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Jean-Francois Trani

Jean-Francois Trani

Jean-Francois Trani is a demographer, an associate professor at the Brown School and a scholar at the Institute of Public Health, Washington University in St. Louis. He joined the Brown School in 2012 from the Leonard Cheshire Disability and Inclusive Development Centre in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London where he is still an honorary research fellow.  His work lies at the intersection of mental health, disability, vulnerability and poverty with a focus on conducting research that informs policy and service design for individuals living in conflict affected fragile states, and other low-income countries, such as Afghanistan, India, Nepal, Sierra Leone, Somalia and Sudan (Darfur) and more recently in middle-income countries such as Morocco and Tunisia.

Parul Bakhshi

Parul Bakhshi

Parul Bakhshi is a social psychologist and an assistant researcher professor at the Program in Occupational Therapy, Washington University in St. Louis. As a social psychologist, the majority of her work has been in the  field of human development, with specific focus on inclusion of vulnerable populations and education policies in LMICs. Understanding the dynamics of exclusion and the conditions for participation of vulnerable individuals and communities has been a leitmotiv of her research over the past 10 years. She is currently conducting research on stigma and social exclusion of destitute groups that impede participation in the field of inclusive education as well as poverty and mental illness.

Yiqi Zhu

Yiqi Zhu

Yiqi Zhu’s scholarship aims to develop and support strategies to improve rural families’ well-being in response to rapid globalization, urbanization and modernization. She has conducted research and consultant work on food security, nutritional well-being, and educational attainment with organizations in China, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India.

Ganesh M. Babulal

Ganesh M. Babulal

Ganesh M. Babulal is an associate professor in the Department of Neurology and Knight Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Washington University School of Medicine. He is currently working on two NIH/NIA funded studies: (1) evaluating biomarkers of preclinical Alzheimer disease and driving performance and (2) using global positioning data acquisition systems to evaluate naturalistic driving outcomes in cognitively normal older adults. Dr. Babulal also works with Drs. Trani and Bakhshi to examine disability and multidimensional factors that impact education, well-being, and participation for individuals living in low and middle-income countries. The foundation of this research is based within the Capability Approach and has been applied to 17 different countries by Dr. Trani and colleagues.

Rabab Ahmed

Rabab Ahmed

Dr. Rabab Ahmed is an established psychiatrist with over 14 years of experience in mental health, specializing in child mental health in low-setting contexts. She received her medical degree from Banha University, in Qalyubia, Egypt, in 2004, and did her residency in the neuropsychiatry department at Banha University Hospital. In 2010, Dr. Ahmed earned a master’s degree in Neuropsychiatry. Shortly after, she established the first and only child psychiatric center in Qalyubia, Egypt, under the authority of the National Ministry of Health and Population, Egypt. Dr. Ahmed graduated from the Brown School at Washington University in St Louis in 2018 with a master’s degree in Public Health specializing in Global Health.

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Rahim Azami

M. Rahim Azami is an Afghan public health professional with post-graduation in development policies and practices. He is currently working with Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) in Afghanistan as National Program Manager, Health and Nutrition.

Working in international development, his research and evaluation career spans the not-for-profit and academic sectors. He has led, and contributed to, research and evaluation projects across Afghanistan over the last 8 years. He is a professional in the fields of Project Design and Development, Monitoring, Evaluation, and Research having more than 8 years of experience and exposure large scale development programs.

Ellis Ballard

Ellis Ballard

Ellis has worked for many years at the intersection of disability, poverty, and social policy. He coordinated field work for the RADIE study in Afghanistan and has conducted qualitative research and trainings in countries as diverse as Afghanistan, India, Tajikistan, Uganda, and Ethiopia.  Ellis has Master’s Degrees in Social Work and Public Health from the Brown School of Social Work and Public Health at Washington University in St. Louis.

Chen Chen

Chen Chen

Chen Chen is an MPH/MSW student, expecting to graduate in May 2024. She is currently working on Child Resilience in Afghanistan Study (CRAS) project. During her time at Brown school, she has facilitated community-based research projects at Saint Louis University and participated in projects of body images. Chen’s final goal is to help individuals to live with dignity.

