Team

Our intergenerational, transdisciplinary team works across geographies and focus areas (research, innovation, and movement building) to transform mental health. citiesRISE is led by Moitreyee Sinha together with a global group of emerging and seasoned leaders with significant experience and a shared commitment to cross-boundary collaboration and scaling impact.


Global
Cities
Expert Collaborators

Moitreyee Sinha

Chief Executive Officer
and Co-Founder

Moitreyee Sinha

Originally from India, Moitreyee has been guided by the core belief that everything is connected, and that large-scale social transformation happens when people, communities, and institutions work together. Moitreyee spent 10 years in research and development at General Electric (GE) where she successfully led multidisciplinary teams, leveraging diverse skill-sets to find ways to translate discoveries across sectors. From R&D, she moved to leading GE Foundation’s Global Health portfolio in 22 countries, forging connections across cultures and sectors to build multi-stakeholder initiatives in maternal child health and technology for health. With citiesRISE, Moitreyee brings her unique vision for collective, community-based action to the issue of mental health, breaking down barriers and unifying people, communities, and institutions in the service of helping others. She holds a Ph.D. in Physics and has received Cambodia’s highest Medal of Honor for Philanthropy, the Global Business Coalition’s Award for Disease Prevention & Beyond, and GE’s Highest Technical Team Award.

Moitreyee loves arts, music and nature, and enjoys painting, hiking and meeting people from different cultures.

GJ Melendez Torres

Global Research

GJ Melendez Torres

G.J. is Professor of Clinical and Social Epidemiology at the University of Exeter (UK), Extraordinary Faculty at Stellenbosch University and holds the citiesRISE Research Chair. He is a nurse and epidemiologist with a methodologically intensive and policy-facing portfolio of research that includes child and adolescent health and intimate partner violence, with a focus on evaluation and randomized trials. G.J. leads the School for Public Health Environments Research at Exeter, which is the University’s membership in the NIHR School for Public Health Research, as well as a number of major grants on health technology assessment and evidence synthesis.

G.J. is particularly passionate about food, and thinks all people everywhere should try a Philadelphia cheesesteak (vegetarian is okay) at some point in their lives.

Matt Hughsam

Strategic Initiatives

Matt Hughsam

Matt is an advocate of wellbeing and justice, committed to making a positive impact on individuals, communities, and the planet. He plays a pivotal role at citiesRISE in developing public health research, fostering innovation, and nurturing leadership initiatives. Prior to his involvement with citiesRISE, he spearheaded knowledge management and learning initiatives aimed at supporting deworming programs that reached 280 million children across six countries. Matt has played an instrumental role in promoting evidence-informed decision-making within various government bodies, including South Africa’s Presidency and Ethiopia’s Federal Ministry of Health. He has collaborated with organizations such as Grand Challenges Canada, where he modeled the impacts of global health innovations. Matt has worked with Unity Charity, evaluating the positive effects of hip-hop programs on youth mental health. Matt holds a Bachelor of Health Sciences (global health focus) from McMaster University and a Master of Public Health (leadership focus) from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He is a certified professional coach.

Matt loves reading sci-fi and outdoor adventures.

Maureen Gikonyo

Youth Mobilization

Maureen Gikonyo

Maureen is a mental health advocate from Kenya. As a co-founder of the Speak Mind Love Foundation, a youth-led organization centered on mental health advocacy and resilience-building, she has been instrumental in promoting positive change. Maureen’s passion lies in transforming and empowering communities while ensuring that individuals with lived experiences are included on the basis of equality and non-discrimination. Maureen actively contributes as a member of the Lived Experience Council within the Healthy Brain Global Initiative (HBGI). Through this role, she participates in shaping global mental health initiatives, leveraging her personal experiences and insights to drive meaningful impact. Maureen’s educational background includes a Bachelor’s degree in Special Needs Education, with a specialization in emotional and behavioral disorders. This academic foundation equips her with a deep understanding of the unique challenges individuals face and further fuels her dedication to improving mental health outcomes.

Maureen enjoys spending time with her family and friends, dancing as well as trying out new dishes.

