Dr. Wendy Macias-Konstantopoulos

Kathryn Church is a research consultant and honorary Assistant Professor of Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). She previously worked as Director of Global Evidence at MSI Reproductive Choices (MSI), supporting the monitoring and evaluation of global programming on contraception and abortion. She also conducted research at LSHTM on the integration of SRH and HIV programs, as well as HIV policy analysis. 

Before her PhD, she worked at the World Health Organization in the Department of Reproductive Health and Research, supporting the development and implementation of evidence-based tools and guidelines on contraceptive use. She has skills and experience in mixed qualitative and quantitative research methodologies in SRH, and has conducted social, behavioral, operational and health systems research on SRH.

Ms. Dlamini is a human rights defender and activist who participates in the fight for the decriminalization of sex work. She has been a part of Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT) for more than 8 years. She began as a peer educator and progressed to a program manager and eventually founded an organization – Mother’s for the Future and Sex workers Empowerment. Ms. Dlamini is also a National Organizer/ Mobiliser for Sisonke – a union for Sex Workers in South Africa. She is also a Board Member of SHARISA- Sexual Health and Rights Initiative of South Africa; she is a Steer Committee of SRJC – Sexual Reproductive Justice Coalition which represents sex workers who are mothers. Ms. Dlamini holds a seat in the Parliamentary Joint Committee desk in South Africa, Holding a chair in Civil Society Adviser for the United Nations. She is also a Lobbyist for COSATU- Congress of South Africa Trade Unions and FEDUSA – Federation of Union of South Africa. She is a Working Committee on National Strategic Plan for Gender Base Violence in South Africa.Ms. Dlamini is a lecturer at SACAP and UCT on Sex work and Dicriminalasation. She also an active member of Civil Society on Parliament Watch. She nominated as International Ambassador of the Coalition of Children affected by HIV. She is on the steering committee for the sex worker Theatre as Chair Person, she also won the AWARD OF Prudence Mabele Award on the work she for fighting for Women & children and Justice.She coordinates and is Founder of the Empowerment program for Sex workers and received a Tekano Fellowship to improve her leadership skill on Health Equity in South Africa.

Dr. Katherine Welch

Dr. Katherine Welch, has been serving oppressed, trafficked, and exploited people since 2000. After 19 years in China and Thailand and 3 years in Germany, she has relocated to the United States. In 2011 Dr. Welch founded RELENTLESS and travels globally as a consultant for counter-trafficking assistance programs, specifically, by developing a more robust and trauma-informed health component to their interventions. She equips health care professionals to leverage their skills in the fight against slavery. Dr. Welch also provides direct care to those who are suffering from physical and mental health consequences due to chronic trauma.

Dr. Welch has served as a member of the International Organization for Migration/UNGIFT expert panel on health which produced the document “Caring for Trafficked Persons, Guidance for Health Providers”. She is a member of the European Freedom Network; the World Freedom Network; and is the Medical Director for Global Health Promise.

If you can’t find her at any of these places, she is probably out for a run.

Rena Williams, Advisor for U.S. Survivor Services

Rena Williams is the founder of Another Level Sex Trafficking Program, working from grassroots level, providing education and mentor ship in the states of Washington, Oregon and California.

Rena earned her certificate in Human Trafficking at the University of Oregon in 2017. Since then, Rena has presented on the various areas of Human Trafficking to social workers, DHS, Homeland Security, universities as well as on various podcasts, radio shows and newspapers.

Another Level’s specialty focus is working with survivors through support groups as a specialized service, especially for those in transition from corrections or treatment. Another Level provides peer support on areas of exiting sex industry, relapse prevention, addressing and overcoming barriers to housing, employment, and education. As a grassroots provider with minimal funding, Rena is able to apply her lived experience and passion for assisting others survivors.

Virginia Feldman

Dr. Virginia Feldman was most recently a locum pediatrician at Kaiser Permanente in Portland, Oregon, where she was a Staff Pediatrician (1975-2004). During this period, she served as Chief of Pediatrics (1989-1997), Director of the Adolescent Health Program (1986-2004), Director of the Child Abuse Assessment Center (1976-1997), and the founding member of the Kaiser Bioethics Committee (1985-2004). She is currently an adjunct professor of pediatrics at the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU). Dr. Feldman received her undergraduate and medical degrees at the University of Michigan and is board-certified in pediatrics.

