Public Health Foundation Board

The Public Health Foundation Board of Directors provide fiduciary oversight to the assets of the Public Health Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization that manages the School's endowments and charitable gifts. This group convenes twice a year.


Fred Hargett

Fred Hargett

Fred Hargett, MAC, Chair
Chief Financial Officer
Novant Health
Charlotte, NC

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Fred Hargett is Novant Health’s chief financial officer. He joined the health system in 2003 and most recently served as executive vice president of finance for Novant. Prior to that, Hargett held the position of senior vice president of financial planning for Novant.

Before joining Novant Health, Hargett served as manager of healthcare consulting at Ernst & Young in Charlotte, NC. At Ernst & Young, he led engagements in strategic planning, business development and financial forecasting.

Hargett is a certified public accountant licensed in North Carolina. In addition, he is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants and the Healthcare Financial Management Association. He is the recipient of the 2013 CFO of the Year award given by the Triad Business Journal.

Hargett graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in public health, a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and a Master of Accounting degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Adam Parker

Adam S. Parker

Adam S. Parker, PhD, Vice Chair
Trivariate Capital Management LP
New York, NY

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Adam S. Parker, PhD, is CEO/CIO/Founder of Trivariate Capital Management, LP. He is the Former Director of Quantitative Strategy at Eminence Capital, a NY-based money management firm, which he joined in 2017. He formerly was the Chief U.S. Equity Strategist, Global Director of Quantitative Research and a Managing Director at Morgan Stanley from 2010-2017. He also served as a member of Morgan Stanley’s Global Investment Committee. Parker has been named to Institutional Investor’s All-America Team in both equity portfolio strategy and quantitative research. Previously, he was the Chief Equity Strategist and Director of Quantitative Research at Sanford C. Bernstein, where he spent more than 11 years. Parker’s other key roles at SCB included Global Director of Research and prior to that, the Senior Semiconductor Analyst, where he was II’s #1 ranked analyst every year he covered the industry. Earlier, he was a financial and statistical analyst at American Express and a management consultant focused on the financial sector. He lives in New York City and is married with 3 children.

Parker earned a PhD in Statistics from Boston University, an MS in Biostatistics from the University of North Carolina and a BS in Statistics from the University of Michigan.

Joanna J. Conley

Joanna J. Conley

Joanna J. Conley, FACHE, MBA, BSPH, Alumni Association Advisory Board Chair
Chief Executive Officer
TriStar Southern Hills Medical Center
Nashville, TN

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Joanna Conley serves as the CEO of TriStar Southern Hills Medical Center. Over the past year in this role, Conley has worked to successfully improve patient care quality and grow services. Conley has more than 15 years of healthcare leadership experience including nine at HCA hospitals. She previously served as CEO of HCA’s Poinciana Medical Center for four years, including managing the successful opening of the hospital in July 2013. Prior to leading Poinciana Medical Center, Conley served as Associate Chief Operating Officer at HCA’s Osceola Regional Medical Center in Kissimmee, Florida.

Conley currently serves as the vice-chair of the University of North Carolina School of Public Health Alumni Association Advisory Board, board member of Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee, and board member of ACHE of Middle Tennessee. She was recognized as Nashville Medical News Women to Watch, a Florida ACHE Regent’s Award Early Career Executive, Orlando Business Journal 2015 CEO of the Year Honoree, Orlando Business Journal 2014 40 Under 40 Honoree, and ACHE Service Award recipient. Conley is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE).

Conley holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health, Health Policy and Administration from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Masters of Business Administration from Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management.

Dr. Kristin Z. Black

Kristin Z. Black

Kristin Z. Black, MPH, PhD, Alumni Association Vice Chair
Assistant Professor
College of Health and Human Performance, Department of Health Education and Promotion
East Carolina University
Greenville, NC

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Kristin Z. Black, PhD, MPH, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Education and Promotion at East Carolina University. Dr. Black’s career commitment is to utilize community-based participatory research, mixed methods, and racial equity approaches to understand and address inequities in chronic disease and reproductive health outcomes. Currently, she serves as the vice-chair of the University of North Carolina School of Public Health Alumni Association Advisory Board, member of the Greensboro Health Disparities Collaborative (a 17-year-old community-medical-academic partnership), board member of Sisters Network Greensboro NC, and president-elect of the Society for the Analysis of African American Public Health Issues.

