Malaria in the Americas Forum:
Overcoming the Challenges of a Borderless Disease
Malaria Day in the Americas
6 November 2008
About the Panelists
Dr. James Sherry is the Chair of the Department of Global Health at George Washington University and Director of its GW
Center for Global Health. He has extensive program, policy, political, governance, and institutional development experience in
global health, including seventeen years as a senior officer and director in the United Nations System with responsibilities
ranging from the establishment of the Children's Vaccine Initiative, UNAIDS, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS,
Tuberculosis and Malaria to the re-establishment of basic health care services in postwar Rwanda; supporting the negotiation
of global health policy by the UN General Assembly and Security Council; providing support to the World Food Programme in
the design of the Ending Child Hunger Initiative. Previous assignments have included serving as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer
in India as Director of Biomedical Research and Technology Development with the United States Agency for International
Development (USAID) and as Chief of Staff for a Member of the House of Representatives of the U.S. Congress.
Dr. Jarbas Barbosa da Silva Jr. is Area Manager of Health Surveillance and Disease Management (HDM) at the Pan
American Health Organization. He received his medical degree from the Federal University of Pernambuco in Brazil. He later
specialized in public health and epidemiology at the National School of Public Health at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation
(FIOCRUZ) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He also holds a Master’s degree in medical sciences and a doctoral degree in public health
from the State University of Campinas in São Paulo state, Brazil.
Dr. Barbosa began his professional career in public health in 1982, working for the State Department of Health in
Pernambuco. In 1987, he was appointed Program Coordinator for Sexually Transmitted Diseases and HIV/AIDS, also in
Pernambuco. In 1993, he was appointed Municipal Secretary of Health in Olinda; and in 1995, State Secretary of Health in
Pernambuco. From 1997 to 2003, Dr. Barbosa worked as Director of the National Center for Epidemiology (CENEPI) in Brasilia,
Brazil, within the federal Ministry of Health (MoH). This position made him National Coordinator of the Epidemiological
Surveillance System. In 2003, he was nominated to become Brazil’s first Secretary of Public Health Surveillance, running a new
branch created in the MoH to combine the areas of epidemiological surveillance and disease prevention and control. In second
semester 2007, he was appointed Executive Secretary (Vice Minister) of Health for the nation.
Dr. Barbosa has authored and co-authored many articles and books on a wide variety of public health and
Dr. Nicole K. Bates is a program officer for global health policy and advocacy at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Her
expertise lies in the development and implementation of strategies for effective policy dialogue and action among global health
Specific to malaria, in 2005, Dr. Bates created and chaired the U.S. Malaria Roundtable – the central coalition of US-
based global malaria advocates. She also served as the first chair of the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership advocacy
working group. Dr. Bates played a key advocacy role in the reauthorization of the U.S. Global Leadership against AIDS, TB
and Malaria Act and co-authored the first advocacy-specific article to appear in the 2007 malaria supplement of the American
Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
Dr. Bates has held various government relations leadership positions. She holds a doctorate in health policy and an
MPH from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as well as a B.A. from the University of Virginia.
Dr. Stephen Connor joined the International Research Institute for Climate and Society at Columbia University, New York in
May 2002. Previously he was based at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and worked extensively in sub-Saharan
Africa for the UK Medical Research Council and the UK Department for International Development's (DFID) Malaria
Knowledge Programmes. He has a background in Development Studies/Natural Resource Economics, has specialized in the
geography of infectious disease, and has a PhD from the Faculty of Medicine at Liverpool University.
Dr. Connor has worked closely with the World Health Organization in Geneva and WHO-AFRO's Inter-Country
Programmes on Malaria Control, providing technical support to Ministries of Health. He has been a frequent advisor to WHO's
Roll Back Malaria Technical Resource Network on Epidemic Prevention and Control and was the Former Study Group
Coordinator, Health Issues in Development, for the UK Development Studies Association. He is currently serving as a member
of the World Meteorological Organization Task Force on Socio-Economic Applications of Weather, Climate and Water
Services. He is the Director of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre on
Early Warning Systems for Malaria and other Climate Sensitive Diseases.
Dr. Connor is a Fellow of the Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Society (FRSPSoc) and a Chartered Biologist
Dr. Matthew Lynch has worked in international development for over 25 years, beginning as a Peace Corps volunteer,
including 9 years in rural Kenya and Tanzania. He holds an MPH from University of Hawaii and a PhD from Johns Hopkins
University. He worked for over 6 years at USAID/Washington, and is currently Director of the Global Program on Malaria at
the Center for Communication Programs (CCP), Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. He also
serves as Vice-Chair of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership Board. His work focuses on advocacy for increased resources and
improved implementation of malaria control programs.
Dr. Trenton K. Ruebush II is a medical epidemiologist with a specialty in infectious and tropical diseases. In 2005, he joined
the Malaria Team in the Bureau for Global Health of USAID after working for 30 years in the Division of Parasitic Diseases at
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia. During his time with CDC, he lived for 5 years in
Guatemala, 3 years in western Kenya, and 3 years in Peru carrying out applied malaria field research. Within USAID, he
serves as Senior Malaria Advisor and helps provide oversight and technical support to USAID malaria programs in 18 African
countries as well as regional networks in the Amazon Basin of Latin America and the Mekong Delta of Southeast Asia. His
interests include infectious disease surveillance, anti-malarial drug resistance, malaria diagnosis, and social and behavioral
aspects of malaria transmission, treatment, prevention, and control.
