Our Team

 
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Alisha Graves, MPH

Alisha Graves is President of VSHD and a Founder of the OASIS Initiative. Alisha lectures internationally on population and food security in the Sahel. She is a research fellow for Project Drawdown, analyzing the potential contribution of family planning for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Previously, she worked to improve women's access to misoprostol, a generic, essential medicine. In this role, she worked on drug registration, operations research, and advocating for evidence-based maternal health policies across seven countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. She completed her MPH in International Maternal and Child Health at UC Berkeley in 2006. 

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Lauren Harris, MA, MPH

Lauren is the Vice President of VSHD and the Director of Optio. Lauren has worked on international maternal and child health and human rights issues in Southeast Asia, East Africa and Latin America over the past fifteen years. Before joining Optio, she worked on refugee health at UNICEF, on sexual violence and accountability at the Berkeley Human Rights Center, and on population research at the Bixby Center. She holds a Masters in Medical Anthropology and  Public Health and is currently a PhD candidate at University of California, Berkeley. At Optio Lauren oversees a number of mobile health and policy initiatives aimed at giving women access to reproductive health services in restrictive settings.

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Malcolm Potts, MB, BChir, PhD, FRCOG

Malcolm Potts is a Founder of the OASIS Initiative and Professor at the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley. He was the first holder of the Fred H. Bixby endowed chair in Population and Family Planning and founded the Bixby Center for Population, Health & Sustainability with a team of young experts. He is Co-Director of the Berkeley International Group (BIG) with Dr. Julia Walsh. While he was the first Medical Director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation for a decade, he introduced family planning methods into scores of developing countries. As CEO of Family Health International (FHI), he launched the first large scale studies of maternal mortality, which helped start the worldwide Safe Motherhood Initiative. He has published ten books and over 200 scientific papers. His most recent book is Sex and War: How Biology Explains War and Terrorism and Offers a Path to a Safer World. 

Abdoul Moumouni Nouhou, PhD

Abdoul Moumouni Nouhou is Program Director and demographer-statistician at VSHD, working on The OASIS Initiative in Niger. After working at the National Institute of Statistics in Niger, he joined the World Food Program where for four years he conducted monitoring and evaluation of health / nutrition, rural development and school feeding programs. Nouhou is actively involved in innovative work on demographic issues in West Africa. His PhD research focuses on the links between empowerment of women and fertility projections, including the use of contraception. Mr. Nouhou firmly believes in the potential of women to contribute to the welfare of families and the need for African countries to unlock this potential to accelerate their economic and social development.

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Robert (Nap) Hosang, MD, MPH, MBA, FRCOG, FACOG

Robert (Nap) Hosang is Project Director at VSHD, working on the Over-the-Counter Birth Control at Optio. Nap has more than 20 years of experience advising many national governments on the design of maternity health services to reduce maternal mortality and improve birth outcomes. A practicing obstetrician/gynecologist and public health specialist for 30 years, he cared for more than 3,000 pregnant women from their first trimester through delivery and the reproductive health management for many more. Nap retired from active clinical practice in 2010 and is now working on making it possible for American women to have a safe and affordable over-the-counter birth control pill option that does not require a prescription. Nap is also the 2016 recipient of the APHA Carl S. Shultz award for lifetime achievement in Population, Reproduction and Sexual Health.

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Paige Passano, MPH

Paige Passano is Director at VSHD, working on the Sahel Leadership Program for The OASIS Initiative. She is a researcher at the Bixby Center for Population, Health & Sustainability with expertise in global maternal health, adolescent girls’ education and capacity building. In 2013, she joined The OASIS Initiative, contributing to program design and development, partnership building and fundraising. After completing her MPH in International Public Health from the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, she was a project manager for Population Services International (PSI) in Mumbai, India for 4 years. She has been with the Bixby Center since 2007, working to reduce maternal mortality in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and northern Nigeria. 

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DANIEL PERLMAN, PHD

Daniel Perlman is a researcher at VSHD and a research medical anthropologist at the UC Berkeley Bixby Center for Population, Health & Sustainability with more than twenty years’ experience implementing and evaluating primary health care programs in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Perlman founded the Population and Reproductive Health Initiative in partnership with Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Nigeria. He is the PI on an ongoing research project entitled: “Delaying the Age of Marriage and the Onset of Childbearing through Girl-Child Education in Northern Nigeria.” and he is currently overseeing the launch of a innovative school-based empowerment program for adolescent girls in Nigeria.

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Jessica Watterson, MPH

Jessica is Project Director at VSHD, working on the Global Hotline for Women’s Health at Optio. Jessica has worked on maternal and child health issues in South Asia, the Pacific and Africa. Her experience ranges from research on the use of mobile phones to improve antenatal care attendance in Samoa to overseeing health education classes for women living in slums in Kolkata, India. Prior to joining Optio, Jessica worked for the World Health Organization, Doctors Without Borders, Oxfam and as a Fulbright-Clinton Public Policy Fellow at the Ministry of Health in Samoa. At Optio, she works on the design and evaluation of projects to improve maternal health in South Asia and Africa. Jessica holds a Master of Public Health from University of California, Berkeley and a BA in Biochemistry from New York University. She is also currently working toward a PhD in Health Policy from UC Berkeley.

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Allyson Fritz

Allyson Fritz is Deputy Director at VSHD, working on The OASIS Initiative. She brings experience in organizational system’s building, program evaluation, and fundraising. She has worked for Tostan in Senegal supporting the M&E, Communications and Grants teams, primarily focusing on Tostan’s efforts to promote the abandonment of Female Genital Cutting. She is passionate about youth education and livelihoods opportunities, and has worked on program evaluations for Uganda Youth Development Link in Kampala and locally with Marin County Probation. Allyson completed her MSW from UC Berkeley’s School of Social Welfare in 2016 with a concentration in Management and Planning.

