Presenter Biographies


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Rita Bhatia

Senior Program Advisor, Strategy and Policy Division

World Food Programme

Rita Bhatia has been working for the past 18 years on nutrition in emergency situations. She is currently the Senior Programme Adviser in World Food Programme headquarters.  Her experience includes fifteen years with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees managing nutrition emergencies around the world.  Rita has a Master's degree in Community Nutrition from University of Delhi, India and a Master's diploma in Management of Health Services.


Frederick M. Burkle, Jr., MD, MPH

Deputy Assistant Administrator, Bureau For Global Health


Dr. Burkle was appointed Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Bureau of Global Health, United States Agency for International Development in June 2002. From 2000 to 2002 he was Senior Scholar, Scientist and Visiting Professor, The Center for International Emergency, Disaster and Refugee Studies, the Schools of Public Health and Medicine, Johns Hopkins University. From 1989 he was Professor of Surgery (Emergency Medicine), Pediatrics, and Public Health and Chair of the Division of Emergency Medicine, University of Hawaii School of Medicine. He is an Adjunct Professor at Tulane, the Uniformed Services University and the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, National Defense University. He graduated from the University of Vermont College of Medicine in 1965 and holds graduate degrees from Yale, Harvard, Dartmouth, the University of California at Berkeley, and a Diploma in Health Emergencies in Large Populations from the University of Geneva. He is certified in emergency medicine, pediatrics, pediatric emergency medicine, and psychiatry and holds a MPH in public health. He has worked in complex emergencies and refugee care in Viet Nam, northern Iraq, Somalia, the Former Yugoslavia , and Kosovo and in development and health and security in Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe. He was on the Board of Directors of the International Refugee Committee from 1996 and was Executive Director of the Health Unit for IRC in 1999. He has published over 110 articles and 4 books mostly in the field of disaster management and health. He is a retired Navy Reserve Captain, having served with the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Marine Divisions in Viet Nam, the Persian Gulf, and Somalia. He is the recipient of the Gorgas Medal for “groundbreaking work in the field of preventive medicine.”


Dolline Busolo

Dolline is the Regional Nutritionist for HelpAge International Africa Regional Development centre.  Dolline coordinates the implementation of the nutrition programme for older people in Africa aimed at improving the nutritional status of older people in both emergency and stable communities.  The programme has major components of training and research since this is a relatively new area with limited   experiences, data and interest.  She has a masters degree from the University of Nairobi in Food Science and Nutrition (Department of Food Sciences and Applied Nutrition). She has undergone various short-term training in nutrition with the most recent one on adult nutrition at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She has worked with the WFP (ETC) on targeting and food needs assessment in 12 emergency districts in Kenya. 


Prior to joining HelpAge International, she worked at the Applied Nutrition Department of the University of Nairobi (Food Science and Nutrition).  Her current work entails training, research and nutrition assessment and advocacy for inclusion of older people in programmes.  HAI works very closely with institutions and members and partners who give support to the programme.  They are engaged in development of assessment  tools for older people in emergencies, documentation and dissemination of good practices on work with older people.


Bruce Cogill

Dr. Bruce Cogill is Director of the USAID funded Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance Project housed at the Academy for Educational Development in Washington DC. He has more than 25 years experience in program design, implementation and evaluation in nutrition, health, poverty alleviation, food policy and food security. From 1993-1997, he directed the IMPACT project which developed food security and monitoring systems. He worked for UNICEF in Mozambique and has extensive field experience in Kenya, Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Papua New Guinea and Zambia. Dr. Cogill has a masters and PhD in international nutrition and agricultural economics from Cornell University and he did post-doctoral research with the International Food Policy Research Institute and the Food Studies Group of Oxford University. He can be contacted at


Professor Michael H. Golden
Michael Golden did physiology and medicine to become a gastroenterologist by the early 70's, however, his clinical practice led him to switch to nutrition and paediatrics.  He worked at, and later directed, Waterlow's old unit in Jamaica for 17 years doing research into all aspects of malnutrition.  He returned to the UK in 1991 and has since been working with NGOs and UN agencies involved in malnutrition.


Debarati Guha-Sapir

Debarati GUHA-SAPIR  is Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) and Professor  at University of Louvain School of Public Health, in Brussels Belgium. She holds an  Adjunct Professorship at Tulane University Medical Centre (New Orleans) for Health and Humanitarian Aid. Trained in Calcutta University, Johns Hopkins University and University of Louvain she holds a Ph.D in epidemiology. Since 1984, she has been involved in field research and training in emergency and humanitarian aid issues, working closely with World Health Organisation, UNHCR , UNDP and the European Commission in various regions of the world including China, Sudan, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, the  Great Lakes, Somalia and Central America. She is particularly interested in  health systems research, epidemiology in unstable situations and international policy related to relief and post conflict transition.


