Speaker Biographies

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Alexandre Robert

Registered Nurse, Master of Science

Alexandre is a French registered nurse and planetary health specialist who recently worked as a co-facilitator and co-founder of the French-speaking association Alliance Santé Planétaire. Previously, Alexandre worked as a policy advisor at the European Federation of Nurses Associations in 2021 and for more than 5 years for the United Nations in different roles in health emergency management (Ebola, COVID-19). He studied public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and was a student and alumni ambassador for the Planetary Health Network. In his MSc thesis, Alexandre produced a narrative synthesis on the implementation of the 'One Health' approach to health emergency preparedness in Guinea and Senegal. His current work covers preparedness and response to health and environmental crises, and the critical implementation of holistic approaches, such as 'One Health', Planetary Health or Health in All Policies, related to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

 
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Arnau Queralt Bassa

Chairman, European Network of Environment and Sustainable Development Advisory Councils (EEAC)

Arnau Queralt-Bassa has been serving as Chairman of the European network of Environment and Sustainable Development Advisory Councils (EEAC) since January 2015. Arnau Queralt-Bassa also is director of the Advisory Council for the Sustainable Development of Catalonia. He has a background in Public Management and in European Studies.

 
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Ashlee Cunsolo

Founding Dean, School of Arctic and Subarctic Studies

Ashlee Cunsolo, PhD, is the founding Dean of the School of Arctic and Subarctic Studies and the Labrador Campus of Memorial University, a former Canada Research Chair, and a Member Emeritus of the Royal Society of Canada College of New Artists, Scholars, and Scientists. She is a leading voice internationally on climate change, mental health, and ecological grief, a regular contributor to media and policy, and editor of Mourning Nature: Hope at the Heart of Ecological Grief and Loss.

 
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Caro Park

PhD Student, Harvard University

A New Jersey native, Caro received her undergraduate at Harvard in stem cell biology. Through the Fulbright Anne Wexler Scholarship in Public Policy, she received a Master of Philosophy in Medicine at the University of Melbourne, specifically focusing on how vulnerable populations respond to climate-influenced food insecurity. She continues this work as a PhD candidate back at Harvard.

 
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Courtney Howard

Clinical Associate Professor, Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary

Dr Courtney Howard is an Emergency Physician in Yellowknife, in Canada’s subarctic, and a Clinical Associate Professor in the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary. She is a nationally- and globally-recognized expert on the impacts of climate change on health, and in the broader field of planetary health.

 
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Louise Ivers

Director, Harvard Global Health Institute
Dr. Louise Ivers is director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Global Health, and the David Bangsberg MD, MPH Endowed Chair in Global Health Equity at Mass General Hospital. She is a professor of global health and social medicine, and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Ivers works on the implementation of health programs with the goal of advancing health equity and access to care and social services for impoverished communities, supported by research and advocacy. She is a practicing infectious diseases physician in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Mass General Hospital.

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Hahrie Han

Director, SNF Agora Institute

Hahrie Han is the Inaugural Director of the SNF Agora Institute, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Professor of Political Science, and Faculty Director of the P3 Research Lab at Johns Hopkins University. She is an award-winning author of four books and numerous articles published in leading scholarly outlets including the American Political Science Review, the American Sociological Review, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), and elsewhere. She has also written for outlets like the New York Times, the Washington Post, and others. She is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and was named a 2022 Social Innovation Thought Leader of the Year by the World Economic Forum's Schwab Foundation. She is currently working on a fifth book, to be published with Knopf (an imprint of Penguin Random House), about faith and race in America, with a particular focus on evangelical megachurches.

