Every year, we take the time to recognize the outstanding staff and their dedication, service, and many contributions to our department. Criteria for selecting outstanding staff included job knowledge and performance, creativity, integrity, flexibility, a positive attitude, willingness to go beyond the limits of a job description to get things done, community service, outstanding interpersonal skills, and demonstration of grace under pressure. Congratulations to all nominees. 


DGH Outstanding Staff Award Recipient 

Nami Hirai
Budget Fiscal Analyst – Purchasing Agent

Nami Hirai is a vital member of the Department of Global Health which would not run nearly as efficiently without her. With a kind, respectful, and humble heart, Nami contributes her expansive UW procurement, travel, and finance knowledge in supporting all centers, programs and initiatives (CPIs) in Global Health. Since she joined in late 2020, she adapted quickly, took over procurement with a force and has implemented new procedures and policies to accommodate the ever-changing environment. Nami goes above and beyond in all aspects in supporting her colleagues to ensure that the queries that come her way are addressed. “There’s always something to learn” is her mantra as she keeps an open mind with a critical thinking lens, and a positive attitude. Nami is truly a gem to have in Global Health!
Nominated by: Athena Galdonez, Marci Burden, Abraham Guizar, Aleta Elliott, Alex McGee


DGH Outstanding Staff Award Nominees

Aleisha Peresuh
Program Operations Specialist
Global Cardiovascular Health Program

Aleisha was hired as the inaugural program manager of the global cardiovascular health program in May 2022. In her first year, she has shown superior competence at a wide range of new tasks asked of her to help build this new program. She helped build and launch a new website, organized conferences and events, ushered us through strategic planning, convened an initial advisory board, built a platform for financial planning, and helped submit multiple grants including a $20million American Heart Association proposal.
Nominated by: Chris Longenecker

Adriane Berman
Training Program Manager
Kenya Research & Training Center (KRTC) and International AIDS Research and Training Program (IARTP)

Adriane is someone who is extremely bright, thoughtful and takes the initiative when needed. The end result is that she gets things done and gets them done well. One of her other qualities is that she pays a lot of attention to details and communicates well. If there's a budget challenge, she researches it diligently and figures out what we need to do to get back on track. In terms of creativity, Adriane is a master problem-solver, and no problem is too large or small. In only a couple of years, she has become the "go to" person for visas for international trainees because she's worked hard to figure out the systems but also listens and trouble-shoots when needed. 
Nominated by: Carey Farquhar

Ernie Lefler
Program Manager

Ernie regularly proposes new innovative processes to help streamline our work, he shows initiative to connect and network with others and learn from their experience to improve our program, and continuously thinks about long-term vision for our program success. Ernie is very patient. Patience allows him to stop, analyze the situation at hand, and figure out a strategic solution. This patience stems from the knowledge that every problem has a solution. It’s just a matter of finding it. From his patience comes his resourcefulness. Ernie is an exceptional problem solver, and he is unafraid to devise ‘outside the box’ solutions to any challenges that arise within the Program.
Nominated by: Jenny Lund, Lorenzo Giacani, Kevin Kybiske, Lee Ann Campbell, Alexis Kaushansky, and Olusegun Soge

Jennifer (Jay) Gilvydis
Research and Evaluation Advisor  

Jay has a long history of working on multiple projects through DGH/I-TECH. In the past two years, she has built on this strong record by playing a major role in a recently awarded Cooperative Agreement with CDC to strengthen global disease surveillance systems. This work has begun with an in-depth assessment of surveillance systems in Peru, and expanded into a year-long training fellowship course in public health informatics and data science that is being launched in 5 countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (with plans to develop a similar course for Latin America over the coming year), a major role in CDC public health recovery efforts in Ukraine, and enhanced cross-border disease surveillance in Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Argentina, and Paraguay.
Nominated by: Peter Rabinowitz

Ivonne (Chichi) Butler
Associate Center Director

What if you knew that over the course of 4 years, you would be placed in a position to help lead a multi-country center through a pandemic, manage change stemming from the transition of 2 executive directors and 1 associate director, help set a course for diversity, equity and inclusion, while also working to help portions of your organization become independent and assume greater leadership of their work in 3 different countries? How would you react? Chichi Butler has managed these waves of change at I-TECH brilliantly, open to learning at each step, inviting collaborative decision-making along the way, while also helping ensure that the center’s activities in support of life-saving HIV services and pandemic preparedness thrive and grow in Eastern Europe, the Caribbean, Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, and South Asia.
Nominated by: Anonymous


Each SPH department’s outstanding staff award recipient serves as the Dept. nomination for the Anderson-O’Connell Staff Award. Every year one of the six Outstanding Staff Award recipients is selected to receive the additional recognition of the Anderson-O’Connell Staff Award. This year's ceremony took place on Tuesday, May 23, 2023, 4 – 6 p.m. in the Hans Rosling Center. 

Thank you again to the nominators, and the committee for your time within this process!