The GDS team brings a wealth of experience in designing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating health and development programs involving public sector, private sector, civil society organizations, and educational institutions. We also specialize in business development. Our team has been providing consultancies for development agencies since 2014. However, the breadth and depth of the expertise of the staff that came together to found GDS extends back much further. Each of the principal staff is a veteran in health care and development. Our staff have pioneered new approaches and established new evidences in global health and development.
Our team has worked with many donors such as USAID, CDC, DoS, DoD, United Nations, Global Fund for HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria and Private Foundations. The core team is supported by a distinguished Advisory Board with decades of international development experience.
President and CEO: Abul Hashem is a results-oriented public health and development executive with extensive experience in designing and implementing programs and business development globally. His expertise includes strategic planning, organizational development, project management, market analysis, partnership building, proposal writing, capacity building, policy development, and supply chain management. He managed large and complex projects at global, regional, and country levels involving numerous subcontractors, partners and multi-disciplinary and multi-ethnic staff. He is a visionary leader, strategic thinker, entrepreneur and excellent communicator with an extensive and global network, he has worked in 56 countries across Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and the South Pacific including conflict and fragile states such as Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Liberia, Northern Nigeria and Papua New Guinea. He worked at grassroots to high profile policy and leadership levels. He worked for USAID, United Nations, private consulting company, and non-profit organizations. He has lived in Bangladesh and Thailand outside USA. Hashem received his Master’s degree from University of Chittagong and a Master Trainer certificate from the University of Connecticut.
Senior Vice President: Dr. Michael Bernhart has over 20 years of experience directing successful social development programs, primarily in health care. He is an acknowledged authority in quality improvement of health care and is recognized for his contributions to expanding access to health care, systems strengthening, behavior change, policy reform, community promotion, and training innovations. He directed one of the first health systems strengthening programs in population, the first large scale community-based program on domestic violence and breast cancer in Jordan, women’s reproductive rights in Guatemala, expansion of access and improved service quality in Cambodia, maternal health in Pakistan, and the quality of healthcare in Indonesia. He also directed a program to strengthen rural cooperatives, an academic degree program in public sector management, and produced two public television series. Every program surpassed its objectives. Dr. Bernhart designed and implemented innovative programs that reduced access barriers while improving cost recovery and service quality. Dr. Bernhart has received his Bachelor’s degree from Brown University and Master’s degree and PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Food and Nutrition Lead: Dr. Nina Schlossman is a leading food and nutrition expert with extensive experience in food value chain and product development, food security, food aid, and nutrition throughout life cycle. She worked with public sector and private to fosters public-private partnerships to improve the nutritional quality and diversity of the local food basket and food aid programs for ready-to-use-therapeutic and supplementary foods (RUTF and RUSF) and ready-to-use foods (RUF) for emergency and supplemental feeding. She has conducted extensive research in these areas including clinical and field based acceptability, effectiveness, and efficacy trials and field-based randomized controlled trials. Dr. Schlossman also conducted market surveys to determine acceptability of food products and implemented behavioral change programs to promote food diversity with high nutrition value. She has published extensively on food and nutrition and is an adjunct professor of Tufts University. Dr. Schlossman received her Master’s degree in Nutritional Biochemistry from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and PhD in International Nutrition from Tufts University.
Service Delivery Lead: Jet C Riparip has over 30 years of in-depth experience in health care and the development sectors. Her expertise covers Strategic Planning, Project Management, Social Marketing, Public-Private Partnership, Gender Equality, Civil Society Governance and Institution Building, Organizational Development, and Corporate Social Responsibility. She is an innovator, a skill she has used in managing multi-million dollar projects and organizations and in handling high-level corporate positions. In the Philippines, she was Project Director (Chief of Party), Country Representative, and Asia Regional Director under John Snow Inc., Director for Regional Operations for Chemonics Inc., and Vice-President for Marketing (and responsible for CSR) at Aetna Life Inc, a subsidiary of Aetna Inc, USA. In Indonesia, Ms. Riparip was Project Director under Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health, while in Papua New Guinea, she was the Country Director of Marie Stopes International-PNG, a global health organization that owns and manages clinic and outreach facilities. In Thailand, she was Asia Regional Representative of the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, covering 11 countries in the region. In the USA, she was the Director for New Business Development at Aetna Global Health. She was a long-term consultant for the World Bank, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, and Save the Children.
