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Meet our Emerging Leaders

Shannon Gravely BSc, MSc, PhD



Shannon Gravely holds a Ph.D. from York University, Toronto, Canada from the Department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences, Faculty of Health. Additionally, she completed her post-doctoral fellowship at Stony Brook University Health Sciences Center, Stony Brook, NY, USA. Her first decade of post-graduate and professional research was in the domain of cardiovascular behavioural medicine. Shannon joined the International Tobacco Control Evaluation Project (ITC) team in 2013 as a Research Scientist, and in 2015 was appointed to Research Assistant Professor. Her primary role with the ITC team is analysis, interpretation, and writing of scientific publications and presentations of ITC Project data. She is involved in the development and implementation of research studies involving data from several of the ITC Projects including a focus on electronic cigarettes and vapourized nicotine products (VNPs) through cross sectional and longitudinal analyses, and to measure and track the current psychosocial and behavioral impact (effectiveness) of current policies (or lack of policies) in each of the domains of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), and, when policies are implemented, to conduct rigorous evaluation of their impact over time. Overall, Shannon is involved with analyzing, interpreting, writing, and disseminating findings from these important global studies on tobacco control and their critical role in policy evaluation and movement for action towards chronic disease prevention. Shannon currently holds a 3-year Canadian Cancer Society Career Development Award in Prevention.

Jean Christophe Rusatira MB, ChB



Jean Christophe, 27 years old male, Medical doctor, founder of Healthy People Rwanda and Finance Officer of the International Youth Alliance for Family Planning from when it was founded in 2013. He was one of the winners of the WHO World No Tobacco day award in 2013 and won the Stars in Global Health by the grand challenges Canada the same year. He has been member of Medical Students’ Association of Rwanda (MEDSAR) from 2008 where he did most of his work in health education focusing on tobacco, non-communicable diseases and sexual health. In 2010, he was elected Director of the Standing Committee on Public health of the MEDSAR. With a team from the George Washington University, he initiated the Maternal Child health care program working in two health centers in Huye District helping 256 mothers with malnourished children. In 2011, he initiated the Rwandan Health Education Project that focused on reproductive health education in youth and people in the villages of southern and Kigali City Provinces reaching over 7640 young people over two years. He was coordinator of the Rwandan Youth Organization Network, organizing the first and second national youth organizations’ exhibitions. In 2013, he founded the medfoster group, and initiated the web-based medical education platform and has worked with the Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of Rwanda to further develop user-centered Interactive technology for Medical education.

Kellen Namusisi MSc



Kellen’s key roles at the Centre for Tobacco Control in Africa include providing technical advice on M&E to the 10 target countries in Africa on tobacco control. She has over 10 years’ public health experience focused on project design, management & M&E and organizational development including systems strengthening. Her achievements include; project design and execution, establishing monitoring and evaluation frameworks and systems, developing advocacy and communication strategies, developing strategic plans, capacity building and research. Kellen’s research priorities include health systems strengthening and health policy research.

Kellen holds a Master’s of Science in Population and Reproductive Health from Makerere University Kampala Uganda and a two year Fellowship in HIV/AIDS management by Makerere University and CDC.

Lindsay Robertson BSc, MPH



After an undergraduate degree in psychology, and several years of experience as a mental health promotion advisor, Lindsay decided to complete an MPH and is now in the final stages of her PhD.  Based at the University of Otago in New Zealand (NZ), Lindsay’s PhD is exploring different tobacco retail policies that could be introduced in NZ to change the way tobacco is sold.  At the moment in NZ tobacco is sold almost everywhere, and unlike alcohol, retailers don’t need a licence to sell tobacco.  After investigating tobacco retail policies that have been introduced in overseas countries, Lindsay came to see how valuable research could be in terms of influencing public policy, and equally, how important policy approaches were as a tool to reduce inequity.  Lindsay’s passion for her work stems for a desire to work in a field that emphasises social justice and reducing inequity. Lindsay hopes her work will be used in advocacy efforts, to encourage the government towards adopting policies to better regulate the tobacco retail environment.

