Staff

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Lauren Harris, 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 Masters in Medical Anthropology and a 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.

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Jessica Watterson, MPH (Program Director, Global Hotline for Women’s Health)

Jessica has worked on maternal and child health issues in South Asia, the Pacific and Africa. 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 South Asia and Africa. Jessica holds a Master of Public Health from University of California, Berkeley and a BA in Biochemistry from New York University. She is also currently working toward a PhD in Health Policy from UC Berkeley.

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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.

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Robert (Nap) Hosang, MD, MPH, MBA, FRCOG, FACOG (Program 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. His work as a senior medical group administrator at a Kaiser Permanente (KP) Medical Center in Northern California for 12 years made him extremely familiar hospital operations, including vendor contracting, pharmacy operations oversight, prenatal care protocols, labor ward and operating room management, neonatal services to support high risk obstetrics and the use of the integrated electronic medical record system at Kaiser Permanente. A practicing obstetrician/gynecologist for 30 years, he cared for more than 3,000 pregnant women from their first trimester through delivery and the postpartum period and the preconception and reproductive health management for many. He retired from active clinical practice in 2010 to spend more time on public health endeavors. 

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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.

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Nuriye Hodoglugil, MD, MA, DrPH (Advisor, Harm Reduction for Maternal Health)

Dr. Sahin Hodoglugil is a public health physician and a sexual and reproductive health expert with more than twenty years of experience working in the field. She led global health programs and research in the areas of family planning, sexually transmitted diseases, HIV prevention, women’s reproductive rights and maternal health. She currently works as the Associate Medical Director of VSI, a USA based international women’s health organization committed to improving women’s health by creating access to effective and affordable technologies on a large scale. She has been supporting programs mainly in sub-Saharan Africa through designing and conducting training, overseeing implementation of operations research and pilot programs, and developing and reviewing medical protocols, treatment guidelines and curricula.

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Armita Kadivar (Health Policy Coordinator, Changing Policies and Perceptions)

Armita is currently a senior at UC Berkeley, majoring in Public Health. After she graduates, she hopes to spend a few years working in public service, and then pursing both an M.P.H. and M.D. Her passion for combining the two fields of public health and medicine stem from her Global Brigades trip to Honduras during her sophomore year of college. She worked in medical clinics during her time there, helping doctors diagnose illnesses and prescribe medications. She also saw the importance of the field of public health while helping to rebuild the infrastructure of their homes. She contributed to building Eco-stoves, latrines, and concrete floors in order to prevent families from contracting further illnesses. Currently, she is doing research work with CREA, a joint UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory program, to assess the different factors that contribute to immunological diseases.

Diana Hale Wilson (Fellow, Global Hotline for Women’s Health)

Diana is a second-year Masters student in UC Berkeley School of Public Health's Online-On Campus program. Her passion for world travel originated in childhood, when she spent six months living with family on Mauritius. Her public health interests are interdisciplinary, focusing on outcome improvement across emerging nations - especially sub-Saharan Africa. She is an experienced biotechnology quality professional whose commitment to women and children's health is an extension of her mother's advocacy against domestic violence. Diana's Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Genetics is from California State University at Long Beach, where she also completed a Minor in History.

Board

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