Dr. Feldman volunteers as a pediatrician at the Essential Health Clinic and the Wallace Medical Concern in Oregon and for the Amigos De Las Americas National Health and Safety Committee. Dr. Feldman has worked in Liberia, El Salvador, and Ecuador and in many parts of India, including Maharashtra, Delhi, Kerala. She has led medical teams providing care in Andhra Pradesh, India.

Dr. Feldman’s clinical research includes studies on smoking and pregnancy (Kaiser Research Center, 1985); domestic violence prevention in health maintenance organizations (HMOs) (Kaiser Research Center, 1998-2000); medical and mental health of sex workers and their children (Andhra Pradesh, India, 2006); social issues of temple prostitutes (Nandyal, India, 2006); cardiovascular health and diabetes (Muthyalapadu, Andhra Pradesh, India, 2008); training foreign community health workers in the US (Portland, OR, 2008); and prostitution rescue rates after modified microfinance loans (Andhra Pradesh, India, 2009).

Harriet Kamashanyu Tumusiime, Advisor for Economic Enpowerment

Harriet is a wife, mother and social entrepreneur. She is the founder and Executive Director – Rhythm of Life a social initiative that exists to break the vicious cycle of mother-to-daughter prostitution as well as empowering marginalized red-light communities with education and health care accessibility in Uganda.

She is a World Pulser that just received a badge for a featured article.

She was also honored to be Uganda’s flag bearer at the One Young World Summit in 2019 – this is a global forum for young leaders. The annual One Young World Summit convenes the brightest young talent from every country accelerating change. Delegates from 190+ countries are counselled by influential political, business and humanitarian leaders such as Justin Trudeau, Paul Polman and Meghan Markle, amongst many other global figures. The One Young World Summit 2019 took place in London, United Kingdom from 22 to 25 October 2019.

Harriet also received a SHE DECIDES GENDER EQUALITY AWARD in the category of ‘She Decides Gender Equality Stars that have promoted access to quality and comprehensive formal and non-formal education, health care and employment opportunities for women and girls in Uganda.’

This was from Uganda Youth and Adolescents Health Forum (UYAHF) in partnership with the She Decides Uganda Movement Partners. SheDecides is a Global Movement that envisions a world where every girl and woman can decide what to do with her body, with her life and with her future. Without question. The movement is united in the fundamental rights of every girl and every woman to make the decisions only she should make.

She is a Youth4Policy fellow 2019, Y-Her Accelerator graduate- 2017 South Africa Cohort, Orient Business Academy trainee – 2016-Kampala, an SE-Forum Outreach Accelerator 2014 Fellow – Sweden and a kanthari fellow 2013- India. Harriet holds a postgraduate certificate in Social entrepreneurship and Leadership from International Institute of Social Entrepreneurs – India, a Certificate in project monitoring and evaluation from Africa Population Institute, a BA in Development Studies from Makerere University –Kampala, a Certificate in the German Language Goethe Zentrum Kampala- a German language teaching Institute and a Certificate in Comprehensive HIV/AIDs health care and Management from the International Health Sciences University – Kampala.

Harriet has been key in the area of economic empowerment and financial inclusion especially among marginalised girls and women. Her publications have been vital in shaping public policies.


This Women’s Month: Let us embrace womens economic empowerment, Youth 4 Policy, March 16, 2020

The “She” Word in Uganda’s Job Market, Youth 4 Policy, July 22, 2019

No one is Invisible: More efforts needed on financial inclusion of disadvantaged girls and women in Uganda, Youth 4 Policy, June 29, 2019

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Katherine Hargitt, PsyD., is a licensed clinical psychologist who works with trauma survivors and service providers, and specializes in the psychosocial care, recovery, and re/integration of survivors of sexual exploitation and trafficking. Katherine has been actively involved in the national and international anti-human trafficking field for more than 17 years, leading advocacy efforts and training for civil society, providing consultancy for governments and NGOs, and conducting international research. She obtained her doctorate degree at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, CA. Her dissertation focused on the development of a training model and curriculum outline for service providers working with children affected by sexual exploitation in the United States.

Katherine has worked as a Consultant and Lead Researcher for ECPAT International. She recently conducted a multi-country field research project focusing on the care, recovery and (re)integration needs of SEC survivors in Nepal, Thailand, and the Philippines. In 2002, she conducted an independent field research project on the psychosocial rehabilitation of SEC survivors in Cambodia, India, Nepal, Thailand and the Philippines. Katherine provided expertise to the UN Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, for their study and report on the establishment of “Comprehensive, rights-based and child-centered care, recovery and reintegration programs”.

