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Cyril Bennouna, MPH 2015

senior program officer
Child protection in Crisis (CPC) learning network

Cyril Bennouna is a Senior Program Officer at Columbia University’s Department of Population and Family Health, where he works on several projects for the Program on Forced Migration and Health (PFMH). Cyril earned his Master’s Degree in Public Health from Columbia in 2015, with a certificate in Public Health and Humanitarian Assistance. While he was at Columbia, Cyril completed a practicum in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and Somalia, where he and his colleagues developed a new methodology for monitoring and reporting attacks on education. After graduating, Cyril became the Technical Lead for Research at the University of Indonesia’s Center on Child Protection and Wellbeing, a longtime partner of PFMH. In that position, he oversaw the Center’s ambitious research and evaluation agenda, working closely with partners such as UNICEF, the World Bank, and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Cyril continues to provide technical support for the Center, as well as for the Assessment, Measurement, and Evaluation Working Group of the Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action. Recently, Cyril has been working on an assessment of the psychosocial and mental health needs of adolescent refugees resettled in the U.S.

Elburg van Boetzelaer, MPH 2015

FIeld epidemiologist
MEDecins sans frontieres/doctors without borders (MSF)

Elburg van Boetzelaer currently works as a field epidemiologist with Doctors Without Borders/MSF. Originally from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Elburg obtained a Masters in Criminology from the Netherlands and a Masters in Public Health from the Mailman School of Public Health with a focus on Forced Migration and Health. After her graduation in 2015, Elburg worked as a Research Manager for the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Kalemie, DR Congo, as well as rural South Sudan. In DR Congo, Elburg led the implementation of an randomized control trial that evaluated the efficacy of WHO’s protocol for integrated Community Case Management (iCCM). In South Sudan, Elburg managed an operational research assessment of the feasibility of treatment for Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) by low-literate community health workers using a simplified treatment protocol. Elburg is highly interested in humanitarian health, specifically in finding ways to implement rigorous research and epidemiological data collection in challenging contexts to guide health interventions.

Anna Myers, MPH 2014


Anna Myers is a researcher at the Women's Refugee Commission, where she currently focuses on the research of gender based violence, and sexual and reproductive health in settings of conflict and displacement. Prior to this position, and while she attended Mailman, she worked on a research project looking at task shifting to reduce maternal mortality for the Averting Maternal Death and Disability Program. Before graduate school, Anna lived in Russia, Cameroon, Rwanda, Timor-Leste and Laos working for local and international organizations including Fo-Naroman Timor-Leste and  the Women’s Empowerment Institute of Cameroon, WHO, IFRC, and PSI. 

Rosemary Taing, MPH 2014

Monitoring, Evaluation and research International advisor 
Friends International - Cambodia

Rosemary Taing works with Friends International in Cambodia, where she works closely with Friends program implementers and technical advisors around the world establishing tools and building skills to effectively monitor and evaluate our work, and create an environment ensuring quality services are maintained, goals are being reached, areas for improvement are recognized, and opportunities for program development are identified. She also supervises and contributes to design of research initiatives by Friends programs and collaborating institutions/individuals, aimed to be innovative, relevant, and that contributes to promoting the safety and sustainable futures of children and youth. Prior to this position, she worked for University Research Co (URC) Cambodia as an Evaluation Consultant where she helped evaluate the impact of an innovative Family Planning and HIV Prevention integrated intervention targeting sex workers in Cambodia’s hot spots.

Rosemary graduated with an MPH from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health with a Certificate in Forced Migration in 2014. While here, she interned for the Women’s Refugee Commission to research the ways Livelihoods in Emergencies program implementers can integrate protection from the very beginning of an emergency.

Prior to her studies at Mailman, she spent years working in diaspora and undeserved communities on issues surrounding sexual and reproductive health, addiction and mental health issues, and infectious diseases in the central coast and bay area of California.  

Craig Spencer, MPH 2013

Director of global health in emergency medicine / assistant professor of medicine
new york-presbyterian/columbia university medical center

Craig Spencer, MD, MPH is the Director of Global Health in Emergency Medicine at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center and an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Population and Family Health at the Columbia University Medical Center.  He divides his time between providing clinical care in New York and working internationally in public health. He has worked in Africa and Southeast Asia as a field epidemiologist on numerous projects examining access to medical care and human rights, including measuring mortality and maternal health in Burundi, access to legal documentation in Indonesia, child separation in emergencies in D.R. Congo and South Sudan, and coordinating Doctors Without Borders (MSF) national epidemiological response in Guinea during the Ebola outbreak. In addition to his international public health work, Craig has provided medical care in the Caribbean, Central America, West and East Africa, and most recently abroad onboard a MSF medical search and rescue boat in the Mediterranean. Craig received his doctorate of medicine from Wayne State University in Detroit and completed training in Emergency Medicine at New York-Presbyterian/Queens in New York City. He served as an International Fellow of Emergency Medicine at Columbia University where he received a Masters in Public Health in Forced Migration and Refugee Health at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in 2013. He currently lives in New York City.