Mark Tomlinson

Global Research

Mark Tomlinson

Mark is a clinical psychologist and currently works full-time in research – mainly in the area of child and adolescent development across the life course. He has worked at the University of Cape Town, and the Medical Research Council. Mark has done a randomized controlled trial on improving the quality of the mother-infant relationship and infant attachment in a peri-urban settlement in Cape Town. He is currently the Co-Director of the Institute for Life Course Health Research at Stellenbosch University and is also Professor of Maternal and Child Health at Queens University, Belfast. Mark completed B.A. from Rhodes College, a B.A. Honours from Wits University, a masters in Clinical Psychology from the University of Cape Town, and received doctorate from the University of Reading in the UK.

Mark loves music, gardening, and cooking and is a lifelong supporter of Liverpool.

Fredric Azariah

Research and India Program

Fredric Azariah

Fredric has an extensive background as a public health researcher. In addition to his role in leading and executing programs in Chennai, Fredric actively contributes to citiesRISE’s research and development endeavors across multiple countries. He collaborates with arts-based organizations, youth-led initiatives, established NGOs, and system leaders to design and establish evidence-based innovative approaches for youth mental health, with a focus on facilitating cross-cultural adaptation. Prior to joining citiesRISE, Fredric served as the Executive Director at Sangath in Goa, where he managed research operations across all locations, implementing effective policies and procedures. Fredric’s adeptness in liaising with external stakeholders and representing organizations enabled him to cultivate strong partnerships for collaborative growth. Fredric holds an M.S. in Public Health from Oxford Brookes University in Oxford, UK, further augmenting his expertise in the field.

Apart from his professional endeavors, Fredric indulges in his passion for football and proudly identifies as a lifelong, devoted fan of Manchester United.

YooNa Kim

Culture and Wellbeing

YooNa Kim

YooNa is an international educator and experienced mental health specialist who has dedicated over 13 years to empowering thousands of youth and fostering their capacity and resilience. She excels in bridging theory and practice by integrating academic knowledge into comprehensive school-wide well-being programs. As a founding member of Branksome Hall Asia in South Korea, YooNa played a pivotal role in establishing an educational institution committed to holistic development. Seeking further opportunities to deepen her work on inner development and psychosocial support for distressed communities, she relocated to the United States. YooNa extends her support to young people through her involvement with organizations such as Manhattan Hunter High School, the International Rescue Committee, and the Columbia University Global Mental Health Lab. She passionately creates spaces that encourage individuals to explore their inner journey and discover their innate strength. YooNa holds a Master’s degree in Global Mental Health from Columbia University.

YooNa’s passion is to create spaces where people can explore their inner journey and find their signature strengths.

Tyler Nelson

Accelerator and Learning Platform

Tyler Nelson

Tyler is an experienced executive and manager of global health programs in international settings, a strong advocate of peer learning and adoption of effective, innovative solutions in health. He provides technical assistance to health systems and other health initiatives in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors in Central and South America and East and West Africa. A Global Health Corps and Georgetown University alumnus, Tyler holds MS and BS degrees in Health Systems Administration, Public Health, and International Development. Tyler is the co-CEO of Business for Health Solutions, a non-profit organization that applies an innovative private-sector approach to increase healthcare access in Africa by building the capacity of local healthcare enterprises. At citiesRISE, he has provided technical direction for the development of Accelerator and Learning for global mental health innovators across 20+ countries. He has conducted needs assessments, facilitated coaching activities, designed and delivered offerings, grew the faculty network, and convened funders and other stakeholders for field building.

Tyler enjoys traveling, spending quality time with his three children and the family dog, hosting cocktail events at his home in Kigali and eating good food anywhere!

Jeffrey Prost-Greene

Accelerator and Learning Platform

Jeffrey Prost-Greene

Jeffrey is a social innovator and environmental leader, his focus lying at the intersection of sustainability, community development, food systems, and impact financing, in the U.S. and South Africa. He co-founded Up Top Acres, one of the largest rooftop farming networks in the U.S., spearheading the formation of coalitions with local and state governments. He played a pivotal role in securing the passage of the US’ first-ever tax credit legislation for rooftop agriculture. Jeffrey built and led the United Nations SDSN Youth Global Innovation and Impact Awards. The platform showcases, supports, and mobilizes exceptional youth-led innovations and industry pioneers aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals. He has earned recognition from leading institutions, incubators, and fellowships, including the Forbes 30 Under 30. He studied business and social entrepreneurship at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the University of Cape Town’s Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Jeffrey likes to travel, spend time with friends, hike, and engage in water activities.

