Meet the Changemakers
A Mexican economist and political scientist specializing in climate change, health, and industrial policy. He holds a Master’s in Public Administration in International Development from the Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government. He currently works for the World Health Organization’s Council on the Economics of Health for All, where he engages in policy advocacy for COP, and projects related to local manufacturing capacity and Antimicrobial Resistance. He also worked in the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Economics in his home country. He expects to reimagine how government organizational structures can be better designed to tackle complex multi-sectoral challenges. He spends most of his free time outdoors, hiking with his partner.
A Professor and Consultant Community Physician at the Institute of Child Health (ICH), University of Ibadan and University College Hospital, Nigeria. Her research interest is in adolescent and young people’s health. She is the International Association for Adolescent Health Vice-President for sub-Saharan Africa and Secretary of the Society for Adolescent and Young People’s Health in Nigeria. She hopes to improve her skills in public engagement especially as this relates to building young people’s capacity to advocate for urgent action to combat the climate crisis. She also hopes to incorporate lessons acquired into the MPH (Child and Adolescent Health) programme run by the ICH, thereby building the next generation of climate change and health advocates in Nigeria.
An independent consultant with more than 8 years of proven expertise in the areas of health, food security and nutrition, agriculture, the environment, and climate change. He is the co-founder and Managing Director of Archway Consulting Limited, a research and evaluation consulting company. He has worked in the public service, humanitarian and development sectors. He is adaptive and has transitioned easily across sectors. He is driven by a desire to use evidence and lessons learned from program monitoring, research, and evaluations for sustainable development. He hopes to learn about public engagement, which is paramount to his work to mobilize climate finance and policymakers to build resilient health systems and communities across the East African region.
Dr. Calae Philippe
A Senior Medical Officer, the Climate Resilient Health System focal point and Project Coordinator for Climate Change and Health Projects at the Ministry of Health and Wellness in The Bahamas. With almost 20 years of experience in Public Health, she has provided technical/administrative services in The Policy and Planning Unit, the Office of The Chief Medical Officer, as a member of the Minister’s Technical Advisory Team, and a member of the Executive Committee Primary Care Services. She currently serves as a member of the Medical Research Oversight Committee and a member of the National Stem Cell Ethics Committee. As a community advocate, Dr. Philippe has conducted research and provided medical services in clinics throughout the archipelago.
Dr. Carol Zavaleta-Cortijo
Born in a Quechua family in Peru, Dr. Zavaleta-Cortijo is a medical doctor and postdoctoral researcher at the Public Health Faculty of Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia. Her investigation has focused on social and environmental determinants of indigenous health. Dr. Zavaleta-Cortijo currently is investigating how food biodiversity could increase climate change nutritional resilience in the Peruvian Amazon. She is interested in developing a better understanding of the combined effects of undernutrition and infectious diseases to implement culturally respectful interventions amidst climatic hazards. Dr. Zavaleta-Cortijo aspires to learn international leadership to communicate her research results about the health impacts of climate change in Latin America to policymakers.
A young leader and climate activist, currently working as a Youth Research Manager for Restless Development. Over the past 5 years, he has worked in the youth sector, developing a portfolio of research evidence that is grounded at the intersection of climate change, education, and mental health. Charles recently published his research work that investigates the impacts of climate change on young people's lives in Uganda and held dissemination sessions to inform and influence policy and decision-making at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), London Climate Week, and Africa Climate Week. He hopes to build his capacity in public engagement to ensure he can effectively support development practitioners to translate research evidence into policy action.
A Research Officer at the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC), David has five years of experience in food systems related research work. He is passionate about systems thinking and the food systems approach to solving food insecurity challenges sustainably, towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal number two (2) on Zero Hunger by 2030. He is part of a team of visionaries at APHRC whose vision is to transform Nairobi into a place of cool waters where communities live in peace and harmony, and everyone has access to adequate, safe and nutritious food. His team won the 2020 Rockefeller Foundation's Food System Vision Prize and is currently piloting various interventions towards achieving this vision.
Estrella Soto Hernández
An environmental engineer born in Oaxaca, Mexico, who focuses her work on the development of methodologies for social innovation processes through fair collaborations with rural communities. She co-founded the Innovation Center OAXIN, where she has led co-creation processes for the development of local technology and of business skills with local entrepreneurs. In this program, she aimed to learn new tools and skills that allow her to analyze the connection between climate change and health in the communities of Jaltepec and San Mateo Del Mar where she works, to continue co-creating projects based on local technology and address opportunities related with these topics.
A Livelihoods and Gender Manager at Restless Development Zambia, a youth focused Non-Governmental Organization working to deliver youth leadership for change. Gift is also responsible for Climate Justice in the Zambia Hub and works with a youth collective of over 156 local civil society organisations that have formed a social movement for climate. The movement uses feminism to engage in intergenerational dialogue for climate. He hopes to learn about more tools and approaches that will accelerate the implementation of Zambia's Nationally Determined Contributions.
