Past SVRI Leadership Council

James L Lang

James L. Lang is an independent consultant working on the prevention of violence against women. He has over twenty years of professional experience working with not-for-profit and international organizations on the issues of gender equality and social justice. James is an active researcher, writer and trainer and has published numerous papers and studies on violence against women and engaging boys and men in gender justice. James is a Leadership Council member of the Sexual Violence Research Initiative, a founding member of the Prevention Collaborative and serves on the Asia Development Bank’s External Forum on Gender.  Previously, James created and led Partners for Prevention, an innovative UN joint programme focused on gender-based violence prevention in Asia-Pacific. Over the years, James has also worked for organizations including Futures without Violence and Oxfam GB.  

Dr Ruchira Tabassum Naved

Dr Naved is a Gender and Reproductive Health Specialist in the Public Health Sciences Division at icddr,b. She researches issues of violence against women in Bangladesh, focusing on determinants, coping strategies, consequences, and planning interventions. Dr Naved also works on other gender issues such as adolescent nutrition, and in particular the relationship between early marriage, first conception and nutrition. Gaining her PhD in Economics from the People’s Friendship University (Moscow) she began her career at the International Food Policy & Research Institute, followed by positions as Research Director at Save the Children (USA), and Project Director at Population Council before joining ICDDR,B in 1999.

Kathryn Falb

Kathryn Falb, ScD is a Senior Researcher with the International Rescue Committee. She currently leads the IRC’s research portfolio on what works to prevent and respond to violence against women, adolescent girls, and children in humanitarian settings. Dr. Falb has over fifteen years of experience working in the GBV field. She has led research efforts in a diverse range of humanitarian settings, including Raqqa Governorate, Syria, conflict-affected communities in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, and refugee camps in Ethiopia and has published over sixty peer-reviewed articles. Dr. Falb is trained as a social epidemiologist and holds a ScD from the Harvard School of Public Health and MHS from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Prior to joining IRC, she completed post-doctoral training at the Yale School of Public Health.

Dr Jeannie Annan

Dr Annan is the Director of Research, Evaluation, and Learning at the International Rescue Committee, a global leader in emergency relief and post-conflict development. In this position, she spearheads the agency’s efforts to be evidence-based and to build evidence to answer critical questions for humanitarian aid and development. Dr. Annan is also a Visiting Scientist at the Harvard School of Public Health in the Department of Global Health and Population. Her research examines the impact of programs that prevent and respond to violence against children and women in Uganda, Liberia, Cote D’Ivoire, DRC, and on the Thai-Burmese border. She has led education and psychosocial programming in Kosovo, northern Uganda and South Sudan. Dr. Annan has her Ph.D. in psychology with a minor in African Studies from Indiana University-Bloomington. Prior to coming to the IRC, she was a Research Fellow at the Yale University School of Public Health. She also serves on the Board of Commissioners of the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie).

Dr Amal Abd El-Hadi

Dr. Amal Abd El-Hadi is a physician by training and is a human rights and feminist activist. She has worked on issues related to sexual violence - particularly Female Genital Mutilation in Egypt. She has also published several books in Egypt and contributed chapters to other publications. Her most recent research was on the response of the medico-legal system in Egypt to sexual violence. She is a board member of the New Woman Foundation, which is one of the few NGOs in Egypt to break the silence around issues of violence against women including Female Genital Cutting which are otherwise considered taboo.

Prof Jill Astbury

Jill Astbury is Adjunct Principal Research Fellow in the School of Psychology and Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, Australia. Her research has focused on identifying the determinants of women's mental health using a gender and human rights perspective. In particular, she is concerned with exploring the relationship between gender based violence including sexual violence and gender disparities in mental health including increased rates of depression, anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder. Her publications include ‘Crazy for You: The making of women's madness' (Oxford University Press, 1996), ‘Women's mental health: an evidence based review' (WHO, 2000) and ‘Gender disparities in Mental Health (WHO, 2001). 

