Kathy Tilford

Project Director

As project director, Kathy Tilford is responsible for providing leadership and overall management for the project, ensuring that program quality and impact reflect the highest standards for morbidity management and disability prevention. She oversees the project’s technical, programmatic and financial teams and manages collaboration with external partners. 

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Ms. Tilford brings more than 30 years of experience working in development projects, primarily in Africa. Before joining the MMDP Project, Ms. Tilford was an independent consultant, focusing on program design and qualitative evaluations and serving as an interim country director for Helen Keller International in Mali and the DRC. Prior to consulting, she served as a country director for CARE and for the United States Peace Corps. She was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Côte d’Ivoire, working in education and health.

Ms. Tilford holds a master’s degree in public health from UCLA and bachelor of arts degrees in history and French from the University of Oregon.


Zeina Sifri

Senior Technical Advisor

Zeina Sifri is responsible for the MMDP Project’s overall technical direction and program quality. She provides technical assistance to implementing countries and manages a global team of expert consultants who provide short-term services to local governments and international partners. Ms. Sifri also oversees the project’s technical coordination and collaboration with external partners in the global health community.

Before assuming her current position, Ms. Sifri oversaw the MMDP Project’s development of a state-of-the-art hydrocele surgery training package. She previously worked with Helen Keller International on neglected tropical disease and nutrition projects in Africa and Asia, and served as the organization’s country director for Burkina Faso. Prior to joining Helen Keller International, Ms. Sifri worked for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Rome and Thailand.

Ms. Sifri holds a master of sciences degree in international nutrition from the University of Montreal, and a bachelor of sciences degree in dietetics and human nutrition from McGill University in Canada.

Whitney Goldman

Senior Program Manager

Whitney Goldman leads the MMDP Project’s multinational program team, ensuring that all programming conforms to the technical and operational standards of the international community and the MMDP project. She manages work planning, tracks the progress of project activities, oversees monitoring and evaluation (M&E), and works with external partners and stakeholders to coordinate strategic approaches to the elimination of trachoma and lymphatic filariasis.

Ms. Goldman has worked for Helen Keller International on neglected tropical disease control and elimination since 2013. She served as the MMDP Project’s M&E specialist from 2015 to 2017, and before that supported mass drug administration projects in three countries in Africa. Before joining HKI, she served in the U.S. Peace Corps as a community health and development agent in Rwanda, and was a research assistant at the University of Michigan.

Ms. Goldman holds a master of public health degree from the University of Michigan School of Public Health. She received her bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Nadya Marusina

Senior Program Finance Manager

Nadya Marusina oversees the overall financial management of the MMDP Project. Working in close coordination with headquarters and regional program staff and project partners, she ensures financial integrity and compliance with USAID regulations and HKI policies and procedures. She supports project activities in Cameroon, Burkina Faso and Ethiopia.

Ms. Marusina has more than a decade of grants and financial management experience with international development organizations, working on projects across Africa and Asia funded by bilateral, multilateral and private donors, including the U.S. and EU. Before joining Helen Keller International in 2014, she served as a finance manager for Action Against Hunger. She previously worked for the International Institute of Education in New York and the International Rescue Committee in New York and Sierra Leone.

Ms. Marusina received her bachelor’s degree in international relations and economics from Tufts University.

Mary Abdalwahab

Senior Manager, Grants & Contracts

A member of Helen Keller International’s grants and contracts department, Mary Abdalwahab provides compliance guidance and support to the MMDP Project. She advises project staff on U.S. government regulations, HKI policies, and industry best practices in the overall administration of the MMDP Project.

Ms. Abdalwahab previously served as a senior grants manager for International Medical Corps, supporting the grants management of the organization’s breadth of emergency relief programs. In prior work at Chemonics, she served in various project management, grants management, and proposal development roles.   

Ms. Abdalwahab holds a bachelor’s degree in international studies from American University.

Medessé Sonou

Program Manager 

Medessé Sonou supports the day-to-day implementation of the MMDP Project. She works closely with the country teams to provide oversight of the MMDP Project’s programmatic, administrative and operational activities in Burkina Faso, Cameroon and Ethiopia. She monitors and documents the progress of the country-led activities, and helps to ensure the quality of the project’s deliverables.  

Before joining the MMDP Project, Ms. Sonou worked as the operations lead for M.A.T Creative Marketing. She previously worked in Washington, DC, as a program officer at FHI 360, where she managed global health projects in Sub-Saharan Africa. Earlier she worked for the Accordia Global Health Foundation, where she supported research projects in Uganda. Ms. Sonou possesses several years of experience in the programmatic and financial management of global health projects.

Ms. Sonou holds a master’s degree in international development from American University and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Virginia.

Stephanie Parker

Monitoring & Evaluation Specialist

Stephanie Parker supports data collection, management and analysis for the MMDP Project’s M&E efforts. Working closely with country-level teams and partners to ensure timely reporting of high-quality data, she monitors the project’s progress against stated objectives and leads the reporting of data to USAID.

Ms. Parker previously served in the Global Health Corps in Rwanda as an M&E fellow for Gardens for Health International, where she analyzed data to understand program impact and designed, piloted and rolled out a mobile M&E system. Other past positions include three years as a program specialist in USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives, and two years with the QED Group, where she coordinated USAID M&E activities in seven countries.

Ms. Parker holds a master’s degree in international development studies from The George Washington University and a bachelor of arts in literature and economics from Claremont McKenna College.

Geri Kemper-Seeley

Program Associate 

Geri Kemper-Seeley provides programmatic and M&E support to the MMDP Project. She provides assistance tracking activities, developing work plans and donor reports, and documenting lessons learned and achievements across the project.

Before joining the MMDP Project, Ms. Kemper-Seeley worked as a qualitative research assistant at the University of Colorado, School of Medicine-Children’s Eating Lab where she analyzed low-income preschooler families’ mealtime and physical activity routines to develop an obesity prevention intervention. She previously served as an intern for HKI Bangladesh’s SAPLING project and in the U.S. Peace Corps as a community health education agent in Namibia.

Ms. Kemper-Seeley holds a master of public health degree from the Colorado School of Public Health and a bachelor of science degree in health sciences from Portland State University.

Naila Rafique

Project Assistant

Naila Rafique supports the administrative, technical and programmatic teams of the MMDP Project. She coordinates across the project to streamline and address operational issues. 

Before joining the MMDP Project, Ms. Rafique interned with the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) division at CARE USA, where she coordinated implementation of a regional Asia workshop in Nepal focused on SRHR during emergencies. She was previously a graduate intern for the Office of Finance and Treasurer at American University (AU), a reserach fellow for the Peace and Violence Reserach Lab at AU, and an international economic growth intern at Abt Associates.

Ms. Rafique holds a master’s degree in public policy from American University and a bachelor’s degree in global affairs from George Mason University.