Organizers

Conference Co-Chairs

Özlem Ergun, PhD

Northeastern University
Co-founder, Center for Health & Humanitarian Systems (CHHS)
Professor, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

Dr. Özlem Ergun is currently a Professor in the Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering at Northeastern University in Boston. Prior to beginning at Northeastern, Dr. Ergun was the Coca-Cola Associate Professor in the Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering at Georgia Tech where she co-founded the Center for Health & Humanitarian Systems (CHHS). Dr. Ergun’s research focuses on the design and management of large-scale networks. She has applied her work on network design, management and collaboration to problems arising in the airline, ocean cargo and trucking industries. Recently, her work has been focused on the use of systems thinking and mathematical modeling in applications with societal impact, such as applying new algorithmic and analytical tools to important real world problems. She has worked with organizations that respond to humanitarian crisis around the world, including: UN WFP, IFRC, CARE USA, FEMA, USACE, CDC, AFCEMA, and MedShare International. Dr. Ergun received a B.S. in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering from Cornell University in 1996 and a Ph.D. in Operations Research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2001, and she was awarded the NSF Career Award in 2003.

Jarrod Goentzel, PhD

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Director, MIT Humanitarian Response Lab

Jarrod Goentzel is founder and director of the MIT Humanitarian Response Lab, which strives to make supply chains more responsive to human needs. His research focuses on supply chain design and management, transportation procurement and planning, humanitarian needs assessments, information management and the use of technology to facilitate decision-making. Based in the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics, Dr. Goentzel has developed graduate-level courses in supply chain finance, international operations and humanitarian logistics. Previously, Dr. Goentzel was Executive Director of the MIT Supply Chain Management program, a nine-month professional master’s degree program. He joined MIT in 2003 to establish the MIT-Zaragoza International Logistics Program with the Zaragoza Logistics Center in Spain. Dr. Goentzel received a Ph.D. from the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, an M.S. in applied mathematics from Colorado State University, and a B.A. in mathematics from Tabor College with studies at the Technical University of Budapest (Hungary).

Pinar Keskinocak, PhD

Georgia Institute of Technology
Director & Co-founder, Center for Health & Humanitarian Systems (CHHS)
William W. George Chair and ADVANCE Professor, School of Industrial & Systems Engineering

Pinar Keskinocak is the director and co-founder of the Center for Health & Humanitarian Systems (CHHS) at Georgia Tech. She has over 20 years of experience in logistics and supply management. Her work focuses on the applications of operations research and management science with societal impact, particularly health and humanitarian applications. Her recent work has addressed infectious disease modeling (e.g., cholera, pandemic flu), evaluating intervention strategies, and resource allocation; catch-up scheduling for vaccinations; medical decision-making (e.g., disease screening); hospital operations management; disaster preparedness and response (e.g., prepositioning inventory, debris management). Dr. Keskinocak has worked on a variety of projects with companies, governmental and non-governmental organizations, and healthcare providers, including American Red Cross, CARE, CDC, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Emory University Hospital, Grady Memorial Hospital, Pan-American Health Organization, and the Task Force for Global Health.

Julie Swann, PhD

NC State University
Co-founder, Center for Health & Humanitarian Systems (CHHS)
Department Head and A. Doug Allison Distinguished Professor, Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

Julie Swann is Department Head and the A. Doug Allison Distinguished Professor at the Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) at North Carolina State University. She is also an Adjunct Professor in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to joining NC State, she was the Harold R. and Mary Anne Nash Professor in the Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she co-founded the Center for Health and Humanitarian Systems, one of the first interdisciplinary research centers on the Georgia Tech campus. In 2009, she was on loan as a science advisor for the H1N1 pandemic response at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Swann is a research leader in using mathematical modeling to enable supply chain systems and health care to become more efficient, effective, or equitable. Recent collaborations have been to quantify the return on public investments to improve pediatric asthma, plan for infectious disease outbreaks, analyze administrative claims data from Medicaid patients across the US, and design systems with decentralized decision makers.

Luk Van Wassenhove, PhD

INSEAD
Academic Director, Humanitarian Research Group

Professor Van Wassenhove's research focus is on closed-loop supply chains (product take-back and end-of-life issues) and on disaster management (humanitarian logistics). He is the author of many award-winning teaching cases and regularly consults for major international corporations. He recently co-edited special issues on humanitarian operations for the Journal of Operations Management, the Production and Operations Management Journal and the European Journal of Operational Research.

In 2005, Professor Van Wassenhove was elected Fellow of the Production and Operations Management Society (POMS). In 2006, he was the recipient of the EURO Gold Medal for outstanding academic achievement. In 2009 he was elected Distinguished Fellow of the Manufacturing and Services Operations Management Society (MSOM), and received the Lifetime Achievement Faculty Pioneer Award from the European Academy of Business in Society (EABIS) and the Aspen Institute. In 2013 he has been recognized as an Honorary Fellow of the European Operations Management Association (EUROMA).