Dr Gary T. Barker

Gary Barker, PhD, is the International Director of Promundo-DC, the US office of Instituto Promundo, a Brazilian NGO, based in Rio de Janeiro, that works locally, nationally and internationally to promote gender equity and to reduce violence against children, women and youth. He has more than twenty years of program and research experience in the areas of violence prevention, adolescent and youth health, HIV/AIDS prevention, and sexual and reproductive health.  He is also a leading researcher, advocate, and program development expert in engaging boys and men in gender equality and preventing gender-based violence.  He has held consultancies with the World Bank, UNAIDS, UNICEF, UNFPA, ICRW, numerous international foundations and the World Health Organization on engaging men and boys in violence prevention. Gary is currently an “Innovator for the Public” fellow with Ashoka and on the board of Instituto PAPAI in Brazil, Advocates for Youth in the US and Sonke Gender Justice in South Africa.   He holds a PhD in child and adolescent development from Loyola University – Chicago and an MA in public policy from Duke University.   He is also co-coordinator of the MenEngage Alliance, an international network of NGOs and UN partners working to engage men and boys in gender equality and ending violence against women.

Deborah L Billings

Deborah Billings, PhD, is a Senior Associate in Research and Evaluation, Ipas/Ipas Mexico, where she has worked since 1995 in Mexico, Bolivia, Kenya, Ghana, and South Africa.  Over the years she has coordinated research and training workshops on abortion, post-abortion care, gender-based violence, sexual violence, and sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people.  Since 2000 she has collaborated with a group of Mexican NGOs to form the Alliance for the Right to Decide or andar (, dedicated to improving women’s access to safe abortion services, including in the case of rape.  Dr. Billings has served as a consultant to Mexican state-and federal-level ministries of health working to initiate comprehensive care programs for survivors of gender-based violence as well as to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to develop a community-based lay health advisor program aimed at newly established Latino communities.  She is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the University of North Carolina School of Public Health, Maternal and Child Health and provides technical guidance to Masters and PhD students at the National Institute of Public Health (INSP) in Cuernavaca, Mexico.  Dr. Billings is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a Ph.D. in Sociology.  Her research examined the process of Guatemalan women’s political organizing while in exile in southern Mexico, including their creation of a movement to respect women’s rights as human rights and to eradicate gender-based violence. IPAS Mexico

Prof Mary Anne Burke

Mary Anne Burke, Health Analyst/Statistician, Global Forum for Health Research, Geneva, with responsibility for Resource Flows for Research for Health and Equity portfolios, and Assistant Professor Department of Sociology & Equity Studies in Education, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto (OISE/UT). Career positions include: Director of Research, The Roeher Institute, York University, Toronto; Coordinator of the Gender-based Analysis (GBA) Initiative and Senior Policy Analyst, Health Canada;  Senior Analyst, Statistics Canada; Founding team member and editor of Canadian Social Trends, Statistics Canada; Policy Analyst, Status of Women Canada; Social Statistician, UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, Florence, Italy.
Published widely in the areas of public policy, social conditions and human rights. Developed Gender-based Analysis (GBA) tools and processes for the Government of Canada, and tools for studying the inclusiveness of public policies programmes and services. Recently developed the "BIAS FREE Framework", an analytical tool for examining and eliminating biases in health research that derive from social hierarchies based on gender, ability, race, age, class, caste, etc., with Margrit Eichler, Sociology & Equity Studies in Education OISE/UT. Current work in this area, with the support of the Global Forum for Health Research, includes the development of publications and training curricula to encourage applications of the BIAS FREE Framework to enhance equity in health research. Also undertaking work focused on the tracking of global expenditures on research for health, aimed at promoting a more adequate allocation of resources to research for the health needs of low- and middle- income countries and to neglected populations and areas of research on health and how it is created and sustained. Global Forum for Health Research

Dr Nata Duvvury

Dr Duvvury is Director, Gender Violence and Rights at the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) based in Washington, DC. She works extensively on domestic violence, HIV /AIDS and violence, women's property and inheritance rights and issues of gender equity and peacebuilding. Her current work also includes developing a framework for estimation of costs of violence. She led a multi-site research on links between women's property and inheritance rights and domestic violence including physical and sexual violence within the marital relationship. She has also developed a methodological framework for estimating cost of intimate partner violence and is currently implementing a multi-country study estimating costs of intimate partner violence at household and community levels. International Center for Research on Women (ICRW)