Catie Schuster

Administration and
Communications

Catie Schuster

Catie, based in Portland, Oregon, brings years of operational experience and strategic thinking to support leaders and their teams to build organizational capacity. She strives to have a positive impact on the world, and over the last ten years has worked with global education thought leaders, managed international education partnerships, and implemented school-based initiatives and programs that focus on the wellbeing of young people. She believes in the power of collaborating and sharing knowledge to solve humankinds’ greatest challenges, that everyone has something they can contribute, and that all contributions, big and small, matter immensely.

Outside of work, Catie loves to cook, work in the garden, and spend time at the river with family and friends.

Mrin

Communications and Design

Mrin

Mrin is a communications, documentation, instructional design, and content development consultant with a diverse range of expertise. She has experience in public health, agriculture supply chain programs, natural resource management, and tribal education programs in India and Africa. She worked on the editorial and production teams of leading newspapers in India. This experience honed her skills in effective communication and content creation. Building on her passion for creating impactful learning materials, she transitioned to the learning and development field, working as an instructional designer. She combines her expertise in communication strategies, documentation, instructional design, and content development to deliver comprehensive and engaging solutions. Her ability to understand complex subjects and distill them into clear and concise materials is highly valued by her clients. Her experience in diverse sectors, coupled with her communication and content development skills, contribute to the success of projects and initiatives across various domains.

Mrin likes to travel.

Michelle Ndebele

Director

Michelle Ndebele

Michelle is a values-driven person on a mission to contribute her 14+ years of work experience and energy to creating a more equitable, connected, and just world. She believes that transforming our outer world starts with (re)developing and transforming our inner world.

Michelle’s extensive background spans technology/strategy consulting with Deloitte, international program development and implementation (across private and public sectors) with Clinton Health Access Initiative, and program leadership with LEGO Foundation. Michelle believes that addressing social challenges requires the collective attention of the private, public, and social sectors. Throughout her career, she has successfully developed and implemented strategies that center lived experience and unite multiple sectors, fostering innovative solutions to provide increased health and education opportunities for underrepresented populations. Michelle loves art, dancing, meditation, and breathwork, as well as reading. When she has time, Michelle makes loom-woven jewelry inspired by East and Southern African contemporary art.

M Suresh Kumar

Research and Advocacy, Chennai

M Suresh Kumar

Suresh is a clinical researcher, psychiatrist, and technical director for citiesRISE Chennai. He currently practices at his private clinic and is also associated with the Psymed Hospital (Chetput) as Director & Consultant Psychiatrist. Suresh was formerly a Consultant Psychiatrist at the Institute of Mental Health and Professor of Psychiatry at the Madras Medical College, Chennai. He brings extensive expertise in research and design, with over 35 years of involvement in the field of drug use prevention, treatment, and mental health as a service provider, professor, trainer, researcher, and international consultant. Suresh holds positions on a number of international boards, task forces, and working groups- all relating to injectable drug use, HIV/AIDS, and harm reduction. He holds an M.D. from Madras University. He is a former Hubert H Humphrey Fellow in substance use and obtained a Master’s Degree in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore, Maryland.

Happily married for 38 years to Shakuntala, a Psychiatrist, Suresh enjoys music, books, long walks and being with the children.

Kevin Hale

Community and Youth Mobilization, Seattle

Kevin Hale

Kevin brings over 15 years of professional experience working to advance youth and community wellbeing. Prior to joining citiesRISE, Kevin worked within a range of youth serving fields in the US, including the foster care, education, and community mental health systems. With experience as both a direct service provider and system level advocate, Kevin always seeks to center the leadership, knowledge, and perspectives of communities with lived experience in co-designing how approaches to support wellbeing are developed and delivered. In his current role with citiesRISE, Kevin supports innovative research, implementation, and advocacy initiatives that are driven by teams of diverse stakeholders, and anchored in partnership with youth and community. Kevin is based in Seattle and holds a BA in Political Economy from UC Berkeley and an MSW with an emphasis in clinical practice from the Silberman School of Social Work.