Professor Van Wassenhove is a past-president of the Production and Operations Management Society. In 2011 he was elected member of the Royal Flemish Academy of Sciences.  At INSEAD he holds the Henry Ford Chair of Manufacturing. He also created the INSEAD Social Innovation Centre and acted as academic director until September 2010. He currently leads the INSEAD Humanitarian Research Group.

Liz Igharo

The International Association of Public Health Logisticians (IAPHL)
Executive Director

Elizabeth is an accomplished public health development leader who has more than 15 years of experience in supply chain management of medicines and medical supplies in immunization campaigns, reproductive health, tuberculosis, and malaria as well as maternal and newborn health programs. Elizabeth, a founding member of IAPHL, holds a master’s degree in public health and is based in Abuja, Nigeria. She has worked in the private sector as a co-owner and managing director of a pharmacy, an educator in Nigeria’s public school system  and has held various positions at an international NGO that helps ministries of health develop and improve their public health supply chains. She has presented on public health supply chains at numerous conferences around the world.

Dominique Zwinkels

People that Deliver
Executive Manager

Dominique Zwinkels is the current Executive Manager of the People that Deliver Initiative. She is an international development professional with 20 years of experience in designing, developing, managing and evaluating projects with a focus on the HIV/AIDS supply chain, livelihood and food security, and nutrition. She has over ten years of experience in supply chain management, having worked for John Snow International (JSI) at the Partnership for Supply Chain Management (PFSCM), which procures and delivers essential lifesaving medicines and related commodities to HIV/AIDS programs around the world.

Dominique also has experience working with the International Food Policy Research Institute, Innovative Resources Management, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC). She has both an MBA in International Business Administration and a Master's degree in Nutrition. She is fluent in English, Spanish and Dutch. As a native of The Netherlands and having lived in Latin America (Peru, Colombia, and Venezuela) and Washington, DC, she is now based at UNICEF Supply Division in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Program Committee

Carmit Keddem

John Snow, Inc. (JSI)
Deputy Director for Health Logistics

Carmit Keddem is the deputy director for health logistics at John Snow, Inc. (JSI), a private company with a public health mission, dedicated to helping their partners improve the lives of the people and communities they serve. Carmit has spent more than a decade working with governments to make sure health products are available to people, when and where they need them. She draws on her experience of working directly with health programs to design and optimize their health supply chains and build human and organizational capacity.

George Fenton

Humanitarian Logistics Association
Chairman & CEO

George Fenton is an experienced consultant and evaluator, working with both the aid and private sectors, in the fields of emergency preparedness, response and logistics, including digital cash transfers and market-based interventions. He is an expert in humanitarian supply chain management with over 30 years of experience and is a leader in his field, having co-founded: the Humanitarian Logistics Association, a global humanitarian logistics community of practice and professional development body; the global Fleet Forum which promotes aid transport knowledge sharing, road safety and capacity building; and the East Africa Inter-Agency Working Group for disaster preparedness. George has also played an influential role within international fora such as the World Humanitarian Summit and the Humanitarian Response Network. 

George has led and managed emergency operations and logistics teams to ensure successful multi-million dollar responses to a wide range of global humanitarian crises over the past decade. Constantly seeking new challenges, he uses his academic, private and aid sector networks, broad management experience and versatile skills to support improvements to the delivery of aid by influencing practical, innovative changes to ways in which resources are used.

As a senior executive George has worked for the United Nations and several of the world’s largest non-governmental organisations, leading the development of new technologies, such as mobile data solutions to facilitate cash transfers, developing national supply chain capacity, and managing key relationships with a broad range of stakeholders. He has recently been involved in several UN and donor evaluations of emergency preparedness, response and logistics services in East Africa.

David Sarley

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Senior Program Officer

David Sarley has worked for 15 years in public health supply chain management, 10 years with JSI and five at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He is currently part of the Foundation’s Vaccine Delivery's new Strategy and Innovation team and manages several investments including work with Zipline, PATH, WHO and the African Resource Center for supply chain in SA and Nigeria. He is researching innovation platforms and partners including African based incubators. At JSI he held several positions in the USAID | DELIVER PROJECT including Director of Public Health Supply chain work and led work on supply chain costing. Prior to JSI he worked in economics consultancy for 16 years in trade, transport, finance and health economics. He was also a volunteer with VSO in the Caribbean teaching economics and started his career with Ford in inventory management. He has a degree in Econometrics from Hull University and a Post Graduate Diploma from Southampton University. He was born in Cornwall, has also lived in West Ham, Baghdad, Hull, Southampton, Grenada, Bethesda Maryland and now Seattle. He has worked in over 80 countries doing short term economics and public health consulting and management assignments. He wore a West Ham shirt in the Foundation’s got talent show and tries to tell at least one bad joke in every meeting. He is encouraging Foundation staff to fill whiteboard space with art graffiti and recently drew Black Panther and Warren Buffett inspired cartoons. He has a terrible sense of humor and more confidence than talent. 

