Elizabeth D. Hermsen - (Co-Chair)
Elizabeth D. Hermsen, Pharm.D., M.B.A., BCPS-AQ(ID), FIDP, FIDSA (Co-Chair) is the Head of Global Antimicrobial Stewardship and Health Equity in Infectious Diseases at Merck & Co., Inc. and an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Colleges of Pharmacy and Medicine, in Omaha, Nebraska. Dr. Hermsen received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center followed by a pharmacy practice residency at The Nebraska Medical Center, a fellowship in Infectious Diseases Research at the University of Minnesota, College of Pharmacy, and a master’s degree in business administration at the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management. Following her fellowship, Dr. Hermsen developed and co-directed the antimicrobial stewardship program at The Nebraska Medical Center and subsequently joined Cubist, where she created and led the Antimicrobial Stewardship Outreach Group. Now, in her role at Merck, she is responsible for creating and executing a strategy to advance antimicrobial stewardship through education, implementation, research, and advocacy, with a global scope, across human, animal, and environmental health. Dr. Hermsen’s role also focuses on health equity in infectious diseases, working across antimicrobials, virology, and vaccines.
Dr. Hermsen actively contributed to the advancement of the Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists (SIDP) Antimicrobial Stewardship Certificate Program during her term as SIDP President and continues to participate as a lecturer in the program. Dr. Hermsen served as a contributing member of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Knowledge & Skills Collaborative, coordinated by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America; an expert panel on Hospital-based Antimicrobial Utilization Surveillance via the National Healthcare Safety Network, coordinated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; an expert panel coordinated by the National Quality Forum and CDC to develop the practical tool entitled, Antibiotic Stewardship in Acute Care: A Practical Playbook; and co-chaired the Antimicrobial Stewardship Work Package (1A) for the Innovative Medicines Institute (IMI) Driving Reinvestment in Research & Development and Responsible Antibiotic Use (DRIVE-AB) initiative. Dr. Hermsen was selected to serve on the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) Leadership Development Committee, and she served as the inaugural Chair of the newly-created SIDP Strategic Planning Committee.
Dr. Hermsen is a Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist with added qualifications in Infectious Diseases and is a Fellow of SIDP and IDSA. She has contributed to the profession with numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters, and by serving as a reviewer for several professional journals. Dr. Hermsen has also given over 100 invited presentations at state, regional, national, and international meetings, and she recently gave a TED talk regarding antimicrobial stewardship and resistance at TEDx Omaha 2019.
Rafael Obregon - (Co-Chair)
Rafael Obregon, Ph.D., M.A. (Co-Chair) provides technical leadership and guidance on the development of standards, guidelines, and quality assurance for the application of communication for development principles and strategies across programmatic areas of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), including emergency response and humanitarian action. In this capacity, Dr. Obregon has engaged in several responses to public health emergencies and disease outbreaks, including the 2014 – 2015 West Africa Ebola Outbreak. In 2016 Dr. Obregon also served as a member of the Advisory Committee to the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) International Health Regulations Emergency Committee on Zika virus and observed increase in neurological disorders and neonatal malformations. Prior to joining UNICEF, he has served as regional advisor for health communication within the Area of Family and Community Health and Child and Adolescent Health Unit at the Pan American Health Organization. Dr Obregon has also been a technical advisor, researcher, and resource/focal person for international/national cooperation agencies and government and nongovernmental organizations, particularly in health and development initiatives. His duties have focused on formative research, project design and evaluation, and capacity strengthening. Dr. Obregon has also been associate professor and guest faculty member at a number of universities, including Ohio University, the Universidad Autónoma in Barcelona, Spain, and the Universidad del Norte in Barranquilla, Colombia, where he remains as an adjunct faculty. Throughout his career, he has written several books, book chapters, monographs, manuals, peer-reviewed journal articles and reports on public health communication, participatory communication, and capacity development. He is a member of several editorial boards including the Journal of Health Communication, and has been a member of several scientific committees including the World Congress on Communication and Development, convened by the World Bank, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and the Communication Initiative, as well as a member of the Technical Advisory Group for the Global Health Communication Partnership within the Center for Communication Programs at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Obregon earned his Ph.D. in an interdisciplinary program in mass communications, with a concentration on international health, at the College of Communications at Pennsylvania State University in 1999. He received his Master of Arts in international affairs and communication and development from Ohio University in 1994 with a minor in public health. Additionally, he obtained a diploma in education and pedagogy through the National Apprenticeship Service in Colombia in 1990.