Yinan  Chen

Yinan Chen

Yinan Chen is a first-year MSP student at Brown School and graduated from Fudan University with a Master Degree in Social Work. Her research interests focus on disabled older adults, family caregivers, home- and community-based long-term services, and mixed research methods. She currently works on the Education Equity and Quality in Afghanistan and Pakistan (EEQAP) project as a research assistant.

Fiona Gall

Fiona Gall

More than 20 years’ experience in humanitarian and development programmes in Asia (Afghanistan, India and Pakistan) and North Africa, in relief and rehabilitation, health, disability and gender in challenging environments. Specializes in project management, monitoring and evaluation, donor relations, pro-poor policy development, advocacy, capacity building and mentoring of local partner organisations. Currently based in Kabul, Afghanistan as Director of Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief and Development (ACBAR) for international and national NGOS.

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Maddison Geller

Maddison Geller is an MPH student graduating May 2023 concentrating in Health Policy & Analysis at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. She worked on the Education Equity and Quality in Afghanistan and Pakistan (EEQAP) project. Maddison received her BA in Political Science from University of Nevada – Las Vegas. After graduation, she hopes to help address policies related to chronic and infectious diseases.

Meena Safi

Meena Safi

Meena worked in the health and education sectors with more than four years of experience in a nonprofit organization in Afghanistan. She holds a Bachelor of Medical Science degree and worked as a physician in Afghanistan. Meena graduated from Washington University in St. Louis and contributed to the University’s Education Equality and Quality project in Afghanistan and Pakistan (EEQAP) in 2018 and 2020.She also worked with the Norwegian Afghanistan Committee (NAC) on a national level, focusing on the Health Management Information System. In this role, she supported the education of youth in midwifery, nursing, pharmacy, and physiotherapy, emphasizing reproductive health and rights, hygiene, and gender equality. This initiative was funded by the World Bank, NORAD, and the European Union. Additionally, Meena volunteered with a civil society network, advocating for grassroots voices to be heard by the government and international donors. She has hosted TV programs for school student advocacy and was a key member of the Afghan female students’ advocacy team in Kabul. In recognition of her efforts, she received the Most Influential Women Award from Galicia, Spain, in 2021.Meena was the student marshal for social work at the Brown School for 2024. She has worked with various research labs and as a volunteer translator with the law school of Washington University in St. Louis. She will begin her PhD at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, focusing on the mental health of Afghan women and children. Currently, she is working as a research assistant with the Aging Research on Alzheimer’s Disease (ARCHES) project, conducted in partnership with the WashU School of Medicine’s Department of Neurology

Vishnuvardhan Thotakura

Vishnuvardhan Thotakura

Vishnuvardhan Thotakura took his graduation in a bachelor’s from Medical School in India and currently pursuing a master’s in Public Health at Brown School at WashU as a full-time student.  He specializes in Epidemiology and Biostatistics, with which he aspires to acquire strength in the research arena and equip the thought process to manage health beyond just clinical intervention.  He worked as a teaching assistant in the Department of Anatomy, Dr. PSIMS and RF for nearly an year, alongside took part in voluntary activities involving children in need of education and mental health support. Currently, as a Graduate Research Assistant in GRID, he is working for the project EEQAP, tracking attrition and reviewing reports. He is enthusiastic to work on research topics in Internal medicine and pediatrics in near future.

Kate Gettinger

Kate Gettinger

Kate Gettinger is a practicing optometrist with a specialization in low vision and geriatrics. She received her master’s in public health from Washington University in St. Louis with a specialization in health policy analysis.  Her research interests include preventable blindness, health inequalities, and quality of life in relation to ocular health status and disability.

Alex Greenfeld

Alex Greenfeld

Alex holds two degrees from Washington University in St. Louis, a Master of Public Health with a concentration in Global Health from the Brown School of Social Work, Public Health, and Social Policy and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology. Alex was a graduate research assistant with GRID who worked with the EEQAP project from 2018 to 2022.

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Mohammad Dauod Khuram

Mohammad Dauod Khuram is an Afghan Medical Doctor with a post-graduation degree in Public Health. Dr  Khuram is a development/humanitarian work practitioner and researcher with 15 years of experience. He has extensive experience in managing development programmes, with profound expertise and experience executing research and evaluation in developing countries. Dr Khuram led the research and evaluation teams in reputed international organizations and oversaw the execution of a diverse set of wide-scale impact/outcome evaluation across different thematic areas.