Dr. Black received her MPH (2011) and PhD (2016) in Maternal and Child Health from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. She also completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Gillings through the Department of Health Behavior’s Cancer Health Disparities Postdoctoral Program. As a student at Gillings, Dr. Black had the honor of serving as the co-president of the Minority Student Caucus (2011-2012) and co-chair of the Minority Health Conference (2010-2011).

She and her husband, Mensah Webb, live in Greenville, North Carolina with their daughter and pitbull/cattle dog. Dr. Black (California) and Mr. Webb (Washington) were both born and raised on the west coast, but they have made North Carolina their home for over a decade and appreciate what it has to offer.

Paul Casey

Paul Casey

Paul Casey
Former Vice President and
Global Head, Cardiac Safety Services
Chapel Hill, NC

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Paul Casey was with Quintiles for 22 years. Starting out in Marketing, he held leadership positions within Marketing and headed the CEO’s office within Quintiles Informatics, overseeing the financial and administrative functions for that group. He was most recently the Global Head of Quintiles’ Cardiac Safety Services (CSS) group. With approximately 180 professionals in the CSS organization, Casey was primarily responsible for driving future growth of the business, expansion of new service lines, and delivering on the current financial, customer and employee objectives.

Prior to taking on the role of Global Head of Cardiac Safety Services, Casey was responsible for Quintiles’ corporate development and partnering functions for the Asia region as the regional head, residing in Singapore for two years. Those responsibilities included deal structuring, negotiation and due diligence. Prior to his international assignment, Casey was heavily involved in Quintiles’ partnering activities and participated in numerous regional and global transactions over that 8 year period with a particular focus on the Asian markets. During that time, he was actively involved in business growth opportunities in Japan, South Korea, China, India and Australia. Previous activities in Quintiles included sales and marketing messaging, creation and launching of business line brands, development and implementation of marketing plans, and assistance with geographic and service line expansion.

He and his wife Sarah reside in the Oaks section of Chapel Hill and are the parents of three young children. As a lifelong fan of UNC and having grown up in Chapel Hill, Casey returned to the area after graduating from the University of Richmond

Dr. Lisa Dooley

Lisa Tomasko Dooley

Lisa Tomasko Dooley, DrPH
Quantitative Sciences Head
Lung Cancer Initiative
Johnson & Johnson
Spring House, PA

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Lisa Tomasko Dooley, DrPH, is Quantitative Sciences Head, Lung Cancer Initiative at Johnson & Johnson. Prior to her current position, she was a Senior Director in Quantitative Sciences where she was the Therapeutic Area Leader in Immunology at Johnson & Johnson, Janssen R&D, where she guided program strategy using innovative platforms and trials to harness data to improve global health. She has made significant contributions in the development of disease treatments in Immunology, including psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and lupus. She serves on the Quantitative Sciences Senior Leadership Team. Her work has been published in numerous academic journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine and Lancet.

Dooley is focused on development strategy engaging teams across biostatistics, modeling and simulation, and clinical pharmacology. She recently identified and implemented a novel platform trial in Crohn’s Disease. In her previous role, she served as the Global Head for the Regulatory Medical Writing Organization. She executed the vision of the organization, leading over 100 personnel worldwide, overseeing departmental budgets, work streams, and key initiatives. Prior to joining Johnson & Johnson, Dooley held progressively responsible positions in Biostatistics at Merck & Co.

Honors have included an invitation to speak at the 25th Annual Conference of the German Classification Society, the Barry H. Margolin Outstanding Dissertation Award, a Merck Doctoral Study Fellowship, a training grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), and the Elmer B. Mode Memorial Prize for Excellence in Statistics. Outside of her professional work, she enjoys staying active with outside activities, including sporting activities with her husband and three children, and she continues to be an avid Tar Heels fan.

Dooley earned a BA in Statistics from Boston University, a MS and Doctor of Public Health degree in Biostatistics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dr. Todd Durham

Todd Durham

Todd A. Durham, PhD, MS
Vice President, Clinical & Outcomes Research
Foundation Fighting Blindness
Raleigh, NC

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Todd Durham is the Vice President, Clinical & Outcomes Research at the Foundation Fighting Blindness, a national non-profit that funds research to treat and cure inherited retinal diseases. In his current role, Durham is responsible for directing the Foundation’s Clinical Consortium of retinal experts, developing strategies to enhance product development, liaising with industry, and providing technical input on partnered programs and investment decisions. Durham has over 20 years of drug development experience. Prior to his current position, Durham contributed to research on numerous marketed products as Director of Biostatistics with IQVIA’s Real World Evidence Solutions, was a doctoral fellow with Bristol Myers Squibb, and worked in various statistical and leadership roles for Novan, Inspire Pharmaceuticals, Quintiles, and as a self-employed consultant. Durham has received professional awards for leadership and team work, scientific contributions on multidisciplinary teams, and teaching. He has professional interests in the use of clinical trial simulation and decision analytic approaches in portfolio planning.

