Ana Langer – Director
The Women and Health Initiative is led by Dr. Ana Langer, a physician specializing in pediatrics and neonatology, and a reproductive health expert. She joined the Harvard School of Public Health in July 2010 as a Professor of the Practice of Public Health in the Department of Global Health and Population. Dr. Langer is respected worldwide as a leader in using research findings to influence policy and improve the overall quality of health care for women and families. For the past 25 years, she has been a leading researcher, programmer and advocate for the improvement of women’s health.

Dr. Langer has conducted and published extensively on maternal mortality; psychosocial support during pregnancy, labor, delivery and the post-partum period; quality of maternal health care, unsafe abortion,  emergency contraception; the introduction of evidence-based practices in maternal health services; and strategies to reinforce the reproductive health component in  health sector reform programs in developing countries. Read more…

Jacquelyn Caglia – Deputy Director of Administration & Operations | 617-432-7387

Jacquelyn Caglia joined the Women and Health Initiative in August 2011 where she manages several projects and assists with overall coordination of the W&HI as the Deputy Director of Administration and Operations. Before joining the W&HI, Ms. Caglia was Program Director at World Connect, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of women and children in low-resource settings.

Prior to this, Ms. Caglia worked with the Institute for Community Health as a researcher investigating how race, ethnicity, language and culture affect health and the quality of healthcare services. She has worked with many organizations addressing women’s health to evaluate their health interventions and communicate about their work including the Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy and Circle of Health International.

Ms. Caglia has extensive experience in training development and grant writing and has held various positions focused on local and international health including work in survey administration with John Snow Incorporated and in community outreach and case study development with the Montgomery Country Health Department in Pennsylvania. Ms. Caglia served with the Peace Corps as a community health specialist in the Dominican Republic.

Originally from Pennsylvania with roots in community organizing and service learning, Ms. Caglia holds a BA in Biology and Psychology and a MPH from Boston University. She is fluent in Spanish.

Alison Chatfield – Project Manager | 617-432-7724

Alison Chatfield joined the Women and Health Initiative in April 2013 as Project Manager of  the Initiative’s collaborations with the University of Oxford Maternal and Perinatal Health Institute.  Prior to working at the W&HI, Ms. Chatfield was a global health systems consultant, advising on projects ranging from evaluating the use of mHealth to improve health service delivery, strategically investing in adolescent sexual and reproductive health, and building a comprehensive approach to providing acceptable alternatives to child marriage.  Ms. Chatfield has also served as a Clinton Fellow at KGVK, a social enterprise in Jharkhand, India, where she implemented a maternal health quality improvement project in collaboration with LifeSpring Hospitals that led to an increase in customer demand for institutional delivery services in targeted rural and tribal communities.  Ms. Chatfield holds an MSc in Development Management from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a BA in International Affairs, with a focus on International Development and Anthropology, from George Washington University.

Jessica Christian – Project Assistant | 617-432-2267

Jess Christian joined the W&HI’s Maternal Health Task Force as project assistant in September 2013. A recent graduate of Brandeis University, Science Posse Foundation Scholar and Eli J. Segal  Citizenship Fellow, she majored in health science & social policy and women & gender studies, with a concentration in racial, ethnic, and gender disparities research. Through an award from the Brandeis India Initiative, she worked closely with MILANA– an AIDS/HIV NGO in Bangalore, India—to create and implement age-appropriate sexual education workshops for children and adolescents. She also learned techniques for counseling HIV+ women facing interpersonal violence. Ms. Christian also studied at Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz in Ilhéus, Bahia, Brazil, examining the effects of perceived racial discrimination on health outcomes of university students. Ms. Christian volunteers with the Boston Public Health Commission’s Start Strong initiative, facilitating workshops to combat teen dating violence, and the Feminist Sexual Ethics Project, raising awareness on the intersection of race and gendered violence in the United States. She is fluent in Gujarati and proficient in Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese and Hindi. In her spare time, she enjoys photography, reading and exploring Boston.

Gennet Fantu – Senior Grants Manager | 617-432-7953

Gennet Fantu joined the Women and Health Initiative (W&HI) at Harvard School of Public Health in June 2012 as the Senior Grants Manager. She provides financial and grants management expertise and leadership, overseeing all sponsored research administration for the Initiative. Before joining the W&HI, Gennet spent two years in Ethiopia (her original home country) working for Fantu & Family Trading & Industry PLC serving as the Deputy General Manger.

Prior to that, Ms. Fantu worked as the Administrative Manager in the Cancer Research Center at Boston University School of Medicine (2007-2009) and in the Hematology and Oncology Section at Boston Medical Center as Grants and Contracts Specialist (2005-2007).

Gennet received her Masters of Liberal Arts degree from Harvard University Extension School in Management. She completed her undergraduate work at Kansas State University where she majored in Business Administration. Gennet enjoys running and outdoor activities. She has run the Chicago Marathon and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro.

Andrea Goetschius – Senior Communications Manager | 617-432-2281

Andrea Goetschius joined the Women and Health Initiative in May 2012 as graphics and content producer for the Maternal Health Task Force. Previously, she worked in communication for public health and educational organizations, including Ipas and the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. Andrea completed her MA in interdisciplinary health communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where her research focused on the use of visual communications techniques to make reproductive health information more accessible for low-literacy audiences. Her case study on public relations strategies around football-related concussion won the grand prize in the 2011 Arthur W. Page Society case study competition. Andrea holds a BFA in graphic design from Alfred University and has more than 10 years experience as a designer for print and web.