William K. Hallman
William Hallman is professor and chair of the department of human ecology, a member of the graduate faculty of the department of nutritional sciences, and of the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, as well as a Distinguished Research Fellow of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. His research examines public perceptions of controversial issues concerning food, health, technology, and the environment. Dr. Hallman is also a member of the National Academies’ Climate Communications Initiative Advisory Committee and has served as chair of the Risk Communication Advisory Committee of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and as Director of the Food Policy Institute at Rutgers. Dr. Hallman is a graduate of Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, and received an M.A. and Ph.D. in experimental psychology from the University of South Carolina.
Chandy C. John
Chandy C. John, M.D., M.S. holds the Ryan White Endowed Chair in Pediatric Infectious Diseases and is director of the Ryan White Center for Pediatric Infectious Disease and Global Health at Indiana University. Dr. John’s research focuses on malaria pathogenesis, immunology and epidemiology. Key discoveries of his collaborative research team include: 1) the first prospective studies to establish that severe malaria is associated with long-term cognitive impairment in children, 2) identification of immunologic factors that increase risk of severe malaria and cognitive impairment after severe malaria; 3) determination of geographic and immunologic factors that affect risk of malaria in areas of unstable malaria transmission; and 4) the first studies to show that hydroxyurea treatment is safe and effective for children with sickle cell anemia in malaria endemic areas. Dr. John conducts research and training programs in Kenya in collaboration with colleagues at the Kenya Medical Research Institute, and in Uganda in collaboration with colleagues at Makerere University. He is the author of more than 180 peer-reviewed publications and 30 book chapters. Dr. John serves on the Thrasher Research Fund Scientific Advisory Committee, and has served on or chaired numerous NIH and national and international study sections and review boards. Dr. John’s awards include the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society Young Investigator Award (2004), and the Bailey K. Ashford Medal from the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene for contributions to tropical medicine research (2011). Dr. John is an active clinician, specializing in pediatric infectious diseases, tropical medicine and travel medicine. As an educator, Dr. John was director of global health residency tracks in pediatrics at Case Western Reserve University and the University of Minnesota. Dr. John served as president of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in 2019.
Kent E. Kester
Kent E. Kester, M.D. is currently vice president and head of Translational Science and Biomarkers at Sanofi Pasteur. During a 24-year career in the U.S. Army, he worked extensively in clinical vaccine development and led multiple research platforms at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, the U.S. Department of Defense’s largest and most diverse biomedical research laboratory—an institution he later led as its commander/director. His final military assignment was as the associate dean for clinical research in the School of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS). Dr. Kester holds an undergraduate degree from Bucknell University and an M.D. from Jefferson Medical College. He completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of Maryland and a fellowship in infectious diseases at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. A malaria vaccine researcher with over 70 scientific manuscripts and book chapters, Dr. Kester has played a major role in the development of the malaria vaccine candidate known as RTS,S. Currently a member of the U.S. Government Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, he previously chaired the Steering Committee of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)-USUHS Infectious Disease Clinical Research Program, and has served as a member of the Food and Drug Administration’s Vaccines and Related Biologics Products Advisory Committee, the NIAID Advisory Council, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s Office of Infectious Diseases Board of Scientific Counselors. Board certified in both internal medicine and infectious diseases, he holds faculty appointments at USUHS and the University of Maryland; and is a fellow of the American College of Physicians, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.