Doctor of Global Health Leadership and Practice

We are proud to present our inaugural cohort of DrGH students, who began the program in Autumn 2021. Brief biosketches of each student is featured below.

Eliud Akama | Kenya

Eliud Akama chose to pursue the Doctor of Global Health leadership and practice (DrGH) program to help bridge the gap between research, implementation, and actual public health practice. For the past 14 years, he has led large teams in the design, integration, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of strategies for health systems strengthening to improve service delivery in HIV, maternal child health, and family planning. In particular, he has focused on translating research findings into public health practice using implementation science approaches. Prior to joining the DrGH program, he worked with the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) in Kenya as a public health research scientist and a study manager for multiple research projects. Eliud holds a Master in Public Health (MPH) from the University of Washington and is interested in policy implementation science, health systems financing, implementation and sustainability and stakeholder engagement.


Phiona Marongwe | Zimbabwe

Phiona Marongwe focuses on health system strengthening through building capacity of Ministries of Health and local NGOs to develop, apply and implement direct service public health programs; improve the quality of care; and build a capable health workforce to respond to epidemics and infectious and non-communicable disease. She is interested in promoting universal health care including evaluating health policies, health financing, quality, integrating funded and non-funded health programs such as PEPFAR funded HIV treatment and primary health care and appropriate use of technology to improve access, cost, and quality of care in sub- Saharan Africa. Having completed her nursing training and Master of Strategic Management in Zimbabwe and her Master in Public Health (MPH) in Zambia, she worked clinically as nurse coordinator under Ministry of Health and Child Care, integrating HIV care in managing child health illnesses, immunization, adolescent, maternal and reproductive health. She joined Population Services International as Provincial Manager, pioneering voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) program, contributing to the successful planning, management, and implementation from conception to scale. Subsequently, as the Quality Improvement Specialist for I-TECH’s integrated VMMC program, she improved the quality of care through “tandem review program” coupled with clinical mentorship, workforce training and procedure verification. She implemented an mhealth innovation using two-way texting that reduced provider workload, decreased costs, and increased provider-patient interaction during COVID-19 epidemic. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she also volunteered as Medical Epidemiologist under World Health Organization (WHO), providing technical support in data reporting, training surveillance and rapid response teams and strengthening infection prevention and control. 

Lee Pyne-Mercier | United States

Lee Pyne-Mercier has worked on health and development issues for over 20 years. Lee held various roles at the Gates Foundation between 2010-2021. On the TB team, he focused on partnerships to accelerate development of new drugs, diagnostics, and vaccines, and worked with partners to reduce the price of the GeneXpert diagnostic. On the MNCH team, he supported target setting for the newborn Sustainable Development Goal, and he led foundation MNCH programs in Nigeria and DR Congo. He also directed efforts to increase access to syphilis diagnostics and treatment. Lee worked at the International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH) based at the University of Washington from 2005-2010. At I-TECH he managed clinical training programs in the Caribbean and Namibia, and a program providing technical assistance to groups developing electronic medical records in developing countries. Lee worked with Family Health International from 1998-2005. In 2003, he collaborated with CDC to establish an HIV surveillance system in Southern Sudan. He also was responsible for two major regional HIV prevention in East and southern Africa. Lee has worked in over 20 countries in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. He holds a BA in international relations from the College of William & Mary, an MA in political science from the University of Cape Town, and an MPH in epidemiology from the University of Washington. His research has included measuring the impact of violence following Kenya’s disputed 2007 election on a cohort of patients at an HIV treatment site in Nairobi.


Raquel Sanchez | United States

Raquel has dedicated her professional life to mission-driven organizations, health disparities efforts, and mentoring historically excluded individuals. She has sought out positions of service that placed her at two top comprehensive cancer centers at the forefront of cancer research and care, where amid managing multiple solid tumor clinics, she wouldn’t pass up an opportunity to translate for Hispanic families in need of extra support. As a first-generation student, she has a passion for creating access for others and further attained her MBA to be better equipped to break down barriers for her community. After spending several years as the leader of a collaborative global oncology program in Uganda, she enthusiastically joined the UW Doctor of Global Health program. She is the first doctoral student in her extended family to ever attempt a doctoral degree and proudly represents her extended Latino community in this and all she does. Raquel is working to create future opportunities to empower others and broaden her influence to create significant global change for the historically excluded and exploited in the world.


Anwar Parvez Sayed | India


Anwar Parvez Sayed is a public health professional who was trained as a clinician and completed diplomas in Tuberculosis and infectious diseases. He was a fellow of I-TECH's HIV fellowship program in India after which he decided to complete his MPH to focus on public health programs. He worked for I-TECH India as medical advisor, clinical program director and a country director where he implemented PEPFAR/ HRSA funded HIV prevention and treatment interventions to support India's National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO). He contributed to over eight national HIV technical and/or operational guidelines of NACO and has been a national level trainer for over 10 years. He also served the University of Washington as a faculty in the positions of Clinical Trainer, Clinical Assistant Professor and Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Global Health over the period of six years. Dr. Anwar worked for the Ministry of Health's National AIDS Control Program of India as a regional ART coordinator for the states of Maharashtra and Goa and Indian Red cross society as HIV/ TB physician and a clinical trainer. After completing his doctorate in Global Health Leadership and Practice (DrGH) he plans to continue his passion in working on health systems strengthening and human resource development in health care around the world. 

Stélio Tembe| Mozambique

Stélio Tembe is a medical doctor with experience in clinical care, public health, training and mentoring health workers, management and leadership in Mozambique at the district and provincial level. He completed his MPH degree program at the University of Washington in the Department of Global Health in June 2021, with Kenneth Sherr as his primary advisor and thesis chair. His thesis focused on assessing healthcare provider competencies to diagnose and treat under-5 years children with acute disease in central Mozambique. With experience as Provincial chief Medical Officer, his primary interests and work are in maternal, newborn, child and adolescent, reproductive health with a particular passion on healthcare systems strengthening. He has been working as research assistant for the IDEAS/DDCF audit and feedback intervention led by district management teams, rather than research teams, to serve as a foundation for national scale-up. He is currently pursuing his DrGH Leadership and Practice to apply more effectively translation of scientific evidence to achieve results in the field.