Laboratory System Lead: Dr. Sameer Sakallah is a leading public health laboratory expert with over 30 years of experience in laboratory setup and management, accreditation assistance (ISO17025 and ISO15189), and supply chain management. Under a USAID global project, he standardized hundreds of clinical laboratory commodities, developed several kits and established a new supply chain for a large-scale, multi-national Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC), an HIV infection prevention program. Previously, he established and directed the State of New Hampshire’s public health molecular diagnostics testing laboratory that has become one of the best in the United States. He established laboratory protocols and trained staff and physicians on advanced molecular diagnostic technologies and applications. He has provided technical assistance in laboratory capacity building in Africa, Middle East, and Asia. Dr. Sakallah obtained a Master’s degree in Biochemistry from Duquesne University in Pittsburg and a PhD in Medical Biochemistry from West Virginia University.
Behavioral Change Communication Lead: Carol Hooks is health and development communications specialist with 25 years of experience providing technical assistance, training, and program development expertise to international and domestic organizations. Her areas of expertise include strategic communication, fundraising, writing, editing, program assessment, organizational development, and performance improvement. She has collaborated with academic, non-profit, private, and public institutions in 32 countries, on a wide variety of topics affecting national, regional, and community development. From 1989 until 2006, Ms. Hooks held progressively more responsible positions at PATH. Since then she has consulted for organizations such as CAMRIS Int’l, Chemonics International, CORE Group, Gates Foundation, GH Tech, Institute for Reproductive Health, INDEPTH Network, International Rescue Committee, International Vaccine Initiative, IPTi Consortium, John Snow, Inc., Johns Hopkins University, Project HOPE, and the World Bank. She holds a B.S. in Languages from Georgetown University.
Monitoring and Evaluation Lead: Dr. Disha Ali is a Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist. She has designed and implemented performance monitoring and evaluation plans for public health programs and health facility and population-based surveys in Asia and Africa; conducted economic evaluation of programs including costing of HIV and child nutrition programs and assessment of supply chain programs. She has applied quantitative, qualitative and econometrics methods in program evaluation. Disha Ali has written book chapter and many articles in peer reviewed journals. She has worked in BRAC, JSI, ICDDR, B, Center of Health and Population Research, and International Food Policy Research Institute. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Chittagong, MPH from University of Alabama at Birmingham and PhD from Tulane University.
Africa Representative: Paul Sossa is Principal Associate and the Africa Regional Representative of GDS. He specializes in Family Planning /Reproductive Health, HIV/AIDS and neglected tropical diseases. Paul brings almost 30 years of experience in program development, management and monitoring, evaluation, training and capacity building, service delivery. He worked extensively in West Africa for USAID, JSI, Jhpiego, PSI, IMA, CAMRIS, and Engenderhealth. Hailing from Togo, Paul lived in Ghana and Kenya. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Law from University of Benin.
Asia Representative: Ngudup Paljor is Principal Associate and the Asia Regional Representative of GDS. He has 20 years of experience in Public health and development programs in the Asia and Pacific region. He has designed, managed and evaluated programs on reproductive, child health, food security, and infectious disease as well as health systems strengthening. He has worked with USAID, AED, ISTI, International Center for Diarrheal Disease Research (ICDDR,B), RACHA (Cambodian local organization) and Government of Guam. He lived in Guam, India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Cambodia and the Philippines. He has a Bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and an MPH from University of Hawaii.