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morgan deluce

Morgan DeLuce is the Development Manager at VSHD. She brings experience in operations, donor cultivation, and partnership building. She previously worked with Mama Hope in rural Kenya to fund human resource development and create monitoring tools to better understand partners’ impact on the education and economy of the community. While in San Francisco, she worked in operations and partnership building for a small crowdfunding nonprofit. She is passionate about gender equity and community centered development. Morgan received a BA in Sociology from Boston College with a concentration in management and leadership.

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Chaibou Sanoussi

Sanoussi is an Ethnographic Researcher at VSHD, working on The OASIS Initiative. Sanoussi holds a Masters in Sociology, with an emphasis on health anthropology. He has worked at UNICEF as a Communications for Development Consultant (C4D) and has worked on numerous program and research evaluations, including the UNFPA Illimin program, a World Bank study on sexual health and reproductive health of adolescents. Previously, Sanoussi worked as a Research Assistant for 4 years at the Laboratoire d’études et recherche sur les dynamiques sociales et le développement local (LASDEL). He also conducted research on the therapeutic pathways of people living with HIV / AIDS at the Ambulation Treatment Center (ATC) in Niamey. Sanoussi aims to develop his skills in qualitative research, in connection with field development programs and thus to broaden his experience and areas of expertise.

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Aminatou Issaka

Aminatou is a Sahel Leadership Program Coordinator at VSHD, working on The OASIS Initiative. She holds a Masters in Development with a specialization in Management of Cultural Industries from the Senghor University of Alexandria in Egypt and a bachelor's degree in Business Communication from the African Institute of Technology in Niamey. Before joining the OASIS Initiative, Aminatou was in charge of Mission at the Franco-Nigerian Cultural Center Jean Rouch. She is also the promoter of the Women's Words Festival, a forum for female expression. It defends the rights of women and promotes the talent of women artists.

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Chaibou Halidou

Halidou is a Illiassou Program Intern at VSHD, working on The OASIS Initiative. Sociologist by training, Chaibou Halidou Illiassou is in the last phase of achieving a Masters in Gender and Development from Abdou Moumouni University in Niamey. He has strong experience in the field of reproductive health, gender and climate change, decentralization, and involvement of women and youth in the political sphere, working as a collection officer and a Field Supervisor. After his civic service at the department of formal and informal education of Aguié, he participated in several ethnographic research projects, including the Sauki project in Maradi with Mercy Corps and the Jimiri project of REGIS-ER in the same region. While contributing to other activities, Illiassou now manages the Women in Development internship program at the OASIS Initiative.

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Elizabeth Crane

Elizabeth Crane is a a Fellow at VSHD, working on the Global Hotline for Women's Health. She is a Master of Public Health student in the Maternal and Child Health program at UC Berkeley. Her work in global maternal and reproductive health focuses on providing essential health information and research to women around the world through a human rights framework. Her experience includes producing a report on preventable maternal mortality in Uganda and implementing an integrated family planning program in Rwanda, both with UC Berkeley's Bixby Center for Population, Health, and Sustainability. Prior to attending UC Berkeley, she worked as a Health Program Analyst at Mathematica Policy Research, where she focused on health policy evaluations and clinical quality measurement projects for U.S. government clients. She received her BA from Brandeis University with a double major in Politics and International and Global Studies.

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Grecia Lozano (Litigation Coordinator, Changing Policies and Perceptions)

Grecia Lozano is a feminist lawyer, who graduated with academic honors from the National Autonomous University of Honduras. She has a specialization in Gender & Justice from the Latin-American Faculty of Social Sciences in Argentina and has taken courses on health law litigation at Georgetown University in United States. Grecia is a member of Latin-American legal networks for health law & women's rights, such as CLACAI and CLADEM, and also a member of the Honduran Bar of Lawyers since 2015. Grecia previously worked at the Center for Women's Rights as a project leader of the CAMY Fund, focused on decriminalizing abortion. This role allowed her improve her lobbying skills and litigation strategies and to become the youngest abortion advocate in the National Congress of Honduras. Currently Grecia is working on a research project about Health Law Litigation in Central America. 

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Neesa Medina (4VecesLibre Coordinator, Changing Policies and Perceptions)

Neesa Medina is a Honduran feminist sociologist that worked for more than 8 years a women’s rights analyst at Centro de Derechos de Mujeres (CDM – Center for Women’s Rights). At the national level, she participated in forums on violence against women organized by civil society as well as in several panels discussing reforms to the Criminal Code to protect women and their sexual and reproductive rights. She also developed mobilization and communication campaigns around the same themes. At the international level, she participated in several conferences as a speaker, exposing the situation of structural violence agains women in Honduras, forced migration and the Security policies that have been implemented by the government so far. In addition, she participated in the civil society delegation that drafted and presented the Alternative Report to the United Nations Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in 2016. Finally, in recent years, she has testified as an expert on more than a dozen cases of women seeking asylum in the United States.

 

INTERNS

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SHANNON WU

Shannon is a 4th-year undergraduate student at UC Berkeley studying Molecular and Cell Biology. She works as a Website Developer for VSHD. 

 

Our Board

Karen Pak Oppenheimer, MS, MPH, Chair
April McMahon, EA, Treasurer   
Sarah Jane Holcombe, PhD, MPH, MPPM, Secretary
Martha M. Campbell, PhD, Founder and Former President, VSHD
Sterling C. Franklin, MSEd, JD, MPA, Trustee, Morris S. Smith Foundation
Robert Gillespie, MPH, President, Population Communication
Malcolm Potts, MD, PhD, FRCOG, Professor Emeritus of Public Health, UC Berkeley