Mark Myatt

Consultant Epidemiologist and Senior Research Fellow

Division of Epidemiology, Institute of Ophthalmology

University College London

Mark Myatt is a consultant epidemiologist and senior research fellow at the Institute of Ophthalmology. He has considerable experience of applying epidemiological principals in emergency situations and has worked in many of the recent humanitarian emergencies in Africa and Asia. His areas of expertise are infectious disease, nutrition, and survey design. He is currently working on a rapid assessment procedure for trachoma prevalence.


Anne Ralte, MPH

Humanitarian Assistance Advisor

Bureau for Policy and Coordination

US Agency for International Development (USAID)

Anne manages USAID's planning and reporting on the Humanitarian Assistance sector. She also coordinates Agency policies on health and nutrition issues affecting populations in crisis. She provides liaison with the World Health Organization and other U.N. agencies, State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (State/PRM) and other donors on humanitarian assistance performance measurement and related issues.


Anne has over 25 years experience in international aid working for UNICEF, World Health Organization, U.S. PVOs and contractors. Since 1996, she has assisted USAID’s performance measurement efforts for humanitarian assistance. Anne is well experienced in global and national level policy and program development in health and nutrition. She has led conferences and workshops that established groundbreaking policies, such as the micronutrient deficiencies plan adopted by the International Conference on Nutrition (1992). She has designed and implemented health and nutrition programs with host governments, and with PVOs and local NGOs in Africa and Asia. Her academic background is Public Health (MPH) and Sociology (BA). Besides bringing a wide range of technical/programmatic skills and policy experience, Anne applies core moral values learned during her humble beginning. She has a unique perspective and background as a beneficiary of U.S. foreign aid during her childhood, which drives her commitment to serving those in need.    


Les Roberts

Les Roberts has a Masters degree in public health from Tulane University and a Ph.D. in environmental engineering from Johns Hopkins.  He did a post-doctorate fellowship in epidemiology at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention where he worked for 4 years.  In 1994, he worked as an epidemiologist for the World Health Organization in Rwanda during their civil war.  At present, Les is Director of Health Policy at the International Rescue Committee, an NGO based in New York that provides relief to victims of war.  He is a lecturer at the Johns Hopkins University Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering where he teaches each fall.


Mara Russell


Food Aid Management (FAM)

Mara Russell joined Food Aid Management in January 2000 as Coordinator.  Before coming to FAM, Mara lived in Scotland for six years, and worked with various voluntary organizations on both local and overseas projects.


Prior to that time, Mara worked with CARE from 1986-94.  She worked with CARE’s Food Programming Unit in New York from 1987-91, where she was backstop to CARE’s Title II food aid programs throughout the world.  In 1991, Mara went to work in Northern Iraq after the end of the Gulf War to help in the Kurdish relief effort.  Her work included conduct of a food needs assessment.  She then moved on to Mogadishu for a brief stay with CARE-Somalia in which she coordinated food distribution.  In 1992, Mara went to work in the Former Soviet Union (FSU), where she once again helped track and monitor relief supply deliveries, helped monitor nutritional needs and collect other assessment information, and managed programs in Moscow and surrounding areas. Mara holds a B.A. and M.A. in Anthropology from UCLA and Columbia University respectively.


Eric Paul Schwartz

Eric Schwartz is a Senior Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, DC, and is writing a  book on the response of the United States to complex humanitarian crises.  Mr. Schwartz is also lecturer of public and international affairs at Princeton University.


From June 1998 until January 2001, Mr. Schwartz served at the National Security Council (NSC) as Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, and Senior Director for Multilateral and Humanitarian Affairs.   Between January 1993 and April 1998, he held a range of related positions at the NSC.  He also served at the NSC in the early part of the Administration of George W. Bush, assisting the new National Security Advisor in the context of the Presidential transition.


As Senior NSC Director for Multilateral and Humanitarian Affairs at the White House, Mr. Schwartz was responsible for development and implementation of policies relating to United Nations, peacekeeping and U.S. responses to humanitarian crises;  international refugee affairs and migration; and international human rights and the rule of law.  He chaired Administration working groups on United Nations peacekeeping, and complex contingency planning, and human rights treaty implementation, each of which was established pursuant to a Presidential directive.


From 1989 to 1993, before joining the NSC staff, Mr. Schwartz served as Staff Consultant to the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs.  Prior to his work on the Subcommittee, he served as Washington Director of the human rights organization Asia Watch (now known as Human Rights Watch-Asia).  He has also worked in varying capacities for other international and non-governmental organizations involved in rule of law issues, such as the Organization of American States and the Ford Foundation.   


Eric Schwartz holds a law degree from New York University School of Law, a Master of Public Affairs degree (with a specialization in International Relations) from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University; and a Bachelor of Arts degree, with honors, in Political Science from the State University of New York at Binghamton. 


Paul B. Spiegel

Medical Epidemiologist

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Dr. Spiegel will shortly be seconded to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as the Senior Health Officer for HIV/AIDS from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  He has over 10 years of experience in complex humanitarian emergencies, participating in more than 20 field missions in 18 different countries. He is currently adjunct faculty at Johns Hopkins, Tulane and Emory Schools of Public Health.