Ambassador Izben Williams’ academic journey took him through the University of the West Indies, the University of Miami
and George Washington University. He holds qualifications in General Medicine, Psychiatry and Public Health. As a physician
Dr Williams practiced for many years in St. Kitts, in Nevis and in Anguilla, as well as in some other East Caribbean territories,
where he served as Consultant Psychiatrist. He has held academic appointments in the Caribbean and in Canada and has
authored various works and essays on psychiatric, public health, social and developmental issues.
Dr. Williams’ career has spanned a continuum of professional and personal pursuits, and has included
entrepreneurship, community development, international relations and diplomacy. His community development work resulted
in the 1988 establishment of “Outreach Foundation”, a non-governmental community development agency (NGO) which
works primarily with youth-at-risk and their families, and on other psycho-social initiatives.
In July 2001, Izben C. Williams was appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of St. Kitts and Nevis
to the United States of America and Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States [OAS]. Since assuming
duties in Washington D.C., Ambassador Williams has represented his country, the Caribbean sub-region and the Hemisphere in
diverse capacities including being President of the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States in 2005, the
Chairman of the CARICOM Caucus of Ambassadors in 2006 and currently, the Chairman of the OAS Committee on
Before joining the diplomatic service, Ambassador Williams represented St. Kitts and Nevis in several international
fora including the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission [CICAD] and the Inter-American Commission on Human
Dr. Keith H. Carter is Regional Advisor for Malaria in the Communicable Disease Unit of the Pan American Health
Organization (PAHO), Regional Office of the World Health Organization (WHO) in the Americas. A native of Guyana, South
America, he obtained his M.D. degree in Havana, Cuba and completed postgraduate training in tropical medicine, malariology
and epidemiology at the Pedro Kouri Institute of Tropical Medicine in Havana, Cuba; the School of Malariology and
Environmental Sanitation in Maracay, Venezuela; the School of Public Health at the Central University of Venezuela in
Caracas; and the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in the United States of America. Dr. Carter started his career in the
Ministry of Health, Guyana, and in 1985 was appointed Medical Health Officer in charge of the National Malaria and Vector
Dr. Carter began working with the Pan American Health Organization in 1992 as a National Professional at the Office
in Guyana. In 1995 he provided technical support for Vector Control for the Caribbean region in the Caribbean Program
Coordination Office in Barbados. He was subsequently transferred in 1996 to provide technical support in Prevention and
Control of Communicable Diseases in Nicaragua. In November of the same year, he was appointed Communicable Diseases
Advisor, stationed in Guayaquil, Ecuador, as Coordinator of PAHO's extension office in that country, where he worked until
his transfer to Washington D.C. in February 2001 as Regional Malaria Advisor.
Dr. David Smith's research is in mathematical epidemiology, emerging infectious diseases, infectious disease ecology, the
evolution of antimicrobial resistance, and the bioeconomics of infectious diseases. His current research is in four areas
including the dynamics and control of malaria and the evolution of resistance to antimalarial drugs. Dr. Smith is the Associate
Director for Disease Ecology at the Emerging Pathogens Institute (EPI), an institute that will serve as a hub for
interdisciplinary research on emerging pathogens. His research on malaria epidemiology is part of a multi-institution, multi-
disciplinary enterprise called the Malaria Atlas Project (MAP). He is also involved in the Malaria Elimination Group, based in
UCSF's Global Health Group.
Dr. Socorro Gross-Galiano is the Assistant Director of the Pan American Sanitary Bureau, which is the Secretariat of the Pan
American Health Organization (PAHO). She obtained her degree in Medicine at the University of Costa Rica in 1982 and a
master’s in Epidemiology at the School of Public Health at the University of Texas in 1989. From 1982 to 1984, she was a
Physician in Costa Rica. In 1984, she became a Research Assistant at the Costa Rican Social Security Institute (CCSS) in San
José, where she later became the Chief of the Health Services Research Section from 1985 to 1986. She was an Assistant
Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Medical Technology at the University of Costa Rica from 1986 to
In 1989, Dr. Gross started working at PAHO on short-term assignments for the Chronic Diseases department. Until
1991, Dr. Gross continued in Costa Rica as a Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Costa Rica and as the Chief of the
Adult Health Section in the Department of Preventive Medicine at the CCSS. From 1991 to 1992, Dr. Gross was the
Coordinator for the Basic Technical Group of INCAP in San José, Costa Rica and in 1993 she returned to her former post at
the CCSS, as the Chief of the Adult Health Section. Dr. Gross joined PAHO in 1994 as Country Adviser on Health Promotion
at the PAHO/WHO Representative Office in Bogotá, Colombia. In 1997, she became the PAHO/WHO Representative in
Dominican Republic and in 2005 the PAHO/WHO Representative in Nicaragua before being appointed Assistant Director of
PAHO in 2008.