Joyce Arita

Community Mobilization and Advocacy, Nairobi

Joyce Arita

Joyce brings over a decade of expertise in project and program management to her role. She was part of the team that worked on citiesRISE Nairobi landscape mapping. Prior to joining citiesRISE, Nairobi, Joyce’s commitment to youth mental health and development is exemplified through her participation in the Alliance for the Protection of Children. She played a crucial role in launching the youth mental health program in Kenya while working with BasicNeeds BasicRights Kenya. Joyce holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Business Management from Africa Nazarene University, providing her with a strong foundation in business and management principles. Additionally, she holds a Diploma in Library and Information Science from the University of Nairobi, further complementing her skill set.  Currently serving as the Programs Manager at citiesRISE Nairobi, Joyce oversees a range of projects and initiatives, fostering collaboration among communities and stakeholders in health, education, social services, and other developmental sectors.

Beyond her professional commitments, Joyce finds solace in long drives and cherishes precious moments with her family.

Ramon Castano

Partnerships, Bogota

Ramon Castano

Ramon Castaño brings a wealth of experience in public health in Latin America. He has developed research on the issue of equity in health financing, financial sustainability of the health system, autonomy of public hospitals and Centers of Excellence in health. Ramon is currently dedicated to promoting innovations in business models in the provision of health services which is vital to informing his role at citiesRISE. He is a corresponding member of the National Academy of Medicine of Colombia and holds a doctor of the Institute of Health Sciences, CES, a Master’s in Management and Health Policy of the Harvard School of Public Health and a PhD in politics and public health from the School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in London.

Jaya Srinivasan

Partnerships, Chennai

Jaya Srinivasan

Jaya brings over 13 years of expertise in program design and management, business development, and communications to her role. Currently serving as a Senior Manager at Ennovent, the India anchor partner for citiesRISE, Jaya is dedicated to catalyzing business ventures in low-income markets within developing countries.
Within citiesRISE, Jaya plays a vital role in various programs focused on cities and youth well-being, partnerships, learning, and communications. Prior to her work with citiesRISE, she gained valuable experience at Driptech, a drip irrigation startup, and at Infosys, an esteemed information technology company. Jaya holds an engineering degree in Computer Science from ANITS, Andhra University, as well as an MA in International Relations from the University of Sussex in Brighton, UK. This diverse educational background equips her with a multidimensional perspective and a strong foundation for her work. With her extensive experience and unwavering commitment, Jaya is dedicated to driving positive change and making a lasting impact in the fields of program management, business development, and communications. Her expertise and passion contribute to the success of citiesRISE and its mission to create healthier and more inclusive communities.

Jaya enjoys reading (particularly fiction), music, and writing.

John Pradeep

Youth Mobilization, Chennai

John Pradeep

John Pradeep JL is India’s first theater-based life coach for parents and children, and a keynote speaker at schools. Author of 5 books, holder of 2 world records, and 2-time Josh Talks speaker and TedEd host, John brings over a decade of experience working with children and parents. His passion lies in storytelling through theater-based methodologies, making coaching fun and energetic for children. Having trained over 10,000 children and adults on leadership and socio-emotional skills, John’s engaging curriculum includes puppetry, shadow theater, clowning, mime, and plays. He actively contributes to organizations like Passion Play International-USA, World Clown Association-USA, and Schoolopreneur India. John’s core strength lies in coaching, and he is the Founder of Growth School For Kids, a comprehensive after-school solution for schools, and the Senior Trainer at Training Sideways, India’s No.1 Art-Based Behavioural Training Company.

John enjoys long, solo bike rides, and that is how he usually travels when he has workshops in other cities.

Lidiya Gebre

Youth Mobilization, Seattle

Lidiya Gebre

Born and raised in Ethiopia, Lidiya embarked on a new journey by immigrating to the United States in 2011. She is a dedicated and enthusiastic learner with a passion for global health, youth development, social justice, and humanitarian work. As the oldest of six siblings and the first in her family to graduate from college, Lidiya is a trailblazer who continually strives for personal and academic growth. Currently, Lidiya is pursuing a Master’s degree in Social Work and a certificate in Global Health and International Development at the University of Washington. Through her studies, she is dedicated to expanding her knowledge and skills to make a positive impact in the fields she is passionate about. With her unwavering determination and commitment to creating a better world, Lidiya is poised to contribute significantly to global health, youth development, and social justice initiatives.