 
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Hindou Ibrahim

President, Association for Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad (AFPAT)


Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim is an expert in the adaptation and mitigation of indigenous peoples to climate change. She is a member of the Mbororo pastoralist people in Chad and President of the Association for Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad (AFPAT). Oumarou Ibrahim is an advocate for the greater inclusion of indigenous people and their knowledge and traditions in the global movement to fight the effects of climate change. Oumarou Ibrahim received the Pritzker Emerging Environmental Genius Award and was appointed as a United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Advocate. She serves as a Member of the United Nations Permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues; Member of the Indigenous Peoples of Africa Coordinating Committee (IPACC); Member of the Advisory Committee to the Secretary-General’s 2019 Climate Action Summit; and Conservation International Senior Indigenous Fellow. In 2019, she was listed by Time Magazine as one of 15 women championing action on climate change.

 
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Jemilah Mahmood

Professor and Executive Director, Sunway Centre for Planetary Health

 

Dr. Mahmood is a Professor of Planetary Health at Sunway University. A medical professional with more than two decades of experience managing health crises in disasters and conflict settings, her previous appointments include: Under Secretary General for Partnerships at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC); Chief of the World Humanitarian Summit secretariat at the United Nations; and Chief of the Humanitarian Response Branch at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

In 2020, she was appointed a Senior Fellow of the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Centre to help reach the goal of making one billion people more resilient to climate change, migration, and human security challenges by 2030. She was also the Special Advisor to the Prime Minister of Malaysia on Public Health, a member of the Government of Malaysia’s Economic Action Council and Climate Action Council, and most notably the founder of MERCY Malaysia, a Southern-based international humanitarian organisation.

 
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Mandeep Dhaliwal

Director of the Health Group, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Bureau for Policy and Programme Support


Dr. Mandeep Dhaliwal is the Director of UNDP’s HIV, Health and Development Group. Dr. Dhaliwal brings to the organization over 20 years of experience working on HIV, health, human rights and evidence-based policy and programming in low-and middle- income countries.

Dr. Dhaliwal, a physician and lawyer, joined UNDP in 2008 as the Cluster Leader: Human Rights, Gender and Sexual Diversities in the HIV/AIDS Group. She was the architect and lead for the Global Commission on HIV and the Law which UNDP convened on behalf of the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS. Prior to joining UNDP, she was a senior adviser to the Dutch Royal Tropical Institute’s Special Programme on HIV/AIDS and the lead on HIV care and treatment at the International HIV/AIDS Alliance.

 
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Martin Hermann

President KLUG - German climate and health Alliance
 

Martin is a MD and a transformational change expert and researcher. He is passionate to trigger positive social tipping dynamics jointly with planetray health actors and networks on a global and local scale. He enjoys how "lving and embodying the transformation we want see " has shifted his own life.

 
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Matthew Smith
Research Scientist, Harvard University

 

Dr. Matthew Smith is a research scientist in the Department of Environmental Health at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. His work uses global models of major environmental changes — rising CO2, shrinking pollinator populations, dwindling wild fish stocks — to quantify their impacts on diets, nutrition, and health. With this research, he explores how the accumulation of anthropogenic environmental pressures affects our ability to adequately feed the entire global population in this century, and the consequences for human health if we fail. Dr. Smith received his PhD in Geological Sciences from the University of Washington in 2012 and worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard before becoming a research scientist.

 
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Melvine Anyango

Next Gen Fellow, Planetary Health Alliance

 

Melvine Anyango Otieno is a 2019 Planetary Health Campus Ambassador turned PHA Next Generation Fellow, working to inspire, activate and convene the next generation of planetary health campus ambassadors from around the world, as well as conduct outreach to facilitate local and international collaborations through her leadership in growing the Planetary Health Eastern Africa regional hub. She attained a BSc in Environmental Biology and Health and currently pursuing MSc in Environmental health at the University of Eldoret.

