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Department of Economics at FAS, AUB
  • ​​​Melanie Bertram, WHO

Melanie Bertram is a health economist working for the Department of Health Systems Governance and Financing at the World Health Organization where she leads a work stream on Value for Money and Efficiency. Her work focusses on economics to support both short and long term health sector planning, priority setting and projections of future health needs.  She supports the Non Communicable Disease and Mental Health Cluster at WHO on NCD economic analysis.  In addition she contributes to work on Health Technology Assessment, working with countries to develop evidence informed decision making processes which are bolstered by economic considerations.

Monique Chaaya is a Professor of Epidemiology at the Faculty of Health Sciences, and coordinator of the MS in Epidemiology Program. She served for 6 years (from 2009 to 2015) as the chair of the Epidemiology and Population Health Department.

She graduated with a Doctorate of Public Health from the Department of Mental Health at Johns Hopkins School of Public Heath in 1999.  Her main research interests focus on two priorities in public health, namely mental health and tobacco control. She conducted cross-sectional and longitudinal studies on mental health of vulnerable populations, specifically pregnant women (postpartum depression, stress), prisoners of war (psychiatric distress and PTSD), displaced and older adults in underprivileged communities. She validated five mental health scales such as the Arabic Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), the Arabic Perceived Stress Scale and A-RUDAS (Rowland Universal Dementia Assessment Scale). Her interest in mental health of older adults began in the year 2000 when she joined a multidisciplinary Urban Health Research Group at FHS and co-lead a comprehensive survey of disadvantaged older persons' health including mental health. In 2011, she received an R21 NIH grant to study prevalence of dementia in Lebanon. This study was done in collaboration with international researchers from Denmark and UK an local researchers from AUBMC and Saint George Hospital.  Several papers were published from the dementia study and many in preparation. Building on the NIH grant, she developed a cohort study on dementia (COLDS) funded by the Lebanese National Council for Scientific Research, which aimed to determine the incidence of dementia and other health outcome measures including mortality, hospitalization and institutionalization. 

Dr. Jad Chaaban is an Associate Professor of Economics at the American University of Beirut (AUB). His primary research interests are in development economics and industrial organization, and his extended interests include public economics of health, education and labor policies, in addition to agricultural and environmental economics. His work focuses mostly on using tools in micro and applied economics to tackle public policy issues that affect the lives of the most vulnerable groups in society. His interdisciplinary work has been published in several academic journals in disciplines including Economics, Area Studies, Demography, Agricultural Policy and Public Health. Dr. Chaaban has served as an economic policy advisor to various Lebanese ministries and public agencies. Prior to joining AUB in September 2006 he was an economist in the World Bank’s Middle East regional office, where he undertook research related to poverty reduction and economic management in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. He was also the president and one of the founding members of the Lebanese Economic Association (LEA) 2007-2014. Dr. Chaaban regularly contributes to economic policy analysis on Middle Eastern and global development issues to various international institutions and UN agencies, and his research and advocacy work has often been featured in local and international media. In 2014-2015 he served as the Lead Author of UNDP’s Arab Human Development Report 2016, a flagship publication authored by leading scholars and policymakers working on the Arab countries. Dr. Chaaban holds a BA in Economics from AUB, an MBA from the European School of Management (2000), a master’s in Agricultural, Environmental and Natural Resources Economics (2001) and a PhD in Economics (2004) from the Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) in France.

  • Rabih El Chammay, USJ

Dr. Rabih El Chammay is a psychiatrist and currently the head of the National Mental Health Programme at the Ministry of Public Health in Lebanon. After founding​ the programme, he led the development of the first National Mental Health and Substance Use Strategy 2015-2020 aiming at reforming the Mental Health System in Lebanon towards community-based mental health services inline with Human rights and latest evidence that is currently under implementation.

He is a member of the Department of Psychiatry at the faculty of Medicine at Saint Joseph University in Beirut.

He has   special interest in Public mental health and more specifically in Refugee mental health and health system strengthening. He has been working on these topics in the MENA region as well as on the international level with various agencies such as WHO, UNHCR, UNICEF, IMC and many other NGOs for the last 10 years.

  • Hellen Gellband, Centre for Global Health Research, University of Toronto​

Hellen Gelband is an independent global health policy consultant, working currently with the Universities of Oxford and Toronto. Gelband spent seven years, ending in 2017, as Associate Director of the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy, during which she served as an editor of Disease Control Priorities, 3rd edition, including lead editor of the volume devoted to cancer. She also led the Global Antibiotic Resistance Partnership during that time. Earlier, at the Institute of Medicine of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Gelband led, among other influential projects, a study on Cancer Control Opportunities in Low- and Middle-Income Countries, which was published in 2007. For 15 years, Gelband advised the U.S. Congress on health matters at the former Congressional Office of Technology Assessment. She has been an editor with the Cochrane Collaboration Infectious Diseases Group at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, since 1996, with expertise in lymphatic filariasis and malaria, in particular. Gelband was educated at Pomona College, California and the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health. She was profiled in The Lancet in January 2017 (Lane, 2017).​

  • Stephen Jan, The George Institute for Global Health, University of New South Whales

Stephen Jan is Head of the Health Economics and Process Evaluation program at the George Institute for Global Health, Professor of Health Economics at the University of NSW. He is an Honorary Professor at the University of Sydney, and Associate at both the Menzies Centre for Health Policy and the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health, University of Sydney. He is also member of the Board of Directors of the Sax Institute – a not for profit research brokering institute based in Sydney with over 60 staff. He has previously held appointments at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of Sydney and the Centre for Health Economics Research and Evaluation. He has been involved in numerous studies in Australia, Asia and many low and middle income countries and has interests in health financing, the household economic burden of chronic disease, the economics of prevention, Indigenous health and Institutionalist economics.