Mary C Ellsberg

Mary Ellsberg is a Senior Advisor on Gender, Violence, and Human Rights at PATH, based in Washington, D.C. as well as Director of PATH’s Nicaragua office.  She coordinates the Inter-American Alliance for Gender Violence Prevention and Health, InterCambios, housed at PATH ( Dr. Ellsberg is a member of the Core Research Team of the WHO Multi-Country Study on Women’s Health and Domestic Violence, and has co-authored numerous articles on the prevalence and impact of domestic violence on the health of women and children in Nicaragua, Ethiopia, and Indonesia, as well as ethical and methodological aspects of violence research. Together with Lori Heise, she authored the recent publication by PATH and WHO entitled Researching Violence Against Women: A Practical Guide for Researchers and Advocates. (

Dr M E Khan

[Population Council] Dr. Khan is the Regional Associate Director & Senior Program Associate, Asia and Near East Region, FRONTIERS Program, for the Population Council and a Visiting Professor, Department of Economics, Jamia Milia University, Delhi. He is widely published and has many years experience working in operations research in reproductive health, family planning, STD and HIV/ AIDS, gender based violence, adolescent sexuality and male involvement, population and health policy research and Capacity Building.Population Council

Dr Nduku Kilonzo

[Liverpool VCT] Dr. Nduku Kilonzo is the Director of Liverpool VCT, Care & Treatment, a Kenyan NGO that provides HIV counselling to about 200,000 per annum, care & ART treatment to over 16,000 Kenyans, responds to targeted vulnerabilities in HIV – MSM/Prisons, Youth, People with Disabilities and Survivors of Sexual Violence and undertakes operational research to inform HIV service delivery practice and policy formulation in Kenya.  Nduku has experience, knowledge and practical skills in policy, planning and delivery HIV prevention and treatment services with a focus on sexual violence services.  Her areas of research interest include quality assurance in HIV services delivery and HIV vulnerabilities and gender issues.  Her primary research work has been in the area of Sexual Violence and HIV.  Her work has provided evidence for the development of integrated public health facility Post Rape Care services that are currently offered in 16 public health facilities in Kenya, having provided care to 3,000 survivors in the last 4 years.  Nduku has acted in the capacity of Technical Advisor to two WHO Committees; 1) the Development of International Policy & Guidelines on occupational & non-occupational PEP and; 2) on HIV Counselling and Testing and Violence Against Women. She has published on sexual violence and gender issues. LVCT

Prof June Lopez

June Pagaduan-Lopez MD is a Professor of Psychiatry, at the University of the Philippines, Manila,  focusing on stress and trauma psychology.  She is presently the Department of Psychiatry's Training Officer, and works as a consultant for a WHO project to field test the WHO clinical guidelines on sexual assault. Her research work in the last 20 years has been in the areas of health and human rights, torture, sexual violence and the psychological consequences and rehabilitation in armed conflict and post-conflict areas. She has been a founder of several networks locally and internationally providing services for survivors of political and sexual violence. University of the Philippines

Prof Mary Koss

[Univ of Arizona] Mary P. Koss is a Regents' Professor of Public Health at the University of Arizona. She is Principal Investigator of the RESTORE Program, a victim-driven, community collaboration that offers an alternative justice intervention for selected sex crimes. She has worked in the field of sexual assault for more than 25 years, serving on the National Academy of Sciences Panel on Violence Against Women and co-chairing the American Psychological Association Taskforce on Male Violence Against Women. She has testified before the U.S. Senate twice on matters relating to sexual violence. In recognition of her contributions the American Psychological Association honored her with its Award for Distinguished Contributions to Research in Public Policy; and its Committee on Women in Psychology Leadership Award. University of Arizona

