RTI Policy Forum

The Next Frontier in NTD Control: Implementing the Roadmap from the London Declaration’s 2020 Goals — Speaker Biographies


Richard Reithinger

Richard Reithinger, PhD, is the senior director of infectious disease programs for RTI International's Global Health Group. In this role, he provides strategic, technical, and operational leadership and oversight for infectious disease programs in malaria, vector management, and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Dr. Reithinger previously worked for USAID/Ethiopia, where he was team leader and malaria advisor for the U.S. President's Malaria Initiative. During his time with USAID/Ethiopia, he implemented the scale-up of antimalarial programs including indoor residual spraying of households with insecticide, insecticide-treated bed nets, rapid diagnostic testing, and health education. Dr. Reithinger is an honorary senior lecturer at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and an adjunct assistant professor at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.


Paul Emerson

Paul Emerson, PhD, is the director for the Trachoma Control Program and co-director of the Malaria Control Program at the Carter Center. He oversees trachoma program activities in Mali, Nigeria, Ghana, Niger, Sudan, and Southern Sudan as well as the integrated trachoma and malaria control program in Ethiopia. He has spent nearly two decades devoted to operational research, program evaluation, and program management in support of the global efforts to control trachoma and malaria. Before joining the Carter Center, Dr. Emerson was a research fellow at the School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Durham in the United Kingdom. There he was the principal investigator for evaluations of Helen Keller International and World Vision trachoma control programs in Morocco, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nepal, Vietnam, and Tanzania.

Julie Jacobson

Julie Jacobson, MD, is senior program officer for Infectious Diseases in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's Global Health program, where she supports grants working toward the control of NTDs and works with the development and implementation of new vaccines. Previously Dr. Jacobson was scientific director of Immunization Solutions and director of the Japanese encephalitis project at PATH, an international nonprofit organization. As scientific director, she defined the direction and growth of immunization solutions work by increasing the availability of vaccines to the world's most vulnerable populations. This ranged from work on clinical trials for specific vaccines to working directly with ministries of health and partners in decision-making on vaccine introduction and planning. Dr. Jacobson is a physician with training in clinical tropical medicine and applied epidemiology.

Eric Ottesen

Eric Ottesen, MD, is the program director of RTI’s NTD Control Program (2006–2012) and ENVISION (2011–2016). He is also the director of the Task Force for Global Health’s Lymphatic Filariasis Support Center. He has over 35 years of experience dealing with parasitic diseases—22 years at the National Institutes of Health and the last 15 years working for or with the World Health Organization to promote global health through the elimination of lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis), a parasitic and infectious tropical disease. Dr. Ottesen won the Bernhard Nocht Medal from the German Society of Tropical Medicine and International Health in 2001, the Donald Mackay Medal from the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and Royal Society of Tropical Medicine in 2003, and the Joseph F. Smadel Award from the Infectious Disease Society of America in 2004.

Angela Weaver

Angela Weaver, MPH, is senior technical advisor for neglected tropical diseases at the U.S. Agency for International Development in Washington, DC. In addition to providing technical and managerial oversight of USAID’s Program for Neglected Tropical Diseases, she also leads coordination with major partners in NTD control efforts, including the World Health Organization (WHO), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the UK Department for International Development (DFID), and other technical partners. She also serves as an advisor on several NTD working groups at WHO. Before joining USAID’s NTD Program, Ms. Weaver was an advisor to USAID’s immunization and infectious disease surveillance programs. She holds a master’s degree in public health and infectious diseases from Emory University and is currently a doctoral candidate at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.

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