Melissa received her A.B. degree in Social Studies from Harvard University and master’s degree with distinction in Development Studies from Cambridge University. Her academic work has focused on the intersection of health and politics, and she has additionally worked on access to medicines advocacy and research with the MSF Access Campaign, the Harvard School of Public Health, Universities Allied for Essential Medicines, the Health Global Access Project in Nairobi, the Student Global AIDS Campaign, and is a commissioner for the Lancet Youth Commission on Essential Medicines Policies. Prior to joining CHAI, she was a consultant at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, focusing on advocacy and support to key populations in the context of transition from funding.
Nate is currently living in New Haven, CT working for an NGO called Innovations for Poverty Action. He does data analysis for an economics professor named Dean Karlan, focusing primarily on the effectiveness of cash transfer programs. Nate spent two months in Mekelle, Ethiopia, managing a survey, and is also evaluating projects based in Uganda and Yemen.
Nate Barker is originally from Vancouver, WA, and is a graduate of Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. While at Georgetown, he majored in International Economics and received a certificate in International Development. During his time as a Hoya, he studied in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and worked in consulting in La Paz, Bolivia. In his free time, Nate enjoys reading, and playing and watching soccer and basketball. He is thrilled about the chance to be working in Kenya next year, where he hopes to pick up Swahili, climb Mount Kenya, and contribute to micro-enterprise development with The BOMA Project.
Ciarra (University of Montana ‘11) was a member of the Betterside Rugby Club, promoted diversity and understanding with UM allies, was a member of Students for Economic and Social Justice, volunteered at the Cancer Resource Center, and helped incoming students integrate into campus life as a resident assistant. In her free time she completed the pre-med curriculum, obtained a bachelors degree in Anthropology, and minored in Biology and International Development Studies. An avid outdoor enthusiast from Salmon, Idaho, Ciarra enjoys snowboarding, rock climbing, white water rafting, and has worked as a wildland firefighter and helirappeller for the past four summers. In Ethiopia next year, she looks forward to delving deep into the cuisine, exploring Lalibela and other historic sites, and learning to speak Amharic.
Elise is from Brookfield, VT and majored in International Politics with a concentration in International Security and a Certificate in African Studies while she attended Georgetown University. During her time at Georgetown, Elise had the opportunity to study abroad in Paris, France and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. She loved both experiences, especially exploring new cultures and getting to use French and Swahili. In Tanzania, she interned for Chipua Institute for Social Transformation, and when she returned to the U.S. she worked at the Woodrow Wilson Center in their Africa Program and Project on Leadership and Building State Capacity. In her free time, Elise likes listening to music, hiking, laughing, learning new languages, and adventuring. She cannot wait for the opportunity to explore a new culture in Ethiopia, eat delicious food, learn Amharic, and meet amazing new people.
David graduated from Harvard Medical School in 2013 and is completing an internal medicine internship. Then, he will start his Anesthesiology, Critical Care, & Pain Medicine residency training at Massachusetts General Hospital. He and Devan Darby (also a PiAf 2006-07 Fellow) got married in June 2014 in Virginia.
David graduated from Princeton in 2006 with degrees in Geosciences and African Studies. He worked with the Baylor College of Medicine International Pediatric HIV/AIDS Initiative in Lesotho from 2006-07. He then worked with Dr. Christopher J.L. Murray at the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington and the Harvard Initiative for Global Health on a World Bank-funded road traffic injuries project and the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2010, which was published in the Lancet in December 2012. He graduated from Harvard Medical School with his MD in 2013, and will be pursuing Anesthesiology, Critical Care, and Pain Medicine residency training at Massachusetts General Hospital. His interests include health system management, health metrics, peri-operative systems, trauma care, critical care, pediatric, acute pain, and regional anesthesiology, and global health.
Hannah graduated from the University of Michigan in 2014 with a degree in Global Health & Environment and Afro-American & African studies. After a trip to Ghana sparked her interest in Africa, Hannah solidified this passion by studying abroad in South Africa and leading support groups for HIV-affected teens. Throughout college, Hannah taught an innovative HIV prevention module to high-risk populations and did outreach and testing with Michigan’s leading AIDS service organizations. She also facilitated student sexual health forums, interned as a Spanish translator for undocumented persons with UMichigan’s Law School, facilitated prevention programming for elementary school girls at a women’s shelter in Michigan’s largest Latino neighborhood, and worked in arts-based activism. After graduation, Hannah worked at the American Red Cross in Detroit in International Services where she advocated on behalf of Iraqi and Syrian refugees and reconnected families separated by disaster and conflict. Hannah currently works in Detroit as a Health Education Coordinator for an HIV agency facilitating psychosocial support groups for recently diagnosed and formerly incarcerated individuals living with HIV. She enjoys spending her evenings working with at-risk teenage girls in a live-in scholarship program, and is excited to advocate similarly for teens and families at BIPAI Swaziland.
Emily is from Norwich, Vermont and majored in Anthropology/Sociology with Global Health and French minors. While at Middlebury, Emily held various leadership positions in the college’s GlobeMed chapter, and was a ski patroller at the Middlebury Snow Bowl. In the fall of 2012, Emily studied abroad in Sénégal and performed research on the agency of pregnant women living in a village outside Saint Louis. She has interned at the Charter House homeless shelter in Middlebury, Vermont, as well as with Gardens for Health International in their Boston office. In her free time, Emily enjoys skiing, hiking, and other outdoor adventures, as well as journaling and drinking tea with friends. She is excited to explore West Africa, improve her French, and learn from new friends and coworkers in Togo!