Dr. Jahangir A. M. Khan is a Senior Lecturer in Health Economics at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. His research interests comprise a wide range of topics within health economics including healthcare financing; health insurance; equity in health, healthcare and healthcare financing; health econometric analysis and modelling; cost analysis and economic evaluation of health interventions (infectious, NCDs, NTDs). He teaches health economics and financing for undergraduate and post-graduate students. He has research experience in both low- and middle-income as well as in high-income countries. Dr. Khan is an adjunct Researcher at Karolinska Institutet, Sweden and Adjunct Professor of James P Grant School of Public Health at BRAC University, Bangladesh.    

  • Awad Mataria, WHO-EMRO

Dr Awad Mataria is the Regional Adviser for Health Economics and Financing at the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean. Dr Mataria has more than ten years of experience in health system strengthening and health financing. For the last six years, he has been supporting the countries of the Eastern Mediterranean Region to reform their health financing systems to move towards Universal Health Coverage. Dr Mataria has a Ph.D. in Health Economics and a Masters in Health System Analysis, following his undergraduate degree in Pharmacy. His areas of expertise are: Universal Health Coverage; health systems' financing and organization; Social Health Insurance; using economics in health care priority setting; measuring the benefits of health care mainly using stated preferences techniques; economic evaluation of health care interventions (cost-effectiveness analysis, cost-utility analysis and cost-benefit analyses); and National Health Accounts. Dr Mataria has several publications in high impact journal, including, Journal of Health Economics, Health Economics, The Lancet, Health Policy, European Journal of Health Economics, Social Science & Medicine, Applied Health Economics and Health Policy, Expert Review of Pharmacoeconomics & Outcomes Research, and Pharmacoepidemiology & Drug Safety. He has also presented in several international and regional conferences.​

  • Andrew Mirelman,The University of York
Andrew Mirelman is a Research Fellow in the Global Health Economics group at the University of York's Centre for Health Economics (CHE). His research deals with economic issues of policy evaluation and decision-making in low and middle-income countries. He has several years of experience conducting cost-effectiveness analyses in many different settings. He also currently works on developing methods for including equity into economic evaluation and in estimating opportunity cost thresholds in Indonesia. He is a Visiting Fellow at the Center for Global Development and is part of the International Decision Support Initiative (iDSI). He obtained his PhD and MPH from the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2014 where his dissertation looked at the economics of chronic disease in rural Bangladesh. 

Ali Mokdad, PhD, is the Director of Middle Eastern Initiatives and a Professor of Global Health at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. In this role, he is building IHME's presence in the Middle East through new research projects, dissemination and uptake of IHME's methods and results, and consultation with regional leaders in population health. IHME was founded in 2007 at the University of Washington to provide better evidence to improve health globally by guiding health policy and funding.

Professor Mokdad is the principal investigator for the monitoring and evaluation of the Salud Mesoamerica Initiative where he provides independent evaluation for the public-private partnership between the Mesoamerican countries, private foundations, and bilateral donors. This partnership seeks to reduce inequities in the coverage of basic health services among the poorest populations in Mesoamerica. He is also the principal investigator of “Visualizing the impact and cost of interventions on future projections of diarrhea burden" whose goal is to provide 25-years of forecasting for diarrheal disease burden and a simulation for the cost effectiveness of known and developing interventions.

Prior to joining IHME, Prof. Mokdad worked at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), starting his career there in 1990. He served in numerous positions with the International Health Program; the Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity; the National Immunization Program; and the National Center for Chronic Diseases Prevention and Health Promotion, where he was Chief of the Behavioral Surveillance Branch.

Prof. Mokdad also managed and directed the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), the world's largest standardized telephone survey, which enables the CDC, state health departments, and other health and education agencies to monitor risk behaviors related to the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the United States.

Prof. Mokdad has published more than 450 articles and numerous reports. He has received several awards, including the Global Health Achievement Award for his work in Banda Aceh after the tsunami, the Department of Health and Human Services Honor Award for his work on flu monitoring, and the Shepard Award for outstanding scientific contribution to public health for his work on BRFSS.

He received his BS in Biostatistics from the American University of Beirut and his PhD in Quantitative Epidemiology from Emory University.

Dr. Rachel Nugent, Vice President of Global Noncommunicable Diseases at RTI International, is a globally recognized expert in global noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) with more than 30 years of experience as a health economics researcher and policy advisor.  In addition to her experience as a grant-maker and director of global health research programs, she has advised the World Health Organization, the U.S. government, corporations, foundations, and nonprofit organizations on the economics and policy environment of NCDs. Dr. Nugent has specialized in assessing the economic benefits and costs of NCDs, and using evidence to prioritize policies and interventions to reduce disease burden. She is a member of WHO’s Expert Advisory Panel on NCD Management, the Lancet Commission on Noncommunicable Diseases and Injuries of the Poorest Billion, and she works with the World Health Organization and the NCD Alliance on NCD financing. She was a member of the Institute of Medicine Committee on the Cardiovascular Disease Epidemic in Developing Countries, the National Academy of Medicine Committee on Economic Evaluation, and the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Chronic Diseases and Well-Being. From 2011-2016, she was Series Editor and Principal Investigator for Disease Control Priorities, 3rd Edition.

Franco Sassi is Professor of International Health Policy and Economics and Director of the Centre for Health Economics and Policy Innovation at Imperial College London, and the former Head of the OECD's Public Health Programme. His work has been aimed at assessing the impacts of public policies to tackle major chronic diseases and their predisposing risk factors, including poor nutrition, physical inactivity, alcohol and tobacco use, environmental and social risks. He is the author of a large number of publications on economic aspects of public health, including the books “Obesity and the economics of prevention: Fit not fat", in 2010.​​

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