Ifeyinwa Nora Ijeh

Ifeyinwa Nora Ijeh

Ifeyinwa Nora Ijeh graduated in May 2022 with a Masters’s in Public Health (global health specialization) student at the Brown School at  Washington University in St Louis. She was a research assistant on the  Education Equity and Quality in Afghanistan and Pakistan (EEQAP)project. Her interests span from strengthening health systems to reducing health disparities, system dynamics to improving maternal and child health. Before joining the Brown school, Ifeyinwa worked as a physician and clinical researcher in Lagos, Nigeria, specializing in primary health care, clinical research, health care financing, and management.

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Dominique Lopez

Dominique Lopez had the opportunity to develop knowledge and expertise on health issues such as drug use, disability or reproductive health through her involvement in various projects and positions. Based on an economic and demographic background, she is able to carry out, use and analyze different types of surveys (quantitative and qualitative) as well as statistical tools to better understand social and health situations in difficult contexts (in Afghanistan for example).

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Smita Neelkanth Deshpande

Dr Smita Deshpande MBBS (Medical College, Nagpur University), DPM (Grant Medical College, Mumbai) MD (AIIMS, New Delhi) has served as the Head, Dept. of Psychiatry and De-Addiction, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, New Delhi since July 2004.
She has been actively involved in clinical services, teaching and research since joining Central Health Services, Government of India in 1987.

Sining  Li

Sining Li

Sining Li is an MSW/MBA student graduating in May 2024 at both the Brown School and Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis. She currently works on the Education Equity and Quality in Afghanistan and Pakistan (EEQAP) project.

Tarani Chandola

Tarani Chandola

Tarani is a Professor of Medical Sociology. He is a co-director of the ESRC International Centre for Lifecourse Studies in Society and Health and is also the co-director for the SOC-B (Social-Biological) Centre for Doctoral Training funded by the ESRC and BBSRC. He is a member of the ESRC Strategic Advisory Network, fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and the Royal Statistical Society and is an editor-in-chief of the journal Sociology. Tarani’s research is primarily on the social determinants of health, focusing on health inequalities and psychosocial factors, and the analysis of longitudinal cohort studies.

Mary Kate Cartmill

Mary Kate Cartmill

Mary Kate was a Graduate Research Assistant for the Global Research on Inclusion and Disability team and the Education Equity and Quality in Afghanistan and Pakistan (EEQAP) Project.  Her primary research interests are at the intersection of equitable food systems, environmental sustainability, and community nutrition in low-resourced settings. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Health from Washington University in St. Louis.

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Sharon Low

Sharon Low is a humanitarian and development researcher and practitioner, who has worked extensively on public health and social protection issues in conflict-affected and fragile countries. Her expertise is on integrated organizational and project level monitoring and evaluation systems involving health systems, governance, natural resource management, market development, civil society as well as education where she manages large data collection and ensuring quality of data.

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Nicandro Mandujano-Acevedo

Nicandro graduated with his Master of Public Health with a double concentration in Epidemiology & Biostatistics and Global Health from Washington University in St. Louis. His primary area of focus is working with displaced and marginalized communities and studying how social structures and health systems change after displacement.

May Thu Thu Maw

May Thu Thu Maw

May is a physician from Myanmar, who obtained an MPH with health policy analysis specialization at Washington University in St. Louis. She cames to Wash U-MPH program with experience in research, global health, healthcare delivery management and clinical medicine. May is interested in health policy and healthcare reform regarding effective healthcare delivery system in resource limited settings.

Mara McKown

Mara McKown

Mara McKown is an MPH/MSW student set to graduate in May of 2023 from the Brown School at Washington University hoping to pursue a career in Public Health Emergency Response. Mara currently works on the Education Equity and Quality in Afghanistan and Pakistan (EEQAP) project.

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Jacqueline Moodley

Jacqueline Moodley is a Lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. Previously Jackie worked at the Centre for Social Development in Africa at the same University. Her research interests relate to populations characterized by poverty, disability and mental illness in South Africa. For her work, Jackie was awarded a Doctoral Fellowship from the Department of Science and Technology at the annual Women in Science Awards (WISA) in August 2017.