As a volunteer, Durham is the current Board President of the Affordable Community Residence Association (ACRA), a non-profit founded in 1987 whose mission is to provide affordable housing and supportive services to individuals with HIV and disabilities. In his spare time, Todd enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with his wife and son.

Durham earned a BSPH and MS in biostatistics and a PhD in health policy and management (Decision Science and Outcomes Research) from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.

Erik Eaker

Erik Eaker

Erik Eaker, MHA, BSPH
Senior Vice President of Business Operations
Louisville, KY

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Erik Eaker serves as BioIQ’s SVP of Business Operations and is responsible for account and client success management, supply chain management, and customer service functions. He has worked in healthcare for over 23 years as an innovation and operational strategist, business developer and customer experience expert with US and international population health solutions experience.

Prior to BioIQ, Eaker served in a variety of leadership roles at Humana, a US health and wellbeing company. At Humana, he directed multiple enterprise-wide initiatives to successfully promote cross-business innovation, enrich consumer and provider experiences, and in his last role, established the enterprise interoperability strategy.

Eaker led operations and innovative programming with national foundations, nonprofits, and academic institutions to support Humana’s Bold Goal population health initiative. He led consumer experience and business planning for its incentivized wellness platform and employer group segment and developed groundbreaking digital and communication capabilities. Eaker also established and managed operations for Humana’s London-based start-up, Humana Europe, an NHS commissioning services provider that commercialized new payer capabilities with over 50 NHS organization customers.

Prior to Humana, Eaker worked at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina leading the design and implementation of a telephonic health coaching platform.
Eaker attained a master of healthcare administration and a bachelor of science in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health and was a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines. Erik lives in Louisville, Kentucky and enjoys running, serving on nonprofit boards and traveling with his husband John, an artist and gallerist.

Mark Gordon

Mark M. Gordon

Mark M. Gordon, MHSA, BSPH
President, Alamance Regional Medical Center
Senior Vice President, Cone Health
Burlington, NC

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Mark Gordon is President of Alamance Regional Medical Center, part of the Cone Health network. Alamance Regional is a 44,000 square-foot, 238-bed not-for-profit community healthcare organization. Gordon was former CEO of Bon Secours Richmond-East, with direct oversight of Bon Secours Memorial Regional Medical Center, Bon Secours Rappahannock General Hospital, and Bon Secours Richmond Community Hospital. Bon Secours Health System is a $3.0 billion, not-for-profit, Catholic health system that owns, manages, or joint ventures 18 acute-care facilities, a psychiatric hospital, nursing care facilities, assisted living facilities, and several home care and hospice programs. Bon Secours’ more than 21,000 caregivers help people in ten communities in seven states.

Between August 2008 and September 2015, he served as CEO of Bon Secours St. Francis Medical Center in Midlothian, Virginia. He was responsible for the leadership and daily operations of the 130- bed acute-care facility with over 900 employees, the newest hospital in the Bon Secours Health System completed in 2005. The campus is on 75 acres and includes the hospital, Medical Office Building, Cancer Center, Child Care Center, physician practices and the recently opened Watkins Centre. (Free-Standing Emergency Department Outpatient Imaging and Physician Offices).

Gordon earned his Master of Health Services Administration from The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and his Bachelor of Science in Public Health from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. He has completed executive education at Notre Dame, Wake Forest, and Harvard.

Amit Gupta

Amit Gupta

Amit Gupta, MD, BSPH
Associate Clinical Professor of Anesthesia; Pediatric/Cardiac Anesthesiologist
University of California San Francisco
Castro Valley, CA

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Amit Gupta, MD is a practicing pediatric/cardiac anesthesiologist at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals. In addition to being clinically active, he serves as Director of Pediatric Cardiac Anesthesia, and participates in teaching residents and fellows the practice of anesthesia. Global health is an area of special interest for Dr. Gupta. He has participated in many medical trips abroad to under-resourced countries delivering care to pediatric patients in South America, India, Nigeria, and the Philippines. Dr. Gupta has also volunteered in his community co-chairing the scholarship program at the Castro Valley Education Foundation and serving on the board of Children’s First Medical Group, Inc.