Mahardika Putra Purba
An Assistant Professor in the Department of Forestry at the State Agricultural Polytechnic of Kupang (Politani Kupang) in Timor Island, Indonesia. He is currently involved in Health in Harmony (HIH) projects in Madagascar and in Borneo-Indonesia as a Program Specialist where he is remotely supporting and advising the project team on the ground. He is also an affiliated researcher in the Program for Disease Ecology, Health and the Environment at Stanford University. He holds an M.Sc in Tropical Silviculture from Bogor Agricultural University and an M.Sc in Forest Genetics from the University of Zurich. His research/work focuses on forest genetics, forest conservation, ecosystem restoration, and planetary health approach to conservation and sustainable development.
An epidemiologist and biostatistician with over ten years' experience in HIV research, health systems strengthening, and project management. She is passionate about urban health, adolescent health and innovative ways to prevent disease and promote wellbeing. Currently working in the intersection between urban health, climate change, air pollution, built environment and citizen science.
Dr. Patrick Opiyo Owili
Program Coordinator at the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC). He has also served as a Senior Lecturer and a Graduate Program Coordinator in academia. He is an international award winner of the 2019 Reizenstein Award, and is passionate about research on key public health areas including the environmental effect on maternal, newborn and child health. Dr. Patrick is a Lead Expert of Environmental Impact Assessment with the National Environment Management Authority of Kenya (NEMA) and the Environment Institute of Kenya (EIK). He holds two PhD degrees, a PhD in Public Health and PhD in Environmental Science and Technology. He hopes to learn how to engage with relevant stakeholders and drive change towards sustainable environmental health development, locally and globally.
A mental health practitioner influenced by Narrative Practices and Expressive Arts therapies. Her work with Dakshin Foundation is on preventive health care with coastal and island fishing communities. She has worked with Adivasi communities on health, mental health, and wellbeing. Her experience in community work is in building resilience structures in the paradigm of preventive health through wellbeing initiatives that align community needs, and agency, inclusive of psycho-social, cultural, political, and environmental factors. Her interest in the program lies in building and sustaining engagement in mental health and preventive health outcomes in low-resource settings highly impacted by climate change and to strengthen dialogues on pathways to health care, food sovereignty, and wellbeing.
Raj Urvish Shah
A social entrepreneur on a voyage to enable impact. His former non-profit venture, Ikigai Healing Foundation, remotely nurtured emotional well-being, reducing the potential carbon footprint worldwide, after living in the Dalai Lama’s Monastery and learning about mental health. He co-founded Redicine Medsol, a solution to WHO’s third global patient safety challenge of medication error. Raj is a member of UNLEASH Secretariat catalyzing solutions for the SDGs. His primary focus is to enable healthier and happier lives through for-profit innovations. His core strengths lie in building meaningful partnerships and leveraging synergies. He has degrees in Commerce and Public Policy. He hopes to learn about effective public engagement and ways to bridge the climate crisis and health & well-being profoundly.
Ritah Anindo Obonyo
A young African Leader Initiative Fellow (YALI RLCEA), a Peace Leader and the Youth Project Coordinator at Reproductive Health Network Kenya where she leads and coordinates advocacy, media and community engagement in the organization's adolescents and youth program. Ritah is passionate about maternal health, mental health and gender issues. She has led and initiated dynamic initiatives that seek to transform the community including, Sauti Yangu, The Shadow Pandemic Series, mentorship/counseling programs in Korogocho, Amuzi movie among others. . Ritah’s most important task in the Climate and Health Public Engagement Leadership Program is to learn more on climate change situational analysis, policy making processes and integrate her healthcare advocacy work with climate change activism.
Dr. Sheena Ramazanu
A Research Fellow from Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore. Her teaching areas focus on health promotion, professional nursing ethics and law, and honours degree thesis supervision. Through her research, Dr Sheena strives to optimize the health capacities of underserved communities. Her research studies involve collaborative partnerships with national, regional, and international institutions. For her vision for the program journey, she hopes to develop a deeper understanding of climate and health intersection from a nursing perspective. She aims to build and sustain movements across various stakeholders for sustainable health championship in Southeast Asia.
Dr. Sokhna Thiam
An environmental epidemiologist. Dr. Thiam is currently an Associate Research Scientist at the African Population Health Research Center in Senegal. Over the past 6 years, her research focus is on understanding the impacts of climate change on infectious diseases, and the impact of climate-related extreme heat on non-communicable diseases. She is member of the international society for environmental epidemiology and ex-secretary of the Africa chapter. She is also a member of the expert panel of the Network of African Science Academies where she contributed to the recently published report on climate change and health in Africa. She expects to learn and solidify her leadership and public engagement skills while strengthening her scientific abilities in the intersection of climate change and health.
The Research lead at Restless Development Zimbabwe Hub and a member of the agency’s global research team. Over the past 3 years, Steven has been working on participatory disability inclusive research focused on exploring the nexus between global heating and human health in Zimbabwe. This research has empowered young people including those with disabilities to be young leaders in their communities who are able to lead research and improve knowledge of global heating and health-related issues. Steven hopes to gain hands-on public engagement, adaptive leadership, and system thinking skills while at the same time expanding his network by connecting with other young people who are leading exciting work and driving climate and health-oriented solutions in their communities.
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