Alan Mozaffari

Alan Mozaffari

Alan Mozaffari was a Research Assistant and Project Coordinator for the Global Research on Inclusion and Disability team and the Education Equity and Quality in Afghanistan and Pakistan (EEQAP) project. His research interests lie in how systems thinking and community-based, participatory engagement can lead to the just redistribution of resources and increased health, empowerment, and equity for vulnerable and marginalized populations.

Nino  Naskidashvili

Nino Naskidashvili

Nino Naskidashvili is an MPH student at Brown School Washington University in St. Louis expecting to graduate May, 2024, concentrating in Global Health. She is a Research Assistant for the Global Research on Inclusion and Disability Lab and currently works on the Children’s Resilience in Afghanistan Study (CRAS) project. Before joining GRID, she worked in research and non-profit focused on children’s malnutrition and maternal mental health in rural Sierra Leone, West Africa. Her main interest lies in improving the health of infants, young children, and mothers in resource-limited settings. Nino earned an MD from Tbilisi State Medical University (Tbilisi, Georgia).

Sara Paracha

Sara Paracha

Sara Paracha graduated with her Master of Social Work with a specialization in Management and concentration in Community Health Promotion for Positive Youth Development from Washington University in St. Louis. She is currently the Director of Development at North Side Community School. Sara serves on the national Gen2End Leadership Board with the American Cancer Society and was a research assistant with the Education Equity and Quality in Afghanistan and Pakistan (EEQAP) project.

Soobin Park

Soobin Park

In 2021, Soobin was admitted into the Social Work Ph.D. program at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. Her research interest spins around promoting active aging among older adults with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (AD/ADRD). She works with Dr. Jean-Francois Trani to examine disability and multidimensional factors that impact the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in low- and middle-income countries. In addition, she works with Dr. Ganesh M. Babulal to investigate how mental health and other factors influence overall health and affect the risk of cognitive decline among Black Americans.

Kyle Pitzer

Kyle Pitzer

Kyle Pitzer is a doctoral candidate at the Brown School. His research and scholarly goal emphasize bridging the gap between the science and interventions within community contexts. This agenda has led to an interest in examining and solving a wide range of challenging issues in communities. He has conducted research on a variety of domains such as policing, mental health, voting access, and services for older adults in order to provide his expertise communities and quantitative methods.

Sidra Qurban

Sidra Qurban

Sidra Qurban is a true enthusiast for setting meaningful ambitions in her life and achieving them through a truly optimistic approach.  Being a graduate in Biological Sciences, she is greatly inclined towards exploring the undiscovered aspects regarding the diversity of nature. She is currently working as research associate for a health project with the collaboration of M&C Saatchi World Services and humanly-UK. Along with that she is a Master trainer for British counsel for their current ongoing project “AWAAZ-‖” to mobilize the Pakistani community for human rights in Pakistan.

Aatif Ramzan

Aatif Ramzan

Aatif Ramzan is a social science scholar with a post-graduation degree in Rural Development. He is a development work practitioner and researcher with 13 years of experience. He has extensive experience in managing development projects in Pakistan. Currently, he is working with a national organization as project coordinator in a health project in the collaboration with M&C Saatchi World Services and Humanly-UK. Recently he was the district coordinator (Rahim Yar Khan-Pakistan) with the Global Research on Inclusion and Disability team at Washington University in St. Louis on the Education Equity and Quality in Afghanistan and Pakistan (EEQAP) Project.

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Hashim Rawab

Hashim Rawab has a degree in Economics from the University of Kabul and post-graduate credits from the University of Texas at Austin and United Nations’ Institute of Training and Research (UNITAR) under the Hiroshima Fellowship for Afghanistan. He started his career with international NGOs including the Swedish Afghanistan Committee. Thereafter he has over 15 years of experience with the Norwegian Afghanistan Committee (NAC) in management, development works and research. Since 2011 he has been a manager for of the NAC regional operations in southern Afghanistan where he was instrumental in establishing the operations in Jaghori and Malistan Districts. He has been directly responsible for the implementation of NORAD funded Rural Development Programmes and several UN funded and World Food programmes in Southern Afghanistan.

Mustafa Rfat

Mustafa Rfat

In 2021, Mustafa was admitted into the Social Work Ph.D. program at the Brown School at Washington University in St Louis and was awarded the McDonnell Academy Scholar that same year. At the Brown School, he works with Dr. Jean-Francois Trani and Dr. Mitra Naseh. Mustafa currently works on the Education Equity and Quality in Afghanistan and Pakistan (EEQAP) project.