In her free time, Lidiya indulges in her love for traveling, staying active through workouts, and cherishing the beauty of sunsets, especially when they grace the city of Seattle.

Aishwarya Sai Lakshmi

Youth Mobilization, Chennai

Aishwarya Sai Lakshmi

Aishwarya is a dedicated youth coordinator based in Chennai, India. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychiatric Social Work and a Master’s degree in Social Work, and is currently pursuing a second Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology at the University of Madras. She is passionate about empowering young people to create positive change in their communities. Aishwarya firmly believes that young individuals have the power to transform the world and drive systemic change. She is particularly focused on turning Chennai, her hometown, into a mental health-friendly city. Through her work as a youth coordinator, Aishwarya actively engages with young people to raise awareness, provide support, and foster a culture of mental well-being. With her educational background in psychiatric social work and counseling psychology, Aishwarya brings a unique perspective and a deep understanding of the challenges faced by individuals in need of mental health support. She is dedicated to advocating for the mental health needs of young people and creating a supportive environment where they can thrive.

Aishwarya was a star hockey player in school, and now likes to pursue several forms of art — music, dance, street play, puppetry, mime, sketching and painting.

Upasana Sharma

Research, Chennai

Upasana Sharma

Upasana is a public health researcher with experience in various areas, including mass gathering health research, caregiver burden, health promotion, mental health, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) development. Upasana holds a Ph.D. from AMCHSS, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST) in India, supported by a fellowship from the Indian Council of Medical Research. She has also received the Junior Research Fellowship from the University Grants Commission of India. She has worked as a research fellow at institutions such as PGIMER in Chandigarh, NIMHANS in Bangalore, and as a consultant at the ICMR-National Institute of Epidemiology. At citiesRISE, she is responsible for designing and implementing research programs and strategic initiatives in India and globally. Passionate about health promotion and writing, Upasana shares her expertise as a health and wellness contributor to SHE-India, a leading monthly women’s magazine in south India. She believes in harnessing new-age technologies to enhance public health education and research.

Upasana is an avid dog lover and an enthusiastic traveler.

Milka Waruguru

Programs, Nairobi

Milka Waruguru

Milka is a public health professional who is passionate about mental health and development. She has over 10 years’ experience in mental health research, evaluations and policy, working with community based organizations in Kenya and collaborating with partners internationally. She has participated in and led several collaborative research projects in Kenya and beyond. Milka contributed to mental health evidence generation and advocacy in Kenya with her well documented work and co-authorship with other research team members in three reputable international journals. She was involved in the formative stages of citiesRISE’s work in Kenya through a partnership with BasicNeeds, and has played a key role in the early stages of the development of that platform. Milka looks forward to working with the team to enhance evidence generation and documentation to ultimately influence practice, programs, and to support policy work.

Shravan Raghav

Programs, Chennai

Shravan Raghav

Shravan is a dedicated mental health advocate with personal lived experiences. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, which has equipped him with valuable insights into the human mind and behavior. He leads a small grassroots initiative called The Safe Place, where he actively works to create mental health awareness among young individuals in Chennai. With his personal experiences and professional expertise, Shravan is committed to making a positive difference in the lives of individuals facing mental health challenges. Through his role at citiesRISE and his grassroots initiative, he is dedicated to advocating for mental health awareness, fostering resilience, and promoting well-being among youth in Chennai and beyond. Shravan thrives on engaging in meaningful conversations that promote understanding and support.

Shravan finds joy in expressing himself through writing, listening to podcasts, watching basketball, and exploring various creative endeavors.