Before UNHCR, Dr. Spiegel worked for four years as a Medical Epidemiologist in the International Emergency and Refugee Health Branch at CDC.  Previously he worked as a medical coordinator with Médecins Sans Frontières and Médecins du Monde in refugee camps in Kenya, DRC, and Rwanda, and as a consultant for numerous. He is fluent in English and French and conversant in Spanish.


Dr. Spiegel's research interests in complex humanitarian emergencies are in HIV/AIDS prevention and control, the development of programmatic and health indicators, the implementation and evaluation of health information systems and surveys, and health and human rights.  He has published extensively in the field of complex humanitarian emergencies and is a reviewer for numerous academic journals including JAMA, BMJ and Disasters. He has won numerous awards including CDC's Charles C. Shepard award for outstanding research in Assessment and Epidemiology.


Caroline Tanner

Caroline Tanner is currently the Health and Nutrition Emergency Advisor for the Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance (FANTA) project at the Academy for Educational Development.  In her capacity as a technical advisor to USAID Bureau for Democracy, Governance and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA), she advises on reporting and agency policy related to humanitarian assistance.


She has extensive field experience in health and nutrition in emergencies and has worked for NGOs, and international government and UN agencies. She serves as technical advisor to numerous agencies and executive boards.  She has also worked in child survival and food aid program design and management.  Key areas of interest include program approaches that link emergency relief and development and translating technical advances into effective policy and practice.


Anna Taylor

Anna Taylor, Nutrition Adviser at Save the Children UK provides technical support to overseas programmes and a lead on policy development in nutrition within the organisation.  She has worked, among other countries, in Bangladesh, Uganda, DPRK, Tanzania for Save the Children and UNICEF and has had particular involvement in assessment and infant feeding issues. She is currently the focal point for the nutrition sector for the Sphere handbook revision.


Bernard Vicary

Bernard Vicary has an undergraduate degree in Clinical Biochemistry and worked in clinical pathology in Australia for 13 years, before taking up a health officer position with World Vision in Southern Sudan in 1992.  For the next 9 years he worked in relief and community development in Southern Sudan, as well as two short assignments in Kenya and Somalia.  During that period he completed an MPH at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, with a focus on International Health.  In 2001 he moved to the U.S. and is now consulting internally for World Vision, on program quality issues pertaining to design, monitoring and evaluation of relief and development programs.  In particular, he has spent the past two years working on the development of a framework to measure selected quality of life indicators in World Vision’s development programmes.  This work is the culmination of a five year collaborative effort and will be implemented worldwide in 2003.


Richard Wall

Richard (Dick) Wall is a senior consultant in training and management with more than 30 years of experience in project and general management, organization and management assessment, and training in US government and other donor funded work in 30 some developing countries.  In the eighties Dick served as a country director for the Peace Corps in Mauritania and the former Zaire and later as a Special Assistant to the Peace Corps Director coordinating the agency’s response to AIDS world-wide.  Dick has been an independent consultant in training and international development since 1990.  Most recently, has been training community leaders in community advocacy in the Republic of Georgia, introducing modern management techniques to supervisors of supervising teachers in Bamako, Mali, working with facilitators in using the "Future Search" approach to community needs assessment in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and training trainers as part of the effort to strengthening decentralization in Uganda.


Bradley A. Woodruff, MD MPH

International Emergency and Refugee Health Branch

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The first phase of Dr. Woodruff's medical career began in general surgery and ended when he quite residency after two years.  Shortly thereafter, travel in Africa and work in mission hospitals clearly illustrated the superiority of the public health approach in improving the health status of most populations.  After a 2-year stint in emergency rooms to pay off student loans, Dr. Woodruff began pursuing a career in public health by studying international health at Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health, receiving an MPH degree in 1986.  He started the Epidemic Intelligence Service training program in 1987 and was sent to Sudan for his first international emergency in 1988.  During the first 9 years of his career at CDC, working in the West Virginia State Health Department, the Bacterial Enteric Diseases Branch, and the Hepatitis Branch, Dr. Woodruff continued to travel to refugee emergencies as a sideline to his regular jobs.  In April 1996, Dr. Woodruff joined the International Emergency and Refugee Health Branch full time.   In the last 12 years, he has traveled to a flood emergency in Khartoum, taught computer skills in Saudi Arabia, assisted in a large nutrition survey of Palestinian refugees in the Middle East, worked with UNICEF in acute emergencies in  Somalia and Goma, Zaire, conducted health needs assessments in Tajikistan and Afghanistan after their civil wars, evaluated hepatitis B transmission in Moldova, acted and health coordinator for UNHCR during the mass repatriation to Rwanda and the refugee influx into Macedonia, assisted with studies of malaria and reproductive health among refugees in Tanzania, investigated adolescent and adult malnutrition in refugees in Kenya and Nepal, and assisted with nutrition assessment surveys in East Timor, Laos, and Mongolia.  Dr. Woodruff is especially interested in acute emergencies and how to supply critically needed services in the first few weeks after population displacement.  Fields of special interest include training health workers, nutrition and nutrition monitoring, and rapid health assessment surveys.