Advisory committee

Emma Margarita Iriarte

Emma Iriarte is the chair of the Advisory Committee and is the Executive Secretary of the Salud Mesoamérica Initiative (SMI), managed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Carlos Slim Foundation, and the Government of Canada. She is also responsible for the Regional Malaria Elimination Initiative in Mesoamerica and the Dominican Republic (RMEI) also managed by the IDB where she is a Sector Principal Specialist. She has managed, supervised, and led health programs supporting country governments in Latin America and the Caribbean. Emma has experience in systemic and sectoral approaches, in establishing strategic alliances, in results-based financing models and in implementing quality of care strategies. Emma is results-oriented and passionate about equity, innovation, collective impact and learning organizations.

Rajani R. Ved

Rajani R. Ved is the former Executive Director, National Health Systems Resource Center, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in India and a Visiting Scientist, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. For over ten years she led the establishment and institutionalization of India’s ASHA- community Health worker programme. She currently leads the design and implementation support for India’s flagship primary health care initiative -Ayushman Bharat; Health and Wellness Centers. Her expertise spans policy development stemming from practical technical assistance; implementation research; and design and evaluation of large-scale health programmes. She has a medical degree from Madras University and a Master’s in Public Health from Harvard University.

Robert Marten

Robert Marten is a Scientist at the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research at WHO and is interested in health systems, non-communicable diseases and Sustainable Development Goal 3. He was until recently working in the WHO India Country Office. Previously, he was a Council on Foreign Affairs (CFR) Fellow based at the Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE) in Tokyo. Before this, Robert was the Health Systems Cluster Coordinator for WHO in Sierra Leone. In the past, he worked at the Rockefeller Foundation for close to six years where he managed a $20-million grant portfolio focused on global health, including the Foundation’s engagement in the post-2015 policy process and the response to the Ebola crisis. Robert has consulted with the World Bank and German Technical Cooperation in Zambia and South Africa; worked as a researcher at the Global Public Policy Institute in Germany, and served as a United Nations Volunteer on HIV/AIDS in Vietnam. He has published around 30 articles in the Lancet, BMJ Global Health, Health Policy and Planning and the WHO Bulletin. Robert received a doctoral degree from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Sherina Mohd Sidik

Sherina Mohd Sidik is a Professor & Consultant in Family Medicine. She was Deputy Director of the Cancer Resource and Education Centre, Universiti Putra Malaysia from 2016-2020. Professor Sherina’s research interests focus is mainly on mental health and behavioural intervention in the community and primary care settings. She has been lead / principal investigator for research in these areas. She collaborates closely with the Malaysian Ministry of Health, as well as with several other national and international organisations; namely the World Organisation of Family Doctors (WONCA) and Oxford International Primary Care Research Leadership Programme, United Kingdom. She has published her work in national and international journals. Professor Sherina served as an Editorial Board Member in two well recognised and established Malaysian journals; the Medical Journal of Malaysia (2016-2020), and the Malaysian Journal of Medicine & Health Sciences (2011-2018).

Koku Awoonor- Williams

Koku Awoonor-Williams is a health systems and policy analyst and researcher and an architect of Ghana’s Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) Primary Health Care Strategy. Koku is a Fellow of the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons and lecturer at Department of Health Policy Planning and Management at the School of Public Health University of Ghana, and senior lecturer at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health Population and Family Health Department. He was a District Medical Officer and Regional Director of Health Service for over24 years and Director Policy Planning Monitoring and Evaluation of the Ghana Health Service for over 5 years. His interests include implementation research, health systems and policy development, community-based primary health care systems and health program evaluation. Koku is a public health physician with a PhD in Epidemiology and Health Systems from the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, University of Basel. He has over 80 publications in peer-reviewed journals to his name and he is currently the Co-PI of Doris Duke Charitable Foundation African Health Initiatives’ Project in Ghana.

Beth Tritter

Beth Tritter is the Executive Director of the Primary Health Care Performance Initiative, a global platform that supports country efforts to achieve quality primary health care for all people. She previously served in the U.S. government as the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s Vice President for Policy and Evaluation, leading the agency’s country partner selection, economic analysis, and monitoring and evaluation, and began her career on Capitol Hill, with a focus on global health and development policy and funding as Legislative Director to a leader of the House Appropriations Committee. As a former Managing Director at the Glover Park Group, an award-winning strategic communications firm, she built an industry-leading portfolio of clients with a specific interest in global development policy, advocacy, and communications. Beth received Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from the University of Pennsylvania in Modern Middle Eastern Studies and studied at the American University in Cairo, Egypt.

Itai Rusike

Itai Rusike is the Executive Director at Community Working Group on Health (CWGH), Zimbabwe. He is a public health activist with over 20 years’ experience organizing the involvement of communities in health actions in Zimbabwe. Having joined the organisation at its inception in early 1998 and risen through the ranks from a Field Officer, Health Education Officer and Programme Manager. He is the immediate past Deputy-Chairperson of the Public Health Advisory Board (PHAB) in Zimbabwe, a member of the Maternal and Perinatal Deaths Surveillance and Response Committee (MPDSR). National Steering Committee Member of the Health Development Fund (HDF) representing national NGOs, he is also a member of the National Validation Committee for the Elimination of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV and Syphilis (EMTCT) in Zimbabwe. He is a Steering Committee Member of the Regional Network for Equity in Health in east and southern Africa (EQUINET), co-ordinating the Social Empowerment Cluster for Primary Health Care oriented health systems. Itai is a member of the Advisory Group for the UHC2030 Civil Society Engagement Mechanism (CSEM), Board Member for the World AIDS Campaign (WACI Health), Member of the PHC Strategic Group, a network member of the Medicus Mundi International (MMI) and Chairperson of the Peoples Health Movement (PHM) Zimbabwe. He is also a member of the WHO Social Participation Technical Network (SPTN) and GFAN (Africa). Itai has got several publications on Social Participation and Primary Health Care and holds tertiary level qualifications in Mechanical Engineering, Community Journalism and Health Financing.