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Executive Committee

The Executive Committee serves as NCD Child's executive body that provides operational oversight for all NCD Child activities. The Executive Committee is supported by the Secretariat based at the Centre for Global Child Health at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada.

Members of the Executive Committee include:

Dr. Zulfiqar A. Bhutta, Executive Director and Lead of Secretariat

Dr. Marie Hauerslev, Chair 

Dr. Alafia Samuels, Chair-Elect

Dr. Mychelle Farmer, Past Chair

Dr. George Msengi, Youth Representative


Governing Council 

The Governing Council serves as NCD Child's governing body and provides strategic guidance and direction in establishing policies and strategies that support NCD Child’s mission and goals that affect the integrity, effectiveness, and sustainability of activities and initiatives of NCD Child.

Members of the Governing Council include:

Marie Hauerslev (Chair)
Physician, Aarhus University Hospital, Children and Youth Psychiatry

Dr. Marie Hauerslev is a Danish physician and the Chair of NCD Child. Dr. Hauerslev is the Chair of the WHO GCM/NCD Lab on Youth and the Next Generation and a Commissioner on the Lancet Commission on Gender-Based Violence and Maltreatment of Young People. Alongside her global advocacy and research work, Marie is currently in her formal training in paediatrics at Herlev Hospital, Copenhagen. Previously, as Vice-President for External Affairs and Liaison Officer to WHO of the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA), Dr. Hauerslev was the global leader of IFMSA’s external work, collaborating with the UN, WHO, World Medical Association and more. Marie was the driving force behind IFMSA’s leadership in the youth and NCDs movement in 2017. Dr. Hauerslev has worked at WHO Global Coordination Mechanism for NCDs focusing on children and youth. 

Alafia Samuels (Chair-Elect)
Director, George Alleyne Chronic Disease Research Centre, University of the West Indies

Dr. Alafia Samuels is the Director of the George Alleyne Chronic Disease Research Centre, University of the West Indies (UWI), in Barbados and the Chair-Elect of NCD Child. She is a medical doctor, trained at UWI in Jamaica. Dr. Samuels holds a Masters in Public Health (MPH) and a PhD in Chronic Disease Epidemiology, both degrees awarded with honors from Johns Hopkins University. Her past employment includes Advisor in Chronic Diseases at PAHO/WHO, Director of Outcomes at XL Health, and managing Primary Health Care Services in the South-East Region of the Ministry of Health, Jamaica. She is an appointed member of the multi-sectoral Barbados National Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) Commission and was the principal author of the Barbados Ministry of Health's Strategic Plan of Action for NCDs 2015-2019, and the CARICOM/PAHO Strategic Plan of Action for the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases.

Dr. Samuels' research interests include policy and practice in NCD prevention and control, clinical quality of care and evaluation of NCD programs. She is the Principal Investigator of the IDRC funded evaluation of the CARICOM Heads of Government 2007 Non-Communicable Diseases Declaration of Port of Spain.

Mychelle Farmer (Past Chair)
Chief Medical Officer, Advancing Synergy

Mychelle Farmer is a pediatrician with a public health background and sub-specialty training in adolescent medicine. She has significant experience in international delivery of adolescent health programming, with a focus on the integration of non-communicable disease (NCD) screening and prevention into primary care and community-based settings.

Currently, Mychelle is the Chief Medical Officer for Advancing Synergy, an organization that seeks to improve access to technology and research for the prevention and control of NCDs. She is an active member of the NCD Child Governing Council, American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. Mychelle is the co-chair of the NCD Roundtable for Global Health Council. She also serves as the Ambassador-At-Large for the International Association for Adolescent Health (IAAH), and she leads the Strategic Advisory Group on NCDs for the International Pediatric Association (IPA). She has a strong commitment to global health services that are culturally relevant and technically excellent.

Tamera Coyne-Beasley
Derrol Dawkins, MD Endowed Chair in Adolescent Medicine, Division Director for Adolescent Medicine

Dr. Tamera Coyne-Beasley is the Derrol Dawkins, MD Endowed Chair in Adolescent Medicine, Division Director for Adolescent Medicine, Vice-Chair of Pediatrics for Community Engagement, and Professor of Pediatrics and Internal Medicine at the University of Alabama Birmingham. Her areas of expertise and training include adolescent medicine, preventive medicine, health services research, epidemiology and public health. Her research, academic, community engagement, and policy and program development focus on adolescent health and well-being, and risk behaviors including sexual and reproductive health, violence prevention, substance use prevention, health promotion and disease prevention, reducing health disparities, improving health care access, community engaged research, practice based research, immunizations and global health. Her global heath work has included the strategic development of adolescent health plans for countries and international communities. 

