Lauren Harris, PhD, MA, MPH (Director)
Lauren has worked on international maternal and child health and human rights issues in Southeast Asia, East Africa and Latin America over the past twelve years. Before joining Optio, she worked on refugee health at UNICEF, on sexual violence and accountability at the Berkeley Human Rights Center, and on population research at the Bixby Center. She holds a Masters in Medical Anthropology and a PhD in Health Policy and Masters in Public Health from University of California, Berkeley. At Optio, Lauren oversees a number of mobile health and policy initiatives aimed at giving women access to reproductive health services in restrictive settings.
Jessica Watterson, PhD, MPH (Project Director, Global Hotline for Women’s Health)
Jessica has worked on maternal and child health issues in South Asia, the Pacific, Africa and Latin America. Her experience ranges from research on the use of mobile phones to improve antenatal care attendance in Samoa to overseeing health education classes for women living in slums in Kolkata, India. Prior to joining Optio, Jessica worked for the World Health Organization, Doctors Without Borders, Oxfam and as a Fulbright-Clinton Public Policy Fellow at the Ministry of Health in Samoa. At Optio, she works on the design and evaluation of projects to improve maternal health in Latin America and Africa. Jessica holds a PhD in Health Policy and a Master of Public Health from University of California, Berkeley, and a BA in Biochemistry from New York University.
Malcolm Potts, MB, BChir, PhD, FRCOG (Research Director, Over-the-Counter Birth Control)
Malcolm Potts is a Cambridge trained obstetrician and reproductive scientist. He is a professor in Maternal and Child Health and the first and former (1992-2013) holder of the Fred H. Bixby Endowed Chair in Population and Family Planning in the School of Public Health, and developed the Bixby Center with a team of young experts. For over a decade while he was the first Medical Director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, he introduced family planning methods into scores of developing countries. As CEO of Family Health International (FHI), he launched the first large scale studies of maternal mortality, which helped start the worldwide Safe Motherhood Initiative. He has published over ten books and 300 scientific papers.
Robert (Nap) Hosang, MD, MPH, MBA, FRCOG, FACOG (Project Director, Over-the-Counter Birth Control)
Robert (Nap) Hosang has more than 20 years of experience advising many national governments on the design of maternity health services to reduce maternal mortality and improve birth outcomes. A practicing obstetrician/gynecologist and public health specialist for 30 years, he cared for more than 3,000 pregnant women from their first trimester through delivery and the reproductive health management for many more. Nap retired from active clinical practice in 2010 and is now working on making it possible for American women to have a safe and affordable over-the-counter birth control pill option that does not require a prescription. Nap is also the 2016 recipient of the APHA Carl S. Shultz award for lifetime achievement in Population, Reproduction and Sexual Health.
Alisha Graves, MPH (President, Venture Strategies for Health and Development)
Alisha Graves leads strategy and development efforts as President of Venture Strategies for Health and Development. Together with board member, Malcolm Potts, Alisha co-founded the OASIS Initiative, a project of VSHD and University of California, Berkeley. OASIS aims to help overcome some of the most serious challenges to development in the Sahel region of Africa. Alisha leads advocacy efforts for the OASIS Initiative and lectures internationally on population and development, especially population and food security in the Sahel. Prior to that, she worked for six years as Senior Program Manager for Venture Strategies to improve access to misoprostol – a generic, essential medicine – in Africa and Southeast Asia. Alisha completed her Master of Public Health in International Maternal and Child Health at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health in 2006.
Grecia Lozano (Litigation Coordinator, Changing Policies and Perceptions)
Grecia Lozano is a feminist lawyer, who graduated with academic honors from the National Autonomous University of Honduras. She has a specialization in Gender & Justice from the Latin-American Faculty of Social Sciences in Argentina and has taken courses on health law litigation at Georgetown University in United States. Grecia is a member of Latin-American legal networks for health law & women's rights, such as CLACAI and CLADEM, and also a member of the Honduran Bar of Lawyers since 2015. Grecia previously worked at the Center for Women's Rights as a project leader of the CAMY Fund, focused on decriminalizing abortion. This role allowed her improve her lobbying skills and litigation strategies and to become the youngest abortion advocate in the National Congress of Honduras. Currently Grecia is working on a research project about Health Law Litigation in Central America.
Neesa Medina (4VecesLibre Coordinator, Changing Policies and Perceptions)
Neesa Medina is a Honduran feminist sociologist that worked for more than 8 years a women’s rights analyst at Centro de Derechos de Mujeres (CDM – Center for Women’s Rights). At the national level, she participated in forums on violence against women organized by civil society as well as in several panels discussing reforms to the Criminal Code to protect women and their sexual and reproductive rights. She also developed mobilization and communication campaigns around the same themes. At the international level, she participated in several conferences as a speaker, exposing the situation of structural violence agains women in Honduras, forced migration and the Security policies that have been implemented by the government so far. In addition, she participated in the civil society delegation that drafted and presented the Alternative Report to the United Nations Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in 2016. Finally, in recent years, she has testified as an expert on more than a dozen cases of women seeking asylum in the United States.
Martha M. Campbell, PhD, Founder
Karen Pak Oppenheimer, MS, MPH, Chair
April McMahon, EA, Treasurer
Sarah Jane Holcombe, PhD, MPH, MPPM, Secretary
Sterling C. Franklin, MSEd, JD, MPA
Robert Gillespie, MPH
Malcolm Potts, MD, PhD, FRCOG
Julia Walsh, MD, MSc, MPH