In addition to her efforts in growing the PHA's next gen and regional hub efforts, Melvine is coordinating the Planetary Health Session at the upcoming World Health Summit regional meeting in Africa (Kampala, Uganda). She is a Research Assistant for BGS-UoE-MU research on dynamics of Environmental Geochemistry and Health in the Lake Victoria Basin, where she investigates the transfer of micronutrients and potentially toxic elements into the Winam Gulf, LVB catchment, which is attributable to changes in land-use and subsequent implications for planetary health. Melvine is also a member of Society for Environmental Geochemistry and Health (SEGH), Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) and Africa Network for Internationalization of Higher Education (ANIE). She aspires to participate with the global community in building planetary health and one health to find solutions to environmental health challenges and imbalances. 

 
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Mohamed Bakarr
Lead Environmental Specialist, Global Environment Facility

 

Dr Mohamed Bakarr is Lead Environmental Specialist in the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Secretariat in Washington DC, where he oversees all major GEF programs designed to advance holistic and integrated solutions to global environmental challenges. His expertise covers a broad range of issues related to the natural resource management in the tropics, but focuses mainly on linkages among biodiversity conservation, agricultural land use, and human well-being. Prior to joining the GEF, Mohamed was at Conservation International where he served in several capacities including as Senior Vice President and Executive Director of the Center for Applied Biodiversity Science. He also served as Director of Strategic Initiatives and Assistant Director General at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) based in Nairobi, Kenya. Mohamed is from Sierra Leone and holds a B.Sc. degree in Biological Sciences from Njala University, and MS and PhD degrees in Tropical Ecology from the University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida.

 
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Nicole Redvers
Associate Professor & Director of Indigenous Planetary Health, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentisty at Western University

 

Dr. Nicole Redvers, ND, MPH, DPhilc, is a member of the Deninu K’ue First Nation in Denendeh (NWT, Canada) and has worked with Indigenous patients, scholars, and communities around the globe her entire career. She is a coming associate professor and Director of Indigenous Planetary Health at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western University. Dr. Redvers is co-founder and past board chair of the Canadian charity the Arctic Indigenous Wellness Foundation based in Yellowknife, NWT, providing traditional Indigenous-rooted Land-based wellness supports to northerners. She has been actively involved at regional, national, and international levels promoting the inclusion of Indigenous perspectives in both human and planetary health research and practice. She is author of the trade paperback book titled, ‘The Science of the Sacred: Bridging Global Indigenous Medicine Systems and Modern Scientific Principles’

 
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Phil Landrigan
Professor and Director, Program fro Global Public Health and tjhe Comon Good, Boston College
 

Philip Landrigan, MD MSc is a pediatrician and epidemiologist. He directs the Program for Global Public Health and the Common Good at Boston College. His research examines health impacts of toxic environmental hazards. His studies of lead toxicity demonstrated that low-level exposure reduces children’s IQ and contributed to EPA’s 1975 decision to remove lead from paint and gasoline, actions that reduced lead levels by 95% and increased the IQ of all American children born since 1980. His documentation of children’s exquisite sensitivity to pesticides contributed to fundamental revision of federal pesticide legislation in the United States to protect children’s health. He co-chaired the Lancet Commission on Pollution & Health, which reported in 2018 that pollution causes 9 million deaths annually and that pollution prevention is feasible, cost-effective and saves lives. Since 2019, he has led the Monaco Commission on Human Health and Ocean Pollution.

 
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Raina Plowright

Professor and Cornell Atkinson Scholar, Cornell University

 

Raina Plowright is a Cornell Atkinson Scholar and a Professor in the Department of Public and Ecosystem Health at the College of Veterinary Medicine. Her research program develops the science of pandemic prevention through transdisciplinary leadership, innovation, and translation. Her work advances a One Health approach by bridging the best available science in disease dynamics with effective public health practice and meaningful policy. Plowright’s holistic and multi-level approach is best exemplified by the Bat One Health Research Group, for which she serves as Principle Investigator. Her systematic and interdisciplinary approach focuses on five areas of inquiry: Transmission of pathogens between species, Links between land-use change and pathogen spillover, Dynamics and drivers of viral pathogens in reservoir host populations, Prevention of epidemics, and Implementation of science for the protection of ecosystem and human health.