Dr. Coyne-Beasley was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). She continues to contribute towards the review of scientific immunization evidence and development of ACIP vaccine policy.  She also served as a member of The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s committee on Applying Lessons of Optimal Adolescent Health to Improve Behavioral Outcomes for Youth.

Dr. Coyne-Beasley is also a Past President of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine, an international organization dedicated to the health and wellbeing of adolescents and young adults and the providers who serve them.

Luis Manuel Encarnacion
Capacity Development Manager, NCD Alliance

Luis M Encarnacion holds a BA in International Relations, a diploma in Political Science by the Institute d'Études Politiques (Sciences Po) - France, and a MSc in International Health Policy at the London School of Economics (LSE). He holds certificates in legislative planning, public health, health economics, and civil society management.

Between 2013-2016, Luis was the Director of Fundación Mídete, a Mexican non-government organization working on prevention and control of obesity and diabetes. Between 2013-2017, he was the Coordinator of the ContraPESO Coalition, becoming one of the most important spokespersons and advocates of the SSBs tax in Mexico; as well as the Co-coordinator of the México Salud-Hable Coalition, the national NCD alliance with more than 100 members. He was also the leader of the Mexico City chapter of the Young Professionals Chronic Disease Network (YPCDN).

In 2018, Luis became a member of NCD Child’s Governing Council for the period 2018-2020, and his tenure was renewed for a second term from 2020-2022. He’s currently Capacity Development Manager at NCD Alliance based in Mexico City, where he leads the NCDA Advocacy Institute, an initiative supporting coalition building and advocacy efforts in Latin America, Africa and Asia, promoting the strengthening of civil society as platforms for NCD policy change.

Nicola Gray
Independent Pharmacist

Nicola Gray is an independent pharmacist researcher in Manchester, England, with experience of community, hospital and academic pharmacy practice. Her research and policy interests are young people’s health, community pharmacy services, medicines information and health literacy. She was a Commonwealth Fund Harkness Fellow in International Health Policy in 2001/2. She is a Trustee of the UK Association for Young People's Health, European Vice-President of the International Association for Adolescent Health, and was awarded Fellowship of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine in 2010 for research and national leadership. She has explored young people’s adherence to medicines for NCDs; recent projects explored the experience of young people living with juvenile arthritis and the potential support role of pharmacists, and the possible contribution of the pharmacist to assisting children and families with asthma inhaler technique. She wrote content for the UK website ‘Headmeds’, presenting statutory information about mental health medicines refocused on young people’s concerns, alongside real-life narratives of their experiences. She hopes that she will be able to bring her experience of young people’s use of medicines, and of facilitating young people’s engagement in health research and policy development, to the work of NCD Child.

Martin Hevia
Dean & Associate Professor, School of Law, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella

Martin is Dean & Associate Professor at the School of Law, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella (Argentina), Founding Chair, Framework Convention on Global Health Alliance ( and 2020 Emerging Leader, World Heart Federation.

Martin currently serves as Vice-President of the Ibero-American Association of Law Schools and sits in the Academic Advisory Group of the Global Center for Legal Innovation on Food Environments at Georgetown University and  the Advisory Board of the Interamerican Heart Foundation (Argentina). He has also been a legal consultant to the Argentine National Congress on the reform, actualization, and unification of the Civil and Commercial Codes (2012 – 2013) and consulted as an Expert for the World Health Organization Public Health Law Consultation Group.  He has been Fellow of the Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Program at the University of Toronto (2009).

Martin’s papers have been published in international journals such as Harvard Journal of Health & Human Rights, Texas Law Review, International Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law, Florida Journal of International Law, Canadian Journal of Law & Jurisprudence, and International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics. They have been quoted by the Chilean Constitutional Court and the Argentine National Civil and Commercial Law Chamber.

He earned his doctorate in law in 2007 at the University of Toronto, Canada (Alan Marks Medal to the Best Graduate Thesis, Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Award for extraordinary extra-curricular contributions to university life, Louis & Mary Anisman in Law and Fairness (2005) and President of the Graduate Law Student´s Association (2004 – 2006).

Maisha Hutton
Excutive Director, Healthy Caribbean Coalition

Maisha Hutton is the Executive Director of the Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC), the only regional alliance of over 100 NCD focused civil society organizations. 