Nyawira Gitahi

Research, Nairobi

Nyawira Gitahi

Nyawira has dedicated her career to supporting the research and implementation of health programs that focus on young people. She has more than 15 years of experience in this field within LMIC settings, including multi-country clinical trials, surveillance studies, and programs that address socio-behavioral aspects of health. Nyawira has been an NIH Fogarty fellow grantee and is currently a P.I. for a research grant that focuses on the integration of mental health screening interventions within primary care for youth living with HIV. She is currently a non-tenured scientist at the Kenya Medical Research Institute and a visiting scientist at the Kenyatta National Hospital. Previously, Nyawira was a project director at LVCT health, where she led large adolescent multi-layered socio-behavioral and biological reproductive health education and HIV prevention programs (DREAMS). She also brings skills in leadership and strategic partnerships as a director of Gold Star Kenya, a Nairobi-based NGO that focuses on health system strengthening, program implementation, and optimizing youth access to care. Nyawira holds an undergraduate degree in Medicine, a Masters in Public Health, and is currently completing a PhD in Global Health.

Jim Vollendroff

Advocacy, Seattle

Jim Vollendroff

Jim Vollendroff has been instrumental to the initiation of the work of citiesRISE in Seattle/King County and has worked in the behavioral health field for over 35 years. He spent the first half of his career as a direct service provider starting as a clinician and finally the clinical director of patient services for Providence St. Peter Hospital in Lacey, WA. Jim next worked for the King County Department of Community and Human Services for 16 years, eleven as the Deputy Director and five as the Director of the King County Behavioral Health and Recovery Division. In this leadership position he was responsible for the delivery of a full continuum of mental health and substance use disorder services for the Medicaid and low income community and well as the community crisis responders. In January 2019 Jim became the founding director of the Harborview, University of Washington Behavioral Health Institute. As an individual in long term recovery Jim uses his life experience, educational background and professional experience to bring a unique perspective to the delivery of effective mental health and addiction treatment. Jim has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington.

Claudia Jasin

Advocacy, Sacramento

Claudia Jasin

Claudia brings over 25 years of experience working on youth development in California to her role at citiesRISE. Claudia managed and then led the Jamestown Community Center in San Francisco for 18 years with a mission to provide transformative youth development services rooted in cultural and artistic traditions of communities and began working in Sacramento in 2014 with Way Up Sacramento, an initiative of Council member Jay Schenirer, working to drive change at a community level in Sacramento’s Oak Park neighborhood. Claudia acted as a project specialist and consultant for Way Up Sacramento and consultant to Sacramento’s City Manager (2017-2018) where she led the development of Sacramento’s Citywide Youth Development Campaign Plan. Claudia also consults with the Sierra Health Foundation to manage the Sacramento Youth Pop Up initiative in order to stay closely connected to the youth segment of the city. She received her BA from The University of Pennsylvania and a Master in Public Policy from Harvard University Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Christina Laurenzi

Research

Christina Laurenzi

Christina is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Life Course Health Research at Stellenbosch University, where she focuses on adolescent and participatory engagement, mental health interventions, and implementation science approaches to evaluation. She is passionate about South-South collaboration and generating evidence to inform programming that can support marginalized individuals and communities. Christina has collaborated with a diverse range of partners, including the World Health Organization, UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office, Plan International, One to One Africa Children’s Fund, and citiesRISE. She received her doctorate from Stellenbosch University in 2020. Her research focused on community health worker programs, adolescent mental health interventions, maternal and child health, and implementation science methodologies.

Christina loves cooking, playing classical piano, and exploring Cape Town’s beautiful beaches and mountain paths in her free time.

Oliver Mbayi

Arts and Theater

Oliver Mbayi

Oliver is a storyteller. He has 25 years of working with individuals and communities in conflict as an artiste healer. His expertise in counseling psychology and creative healing has endeared him to communities and institutions where he facilitates the efficacy of theater in mental health, psychosocial support and social reconciliation. Oliver is presently a lecturer at Kenyatta University in the Department of Communication, Film and Theatre Studies where he teaches art of storytelling, dramatherapy, psychodrama, community theater and children’s theater. Oliver has trained and mentored members in arts approaches to peace-building and advocacy and facilitated experiential workshops for international interns with Kenya’s grassroots communities in peace, dialogue and intercultural communication. Oliver leads citiesRISE arts strategy and training on principles that inform mental health among the global youth community.

Oliver has a passion for cooking and interior decoration.

