Core Teaching Faculty

Neil Boothby is the Allan Rosenfield Professor and Director of the Program on Forced Migration and Health. His research focuses on the long term consequences of deprivation and danger on child development, and the comparative efficacy of interventions that aim to strengthen the capacities of families and communities to protect young children from harm. He has published extensively on risk and resilience among war and disaster affected children, and is also the recipient of a number of awards for his field work. Boothby has held senior positions with UNHCR, Save the Children and USAID focused on low income and disaster and conflict affected countries, and is also the founding director of the CPC Learning Network.

Joanne Csete, PhD, worked on health and nutrition programs in Africa for over 10 years, including in complex emergencies, and has published widely on health and human rights issues. She was a full-time professor at Mailman for three years before becoming Deputy Director of the Open Society Foundation Global Drug Policy Program in London. She was also the Founding Director of the HIV Program at Human Rights Watch and Chief of Program Planning for the UNICEF Regional Office in Nairobi. 

Jamie Eliades, MD, has led epidemiologic studies throughout Africa and Asia focusing on vector control and malaria. He worked at the CDC as a malaria advisor to the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative at USAID in Washington, and is developing a child survival initiative and a Health Program Management and Systems Development in the PFMH. Dr. Eliades teaches Malaria Program Planning and Planning Child Survival Programs. 

Rachel Moresky, MD focuses on international emergency medicine systems development in resource-poor settings, humanitarian relief, disaster medicine, disaster communication systems, referral, and public health applications of emergency medical care.  Dr. Moresky currently directs the Systems Improvement at District Hospitals and Regional Training of Emergency Care (sidHARTe) program in Ghana, and teaches Communicable Disease in Complex Emergencies.

Les Roberts, PhD, has led more than 50 surveys in 17 countries.  In recent years he has taken part in studies to measure mortality during war in Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Zimbabwe and Central African Republic.  He served as Director of Health Policy at the International Rescue Committee for three years.  Les teaches Public Health and Humanitarian Action, Water and Sanitation in Complex Emergencies, Investigative Methods in Complex Emergencies, and Epidemiological Methods for Measuring Human Rights Abuses. From 2012-2014 Les served as the interim Director of the Program on Forced Migration and Health. 

Lindsay Stark, DrPH, has over a decade of experience leading applied research on protection of women and chilren in humanitarian settings. Dr. Stark's particular area of expertise is measuring sensitive and difficult-to-measure social phenomenon, including sexual violence, psychosocial wellbeing and recruitment of children into armed groups. She is the Director of the Child Protection in Crisis (CPC) Learning Network and teaches Investigative Methods in Complex Emergencies. 

Mike Wessells, PhD, is lead investigator of inter-agency action research on strengthening community-based child protection mechanisms in Sierra Leone and Kenya.  He has conducted extensive research on the holistic impacts of war and political violence on children, and regularly advises UN agencies, governments, and donors on issues of psychosocial support. Mike teaches Psychosocial and Mental Health Issues in Forced Migration.

Dr. Craig Spencer, MD, MPH, is a PFMH emergency medicine fellow alumni and a new PFMH faculty member! He has added a much needed historical lens in the Public Health and Humanitarian Assistance curriculum with his course,” Lessons (Un)Learned in Humanitarian Assistance: A Historical Perspective.”  Dr. Spencer is also the director of global health in emergency medicine at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center.  Our students are delighted to have Craig’s experience and enthusiasm in the classroom.


DrPH CandidateHanna-Tina Fischer, DrPH candidate, Leadership in Global Health and Humanitarian Systems, has over a decade of experience working with UN agencies and NGOs on issues of child welfare and protection in humanitarian contexts. Tina has designed and implemented needs assessments and protection responses for populations affected by natural disaster, conflict and displacement in Africa, Asia and Europe. Prior to starting the DrPH, Tina worked with the UNICEF-led Global level Child Protection Working Group of the Global Protection Cluster. Tina teaches Protection of Children in Disaster and War.

Zahirah McNatt, MHSA, is a doctoral student (DrPH) at Mailman School of Public Health and senior research associate with the Syrian Refugee Initiative. Zahirah is currently leading a mixed methods study on the impact of family separation on Syrian refugees in Jordan and is developing a new study focused on the impact of host-country healthcare policy on refugees residing in urban settings. Prior to joining the program, Zahirah spent 10 years managing and implementing projects in health and human rights in East Africa and Southeast Asia. Most recently, she served as Director for Leadership Education and Practice at Yale’s Global Health Leadership Institute (GHLI).  Her current interest is in facilitating the creation of innovative and effective policies and approaches to health in crisis-affected contexts. 

Affiliate Faculty

Alastair Ager, PhD, has worked in the field of global health and development for over twenty years. Trained in the field of psychology, he served as head of the Department of Psychology at the University of Malawi for four years. Prior to joining Columbia he was Senior Research Manager for DFID. He teaches Investigative Methods in Complex Emergencies. Alastair has recently moved to Queen Margaret University in Scotland after 10 years but remains affiliated with the Program on Forced Migration and Health as faculty. 

Richard Garfield, RN, MS, MPH, DrPH, was first director of the Health and Nutrition Tracking Service hosted by HAC/WHO in Geneva and now works for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. He has assessed the impact of economic embargoes in Cuba, Haiti, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan Iraq, and Liberia for national governments and UN organizations.


Dr. SM Moazzem Hossain is the Chief of Health & Nutrition Section at UNICEF Sri Lanka. He teaches an intensive course on Food, Nutrition & Livelihoods for the Program on Forced Migration and Health. Previously, he has served as Advisor for Nutrition (HIV, IYCF and Child Survival) at UNICEF NYHQ, Head of the Nutrition Program for UNICEF in Pakistan, Head of Health and Nutrition Country Program for Save the Children UK in Bangladesh, among other positions.

Therese McGinn, DrPH, has spent 25 years working on using sound data collection and analysis in resource-poor settings to improve the scope and quality of reproductive health services. She is principal investigator and director of the Reproductive Health Access, Information and Services in Emergencies (RAISE) Initiative. Previously and also at the Mailman School, she served as deputy director of the Averting Maternal Death and Disability Program (AMDD).

Sarah Meyer, Phd, MPhil, is an assistant professor in clinical population and family health at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. She has extensive experience managing and leading research projects focused on migration, child protection and mental health in humanitarian and low-income settings. Her PhD research focused on migration and mental health on the Thailand-Burma border, and she has led qualitative and quantitative training and data collection in Cambodia, Rwanda, Uganda and Thailand. She is currently the co-investigator on a joint study between the CPC Learning Network and UNHCR, on measuring child protection in refugee settings. 

Ronald J. Waldman, MD, MPH, was the founding director of the Program on Forced Migration and Health. He is a physician specializing in child health in developing countries, and began his career with the World Health Organization's Global Smallpox Eradication Program in Bangladesh. He subsequently worked at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention for more than 20 years where, among other assignments, he directed technical support activities for the Combating Childhood Communicable Diseases Project. He has worked in complex emergencies in Somalia, Rwanda, Bosnia, Albania, Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan and, most recently, Iraq.