She holds a BSc in Microbiology, a MSc. in Molecular Biology and a PGDip in International Health and has been working in public health for over twenty years.

Prior to joining the Healthy Caribbean Coalition, she worked in HIV/AIDS and STI prevention and control.  Maisha has been with the HCC since 2012 where she is responsible for the daily operations and leading on the implementation of HCC’s strategic plan which is underpinned by five strategic pillars: accountability; advocacy; communication; capacity building; and sustainability.  The HCC Secretariat in collaboration with its civil society members - works with national, regional and international public and private partners to drive NCD policy and programming in a number of priority areas including: civil society capacity building; cervical cancer prevention; alcohol policy; tobacco control; food policy; childhood obesity prevention; empowering and amplifying the voices of young people and people living with NCDs; and strengthening mechanisms for a whole of government and whole of society multisectoral response to NCDs.

Andrew Lesa
Policy Consultant, Asian Development Bank

Fale is an experienced director and has been elected to public office on three separate occasions (the city council, a high school board, and a primary school board). He is currently a policy consultant with the Asian Development Bank and an independent director on the boards of Diabetes Foundation New Zealand and Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand. 

Indigenous to Samoa, he credits this heritage for his commitment to holistic healthcare in the 21st century.Fale was a keynote speaker at this year's Global NCD Alliance Forum and was also a keynote speaker at last year's Women Deliver where he lobbied for more radical interventions in healthcare. He has been published by the Archives of Disease in Childhood journal where he highlights the rampant inequalities in western healthcare.

He is also involved in NCD Child's first ever youth programme where he represents the Asia Pacific region.Fale is passionate about investing in more indigenous literature and policy on NCD's and believes that serving on the governing council will allow him to contribute to this vision. He is inspired by the creativity and innovation of young people which he believes is fundamental to NCD prevention.

Felicia Marie Knaul
Director, Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas and Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences at the Miller School of Medicine University of Miami

Felicia Marie Knaul, BA (International Development, University of Toronto), MA, PhD (Economics, Harvard University) is Professor at the Miller School of Medicine of the University of Miami and Director of the University of Miami Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas (UMIA). She is also Senior Economist at the Mexican Health Foundation; member of the Mexican National Academy of Medicine; and Chair of the Lancet Commission on Gender-based Violence and Maltreatment of Young People. In 2020, she was elected as a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

Her research focuses on global health, cancer, particularly women’s and pediatric cancers, and especially in low and middle-income countries, women and health, health systems and reform, health financing, access to pain control and palliative care, poverty and inequity, gender equity and female labor force participation, and children in especially difficult circumstances. 

After her breast cancer diagnosis, Knaul founded Cancer de Mama: Tómatelo a Pecho, a Mexico-based NGO that promotes research, advocacy, awareness, and early detection of women's health issues in Latin America, and has lectured globally on the challenge of breast cancer in LMICs, both as patient-advocate and health systems researcher.

George Msengi
Founder, Young Professionals’ Chronic Diseases Network Tanzania

Dr. George Msengi is a recently graduated Tanzanian physician and member of the Executive Committee of NCD Child. He holds numerous leadership and volunteer positions as a youth and NCDs advocate.

In his home country Tanzania, he volunteers as a helpline counselor at the Tanzania Youth Alliance where they receive over a thousand toll free calls from youths all over the country. He volunteers with multiple screening and health educational programs such as Helping Babies Breathe (with Kairuki University), community based Breast and cervical cancer screening programs(with the Agha Khan Hospital) but also founded a research forum nurturing young researchers in Tanzania called TYRF(Tanzania Young Researcher’s Forum).

He also holds leadership roles as the secretariat of the African NCDs Network which is the regional national alliance network; He founded the Young Professionals' Chronic Disease Network Tanzania’s Chapter in 2016 and acts as the chapter chairperson to date, he is a member of the WHO’s Civil Society Working Group on NCDs as a co-leader of the Advocacy and Communication steering group.

In addition to his leadership positions, Dr. Msengi also completed a research project as the principal investigator, with the Government’s Ministry of Health; an interventional study to combat childhood obesity in secondary school children recently published in December 2020 by the East African Health Research Journal. He has a number of other co-authored publications relating to NCDs and youth. He is currently part of the national STEPS committee for implementing the WHO 2021 STEPS survey in Tanzania. He is a member of the National organizing committee of the National NCDs conference in Tanzania.

