PhD in Global Health


Roy is particularly interested in measuring and evaluating health system performance and understanding constraints to delivering care. Roy joined the PhD program in Global Health Metrics and Implementation Science in 2013 after working as a Data Analyst at IHME for three years. During that time he developed systems for data collection and verification as part of the ABCE project and made many contributions to the estimation of non-fatal disease burden as part of the GBD 2010 project.  In his current role as a Research Associate at IHME, Roy has been working on a comprehensive assessment of the primary health care systems in Nigeria and Zambia. Recently, he has spent time in Zambia working with colleagues at the University of Zambia and local ministries on a number of research projects, including household data collection for the GAVI FCE project, and a qualitative assessment of health facility efficiency.

Peter Cherutich | Kenya | Implementation Science (2016)

Dr Peter Cherutich, a first generation PhD student in the implementation science/metrics track, obtained his medical degree from the University of Nairobi and his MPH from the University of Washington. He is passionate about measuring the impact of HIV prevention interventions on HIV incidence and survival. His research on partner services hopes to demonstrate the feasibility, effectiveness and budget impact of HIV partner notification in resource limited settings.

Apart from his academic work, Dr Cherutich is at the center of international efforts to catalyze the adoption of novel HIV prevention technologies. He is the founder and chairman of the Public Health Society of Kenya. He aspires to mentor future global health leaders and scientists in Africa.


Emily is interested in implementing and evaluating interventions and policies to reduce health disparities. She currently works on the impact evaluation of Salud Mesoamerica 2015, a results-based financing initiative spanning 8 countries from Mexico to Panama. Before joining the Global Health PhD program, she advised on and researched health systems topics as a Researcher and Fellow at IHME, and implemented community health programs on the Haitian Central Plateau. She is originally from Seattle, and received her BA in Human Biology from Stanford, and MPH from UW.

Sarah Wulf Hanson | UNITED STATES | Metrics (2019)

Sarah is passionate about people and about informing effective health policies and interventions through better data.  After studying bioengineering at Rice University, she decided to shift her focus from the design of medical devices for low-resource settings in the lab to the measurement of health itself.  She came to IHME in 2010 as a UW MPH student and then became part of the first cohort of the metrics PhD program at UW in 2012.  Here she has applied her passion to generating estimates of disease burden around the world as part of the Global Burden of Disease 2010 and 2013 studies.  For her doctoral dissertation, she is exploring the subnational burden of disease in Indonesia at the provincial level, with an interest in expanding her career focus to include the cascade of applied burden of disease estimation: from estimating burden of disease itself, to assessing cost-effectiveness of potential interventions and policies, to offering intervention and policy recommendations.  Sarah’s research experience also includes health facility data quality assessment for the Salud Mesoamerica 2015 project, a results-based financing initiative to improve maternal and child health services in Central America.

Chris Kemp | United States | Implementation Science (2018)

Christopher Kemp, University of Washington Department of Global Health

Christopher grew up in Seattle, USA, and received his MPH from the University of Washington Department of Global Health. Prior to joining the Implementation Science PhD program in 2015, he served with the Peace Corps in South Africa, where he strengthened linkages between facility- and community-based health services in rural KwaZulu-Natal, and evaluated a novel peer-delivered psychosocial support program. Recently, he was a Global WACh MYCNSIA Fellow in Nepal, where he partnered with UNICEF and Nepal’s National Planning Commission to design and implement a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation system for the country’s multi-sector plan to fight infant under-nutrition. He has been involved in a range of implementation research at PATH, I-TECH, and the Department of Global Health. He is passionate about health systems strengthening, particularly with regards to the scale-up of mental health services and building capacity to improve the use of data in low-resource settings.

Arianna Rubin Means | United States | Implementation Science (2017)

Dr. Means focuses on generating operational evidence needed to improve the delivery of routine primary healthcare programs in low and middle-income countries, both within health facilities and in communities. She is currently the implementation science lead for the DeWorm3 Project, a series of large hybrid cluster randomized trials in Benin, India, and Malawi. She designs and manages the DeWorm3 Project’s qualitative research studies, organizational readiness research, operational research process mapping studies, and economic evaluations. She also leads implementation science activities for a multi-country network of facility-based child mortality studies, which aim to improve care for acutely ill children living in countries with limited resources and prevent both in-hospital and post-discharge mortality. Dr. Means teaches the online Fundamentals of Implementation Science course, providing training to over 200 implementation scientists around the world, as well as the annual CFAR implementation science mini-course. 

A trained epidemiologist and implementation scientist, Dr. Means’ area of expertise is integrating evaluation of implementation outcomes into clinically oriented research to ensure that findings translate into the evidence needed to inform policy and guidelines. Dr. Means is a Scientific Associate at the Natural History Museum in London and an Associate Editor for PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

David Phillips | UNITED STATEs | Metrics (2017)

David Vogt Phillips is a post-doctoral fellow at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. His work focuses on impact evaluation of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria as part of a multi-country, prospective evaluation. David graduated in 2017 from the Department of Global Health’s Health Metrics and Implementation Science PhD program, and is passionate about evidence-based global development. His PhD dissertation was part of an evaluation of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance where he measured determinants of effective vaccination in low and middle-income countries. A native Seattleite, David also attended UW for his undergraduate degree. He can usually be found gardening at his home in West Seattle, playing Frisbee with his dog or world-traveling with his wife.


Caroline Soi | Mozambique | Implementation Science (2018)

Having worked as a long term technical advisor for the HIV and Malaria national programs of an African country Caroline has been at the core of program scale up closely accompanying Health System (HS) challenges such as management, monitoring and evaluation (M&E), health workforce capacity and health financing among others. One thematic area that has stood out as a common major Health System challenge in these programs is the inadequate M&E of programs. In her most recent position she was part of the teams that were undertaking the Mozambique Malaria impact evaluation and GAVI full country evaluation (FCE). From these experiences she developed an interest in Health System Strengthening especially around malaria and immunization programs. During her PhD she would like to research on the effects of Health System Strengthening Grants on M&E activities over time. Her career goal upon graduation is to continue to support ministries of health in developing countries to improve health systems performance.

DONG (ROMAN) XU | China |Implementation Science (2017)

Dong (Roman) Xu was the head of the China Office of the China Medical Board when he joined the PhD program in Global Health (implementation science) at UW. His dissertation was a randomized controlled trial of using mobile text messaging to improve the care of people with schizophrenia in rural China. His research has focused on service innovations and quality in primary health care. Roman has been leading the work of developing Sun Yat-sen Global Health Institute of the Sun Yat-sen University in China. In addition, he is leading a large research in assessing quality of primary health care in 7 Chinese provinces, using unannounced standardized patients. He is also working with colleagues in Nepal for a randomized controlled trial on a nurse-led continuum of care model for people with diabetes and pre-diabetes. You can find more information on Roman’s work from his Research Gate profile:

The University of Washington's PHD program was the bridge to connect his professional work to his academic career. Before his PHD study, he had worked closely with the Chinese government, the leading universities and the health systems in capacity building, service strengthening and institutional development in the area of health policy and systems. The UW experiences were instrumental in transforming his professional understanding of the health systems into academic explorations. He particularly enjoyed the high-quality quantitative and methodological courses at UW that he found difficult to pursue without a supportive academic environment. The strengthened relationship with the leadership, faculty members and students at UW is also critical in his effort to develop global health back in China.    

What is next for Roman? He will continue to devote much of his time to expedite the development of Sun Yat-sen Global Health Institute. His goal is to develop this institute into the very top research and education center in global health in China.