Achiri Ndikum BS



Elvis Ndikum Achiri originates from the North West region of Cameroon. He holds a Bachelor degree in Animal and Physiology Biology from the University of Yaounde 1, the mother state University of Cameroon in 2010. He is currently working with the Cameroon Coalition to Counter Tobacco (C3T) as Campaign Officer, advocating for the adoption of a strong tobacco control law in Cameroon. He is also a representative of the African region within the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases , and represented the Cameroon youth civil society during the 16th World Conference on Tobacco or Health (WCTOH 2015). Elvis is the Founder/President of the Association for the Promotion of Youth Leadership, Advocacy and Volunteerism (APYLAV Cameroon), created in 2014 with a vision to promote peace and eradication of poverty among youths. He also launched a petition on CAUSES.COM for “NO MORE TOBACCO IN CAMEROON”. The Global Asthma Network selected him as Principal Investigator to conduct a field research in Yaounde Cameroon on Global Surveillance: Prevalence, Severity, Management and Risk Factors. With aim of having “A World Where no-one suffers from asthma”.

Adeniyi Oginni MB ChB, MPH



Dr. Adeniyi Oginni is a Public Health Physician and Chief Medical Officer at Osun State Hospitals’ Management Board, Osogbo, Nigeria. He trained at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, (Nigeria) for his basic medical degree and University of Ibadan, (Nigeria) for his Master of Public Health degree through a fellowship of the World Health Organisation. He is rounding off his Ph.D programme in Ecology and Environmental Science at the Institute of Ecology and Environmental Studies of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. His research interest is in risk factors for cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, advocacy and translation of research to implementation. He is currently assessing the effects of metal smelting on selected environment related human health indices in Osun state.

Kelvin Khow MSc, BS



Mr. Kelvin Khow has been working with the World Health Organization (WHO) in various capacities for over 12 years. He is presently Acting Coordinator of the Tobacco Free Initia-tive programme at the Division of Noncommunicable Diseases and Health Through the Life-Course (DNH) at the WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific based in Manila, Philippines. Previously, he was the Programme Management Officer at the DNH Division. Prior to this, he was working at the WHO Country Office in Iraq on health sector reform and United Nations and donor coordination and before that at the WHO Headquarters office in Geneva, Switzerland on mental health and substance abuse issues and country support. Kelvin’s broad areas of interest include health promotion, leadership capacity building and tobacco control and he is actively involved in assisting countries in the region strengthen their tobacco control policies and measures as well as to advocate for sustainable funding in order to increase investments in prevention of noncommunicable diseases. Kelvin has stud-ied at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of Michigan, USA and University of Melbourne in Australia.

Andrii Skipalskyi MBA



Andrii Skipalskyi is chairman of the board of the Advocacy Centre LIFE – a non-profit, non-governmental organization that provides advocacy and tobacco control expertise in Ukraine and the eastern European region.

As acknowledgement of his personal and team achievements in May 2015 Andrii received The Judy Wilkenfeld Award for International Tobacco Control Excellence from Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids and on behalf of LIFE team – The Bloomberg Award for Global Tobacco Control in March 2015. Besides Mr Skipalskyi became a Eurasia Foundation Fellow on “Innovations in Advocacy and Public Health in December 2014.

Andrii have been working with LIFE since 2010, providing overall management and advocacy expertise for the Smoke Free Ukraine project, funded by the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids. Andrii also regularly publish articles in national newspapers focused on tobacco industry interference, tobacco control and public advocacy. As the result of effective tobacco control advocacy, smoking prevalence has fallen drastically by 12% since 2006, dropping Ukraine from the country with the 4th highest rate of smoking (2006) to 24th place according to the WHO report.Prior to this, Andrii worked in international technical assistance projects in the field of social investments, advocacy, anti-corruption and media development, since 2000.

Advocacy Center “LIFE” serves as the secretariat and resource center for the Coalition for a Tobacco Free Ukraine, a coalition of over 100 organizations, and manages a tobacco control press center with ties to over 200 national and regional media.

Socrates Kakoulides MD



Socrates is a physician and documentary filmmaker, whose focus is on producing social impact media. He is the Senior Producer at United Nations on their virtual reality experiences, and recently produced “Clouds Over Sidra” about life in a Syrian refugee camp and “Waves of Grace,” the story of an Ebola survivor in Liberia.  His work has screened in film festivals such as Sundance, Tribeca, IDFA and received the 2015 Interactive Award at the Sheffield Doc/Fest. Socrates is a cardiology fellow in New York and a published researcher on public health in underserved communities.  This work has includes studying the impact of media on health behaviours.

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