Hanin Odeh
Director General, Royal Health Awareness Society

Hanin Odeh is the Director General of Royal Health Awareness Society, she has 10+ years of experience working in the development domain in Jordan, leading programs and initiatives in education, health, social entrepreneurship and youth employment. Prior to her appointment at the Royal Health Awareness Society (RHAS) in 2015 as Director General, Hanin worked about 8 years at the King Abdullah II Fund for Development, last role was the Fund’s Programs and Initiatives Manager. Hanin also worked for one year as an Assistant Manager to PwC’s Middle East Public Sector Institute, where she developed and delivered Learning and Development trainings for upskilling public sector leaders in the Middle East. Within RHAS, Hanin was able to expand the reach of the organization’s programs in school health, position the organization on the global health map through various representations in high level meetings, grow the organization’s portfolio, and led several advocacy and communications work related to NCDs, and humanitarian response, locally and regionally.

Hanin is particularly skilled in designing developmental initiatives, coordinating efforts, and forging strategic partnerships within the public and private sector domains. Hanin is passionate about serving children in the area of public health and aspires to play a leading role in international and sustainable development to advocate for children’s right to equitable health. She is inspired most by work that helps children not only survive, but thrive, and provide the enabling environment and needed care for them to bring out their full potential.  

Hanin holds an MSc. in Social Policy and Development from the London School of Economics, and a BA of German and English Language and Literature. She attended an executive program at Harvard Kennedy School, and at Inspirational Development Group- at the Royal Military School Sandhurst, and is a certified PMP.

Stefan Swartling Peterson
Professor, Global Transformations for Health, Karolinska Institutet

Stefan Swartling Peterson is Professor of Global Transformations for Health at Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, with side appointments at Uppsala University and Makerere University.  He is an advisor to UNICEF, Sweden, and past Chief of Health for UNICEF globally.  His work now follows on lines drawn from the, to address the systems determinants to allow optimal child and youth health and development now, and a sustainable future.
Stefan Swartling Peterson
Twitter: @stefanswartpet
Skype: stefanpeterson
Phone +46 (0)70 4460787

Aman Pulungan
President, Indonesian Pediatric Society and Asia Pacific Paediatric Association

Aman Pulungan is the president of Indonesian Pediatric Society, president of the Asia Pacific Pediatric Association, executive committee of the International Pediatric Association, senior consultant in Pediatric Endocrinology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Indonesia, committee for medical specialist deployment Ministry of Health (MOH) Republic of Indonesia, NCD Child Governing Council, and past president of the Asia Pacific Paediatric Endocrine Society (APPES).

For the past 19 years, he has been involved in many programs for diabetes in Indonesia and in the region, amongst others, the project leader for the World Diabetes Foundation type 1 DM in Indonesia, and as a member of the advisory board of the Physician International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes.

He has been awarded by the Indonesian MOH as one of the most eminent person who has been actively involved in the national immunization program, as a honorary fellowship by the Turkish National Pediatric Association for dedication and contribution to child health, and as a honorary fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI).

He is also a member of the health advisory board of The Australia-Indonesia Centre and media and communications division of The Global Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes.

Victoria Watson
Executive Director, International Youth Alliance for Family Planning

Victoria Watson, MSc., is a global health research and policy specialist committed to achieving equity in how young people access services, care, and prevention within their community. As a cancer survivor, Victoria is compelled to improve the universality of quality primary care for all young people globally.

For over six years, Victoria worked at the intersection of health policy and program management: in 2015 Victoria interned at the Clinton Foundation in program development, and thereafter held positions in cancer screening program design for Cancer Care Ontario and in policy research for congressional advocacy at the Centre for Health and Gender Equity in Washington, DC. In 2019-2020, Victoria served as the Executive Director of the International Youth Alliance for Family Planning within the Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health at Johns Hopkins University, managing an 80-country network for youth-led advocacy relating to gender and SRHR, and overseeing research projects for the Gates Foundation and the WHO.

Since joining NCD Child in 2016 as a Governing Council member and a convener of young leaders, Victoria has led the coalition’s youth engagement efforts by serving as the chair to both the Youth Voices Committee and the Young Leader Program. In 2016 Victoria was recognized as a Youth Health Scholar as a part of the One Young World conference, and represented NCD Child in a series of workshops.

Victoria is now a law student at the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University where she actively contributes to research projects at the Health Law Institute. 

Victoria currently lives between Halifax, NS and Toronto, ON.