About the International Health Section

The International Health Section was founded in 1976 to provide leadership and a focus on international public health issues within the American Public Health Association (APHA). It is governed by an elected leadership that directs the Section’s involvement in international health issues through APHA activities including: development of APHA’s Annual Meeting program; drafting relevant resolutions for support by APHA; participation on various APHA Boards and Councils; and other related activities.

The Section is an active community of international health professionals engaged in networking, policy development, and sharing scientific knowledge and experience with peers as well as increasingly in advocacy and public education. We have built relationships with other sections to promote global health throughout APHA.

The International Health section’s members are a broad range of international health professionals from students to professors, interns to program directors, and authorities on many aspects of international health.

Section Officers (elected to two-year terms)

  • Chair: Omar Khan (2016), ih.apha@gmail.com
  • Chair-Elect: Laura Altobelli (2018), laura@future.org
  • Immediate Past Chair: Paul Freeman (2014), pafmaties@yahoo.com
  • Secretary: Sarah Shannon (2015); sarahs@hesperian.org
  • Secretary-Elect: Sarah Kalloch (2017); skalloch@oxfamamerica.org

Section Councilors (elected to three-year terms)

  • Jaya Prakash (2015)
  • Jirair Ratevosian (2015)
  • Jessica Keralis (2016)
  • Michelle Odlum (2016)
  • Christopher Ibanga (2017)
  • Mark Strand (2017)

Governing Councilors (elected to two-year terms)

  • Ramin Asgary (2015)
  • Gopal Sankaran (2017)
  • Carol Dabbs (2017)
  • Malcolm Bryant (Section Governing Council Whip; 2017)
  • Oscar Cordon Cruz (2017)
  • Caroline Kingori (2017)

IH section leadership meet each year in business meetings at the APHA Annual Meeting.

Members of the IH section leadership hold conference calls every other month to discuss section business and address any pertinent issues. If you would like to raise a question, suggestion, or concern, please contact a member of leadership listed above and ask him or her to raise it during one of the calls.


  • Awards: Gopal Sankaran; gsankaran@wcupa.edu
  • Communications: Jessica Keralis; jmkeralis@gmail.com
  • Membership: Rose Schneider; rschneider@jhu.edu
  • Nominations: Amy Hagopian; hagopian.amy@gmail.com
  • Organization and Management: Carol Dabbs; carol_dabbs@yahoo.com
  • Policy and Advocacy: Peter Freeman; pffreeman@gmail.com
  • Program: Pamini Murthy, Chair; minimurthy@aol.com / Malcolm Bryan, Co-Chair; bryantm@bu.edu
  • Students: Margaret Pichardo, Chair; margaret.pichardo@gmail.com / Hannah Elsevier, Co-chair; hkelsevier@gmail.com

Working Groups

  • Border Initiative/PAHO: Josefa Ippolito-Shepherd; ippolitoshepherdj@yahoo.com
  • Climate Change: Rose Schneider, Chair; rschneider@jhu.edu / Hala Azzam, Co-Chair; hala_azzam@yahoo.com / Christine Benner, Co-Chair; christine-benner@ouhsc.edu
  • Community-Based Primary Health Care: Elvira Beracochea, Chair; elvira@midego.com / Laura Parajon, Co-Chair
  • Global Health Connections Committee: Jaya Prakash, Chair; jayadoc21@gmail.com / Theresa Majeski, Co-chair; theresa.majeski@gmail.com
  • Maternal and Child Health: Laura Altobelli, Chair; laura@future.org
  • Pharmaceuticals: Maggie Huff-Rousselle, Chair, mhuffrousselle@ssds.net
  • Systems Sciences for Health Systems Strengthening: Robert Swanson, Chair; swancitos@gmail.com / Kaja Abbas, Co-Chair; kaja.abbas@gmail.com

APHA-Wide Responsibilities

  • Action Board Representative: Len Rubenstein; lrubenst@jhsph.edu
  • Global Health Manager (APHA Staff): Vina Hulamm; vina.hulamm@apha.org
  • Historian: Ray Martin; martinrs@aol.com
  • International Human Rights Committee: Elvira Beracochea; elvira@midego.com / Len Rubenstein; lrubenst@jhsph.edu / Jessica Keralis; jmkeralis@gmail.com
  • Publications: Amy Hagopian; hagopian.amy@gmail.com
  • Science Board & Liaison to Publications Board: Omar Khan; okhan@jhsph.edu
  • Student Liaison: Christine Tronson Benner; christine.benner@ouhsc.edu
  • Trade and Health Liaison: Mary Anne Mercer; mamercer@u.washington.edu

Last updated: 18 February 2015.

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