2022 Cohort

Kyle Daniels (She/Her/Hers) | United States

Kyle’s background is in malaria elimination, health systems strengthening, and qualitative research. Most recently, Kyle held various roles at University of California San Francisco’s (UCSF) Malaria Elimination Initiative (MEI) spanning policy and advocacy, fundraising, and project management. Kyle stewarded the secretariat for the Lancet Commission on malaria eradication during its final year, helped develop and lead MEI’s USAID funded portfolio, and managed partner relationships on operational research studies in Colombia, Madagascar, Senegal, and Zanzibar. Kyle’s past qualitative research includes strengthening district leadership and management to resolve operational challenges in Zimbabwe’s Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) program, triangulating research priorities across key malaria funding agencies, and exploring service provision expansion of malaria community health workers in the Greater Mekong Subregion.

Kyle worked for Partners In Health (PIH) in Liberia from 2018-2020 in collaboration with the Ministry of Health on healthcare service delivery. At PIH Liberia, she coordinated cross-departmental strategic initiatives and special projects on behalf of the Executive Director and Executive Leadership Team in support of establishing a model for high-quality rural healthcare in pursuit of universal healthcare coverage. Kyle holds a dual BA in International Relations: Global Health and Community Health from Tufts University. She worked on several health-related projects as an undergraduate including handwashing studies in the context of Ebola, domestic violence and sexual assault policy in Governor Baker’s (MA) administration, and completed a thesis on menstrual hygiene management in southern India.


Ikenna Onoh (He/Him/His) | Nigeria

Ikenna Onoh is a resourceful and results-driven public health physician and field epidemiologist with excellent analytical, communication, presentation, interpersonal, problem-solving, and leadership skills, gained through more than 10 years of multidisciplinary public health training and practice. He is enthusiastic about seeing the attainment of the highest possible standard of development and health of people in resource-constrained countries, through sound evidence-based, high-impact and cost-effective interventions and programmes, while building local system capacities. Following his basic medical training, his desire to maximally contribute to building public health in resource constrained settings led him to complete a fellowship under the Community Health faculty of the West Africa College of Physicians, an MSc in Epidemiology and Medical Statistics and an MPH in Field Epidemiology Practice at the University of Ibadan, and the Advanced Nigeria Field Epidemiology Training Program. In his role as an assistant director at the National Public Health Emergency Operations Centre of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control just before enrolling for the UW Doctor of Global Health program, he was involved in setting national strategic directions, organising and facilitating trainings, designing and implementing research and training agenda all centered around Public Health Emergency Management. His primary interest area is in health systems strengthening with particular emphasis on human resources for health development and management. Through the DrGH program, he intends to further enhance his competencies to help lead in the emergence of an effective, well-resourced public health system in Africa. Ikenna also has ongoing research interests in non-communicable disease epidemiology particularly tobacco use control and continues to generate useful evidence in collaboration with peers and colleagues.


Patience Komba (She/Her/Hers) | Tanzania

For over 15 years, Patience Komba has worked in hospital care, clinical research, and public health settings in Kenya, Tanzania, and Australia.  Her main interest is improving healthcare quality and safety, strengthening health systems, and using digital innovations to monitor and evaluate health programs.  Patience has successfully led large teams to design, implement and monitor HIV programs focused on technical assistance, capacity building, and advocating for consistent use of quality data in decision-making processes. She is passionate about using technology to increase efficiency in health service delivery.

Before joining the Doctor of Global Health (DrGH) Leadership and Practice program at the University of Washington, Patience worked with the University of Maryland Baltimore (UMB)- Tanzania program as Associate Director for Program Quality and Business Development.  She has worked with Ministries of Health, Donors, Research Institutions, implementing partners, and hospital management teams to implement technology-oriented, data-driven, and evidence-supported quality improvement interventions. She has provided short-term technical assistance (STTA) to UMB’s Botswana, Kenya, Zambia, and Rwanda teams. Her most recent success story is leading the development, rollout, and scale-up of a digital web-based Continuous Quality Improvement Platform for electronically reporting and monitoring quality improvement interventions, first used in Tanzania and later adopted in 4 other African countries.

Patience holds a Master of International Public Health from the University of Sydney in Australia. She hopes the DrGH Program will equip her with top-notch leadership skills to help her work with dynamic groups to solve global health challenges. 


Parigya Sharma (She/Her/Hers) | India

Having witnessed first-hand the debilitating effects of stigma and systemic discrimination surrounding disability and mental illness, Parigya aims to centre decolonial praxis and intersectionality and highlight lived experiences of most vulnerable and marginalized groups in her work. She has worked with large philanthropic organizations, leading their grantmaking strategies, representing them on international funders’ platforms, and advocating for social justice-oriented funding. Managing community-based mental health programs, Parigya brought together women, marginalized castes and indigenous groups as partners in design and implementation, in conjunction with systemic issues like masculine power and privilege, early marriage and gender- based violence. She successfully expanded the programs to ensure that disability is mainstreamed- from sustainable livelihoods and water security to health, environment, climate change and the leadership of persons with disabilities in the local political process.

