opportunity to have a lasting impact, at Rutgers, she founded the Local Democracy Partnership Program and led the team that designed and established the most successful NGO in Poland, The Foundation in Support of Local Democracy (FSLD). She currently serves on the board of FSLD, whose 15 regional training centers, three community colleges, and multi-million dollar budget make it the largest NGO in the country. The President of Poland recognized her contributions by awarding her the Cavalier Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland (1996), the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Restitution of the Republic of Poland (2004), and the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta in 2014.

Dr. Regulska has supported these institutional-expansion initiatives by successfully raising over $9 million in public and private funds from, among others: USAID, the U.S. State Department, the Ford Foundation, the German Marshall Fund, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Andrew Mellon Foundation, Pew Charitable Trust, and the Open Society Institute.

A respected scholar, Dr. Regulska’s research concentrates on women’s political activism, grassroots mobilization, decentralization, democracy, and democratization, with a focus on Europe and the Caucasus. She is the author or co-author of seven books and the author of over hundred articles, chapters, and reviews. The National Science Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Polish Academy of Sciences have supported her research.

With graduate degrees in geography from the University of Warsaw, Poland (MSc) and the University of Colorado, Boulder (PhD) she is a member of numerous advisory boards in the U.S and Europe.


Dr. George Rutherford – Professor Epidemiology, Preventive Medicine, Pediatrics, UCSF

Dr. Rutherford is the Salvatore Pablo Lucia Professor of Epidemiology, Preventive Medicine, Pediatrics and History and Head of the Division of Infectious Disease Epidemiology; and Vice Chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco. He also directs the Global Strategic Information group within UCSF’s program in Global Health Sciences, Educated at Stanford University and Duke University School of Medicine, he is board certified in pediatrics and general preventive medicine and public health.  He has worked primarily in public health, with an emphasis on the epidemiology and control of communicable diseases, both domestically and internationally.  He has held a number of positions in public health agencies, including serving as State Health Officer and State Epidemiologist for California, Director of the AIDS Office for the San Francisco Department of Public Health, Director of Immunizations for the New York City Department of Health and an EIS Officer at CDC.  He has been in academic epidemiology and public health since 1995, where his interests have largely focused the epidemiology and control of infectious diseases of public health importance, and more specifically on HIV infection in low- and middle-income countries. He has a special interest in meta-analysis and serves as an editor of the Cochrane Collaboration’s Infectious Diseases Group. He is Principal Investigator of a group of cooperative agreements with CDC to support its Center for Global Health and works on projects in Brazil, Croatia, the Dominican Republic, the Eastern Caribbean, Ghana, Haiti, Iran, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Ukraine, Vietnam and Zambia. 

Dr. Rutherford serves as an advisor to the World Health Organization and the United Nations Joint Programme on HIV and AIDS and has contributed substantially to its guidelines series on the treatment of HIV infection, He is the past chair the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Epidemiology and was the first Chair of the Department of Veterans Affairs Research Advisory Council. He has also served on the Institute of Medicine’s Board on the Health of Select Populations and has chaired Institute of Medicine committees on traumatic brain injury in Iraq and the readjustment needs of military personnel and reservists returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and their families.


Professor Kate Scow – Professor of Soil Science and Soil Microbial Ecologist, Department of Land, Air, Water Resources, UC Davis

Kate Scow is Professor of Soil Science and Microbial Ecology in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources and Director of the Russell Ranch Sustainable Agriculture Facility that hosts the Century Experiment (http://asi.ucdavis.edu/rr).  Scow is also Chair of the International Agricultural Development Graduate Group. She received her MS and PhD degrees in Soil Science from Cornell University in 1986 and 1989, respectively. She is a Fellow of the Soil Science Society of America and Chief Editor for the journal Soil Biology and Biochemistry. Scow’s research program investigates the role of soil microbial communities in providing ecosystem services in agricultural and polluted ecosystems.  Specifically she investigates linkages between microbial diversity and nitrogen cycling, responses of soil functional diversity to longterm management practices, effects of co-contaminants in organic amendments on soil communities, and works in Uganda on soil management and irrigation practices for vegetable production by smallholder farmers. 


Woutrina Smith – Professor Infectious Disease Epidemiology in the School of Veterinary Medicine, UC Davis

Dr. Smith is an Associate Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology in the School of Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis, and is a Co-Director of the UCGHI Planetary Health Center of Expertise. Dr. Smith has One Health research projects in Africa and Asia, as well as in California, where multidisciplinary teams work together to solve complex health problem in innovative ways. Dr. Smith has received funding from diverse sources including the National Institutes of Health, the US Agency for International Development, the US Department of Defense, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support her research and training endeavors.


Michael Wilkes – Professor of Medicine and Global Health, UC Davis

Michael Wilkes is a Professor of Medicine and Global Health at the University of California, Davis. He is the Director of Global Health working collaboratively across the campus on One Health approaches to improving health.  Dr. Wilkes is a local, national, and international award winning teacher and curriculum development expert.  He is the founder of the award winning innovative Doctoring Curriculum which focuses on evidence-based and humanistic aspect of clinical care and serves as a model for UC Davis School of Medicine and many other medical schools domestically and internationally.  He is a much sought after international teacher and consultant working with health science schools on five continents to improve teaching, learning and health care delivery.  His research focuses on health services in the area of medical education, end of life issues, clinical genetics, doctor-patient communication and conflicts of interest in medicine. His teaching deals with developing and changing practice behaviors around improved doctor-patient relationships, shared decision-making, and ethics. Michael is trained in internal medicine has had additional training in adolescent medicine and public health. He is an award winning journalist having worked for the New York Times, ABC News, CBS News, and The Los Angeles Times, and he is currently is a correspondent for National Public Radio/KCRW.


Dean Heather Young – Vice Chancellor for Nursing and Founding Dean of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis

Dr. Young is associate vice chancellor for nursing and founding dean of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis. Her research and clinical interest is the promotion of healthy aging with a particular focus on the interface between family and formal health-care systems. She has conducted several longitudinal studies of family caregiving, one focusing on spousal caregiving in the context of Alzheimer’s Disease, and another exploring long term care decision making among Japanese American families. She was instrumental in shaping long term care policies in Washington State and beyond through policy research on nurse delegation and self-directed care. Her current research focuses on community-based health promotion and chronic disease management strategies for older adults using innovative technology and increasing capacity of family caregivers.

Her leadership experience includes directing the deTornyay Center for Healthy Aging at the University of Washington, and the John A. Hartford Center for Geriatric Nursing Excellence and the Office of Rural Health Research at Oregon Health and Science University. Previously, Dr. Young held a joint appointment on faculty at the University of Washington School of Nursing and as the Chief Operations Officer for a retirement community company responsible for managing and designing programs in independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing.

She currently serves as co-director of the UC Davis Latino Aging Research Resource Center.

Dr. Young holds a bachelor’s in dietetics from UC Davis, an associate degree in nursing from Sacramento City College, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Southern Oregon State College, and a Master of Science in Nursing with a specialty in gerontology and a doctorate in nursing science from University of Washington.

kim  maryam

Kim and Maryam are student instructors at the Activities and Recreation Center (ARC) and teach group exercises classes offered by the Fitness and Wellness program.