Dr Tandiar Samir Mossaad

[NEF] Dr Samir is a physician and public health professional with nearly two decades of experience in addressing public health issues that affect women, including ending female genital mutilation and improving the quality and availability of medical care. She has lead several projects to educate Cairo’s youth about reproductive health and reduce the incidence of dangerous practices such as unsafe sex and self-induced abortions. An Ashoka fellow, Samir started both Tadros El Meshreky Association and Al-Anba Mossa Al-Aswad Association and also served for a number of years on the board of the Near East Foundation, a ProLiteracy partner in Morocco. Dr Samir was awarded the prestigious Ann C. Michel Women in Literacy Award 2011 for her literacy and sexuality education projects with vulnerable youth and parents in Cairo. Centre for Development Services, Near East Foundation:

Sylvie Olifson-Houriet

[Global Forum for Health Research] Sylvie Olifson-Houriet is a Health Economist at the Global Forum for Health Research, an independent international organisation committed to demonstrating the essential role of research and innovation for health and health equity, benefiting poor and marginalized populations ( ). Her work focuses on poverty and health, health care financing, equity analysis, occupational safety and health, and research on mental health in low- and middle-income countries. She holds a BA in Business Administration (1990) and three MSc: Development Studies (1996; emphasis on macroeconomics and health), International Project Management (2001; psychosocial projects) and Health Economics (2005; equity-efficiency trade-off). She worked as a Consultant for the Task Force on Health Economics at the World Health Organization; as a Street Children Project Coordinator for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Manila, Philippines; as a Desk Officer for Asia at Terre des Hommes Foundation, Lausanne, Switzerland; and as a Research Officer at the Department of Public Health of Geneva.

Prof Iatamze Verulashvili

MD, Professor Iatamze Verulashvili  is director of the Women's Center, Georgia. She works to advance and promote sexual and reproductive health and rights  by bridging the gaps between women's issues, health  and human rights issues. She is the founding member of the Federation of European Menopause Society (FEMS), European Cervical Cancer Association (ECCA), and Central and Eastern European Women's Network for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (ASTRA). She was the first person in Georgia to highlight the problem of trafficking and to establish a network of women's rights groups in the region for prevention of trafficking.  She was also instrumental in the creation of HIV/AIDS prevention programmes among youth and the development of youth friendly services in Georgia.  Prof Verulashvili  also works in the area of the prevention of trafficking and domestic violence and the protection of, and assistance to victims of trafficking and domestic violence.  She also developed and implemented a new curriculum in Post-Graduate Medicine, for programs for licensing and re-certification for health care providers. In 2006 she established the Euromedcenter ( which provides health services for sexual assault and trafficking victims.  Services provided include counseling, education, routine HIV testing, hot-line, face to face consultation, and gynecological examination. In addition, Prof. Verulashvili works on Human Trafficking legislation and Domestic Violence Legislation. Recent publications include the following  books, entitled, "Domestic Violence: The Health Sector Response", "Medical Aspects of Domestic Violence", "Reproductive  Rights and Health", "Impact of Trafficking on Reproductive Health”.  (

Prof Linda Williams

Linda M. Williams, Ph.D., Professor of Criminal Justice and Criminology, at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, received a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania, Center for Research in Criminology and Criminal Law. She served on the National Research Councils’ Panel on Violence Against Women and was Director of Research at the Stone Center, Wellesley Centers for Women. For the past 38 years she has directed research on victim issues including rape and sexual exploitation of women and children, fatal child abuse, trauma and memory, and human trafficking. She has conducted research on prevention and response to victimization in military families, among homeless youth and in institutional settings. Author of several books and numerous scholarly publications, she has lectured in the US and internationally. Her work is interdisciplinary, highly collaborative and takes a global perspective. As 2011 Visiting International Fellow, Sociology Department, University of Surrey (UK) and as a member of the Harvard Kennedy School, Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, Working Group on Modern-Day Slavery and Human Trafficking, she continues her qualitative research and writing on commercial sexual exploitation of girls and young women. She recently interviewed homeless, runaway and domestically trafficked teens with funding from a U.S. Department of Justice grant. Professor Williams teaches courses on crime victim issues, research methods, and gender, race and crime.  She has been principal investigator on 15 U.S. federally funded research projects and, as part of a multi-campus CDC-funded grant, is studying the use of social marketing and in-person training programs to enhance bystander behaviors to prevent sexual violence on college campuses.