Parigya has worked on social innovation partnerships with the Government of India, drawing attention to the lack of disability inclusion in developmental work. She conceived and mentored a Fellowship on Workplace Mental Health Research with Columbia University, guiding students through their research projects and ensuring that their work foregrounded experiences of users- survivors (users of mental health services, survivors of psychiatric abuse and institutionalization). Through the completion of her DrGH degree, Parigya hopes to contribute to the discourse on healthcare justice, community-based rehabilitation and recovery approaches and prioritize decolonial, politicized and collectivist models of care.


Dr. Zahra Zeinali (She/Her/Hers) | Iran

Dr. Zahra Zeinali

Dr. Zahra Zeinali is a physician by training and global public health professional whose research is focused on the social and structural determinants of health, gender, and intersectionality.

In 2020 she was named an Emerging Voice for Global Health and a fellow with the Rockefeller Foundation-Boston University 3-D Commission on Health Determinants, Data and Decision Making.

Over the span of her career, Zahra has worked with Global Health 50/50, undertaking research with the Women in Leadership Project, a formative research agenda exploring the barriers women in the health workforce in Kenya and India face in their career advancement, and has contributed to three of the flagship annual reports of GH50/50 that hold global health organizations to account with regards to gender equity and equality in their structures and policies. As a fellow with the 3-D commission, she contributed to the conceptual framing and drafting the landmark commission report. She has also worked as a researcher on gender and intersectionality in the health workforce with Johns Hopkins University, where she got her MPH; as a consultant with United Health Futures, focusing on bringing a systems thinking approach to complex and emerging global challenges and contributing to a report on women’s economic contribution to the formal and informal health and care sector. In addition, she was a policy officer with EAT Foundation, focusing on the health impact of food systems policy, and with the WHO and Jhpiego on human resources for health policies.

As a medical student, she was passionate about incorporating a deeper understanding of public health and engaging students in solving complex global health challenges, co-founded the Iranian Medical Students Association, and held leadership positions with the International Federation of Medical Students' Associations, the largest global student-run network.

She intends to utilize the skills gained through the DrGH program to catalyze intersectoral evidence-informed action on social, political, and commercial determinants of health to improve health and well-being at the population level. She is passionate about bringing her systems approach and an intersectional lens to her work on health equity and social justice. Zahra is an Iranian national, and has lived, worked, held training, and traveled to over 30 countries.

Doctor of Global Health Leadership and Practice

2023 Cohort

Farah Bille Mohamed | United States

Farah Bille Mohamed

Farah Bille Mohamed is pursuing Doctor of Global Health Leadership and Practice, a reflection of his unwavering commitment to enhancing health systems around the world. His primary focus is on improving maternal and child health in the context of Sub-Saharan Africa, a testament to his enduring dedication to global health advancement.

 For the past six years, Farah has worked with Seattle & King County Public Health, improving food and recreational water safety standards within King County. In addition, Farah worked with the University of Washington in managing community-based participatory research projects in collaboration with many community-based organizations—Somali Health Board, Ethiopian Community Services and Eritrean Health Boards. These initiatives aimed to increase HPV vaccination uptake and reduce HIV stigma among East African communities in King County. Throughout his career, Farah has consistently taken on pivotal roles in addressing the health disparities that affect refugees and immigrants. His strategic toolkit includes comprehensive community outreach and education, advocacy, policy changes, and nurturing collaboration with a broad spectrum of local, national, and international institutions.

 As a testament to his extraordinary efforts in improving the wellbeing of refugees and immigrants, Farah was recognized as one of the 'Fifty Changemakers' during the 50th anniversary celebration of the University of Washington's School of Public Health. This award underscores his exemplary contributions to public health and his relentless pursuit of positive change.


Evelyn Nganga | Kenya

Evelyn Nganga

Evelyn Nganga is a Public Health and Health system strengthening professional. She is a trained clinician with a Master of Science Degree in Health System Management from Kenya Methodist University.

Prior to joining the Doctor of Global Health (DrGH) Leadership and Practice program at the University of Washington, Evelyn worked at USAID Kenya and East Africa as a Program Management Specialist - HIV Care and Treatment. In this role she provided technical assistance to the Ministry of Health, and implementing partners working in integrated HIV/AIDs programs. Her areas of interest were in TB/HIV, retention of patient in HIV care, treatment adherence to support attainment of viral suppression and good clinical outcomes, models for improvement including continuous quality improvement and integration of non-communicable diseases services (hypertension, mental health, and cancers) to HIV care. Her most recent work achievement was leading a  continuity of treatment root cause analysis to identify reasons  why patients interrupted care and using the feedback to tailor preventive strategies. She also took lead in a viral load uptake and viral load suppression quality improvement collaborative across eight HIV treatment   implementing partners.

Evelyn has previously worked at Centre for Health Solutions - Kenya, ICAP Columbia University Kenya program and LVCT Health.

Through the DrGH program, she intends to further enhance her competencies to contribute to the discourse on integrated care systems, patient centered care, institutionalizing collaborative learning and improvement initiatives in programming to reflect local and international best practice.