Annie Kearns – Project Manager | 617-432-7230

Annie Kearns joined the Women & Health Initiative as a student Research Assistant in September 2011, remaining in this role while she completed her MSc from the Department of Global Health and Population at HSPH. She became Project Manager of W&HI’s project on antenatal and postnatal care beginning in September 2013. Before coming to Harvard, Ms. Kearns spent two years working with AED to increase access to medical journals for health care workers around the world. She has a strong research background, particularly pertaining to antenatal care and early childhood nutrition. As an undergraduate at Cornell University and later as a graduate student, Ms. Kearns spent several months looking at breastfeeding practices across Brazil, from the Northeast to the Amazon region.

Kathleen McDonald – Senior Project Manager | 617-432-2283

Kathleen McDonald joined the Women and Health Initiative in March 2012 as the Project Manager for the Hansen Project on Maternal and Child Health. Ms. McDonald previously managed an obstetric hemorrhage clinical trial in the Copperbelt of Zambia for the Safe Motherhood Program at the University of California San Francisco Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health. During her time in Zambia, she coordinated project operations and logistics in the Copperbelt Province, working closely with frontline health workers, district and provincial health officials, and hospital administrators. Prior to this, Ms. McDonald mentored young refugee women in Seattle through the International Rescue Committee.

Ms. McDonald has a strong background in training and operations in the private sector and has held various global health positions, including survey design and administration in rural Kenya and monitoring and evaluating supply chain management of PMTCT drugs and testing kits in southern Zambia. She holds a MPH from Boston University, a Graduate Certificate in International Development from Johns Hopkins University SAIS, and a BA in Psychology from the University of Maryland.

Katie Millar – Publication Coordinator & Technical Writer | 617-432-7231

Katie Millar joined the W&HI’s Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF) as publication coordinator and technical writer in May 2014. Katie has varied experience that brings a unique perspective and set of skills to her role at the MHTF. Ms. Millar graduated from Brigham Young University (BYU) in 2008 with a B.S. in nursing and a minor in international development. After her graduation from BYU she worked as a nurse from 2008-2012 at a level III NICU in Salt Lake City, Utah. Ms. Millar always knew she wanted a career in global health and so pursued a Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, which she completed in 2013. Apart from her clinical nursing experience, Katie also has a wide range of global health experience. During her time at BYU, she traveled to Argentina to provide nursing care in the public maternity hospital, La Maternidad Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes, and health education and screenings for children and their mothers in the community. In addition, she conducted research in and provided training for developmental care in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of the public maternity hospital. In 2010 she traveled to Haiti as an assistant team lead for a medical humanitarian trip with the NGO International Aid Serving Kids (IASK) where she managed a health clinic and collaborated with other organizations to provide medical care to earthquake victims. In 2011 and 2013, she partnered with the Ministry of Health (MOH), UNICEF, and Latter-day Saint Charities to teach neonatal resuscitation and basic newborn care in Nicaragua and Peru. For her MPH capstone Ms. Millar conducted research on infant motor development in rural Ghana. In the year between receiving her MPH and starting at W&HI/MHTF she worked on two projects. First, she wrote manuscripts on malaria care seeking for children under five in Nigeria. Second, she was a technical advisor in the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya where she conducted an evaluation of an adolescent sexual and reproductive health program and partnered with UNHCR, UNFPA, IRC, and JSI to plan the second phase of the project. Ms. Millar is passionate about moms and babies and loves to dance. She is particularly interested in the intersection of neonatal and maternal health and how to translate research to practice.

Ms. Nasshan is a graduate of Smith College with a B.A.  in Government and Global South Development Studies with a concentration in Africa where her research focused primarily on the political economics of post-conflict regions and the changing role of women within those environments.

Hannah Ratcliffe joined the Women and Health Initiative in September 2011 as a student Research Assistant while completing her MSc in Global Health and Population at HSPH. In June 2013, she became a Project Manager for respectful maternity care projects at the Initiative.  Ms. Ratcliffe has a strong background in research and program evaluation, particularly in the fields of maternal and child health. Before joining the Women and Health Initiative, Ms. Ratcliffe worked on a variety of maternal health projects and program evaluations in Ghana, Bangladesh, and the United States, and also spent two years as a Research Assistant at Harvard Medical School. In addition to her MSc, Ms. Ratcliffe holds a BA in Biology from Williams College.

Mary Nell Wegner joined the Women and Health Initiative in November 2011 and serves as the Executive Director of the Maternal Health Task Force. She has spent the last 20 years working in international public health with a focus on gender, reproductive health, and maternity care.

Ms. Wegner has worked directly for donors (the Rockefeller Foundation, UNFPA, and the EMpower Foundation) as well as community-based and nonprofit organizations at both the local and global levels  (Jubilee Refugee Camp, The White Mountain Apache Tribal Health Authority, The Women’s Dignity Project, Planned Parenthood of CT, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, The Margaret Sanger Center, and EngenderHealth). She has worked with teams to help strengthen reproductive health programming in a variety of contexts in Colombia, Ethiopia, India, Ghana, Hong Kong, Kenya, Mexico, Pakistan, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and the US. Ms. Wegner has a special interest in work with adolescents. In the last ten years, she has written and spoken on quality of care in labor and delivery, obstetric fistula prevention and treatment, mens’ roles in family planning, and reproductive health choices.

Ms. Wegner completed her BA at Yale in cultural anthropology, her EdM in international education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and her MPH in public health at UCLA.