 
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Reuben Clements

Professor and Associate Dean (Research), School of Medical and Life Sciences, Sunway University

 

Professor Gopalasamy Reuben Clements is a conservation scientist by training. He is currently the Associate Dean of Research and Postgraduate Studies in the School of Medical and Life Sciences in Sunway University and a Senior Fellow with the Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development. He received his PhD in conservation science from James Cook University and obtained his MSc and BSc in biology from the National University of Singapore. Reuben’s research focuses on forest and biodiversity conservation and has published over 90 articles that include Nature, and his work has been featured in the BBC, New York Times and National Geographic. He has also co-founded a local non-profit research organization known as Rimba, which conducts applied research on the conservation of threatened species and ecosystems in Peninsular Malaysia. In 2018, Reuben’s team worked with the Terengganu state government to create a legislation to gazette a 30,000-hectare protected area known as the Kenyir State Park. He is now focusing on developing conservation finance mechanisms to fund the management and expansion of this State Park.  

 
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Ruediger Krech

Director of Health Promotion, World Health Organization (WHO)


Dr Ruediger Krech is the Director for Health Promotion at the World Health Organization. He leads WHO’s work on tobacco and alcohol control, physical activity and enhanced wellbeing; and the programs on public health law and fiscal policies for health. Ruediger has previously been directing the work on health systems and universal health coverage, and he has been instrumental in developing the public health work on social determinants of health. Before joining WHO, he was leading Germany’s development work on social protection. His distinguished career is guided by his vision for the role of global health in societal development.

 
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Sandeep Maharaj

Global Outreach Fellow, Planetary Health Alliance


As the PHA's Global Outreach Fellow, Sandeep works to support and strengthen the emerging network of Planetary Health Regional Hubs around the world, mainly through convening and cross-fertilizing current hubs and facilitating the creation of new hubs where desired. Dr. Sandeep Maharaj is a pharmacist by profession who did his graduate studies in the area of health care sustainability. While finishing is doctoral thesis on the development of a contextual framework for healthcare sustainability, Dr. Maharaj recognized that planetary health is key facet to achieving this very elusive goal.

At an academic level, Sandeep serves as a lecturer in the School of Pharmacy at The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus, and administratively, he serves as the Associate Dean for Distance Education and Planning and Director of the Entrepreneurship and Business Transformation Office for the Faculty of Medical Science at The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus.

In the realm of public service, he has been the Deputy Chairman of the Eastern Regional Health Authority and Chairman of the Nation Health Service Company Limited in his native country of Trinidad and Tobago. In 2005 and 2006 he won the Ministry of Health quality award and in 2007 was nominated the Ministry of Health Individual of the Year.

Planetary health is his passion and he strongly believes that the concepts must be well integrated into daily societal operations so that the future generation can thrive and not be placed in a significant disadvantage.

 
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Sione Tu'itahi

Executive Director of the Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand, Runanga Whakapiki Ake I Te Hauora o Aotearoa (HPF)

Sione Tu’itahi is the Executive Director of the Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand, Runanga Whakapiki Ake I Te Hauora o Aotearoa (HPF). He is also the Global President of the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) for 2022-2025. He is also the founder and Co-Chair of the IUHPE Global Working Group on Waiora Planetary Health and Human Wellbeing. An educator, writer, and international health promotion leader, his areas of interest in health promotion include planetary health, determinants of health, human rights, community development, public policy, and workforce development. Under his leadership, HPF successfully co-hosted the 23rd World Conference on Health Promotion in Rotorua in 2019 with IUHPE. This was the largest public health conference to be held in Aotearoa New Zealand. He is a member of several boards and advisory groups at the national and international level in public health, education and development. Sione’s work is informed by his life-long learning in three, broad knowledge systems: indigenous, spiritual, and western education. In recognition of his significant contributions to health promotion and public health at the national and international levels, Sione was awarded the 2019 New Zealand Public Health Champion Award by the New Zealand Public Health Association.

 
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