Akane Sugimoto | United States

Akane Sugimoto

Akane (she/her) is passionate about strengthening health systems through enabling midwifery care models and midwives. Akane’s experience includes clinical care in full-scope midwifery, pre-service and in-service clinical education, advocacy, and accompaniment in post-conflict settings. Her journey into midwifery began after working with organizations of traditional midwives in southern Mexico and experiencing care reflective of midwifery values. For many years, Akane was the midwife and clinical director of Luna Maya Chiapas, a midwifery center in southern Mexico, where midwifery is poorly integrated into the health system. Akane’s more recent work includes instruction and clinical direction at the National Midwifery Institute, a direct entry program in the United States of America; and, through the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM), implementation of USAID funded programing to strengthen clinical skills and the midwifery care model in Afghanistan. Akane acquired her MSc with distinction from the University of Dundee (United Kingdom) in Maternal and Infant Health. She is eager to build skills through the DrGH to ensure that midwives in all settings can count on dignified conditions in which their workplace needs met, so they can more potently provide critical care to populations needing midwifery care, including women, childbearing people, girls, adolescents, children, and newborns in all corners of the world.


Mohammad Gazi Shah Alam | Bangladesh

Mohammad Gazi Shah Alam

Mohammad is a public health veterinarian and field epidemiologist; he studied Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Chittagong Veterinary and Animal Sciences University and MSc in Applied Epidemiology from Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University. He started his public health career focusing on preventing and controlling zoonotic emerging infectious diseases and containment of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) through the one-health approach. He graduated advanced Field Epidemiology Training Program from the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research and the Fleming Fund Fellowship on AMR surveillance from the International Livestock Research Institute.

Mohammad is pursuing the Doctor of Global Health Leadership and Practice (DrGH) program to increase his knowledge and skill in designing and implementing adaptive strategic documents to prevent emerging and re-emerging zoonotic diseases and scale-up effective AMR prevention interventions. He is passionate about working in the limited resource setting to implement different health programs and policies using evidence from surveillance and research.

He wants to utilize leadership practice experiences for collaboration and coordination among the sectors and integration of finding from organizations and institutes under the one health umbrella. He believes the DrGH program will provide opportunities to learn and manage global health crises in changing environments and complex situations. His learning goals are developing team-building skills, navigating health solutions, and facilitating healthcare resources to better implement global health programs and policies.


Priyasha Maharjan | Nepal

Priyasha Maharjan

Priyasha is passionate about development and implementation of community-oriented, culturally sensitive public health programs aimed at health promotion and prevention. Her primary interest is in maternal, child and newborn health with a particular focus on NCDs and mental health. She has diverse experiences working in the public health sector in Nepal for the past 10 years with multiple organizations including academic institutions, government authorities, and I/NGOs. Prior to joining the University of Washington, she led a non-profit called Samartha Nepal as the director, managing health and education initiatives and disaster relief and rehabilitation programs reaching out to different communities in the country.

Priyasha holds a B.Pharm in Pharmaceutical Care from Kathmandu University in Nepal and an MBA in Organization Management from Westcliff University, CA. She was a fellow of International Visitors’ Leadership Program (IVLP) themed “Air quality and public health outcomes” which introduced her to global collaborations in public health. She joined the University of Washington to pursue a master’s degree in public health (MPH) with a Fulbright scholarship and became the Jean Negus Malmo endowed P.E.O International Peace scholar. She is the first in her extended family to ever attempt a doctoral degree and proudly represents her identity and culture as a Newar, an indigenous ethnicity of Kathmandu. With a doctoral degree in global health leadership and practice, Priyasha is dedicated to creating future opportunities and empowering the youth of Nepal. She aspires to broaden her influence by integrating global perspectives and knowledge into her local work. Through interdisciplinary collaboration, she aims to advocate for evidence-based policies that ensure equitable access to healthcare and strengthen health systems.


Novil Wijesekara | Sri Lanka

Novil Wijesekara

During the Doctor of Global Health Leadership and Practice program at the University of Washington, Novil Wijesekara focuses on tools and techniques for promoting the resilience of health systems and communities to challenges such as disasters, emergencies, pandemics, conflicts, and crises. He was heavily involved in the health system preparedness and response to multiple hazards, including Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Emergencies at the Disaster Preparedness and Response Division, Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka. He has worked closely with the World Health Organization, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Asian Disaster Preparedness Center, Sri Lanka Red Cross Society, and the Family Planning Association of Sri Lanka on disaster preparedness and response, including sexual and reproductive health in emergencies. Novil is passionate about faith and religious leaders to promote health and community resilience, emphasizing faith and religious leaders. He founded the Community Tsunami Early Warning Center (now known as the Community Tsunami Education Center), Resilience Research, Training and Consulting, Resilience Foundation, the International Journal of Community Resilience, and the International Journal of Health-Systems Resilience. His contributions have been recognized through the National Disaster Resilience Leadership Award and Health Emergency Excellence Award. Novil has a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, Master of Science in Community Medicine, Master of Science in Disaster Management, Doctor of Medicine in Community Medicine, Post Graduate Diploma in Diplomatic Studies and Foreign Relations, and a Diploma in Human Rights and Peace Education.