Stephen Hanmer D’Elía

Policy and Programs

Stephen Hanmer D’Elía

Stephen has dedicated 25 years to designing and implementing policies, programs, and direct clinical work aimed at improving the lives of children, youth, and families. He has worked and lived in more than 20 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and North America. His experience encompasses various roles, including leading UNICEF’s engagement with legislative branches of government and religious communities. He has also directed education, youth, and parent support programs for one of the largest child welfare agencies in the United States. Stephen has conducted individual and group therapy sessions with children, youth, and parents, making a direct impact on their wellbeing. His expertise extends to overseeing the design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of child protection and refugee programs in Africa and the Middle East. Stephen has won several awards and accolades, including an Aspen Institute Fellowship. Stephen holds a Law (J.D.) degree, a Social Work (L.M.S.W.) degree from Columbia University, and a History (B.A.) degree from Yale University.

Outside of work, I like to exercise, read, and, most importantly, spend time with family and friends.

Robert McGrath

Measurement Science

Robert McGrath

Robert, who is Professor of psychology at Fairleigh Dickinson University, is devoted to helping students learn how to help others. Also a Senior Scientist with the VIA Institute on Character in Cincinnati, Ohio, Robert has authored over 200 publications and presentations and written two textbooks, including the Quantitative Models in Psychology. His interest in research is not just about doing research. He believes people will be “better people if we learn how to be humble when data doesn’t support what we hoped to be true”. “The most objective way to uncover the truth and understand that our choices will be better is if we think in terms of probabilities (even though that’s hard for us to do).” Robert earned his B.A. in Psychology from Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York, M.A. in Psychology from Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama, and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Auburn University.

Robert lives with his wife and a cat outside New York City.

Andrea Wong

Learning and Impact

Andrea Wong

Andrea helps people make better funding, policy, and strategy decisions. A Canadian born, Andrea moved to London to join the design and research studio, Science Practice, bringing onboard her wide experience.  Her interest in complex systems, an orientation toward structure and form, and a deep personal commitment to building community brought her to Science Practice where she manages partnerships, provides strategic direction across projects, and supports the design and research team’s ongoing development. She is currently leading the team working on the research for the Egypt strand of Science Practice’s Global CoLab project, and working on redesigning the Good Problems website . In her early years at Science Practice, Andrea worked in strategy development, program design and opportunities research in science, tech, and social innovation and was associated with projects of Wellcome Trust, Nesta, Government of Canada, Innovate UK, Humanitarian Innovation Fund, Impact on Urban Health. Andrea has degrees in Information Design and English.

Richard Batty

Learning and Impact

Richard Batty

Richard leads research projects at Science Practice, which is a consultancy that works with research and innovation funders. Most of Richard’s work has been in global health, for the Wellcome Trust. He is also developing Science Practice’s specialism in mental health and wellbeing, with a particular interest in the connection between wellbeing and the more soulful areas of life, such as spirituality and community. As a student at University of Oxford, Richards took the first year of a BA in Theology before switching focus to Human Sciences, which is an interdisciplinary subject aimed at bringing together biological and social science perspectives on humanity. Richard is interested in the connected wellbeing problems people face, including mental ill health, loss of meaning, and loneliness. Prior to joining Science Practice, Richard worked as a freelance researcher with D-Prize and 80,000 Hours. At Science Practice, he helps funders answer questions such as what are the research priorities in this field; how to bring together stakeholders across disciplines; and how to design a funding program that selects the right grantees.

Dominic Regester

Mental Health Friendly Cities Movement

Dominic Regester

Dominic is Director of Education and Director of the Center for Education Transformation at Salzburg Global Seminar, where he is responsible for designing, developing and implementing programs on the futures of education, with a particular focus on education transformation. Prior to this he worked for the British Council for 14 years on global citizenship education, teacher professional development, and education collaboration. He is also a Director at the Amal Alliance, a Senior Editor for Diplomatic Courier and since 2021 the Executive Director of Karanga: the Global Alliance for Social Emotional Learning and Life Skills. He holds master’s degrees in Chinese studies from the School of Oriental and African studies in London, and in education and international development from the Institute of Education at University College London. Dominic is a founding member of the Executive Committee for Karanga – The Global Alliance for Social Emotional Learning and Life Skills. He writes and speaks regularly about education reform, with a particular focus on social and emotional learning.