Our Team

Esther Tahrir, MPH

Founder and Director

Esther Tahrir, MPH, is founder and director of Global Health Leaders and GOJoven International at the Public Health Institute. She also directs and advises multiple global youth engagement and adolescent health projects at PHI that benefit Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Since joining PHI in 2000, Tahrir has helped to establish the Mesoamerican Health Initiative and PHI’s global health unit. She represents PHI as the chair of the IBP Consortium.

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Tahrir is a public health education specialist focused on strengthening public health leadership globally. She has more than 20 years of experience working in public and reproductive health, supporting leadership development and fellowship programs in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Her professional interests include: providing training and development opportunities to emerging and senior-level leaders from developing countries working in public, reproductive, and women’s health. She is committed to increasing access to noncommunicable disease prevention and care and creating innovative public private partnerships globally.

Tahrir received her bachelor degree in community studies with college, major and thesis honors from the University of California at Santa Cruz. She received her master’s degree in public health from UC Berkeley, where she was appointed to the Faculty Council, was student elect to the school’s Strategic Planning Committee and was awarded the Henrik L. Blum Award for Distinguished Social Action.

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Olivia LaFond

Administrative Coordinator

Olivia LaFond is the Administrative Coordinator for Global Health Leaders at the Public Health Institute (PHI). She comes to PHI with experience working in both the public and private sectors, including a number of international non-profit organizations. Her professional background is primarily in marketing and communications. 

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Olivia has supported the development of global health leaders in her previous roles. She led the University of Washington chapter of GlobeMed, an international organization partnering emerging global health leaders with grassroots organizations to address health disparities. As the Marketing Associate for the Distribution Prize in San Francisco, Olivia supported a professional development program for social entrepreneurs addressing distribution challenges in the field of international development. She has also worked with the Seattle Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in many different capacities, raising funds and awareness for type 1 diabetes in her community. These experiences have fueled her interest and passion for combating non-communicable diseases and developing sustainable health programs.

Olivia received her bachelor degree in Communication, with minors in Global Health and Comparative History of Ideas, graduating with interdisciplinary honors from the University of Washington. She has also studied internationally, completing a social justice program in Bangalore, India, and studying French as a Second Language in Nantes, France.

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Dan Gillette, Ed.M.

Special Program Advisor – Learning and Development

Dan Gillette works at the intersection of design and culture, with a special focus on education, public health, disability, civic life and healthcare. Dan currently serves as a research scientist at the Center for Information Technology in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) at UC Berkeley.  CITRIS projects include: Navigating the Human Path, CriticalSTEAM, PIC Your Future, the CITRIS Mobile App Challenge, the Tobacco in the Home Environment and Air Quality Undermining Asthma Study, Vote Your Mind,  and the Research in Accessible Voting Project. Additionally, Dan regularly teaches design classes at Cal. 

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Dan recently joined the Public Health Institute (PHI) as a Principal Investigator. He acts as research program director for various research projects and Special Program Advisor for the Public Private Competency Building and Professional Development components of PHI’s corporate health fellowship program, Global Health Leaders.

In addition to his work at CITRIS and PHI, Dan continues to work in industry as a product, experience and curriculum designer, with past clients including WestEd, the Pearson Charitable Foundation and the National Academy Foundation. Previously, Dan was a co-founder of InWorld Solutions, which provided virtual reality tools for the behavioral healthcare market. He also was chair of the Innovative Technology for Autism Initiative from 2002–2008; has held research and teaching positions at Carnegie Mellon University and Stanford University; and has worked as a learning specialist in private practice, K-12 schools and universities. Before getting involved in education and design, Dan had a ten year career as a musician and composer.

Dan holds a B.A. in human development from the Lesley College Graduate School, and an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. 

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Nap_cropRobert (Nap) Hosang, MD, MPH, MBA

Special Advisor

Robert (Nap) Hosang is a special advisor for Global Health Leaders at the Public Health Institute. He is also the inaugural director of the On-Campus/Online Master in Public Health degree program at the University of California Berkeley, and led the Interdisciplinary MPH program at UC Berkeley for 17 years. He 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.

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Dr. Hosang’s prior work as a senior medical group administrator at a Kaiser Permanente (KP) Medical Center in Northern California for 12 years made him extremely familiar with hospital operations, including vendor contracting, pharmacy operations oversight, prenatal care protocols, labor ward and operating room management, and neonatal services to support high-risk obstetrics, as well as use of the integrated electronic medical record system. He is also familiar with the hospital accreditation system in the U.S., having successfully coordinated compliance preparation of pharmacy and maternal health services for tri-annual Joint Commission accreditation (JCAHO) exercises for more than a decade.

A practicing obstetrician/gynecologist for 30 years, Dr. Hosang cared for more than 3,000 pregnant women from their first trimester through delivery and their postpartum period, as well as managing the preconception and reproductive health for many. He retired from active clinical practice in 2010 to devote more time to public health endeavors. Dr. Hosang is the founder and chairman of Impact Carbon, and the chairman of Venture Strategies Innovations. he earned his doctor of medicine in Jamaica and his master of public health and master of business administration from the UC Berkeley.

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Katherine Sham

Marketing and Communications Intern

Katherine Sham is a fourth year UC Berkeley student and summer intern with Global Health Leaders and GoJoven International. She is pursuing a bachelor degree in Public Health and a minor in Public Policy. Katherine is interested in health policy and management and hopes to improve the accessibility to and affordability of healthcare for the underserved through her work.

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Her public health experience thus far includes advocacy work with The Glide Foundation, health education and translation for Prevent Blindness Northern California, and marketing and communications for the City of Berkeley’s Healthy Berkeley Program. On campus, she is Assistant Coordinator and TA for the Health Service Internship Program, which places UC Berkeley undergrads in internships with health-related community and nonprofits in the Bay Area. Katherine will be responsible for helping Global Health Leaders with marketing efforts and external communications through the website, blog, and social media channels.

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Dhanika Halili

Administrative Assistant

Dhanika Halili is an Administrative Assistant for Global Health Leaders at the Public Health Institute. Her nonprofit experience includes providing program support for the Institute for Women in Trades, Technology and Science, an organization dedicated to helping educators close the gender gap for women in technology. She has also worked with Laura’s Social Movements Archives to archive primary resources from the Free Speech Movement. She is excited to support and learn more about Global Health Leaders, the fellows and the work they are doing to address public health challenges and improve public health outcomes. 

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Dhanika received her bachelor degree in Biology with a minor in Science Communications from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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