Dr. Gupta received a Bachelor of Science in Public Health degree in Biostatistics and a Medical Doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His medical residency was at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and his pediatric anesthesia/cardiac fellowship at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. After his training, he joined Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, CA before moving to UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals.

Dr. Gupta lives in Northern California with his spouse, Seema Gupta, and their two boys. The family enjoys outdoor activities and traveling and tries to visit Wilmington, NC whenever they are on the east coast.

Elaine Hoffman

Elaine B. Hoffman

Elaine B. Hoffman, PhD
Senior Director, Head of Vaccines
Statistical and Quantitative Sciences
Takeda Pharmaceuticals
Cambridge, MA

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Elaine B. Hoffman is Senior Director at Takeda Pharmaceuticals where she is Head of Vaccine Statistics. She has 20 years of experience as a biostatistician within industry and academia with prior faculty appointments at Harvard Medical School and UNC-CH.  She has co-authored over 60 publications in top journals, such as NEJM, JAMA, The Lancet, and Biometrika.

Prior to Takeda, Hoffman was a Statistical Science Director at PPD where she provided expert knowledge of advanced statistical methods and applications to clinical trials. Previously, Hoffman was Director of Statistics for the TIMI Study Group at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where she was responsible for statistical design and analysis of all projects at TIMI. The projects included large-scale cardiovascular outcome clinical trials along with data analysis of historical trials and registries. Her group collaborated with leading pharma companies and CROs. Prior to TIMI, Hoffman was Research Scientist in the Dept. of Biostatistics at the Harvard School of Public Health, served as the lead biostatistician on NIH/NIEHS funded grants in epidemiologic/environmental health and mentored environmental health investigators and students. She has worked in industry at RTI-HS, Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb. From 2001-2005, she paused her career to start a family and actively contributes to her community. She is currently Treasurer of the NC ASA Chapter and on the organizing committees of the Duke Industry Statistics Symposium and the FDA Regulatory Industry Statistics Workshop. Hoffman and her family live in Raleigh, NC.

Hoffman earned her MS and PhD in biostatistics from the UNC-CH School of Public Health. She was awarded the Barry H. Margolin Award for Outstanding Dissertation and the Greenberg Award for Excellence in Dissertation Research in 1999. She is a Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude graduate of Miami University with a BS in mathematics and statistics.

Katie Kaney

Katie Kaney

Katie Kaney, DrPH, MBA, FACHE
Former Senior Vice President and Operational Chief of Staff
Atrium Health
Charlotte, NC

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Katie Kaney is focused on operational excellence and overall integration of services across the continuum to serve the patient and community. She has experience in population health, acute care, ambulatory, emergency services, care management and virtual care. Katie also represents CHS in the community serving as co-chair of Healthy Charlotte and Mecklenburg County EMS, understanding community integration is key to value based care and improvement of population health.

She is a Fellow through the American College of HealthCare Executives and was named 2015 Most Influential Women in Charlotte, 2010 ACHE Regents Award Winner for NC, 2005 Modern Healthcare Up and Comer and 2004 40 under 40 by the Charlotte Business Journal. Kaney was the executive sponsor of the inaugural CHS Women’s Executive Leadership Development program. Katie serves on the Boards of Loaves and Fishes, University of Buffalo Alumni, Sanofi International Board of Advisors, and past president of Leadership Charlotte and the Mecklenburg County Forensic Medicine Board. She remains an active Hospice volunteer.

Kaney earned her DrPH in Public Health and Health Leadership from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, and her MBA and BA from the University of Buffalo.