Prashant Yadav

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Strategy Leader-Supply Chain

Prashant Yadav is Strategy Leader-Supply Chain at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Medical School. Yadav’s research and policy advisory work focuses on health care supply chains in developing countries. He also works on role of new technology in pharmaceutical supply chains, globally. He is the author of many peer reviewed scientific publications and his work has been featured in prominent print and broadcast media including The Economist, The Financial Times, Nature, and BBC.

Before his current role, Yadav was Vice President of Healthcare at the William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan and a faculty member at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. Before that he was Professor of Supply Chain Management at the MIT-Zaragoza International Logistics Program and a Research Affiliate at the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics.

Yadav received his undergraduate training in Chemical Engineering, his MBA in Operations and Finance and his PhD in Management Science. Before academia he has worked in pharmaceutical strategy, management consulting and supply chain technology companies.

Paulo Gonçalves, PhD

Università della Svizzera italiana
Professor of Management
Founder and Director of the Master of Humanitarian Logistics and Management (MASHLM)

Paulo Gonçalves is Professor of Management at the Università della Svizzera Italiana (USI) and Founder and Director of the Master of Humanitarian Logistics and Management (MASHLM). He is also a research affiliate at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He holds a Ph.D. in Management Science from MIT Sloan and an M.Sc. from MIT. Paulo received an Intel Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Award in 2003. For his dissertation, he has won the 2004 Doctoral dissertation award given annually by the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP). His research combines experiments, simulation, optimization, and econometrics to understand and improve procurement, pre-positioning, inventory, and resource allocation decisions in humanitarian settings.

Esther Ndichu

UPS Southern Africa
Managing Director

Esther Ndichu is the Managing Director for UPS in Southern Africa based out of Johannesburg, SA since April 2018.  In her current role, she is responsible for managing and growing the UPS business in the southern region of the continent.  Most recently, Esther was the Vice President of Public Affairs and Government Relations for UPS in the Indian Subcontinent, Middle East and Africa based in Dubai since January 2016. One of her core focus areas and interests is increasing cross-border trade and identifying ways to assist SMEs access global markets.  

Prior to this, Esther was responsible for the UPS Foundation’s global humanitarian engagements working with various organizations in the humanitarian space based in Brussels, Belgium. As a logistician, she has worked in various capacities at UPS and is able to lend her experience to the organizations she worked with. Her passion for working in the humanitarian sector was captured in TED Talk titled "Hunger isn't a food issue. It is a logistics issue."  

Having started her logistics career at Ryder Systems, USA 19 years ago, she has been at UPS for the last 13 years working in various roles from air network planning, industrial engineering, revenue management, customer solutions, the UPS Foundation and has lived in Atlanta, Brussels and now Dubai. Esther’s passion for working for a global logistics company world stems from her interest in International affairs and a vested interest in seeing UPS expand into Indian Subcontinent Middle East and Africa region, where she is currently based.

Alexis Strader

People that Deliver (PtD)
Project Officer
Alexis Strader

Alexis Strader comes to PtD with over eight years of experience in project management and strategic communications for global health programs, focusing on women’s health and supply chain management. Alexis has lived and worked extensively in francophone West Africa. Most recently, Alexis was based in Dakar, Senegal, where she worked at Dimagi managing mobile health projects for clients across the region. Of note, she provided capacity building support to the National Pharmacy Association in Senegal as they revamped their supply chain management mobile technology. Prior to Dimagi, Alexis worked with several public health non-governmental organizations, including Population Services International (PSI), and John Snow, Inc. (JSI). It was at JSI where Alexis first realized her passion for health supply chain programs. She is looking forward to channeling this passion into her role as the Project Officer for the People that Deliver Initiative. Alexis earned a Master’s in Business Administration and a Master’s in International Development from American University in Washington, DC, and a Bachelor’s degree in Romance Languages from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is based as UNICEF Supply Division in Copenhagen, Denmark, and speaks fluent English and French and is proficient in Spanish. 

Conference Co-Chairs

Özlem Ergun, PhD - Northeastern University

Jarrod Goentzel, PhD - Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Pinar Keskinocak, PhD - Georgia Institute of Technology

Julie Swann, PhD - NC State University

Liz Igharo - The International Association of Public Health Logisticians (IAPHL)

Dominique Zwinkels - People that Deliver

Program Committee

Carmit Keddem - John Snow, Inc. (JSI)

George Fenton - Humanitarian Logistics Association

David Sarley - Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Prashant Yadav - Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Paulo Gonçalves, PhD - Università della Svizzera italiana

Esther Ndichu - UPS Southern Africa

Alexis Strader - People that Deliver (PtD)

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Previous Conferences

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About the Conference Series

The Health & Humanitarian Conference series is organized each year by the Center for Health & Humanitarian Systems (CHHS) at Georgia Tech in partnership with INSEAD, MIT, and Northeastern University, with generous support from corporate and other organizational sponsors.

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