She is an active member of the Sonoma County Human Trafficking Task Force, a board member of HEAL Trafficking, and the co-chair HEAL’s Direct Services Committee and Mental Health Council. She also provides disaster mental health through the American Red Cross. She has served on MISSSEY’s board, and is currently collaborating with Blossomy Project on an Aftercare Emergency Fund for SEC survivors and their children.”

Lena has worked with USAID, UNICEF, the Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and other international organizations on child protection and human trafficking issues. From 2006-2016, she was the Executive Director of The Arab-American Family Support Center in Brooklyn, NY, and most recently, was the Director of Child Welfare for the State of Oregon. Lena also founded the Jordan River Foundation’s child protection unit, the first organization to address child abuse in the Middle East. She has been honored as a White House Champion of Change for her work to combat domestic violence. Currently head of MENA at the International commission on missing persons and based out of the Hague, Lena supports GHP as an Advisor for Strategic Planning & Development.

Dr. Heather Thompson

Dr Heather Thompson is a Canadian OB/GYN with a longstanding interest in social justice; she is excited to work with Global Health Promise, which aligns well with her interests in human trafficking and women’s health.

Heather’s international experience has taken her to Geneva, where she interned at the WHO, as well as to various countries in sub-Saharan Africa, most recently in Togo with Samaritan’s Purse. Closer to home, she works as an OB/GYN in Canada, and she also does some part time work in addictions.

Heather was in a leadership position for many years in Pneuma, an organization that takes clients from local addiction-recovery facilities and homeless shelters on year-round outdoor adventures. She has been the co-chair for the Student Advisory Committee for the Global Health Education Consortium (GHEC, now CUGH-Coalition of Universities for Global Health). Heather has also worked to organize several fundraisers for organizations such as Save The Mothers and Center for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology (CAWST).

Heather is also an avid outdoors adventurer; you’ll be most likely to find her somewhere in the backcountry skiing, hiking, or paddling.

Gopalan Balagopal is the UNICEF Representative to the DPR Korea and has been based in Pyongyang since 2006. He leads UNICEF’s team of 10 international professionals and 25 national staff who promote critical interventions that help women and children.

Gopalan Balagopal’s other positions have included Senior Advisor, Child Protection, UNICEF Headquarters, New York (2000–2006) where he was responsible for supporting UNICEF’s work to protect children from violence, abuse and exploitation. He also led UNICEF initiatives into promoting registration of births, working with global partners including PLAN International and others organizations, and was UNICEF’s focal point for the Second World Congress Against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children at Yokohama (2001) and the Secretary General’s Study on Violence Against Children (2005-2006). He also served as the Chief of Child Protection, UNICEF Bangladesh, Dhaka (1996–2000) where he established and led the Child Protection Unit; worked with the government and NGO partners in identifying a program that protects children from all forms of exploitation, violence and abuse; helped establish an Acid Survivors Forum for victims of acid throwing on women and started action focusing on young males to stop violence against women and girls; and raised awareness on the importance of registration of births and evolved means to support and sustain birth registration. Other positions have included Project Officer Child Rights, UNICEF India, New Delhi (1994–1996), Member of the Indian Administrative Service (1974–1994), and an executive position at Travancore Ltd in India (1969–1974).

Gopalan Balagopal holds a Master of Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University (1988-1989) and has published articles on development issues.

B. Alex Foster, MD, MPH — Advisor for HIV/AIDS

B. Alex Foster, MD, MPH

B. Alex Foster, MD, MPH is a pediatrician-scientist. His global health research focuses on children living with HIV and how to improve their clinical outcomes and quality of life. This work is done primarily in partnership with faculty at Hawassa University in Ethiopia.

His recent work, in partnership with Dr. Birkneh Tadesse, has been on identifying predictors of treatment failure in children infected with HIV, using a large cohort of children and implementing viral load testing as a more sensitive indicator of treatment failure.

His other research interests address obesity in childhood, particularly for low-income populations at higher risk of continued obesity and the subsequent associated complications.

Dr. Foster attended medical and graduate school at OHSU, completed residency training in New York City, and then started his faculty career in Texas before returning to Oregon. He holds faculty appointments in both the School of Medicine and the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health.

Monica Sampietro de Pellegrino, Spanish Translator

Ms. Sampietro is a freelance teacher for students based in Europe. She was born in and lives in Argentina with her husband and four children. She holds a Bachelor in English language and has been an English Teacher for almost 50 years. She was the Head of the English Department in a bilingual high school until her retirement. Monica says “I’m honored by the possibility of being of any help to these ladies and their children.”