Dr. Amy Lansky

Amy Lansky

Amy Lansky, PhD, MPH
Senior Advisor for Strategy
Office of the Associate Director for Policy and Strategy
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention*
Decatur, GA
*Dr. Lansky is serving in her personal capacity

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Amy Lansky is the Senior Advisor for Strategy in the Office of the Associate Director for Policy and Strategy at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prior to this role, she served in the Obama Administration as Director of White House Office of National AIDS Policy and as Senior Policy Advisor in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Since joining CDC in 1991, Lansky’s achievements have included designing and implementing surveillance systems such as the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance and the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System, and conducting epidemiologic and behavioral research to inform HIV prevention programs and policy development. She served as Deputy Director for Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Science in the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention at CDC from 2008-2014. Lansky has published more than 80 papers in peer-reviewed journals and CDC’s flagship publication, MMWR, on issues such as HIV risk among persons who inject drugs, sampling methods for reaching high-risk populations, uptake of HIV prevention guidelines, and HIV testing behaviors.

In 2017, she was a recipient of the UNC Distinguished Alumni Award. Lansky served as President of the Gillings School of Global Public Health Alumni Association Advisory Board from 2014-2016. She created the Lansky Family Endowed Scholarship in Health Behavior in 2010.

Lansky earned a doctoral and a master’s degree in health behavior from the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Public Health.

Nancy McGee

Nancy McGee

Nancy McGee, JD, MPH, DrPH
Principal, Healthcare and Life Sciences Practice
Heidrick & Struggles
San Francisco, CA

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Nancy McGee, JD, MPH, DrPH, is senior healthcare executive with over 20 years of experience providing insightful leadership and guidance to organizations to help them achieve their top-priority goals.  Within a variety of environments, including large and complex operations, she has consistently paved the way for both immediate and long-term results through expertise, diligence, and a bias for action. She currently serves as a Principal in the Healthcare and Life Sciences practice of Heidrick & Struggles where she works with innovative companies to create successful executive teams that allow leaders to grow and demonstrate their unique talents. McGee is also an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Public Health Leadership program at UNC-Chapel Hill, Gillings School of Global Public Health.

Previously, McGee was Executive Vice President at Avalere Health, an industry-leading healthcare consulting firm specializing in strategy, policy, and data analysis for health plans, providers, and life sciences organizations. McGee is an industry thought leader in market and patient access issues for innovative drugs, devices, and biotechnology products. She is a Board Member of the Patient Access Network Foundation.

McGee earned her DrPH from the University of North Carolina, her MPH from Columbia University, and her JD from Hamline University.

Jessica Melton

Jessica Melton

Jessica Melton, MHA
Suburban Hospital
Bethesda, MD

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Jessica T. Melton is the President and Chief Operating Officer of Suburban Hospital in Bethesda Maryland. Suburban Hospital, a member of Johns Hopkins Medicine, is a non-profit, 222 bed acute care community-based hospital. Suburban Hospital offers a full complement of inpatient and outpatient services and is distinguished by a cutting-edge stroke program; level II trauma center; centers of excellence in cardiac care, orthopedics and joint replacement surgery, neurosciences and oncology; state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment tools; and affiliations with world-class institutions, including the neighboring National Institutes of Health. Prior to joining Suburban, Jessica served as the Chief Operating Officer for Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. Jessica has additionally held progressive leadership roles at Duke University Hospital in Durham, North Carolina including Vice President of Medical, Surgical, and Critical Care Services, Vice President of Emergency Services and Patient Flow, Administrative Director of Emergency Preparedness and Trauma, and the Director of the Duke Preparedness and Response Center.

Jessica received both her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and her Master of Healthcare Administration with concentrations in Finance and Community Preparedness and Disaster Management from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She completed her Administrative Fellowship at Duke University Hospital. In 2019, Jessica earned her certification as an International Coaching Federation (ICF) executive coach from North Carolina State University.

Mona Moon

Mona Moon

Mona M. Moon, MSPH
Chief Operating Officer
NC Department of Health and Human Services
Raleigh, NC

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Mona M. Moon is the Chief Operating Officer of North Carolina’s Medicaid program in the Department of Health and Human Services. She is the former Executive Administrator of the State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees, a division of the NC Department of State Treasurer and previously served as the State Health Plan’s Chief Financial Officer. Before joining the State Health Plan, Moon served as Chief Business Operations Officer for the Division of Medical Assistance, NC Department of Health and Human Services. She also served as a Principal Fiscal Analyst with the Fiscal Research Division of the NC General Assembly.

Moon serves on the Boards of Directors of the State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) and the SECU Foundation. She is a member of Delta Sigma Pi, international business fraternity and the North Carolina chapter of the International Women’s Forum. She is the recipient of the 2009 Alumni Leadership Award, Department of Health Policy and Management, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and an alumni member of Delta Omega, Public Health Honorary Society.

