Stefania Slabyj

Project Director

As director of the MMDP Project, Stefania Slabyj provides leadership and vision to the project, ensuring that the planning, quality, and impact of all programming and reporting efforts meet the highest international standards.  She serves as the main collaborator with partners and sub-grantees, promoting standardization and harmonization in morbidity management approaches and best practices across countries.

Ms. Slabyj joined the MMDP Project in January 2017, bringing more than 20 years of experience leading global development projects. She most recently served as director of inclusive economic growth/Africa for DAI in Bethesda, MD, where she oversaw economic growth projects in Liberia and Mozambique. Previously, she was managing director of the tuberculosis team at PATH in Washington, DC, where she provided leadership for a U.S. government-funded project covering six countries and three regions. Earlier in her career she held high-level positions with I-TECH, Family Health International, and Catholic Relief Services. She has lived and worked in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Egypt.

Ms. Slabyj holds a master of science degree in foreign service from Georgetown University, and a bachelor of arts degree in political science and history from Tufts University.

 

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.

Mary Houghton

Communications Specialist

Mary Houghton leads the MMDP Project’s communications efforts. She helps ensure that new knowledge and tools generated by the project are widely shared, and supports country-level behavior change communication activities to encourage strong uptake of the project’s surgery and disease management services by local populations.

Before joining the MMDP Project, Ms. Houghton worked with the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs on a USAID-funded HIV/AIDS project in Haiti. She previously spent 30 years as a journalist, writer and editorial director. She has written extensively on medical, scientific and regulatory issues, and has provided communications services for a variety of public health and international development organizations.

Ms. Houghton holds a master’s degree in public health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She received her bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College.

Stephanie Parker

Monitoring & Evaluation Officer

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.

Monica Van Dora

Project Assistant

Monica Van Dora supports the administrative, technical and programmatic teams. She coordinates across the project to identify and address operational issues.

Before joining the MMDP Project, Ms. Van Dora worked as a project officer at the Vanuatu Family Health Association, where she coordinated the first nationwide analysis contextualizing women’s reproductive health and access to services. She previously served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Vanuatu, focusing on community health and climate change adaptation.

Ms. Van Dora holds a bachelor’s degree in health education and behavior from the University of Florida. She will receive a graduate certificate in public health from the University of Florida in July 2017. 

Awa Dieng

Regional Program Manager

Based in Dakar, Senegal, Awa Dieng oversees and supports the MMDP project’s programmatic, administrative and operational activities in Burkina Faso and Cameroon. Through close monitoring and regular communication with the country teams, she helps ensure high quality in country-level programming and implementation.

Ms. Dieng has strong experience managing projects in difficult country settings. She previously served as senior country program manager for USAID global health projects at Abt Associates Inc. in Washington, DC, where she managed selected countries -- including Haiti, Nigeria and Democratic Republic of Congo -- within the $209 million Health Finance and Governance Project. In other work at Abt, Ms. Dieng helped design and implement an mHealth system to collect tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment information in Ethiopia and Nigeria.

Ms. Dieng holds a master’s degree in public administration and a bachelor’s in management from Southern Illinois University.

Sabrina La Torre

Capacity Strengthening and Technical Support Specialist

Working with MMDP country, regional and global teams, Sabrina La Torre supports the development of capacity strengthening strategies, adoption of morbidity management and disability prevention preferred practices, and application of WHO guidelines.

Ms. La Torre has worked with international development organizations on health-focused initiatives for over a decade, and brings experience in project management, program coordination, training, and capacity building. She has worked in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Indonesia, Timor Leste, Myanmar and Nepal. Most recently, she served as regional technical unit coordinator for Handicap International in the Middle East region.

Ms. La Torre holds an advanced degree in organizational management, specializing in project management and human resources, from the University of the South, Toulon-Var, France. She also holds a degree in nursing from the Institute of Nursing Care Training (IFSI) in Cannes, France.