Farah Said

Farah Said

Farah Said is an Assistant Professor at the Lahore School of Economics and a Research Fellow at the Centre for Research in Economics and Business. As a development economist, her research has focused on the dynamics of poverty and gender in LMICs. Her current research investigates the effectiveness of community engagement and inclusive education in improving learning outcomes and psychosocial skills of students; the role of that peer pressure and agency in the household can have on individual decision making; and the role of aspirations in motivating female labor force participation.

Abram Saroufim

Abram Saroufim

Abram Saroufim graduated with an MSW and a concentration in Mental Health at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis in May of 2022. He worked on the Education Equity and Quality in Afghanistan and Pakistan (EEQAP) project. His prior experiences include caring for people with intellectual disabilities as part of L’Arche International in Mexico City and teaching math, science, and phonics as a Peace Corps volunteer in Liberia. He received his BA in Chemistry from Cornell University. After graduation, he hopes to help address mental health issues in a global context.

Anum Sidra

Anum Sidra

Anum Sidra is a Social Science scholar who holds a degree of Bachelors in Anthropology from BZU. She started her career as a Coordinator for District Bahawalnagar on Education Equity and Quality in Afghanistan and Pakistan (EEQAP) Project, funded by Washington University in St. Louis. Subsequently, she was offered a Research Associate position at ICARUS Inc. where she is currently working on a research and behavior change communication project in collaboration with M&C Saatchi World Services and Humanly that aims to promote Family Planning practices in Pakistan.

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Munib Sohail

Munib Sohail is currently working with National Rural Support Progamme (NRSP) in Pakistan as Project Coordinator for Pakistan on the project Education Equity and Quality Education for Afghanistan & Pakistan. His research career spans the not-for-profit, academic and commercial sectors, working in international development, media and C4D Research and Analysis. He has led research teams for various qualitative and quantitative research projects across Pakistan. He is a professional in the fields of project management, monitoring & evaluation and research having more than 10 years of experience and exposure to big donor-funded projects.

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Vishnu Varadarajan

Vishnu Varadarajan was a Research Assistant for the Global Research on Inclusion and Disability team and the Education Equity and Quality in Afghanistan and Pakistan (EEQAP) project when he was pursuing his master’s degree in Public Health from the Brown School. His prior experiences include investigating novel clinical therapies for brain tumors at the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center as well as exploring poverty and gender disparities associated with severe mental illness in southeastern India.

Juanita Vasquez-Escallon

Juanita Vasquez-Escallon

Juanita  mainly works on impact evaluation of development programs, with a special focus on rural development, female empowerment and conflict-related policies. She is currently involved in field experiments in Pakistan, India and the Philippines. Her interests also include behavioral economics, and has carried out framed-field experiments in Colombia, where she also worked as consultant for more than seven years evaluating social programs for the government, USAID, World Bank and the European Union, among others. Juanita has a PhD in economics from the University of Göttingen and is a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Mannheim.

Zijing Wang

Zijing Wang

Zijing graduated with her MSW from the Brown School in May 2021, concentrating in Children, Youth and Families. She received her BA in history from Peking University. Prior to pursuing her MSW, she worked as a project assistant in Chinese Organization for Rare Disorders. Zijing is passionate about early childhood development and inclusive education. She hopes to use system dynamics to facilitate the development of inclusive education system for children with ASD in China.

Shuya Yin

Shuya Yin

Shuya Yin graduated with an MSW student at the Brown School in May 2021, concentrating in mental health and specializing in research. Her prior experiences include assisting to build trauma-informed schools with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, providing clinical services for traumatized adolescents at the psychiatric hospital and working for a Chinese public service consultation social enterprise. Her career focuses on trauma-informed care and family-level intervention on intergenerational violence transmission. She also hopes to use community-based system dynamics to improve left-behind children’s inclusive education in China.

Wenqing Zha

Wenqing Zha

Wenqing Zha is a second-year MPH student at the Brown School with Epidemiology/Biostatistics specialization. She currently works on the Education Equity and Quality in Afghanistan and Pakistan (EEQAP) project and the Child Resilience in Afghanistan Study (CRAS).