Moon received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and a Master of Science in Public Health degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dr. Jean Orelien

Jean G. Orelien

Jean G. Orelien, DrPH, MStat
Chief Executive Officer
ScitoVation, LLC
Research Triangle Park, NC

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Jean Orelien, DrPH, is the CEO and President of ScitoVation, LLC, a company that helps clients assess the safety of chemical products using in vitro and in silico methods (non-animal approaches). ScitoVation is the recognized leader in the use of innovative science and next-generation technology for assessing chemical safety. Clients of ScitoVation include the American Chemistry Council, the American Beverage Association and fortune 500 companies.  Prior to ScitoVation, Orelien served as CEO of SciMetrika, LLC, a company he co-founded in 2001. SciMetrika was sold in September 2018 to Inoventures, a federal contractor based in northern Virginia. During Orelien’s tenure, SciMetrika achieved more than $100M in billings and performed on more than 150 federal contracts or task order awards. SciMetrika has received numerous awards for growth, including in 2010 the North Carolina Council for Entrepreneurial Development’s Companies to Watch, as well as Inc. magazine’s Top 500 Fastest Growing Companies in both 2010 and 2011.

Orelien has been honored as one of Inc. magazine’s Top 10 Black Entrepreneurs (2010 and 2011), top 50 African-American in science and technology by Black Money, and in 2011 received the James E. Grizzle Distinguished Alumni Award from the Gillings School’s Department of Biostatistics.

Orelien earned a DrPH in Biostatistics from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.

Dr. Patsy Polston

Patsy M. Polston

Patsy M. Polston, PhD, MSPH
Department of Health Behavior
Gillings School of Global Public Health
Waldorf, MD

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Patsy Polston is a public health environmental microbiologist with a focus in water research and a passion for creating healthy environments for underserved populations. Her trajectory began at Tuskegee University where she completed her BS in electrical engineering and physics. Upon graduation, she worked as an engineer for Ford Motor Company. During such time, Polston realized she was passionate about preventive health and she entered a MSPH program in the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health. During her tenure at the Gillings School, she was actively involved in local community environmental justice issues and worked with a Non-Government Organization (NGO) in India on water, sanitation and hygiene.

These experiences solidified her passion for community and environmental health; enabled her to realize the importance of collaborating with impacted communities; and confirmed her interest in conducting interdisciplinary research. Polston pursued a doctorate and merged two sciences by minoring in Health Behavior. At Gillings, she was actively involved in the School community, holding numerous leadership positions, including: serving two terms as co-president of the Minority Student Caucus, three terms as the Dean’s Council Student Representative, and co-president of the Student Government. Polston successfully completed her PhD in 2015 where she investigated the controversial subject pertaining to waste management practices of land applying biosolids by analyzing its potential microbial impact on nearby water bodies.

Upon graduation, she was chosen as the 2015 inaugural Dennis and Mireille Gillings Pasteur Foundation Fellowship where she spent three years working in the Department of Enteric Viruses at Paris-based Insitut Pasteur, conducting environmental and human surveillance for polioviruses and other enteroviruses. Her research brought her to Madagascar, among other International Network sites within Pasteur. Polston is currently teaching at the Gillings School in the Department of Health Behavior. One of her goals is to educate and empower people, giving them the tools they need to improve their health and quality of life. Outside of her professional life, she enjoys traveling, spending time with her husband, family and friends.

Polston earned a BS in Electrical Engineering and Physics from Tuskegee University, an MSPH and a PhD in Environmental Sciences and Engineering (minor in Health Behavior) from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.

Azhar Richmond

Azhar Richmond

Azhar Richmond, MBA
Executive Director of Institutional Equities Sales
Morgan Stanley
New York, NY

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Azhar Richmond is an Executive Director within Morgan Stanley’s Institutional Equities division. She began her career on Wall Street in 2005 after graduating from Harvard with a degree in Psychology. She worked at JP Morgan’s Investment Bank from 2005-08 and at Chanel as a Fragrance & Beauty Analyst from 2008-09. In 2009, she went back to Harvard for her MBA and joined the US Sales team at Morgan Stanley in the fall on 2011.

Azhar is Co-Captain of the Harvard Recruiting team at Morgan Stanley and serves on the Summer Analyst Internship Program’s Diversity Council. She was born and raised in Oakland, CA and is the youngest of five children.

