Multidisciplinary, sustainable solutions to address the global burden of noncommunicable diseases

Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are the leading cause of human death and illness worldwide. Each year more than 41 million people die from an NCD such as cancer, heart disease, chronic respiratory disease, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. More than 80 percent of premature deaths from NCDs occur in low- and middle-income countries. Inaction on this problem harms development, human potential, and economic productivity.

The RTI International Center for Global NCDs leverages multidisciplinary technical expertise, research capacity, and programmatic experience to prevent and manage the negative health, economic, and social impacts of NCDs. We work in more than 40 countries around the world, partnering with governments, non-governmental organizations, private foundations, and multilateral organizations to confront NCDs in all stages, by designing, implementing, and evaluating policy, prevention, and treatment interventions. We are committed to working towards achieving the target outlined in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals of reducing premature mortality from NCDs by one third by 2030.

The Center is directed by Rachel Nugent, a prominent global health economist with more than 25 years of experience in global NCD work. See Our Team below to learn more about each member of our team and why we work on global NCDs. We bring together the breadth of expertise required to develop sustainable solutions to the NCD crisis, including health economics and financing, health systems strengthening, implementation science, policy analysis, program development and evaluation, data science, and survey design. We draw upon RTI’s organizational experience in addressing other long-standing global health challenges—including communicable diseases; health security and pandemic threats; and reproductive, maternal, and child health—to identify how NCD approaches and interventions can be integrated, financed, and delivered within capacities, working alongside our partners to co-produce solutions that are tailored to national, local, and organizational circumstances.

Our Team

Rachel Nugent, Vice President, Global Noncommunicable Diseases

“Working on global NCDs feels like a calling to me. I love analyzing the numbers, but hearing the personal stories of people living with NCDs is what keeps me focused on these issues.”

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Brian Hutchinson, Research Public Health Analyst

“I enjoy thinking through how shifting our environment, from the way we design our cities to the food we eat, can change—or even save—a life, usually through the lens of a good spreadsheet.”

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Angie Jackson-Morris, Senior Global Health Specialist

“Preventability is what attracts me to NCDs. I love finding solutions by developing and applying evidence, building collaboration, and reflecting the true importance of NCDs in policy and practice.”

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Ishu Kataria, Senior Public Health Researcher

“In our fight against NCDs, I am passionate about working for and with young people. I want them to be empowered to take charge of the situation as both role models and change makers.”

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Carrie Ngongo, Senior Program Manager

“Health systems around the world need to provide consistent, quality care for people living with NCDs. I’m excited about creative and scalable models for service provision and capturing metrics on patient perceptions and outcomes.”

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Garrison J. Spencer, Public Health Analyst

“The complex biological, environmental, and social factors that contribute to NCDs makes this a true ‘social science.’ NCDs are something that touch everyone, and the opportunity to make an impact is immense.”

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Christina Meyer, Research Health Policy Analyst

“NCDs typically develop unnoticed during each of our day-to-day lives. By creating policies, systems, and environments to prevent and treat these diseases, we have the opportunity to set the foundation for providing equitable access to healthcare and health promotion.”

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Center News

Webinar: Prioritizing Adolescent Mental Health in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

We shared research findings and presented new analysis of global data with the aim of motivating and guiding action to improve adolescent mental health.


Watch the Webinar about Center News