Alissa Pries, MPH 2011

PhD Candidate 
London school of hygieneand tropical medicine

Alissa Pries is currently a PhD candidate at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health. From 2011-2015, she worked with Helen Keller International (HKI), based in their Asia-Pacific Regional office in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. She coordinated the Assessment and Research on Child Feeding (ARCH) project, a research project that aimed to build the evidence base around the promotion and utilization of commercially produced foods consumed by infants and young children below two years of age in Cambodia, Nepal, Senegal and Tanzania. She also worked on evaluation of HKI’s Enhanced Homestead Food Production (EHFP) program in Cambodia and Nepal, and was a Mickey Leland International Hunger Fellow from 2011-2013. 

Janna Metzler, MPH, MSSW 2011

Program Officer 
Columbia University Medical Center

Janna Metzler is a Senior Program Officer in the Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. She coordinates a joint Columbia University and World Vision International global research and learning project towards evaluating the impact of Child Friendly Spaces in Emergencies. She has provided design, monitoring and evaluation technical support to field teams in Ethiopia, Uganda, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, the Philippines and Nepal. Prior to this, she has worked in the field of reproductive health, gender-based violence and education in Haiti, Liberia, Ghana and the United States. She received her MSSW from Columbia University School of Social Work and MPH from Mailman School of Public Health in 2011. She is currently in the 2nd year of her doctoral training here in the department of Population and Family Health.

Mihoko Tanabe, MPH 2007

Senior PRogram officer
Women's Refugee Commission 

Mihoko Tanabe is a senior program officer for the Women's Refugee Commission's (WRC) Reproductive Health Program, where she has worked since 2007. Over the years, she has conducted cross-sectional and operations research on reproductive health-related issues in Haiti, Kenya, Nepal, the Thai-Burma border, South Sudan, and Uganda, and has overseen projects in Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Jordan and Malaysia. Some of her recent projects include piloting community-based approaches to providing reproductive health services in conflict settings; identifying good practice programming for adolescent reproductive health; and addressing the intersections between sexual and reproductive health and disability in humanitarian contexts.

Mihoko is a graduate of the International Christian University in Tokyo, Japan and she received her graduate degrees from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and the Mailman School of Public Health in 2007.

Andrew Kent, MPH 2006

SENIOR Humanitarian Policy advisor

Andrew Kent is a Senior Humanitarian Policy Advisor at USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA). There, he covers issues related to the United Nations humanitarian agencies, the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit, and the Good Humanitarian Donorship initiative.

Previously, Mr. Kent was the Humanitarian Advisor at the US Mission to the United Nations, where he represented the US government on humanitarian affairs, negotiated resolutions, and reported to the Permanent Representative, USUN Ambassadors and senior leadership. Mr. Kent also led USAID/OFDA’s Haiti Office in Port-au-Prince from 2011 to 2013. There, he managed a portfolio of nearly $500 million in programs related to the 2010 earthquake and cholera responses as well as disaster risk reduction. From 2008 to 2011, Mr. Kent led initiatives on humanitarian policy, partnerships and programming in USAID/OFDA’s Office of the Director. Prior to joining USAID, Mr. Kent managed and implemented international NGO programs and operations in Sri Lanka during the civil war, in Kenya following the 2008 election crisis, post-tsunami Aceh, Darfur, and Liberia. Before leading and advising on humanitarian policies and interventions worldwide, Mr. Kent worked at the US Senate Armed Services Committee and the Office of US Senator Edward M. Kennedy.

Mr. Kent holds an MPH from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health with a focus on Forced Migration and Health and a BS in Biology and English from Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania. He is also a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations. 

Mr. Kent is married with one child.

Sara Casey, MPH 2002

Deputy director
raise initiative

Sara Casey is Deputy Director of the Reproductive Health Access, Information and Services in Emergencies (RAISE) Initiative. She collaborates with program partners to identify and respond to challenges to improve family planning and post-abortion care services in countries whose health systems have been weakened by war or natural disaster; current field work is in Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad, Pakistan, Myanmar, Yemen and Somalia. She has provided technical guidance to partners to establish program monitoring and evaluation systems and conduct health facility assessments, population-based surveys and other implementation research.  

Prior to joining RAISE, Sara served as the Monitoring, Evaluation and Research Officer for the International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs (ICAP), based in Rwanda.  She has previous work experience at the Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health at Columbia University, as a Research Assistant for the Monitoring and Evaluation Program of the Reproductive Health Response in Conflict Consortium.  Before joining Columbia University, Sara served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in a community health program in Chad and as a caseworker for refugee resettlement in the United States. 

Sara is currently a Doctor of Public Health student at Columbia University.  She holds a Master of Public Health and a Master of International Affairs, both from Columbia University, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and French from Washington University.