George Thomas

George Thomas

George Thomas, MBA
Chief Operating Officer
XB Market Ventures

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George Thomas has over 30 years of financial services experience spanning asset management, investment banking, electronic trading, institutional capital market structure, technology, commercial banking, and internal audit at a broad range of the firms in New York, Boston, Bermuda, London and Tokyo, Japan. Mr. Thomas’ unique background has encompassed working on both the buy side and sell side of Wall Street as derivatives sales trader, active quantitative portfolio manager, software developer and manager of global sales teams.

Currently, George is the Chief Operating Officer of XB Market Ventures, a global fintech firm, headquartered in Bermuda, that develops digital asset market infrastructure and provides strategic advisory services. Prior to joining XB, Mr. Thomas served as Senior Advisor in the consulting and advisory practice of PwC Bermuda. He led numerous consulting and advisory engagements encompassing strategy, cybersecurity, data privacy, mergers and acquisitions and risk assessment, including a multi-year initiative to deliver a comprehensive Reform Plan to the Government of Bermuda. Mr. Thomas has over 20 years of corporate governance experience, serving on the Board of Directors of regulated and non-regulated entities in North America, Asia and Europe. He currently serves, or has served, as an independent director and committee member on the boards of companies (public and private) as well as investment funds. He is a Registered Director with Cayman Islands Monetary Authority under the Directors Registration and Licensing Law of 2014 and has been registered since inception. In 2013, he earned a Certificate in International Trust Management from Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners (STEP) in advance of serving as protector for a Bermuda trust. Since 2017, Mr. Thomas has been a guest lecturer at Harvard Law School on cybersecurity disclosure considerations for public companies to a second & third year Securities Law class.

Mr. Thomas earned an B.A. in Economics from Duke University and an M.B.A. in Finance and Quantitative Methods from the UNC at Chapel Hill.

Walker Wilson

Walker Wilson

Walker Wilson, MPH
Assistant Secretary for Policy
NC Department of Health and Human Services
Raleigh, NC

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Walker Wilson is the Assistant Secretary for Policy at the NC Department of Health and Human Services. In her role, she leads policy development and analysis for key priority areas of the Department, including responding to the Opioid Crisis, strengthening the state’s focus on early childhood, addressing the non-medial drivers of health, and transforming the state’s Medicaid program to managed care. Most recently, Wilson was the Director of the Health Policy Office at Blue Cross Blue Shield North Carolina where she led the team analyzing and influencing federal regulations under the Affordable Care Act. Wilson previously served as a Senior Advisor at DHHS and with the Division of Public Health. She was also a Health Policy Advisor to Governor Mike Easley. Prior to that, she worked as a Senior Manager for the Boston Public Health Commission

Wilson holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master’s in public health from Boston University.

Members Emeriti

Fred T. Brown, Jr., MPH, FACHE
Retired Group Senior Vice President
Eastern Division
Carolinas HealthCare System
Charlotte, NC

Kelly B. Browning, MA
Executive Vice President
American Institute for Cancer Research
Washington, DC

Leah Devlin, DDS, MPH
Gillings Professor of the Practice
UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health
Research and Innovation Solutions
Chapel Hill, NC

C. David Hardison, PhD
Vice President, Health Sciences, Retired
ConvergeHEALTH by Deloitte
Irvine, CA

Lisa M. LaVange, PhD
Professor and Associate Chair
Department of Biostatistics
Director, Collaborative Studies Coordinating Center
UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health
Chapel Hill, NC

Susanne Glen Moulton, JD, MPH
The Xenia Group Inc.
Durham, NC

James H. Rosen, MBA, MSPH
President and Chief Executive Officer
Artizan Biosciences
Chapel Hill, NC

Ilene C. Siegler, PhD, MPH
Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Duke University School of Medicine
Durham, NC

Celette Sugg Skinner, PhD
Professor and Chair
Department of Clinical Sciences
Associate Director for Cancer Control and Population Sciences
Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Dallas, TX

Paula Brown Stafford, MPH
President, Clinical Development, Retired
Chapel Hill, NC

Russell B. Toal, MPH
Deputy Division Director for Operations and Systems at New Mexico
Human Services Department, Medical Assistance Division
Santa Fe, NM

Jack E. Wilson, PE, MSENV
Board of Directors
TEC, Incorporated
Keswick, VA

Thomas K. Wong, PhD, MPH
Vice President
Meganium Corporation
Durham, NC