Frank O. Richards Jr., M.D.
Director, River Blindness Program, Lymphatic Filariasis Elimination Program, and Schistosomiasis Control Program
An expert in parasitic and tropical diseases from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Richards has worked extensively in Latin America and Africa. Aside from supervising the River Blindness Program, he is also closely involved with new initiatives at the Center in schistosomiasis and lymphatic filariasis in Nigeria. He holds faculty appointments at the Emory Rollins School of Public Health (Department of Global Health), the Emory School of Medicine (Division of Pediatric Infectious Disease), and is affiliated with Children's Health Care of Atlanta.
Dr. Richards' career has focused on issues of global health, most of them dedicated to disease control and eradication in the Americas and Africa. He worked on schistosomiasis control in Egypt, Guinea worm eradication in Cameroon, lymphatic filariasis in Haiti and Nigeria, and malaria control in Guatemala. Dr. Richards' particular expertise is in onchocerciasis (river blindness) and the delivery of Mectizan® tablets (donated by Merck & Co.) through mass drug administration programs. He has been involved in the Guatemalan Mectizan distribution program since 1987 and in the Nigerian Mectizan distribution program since 1992. He participated in the launching and operations of two major regional river blindness programs: the Onchocerciasis Elimination Program for the Americas (launched in 1992), which reaches six countries in the Americas, and the African Program for Onchocerciasis Control (launched in 1996), reaching 18 countries in Africa. Read full bio.
Associate Director, River Blindness Program, Lymphatic Filariasis Elimination Program, and Schistosomiasis Control Program
As associate director, Ms. Rakers assists the Center's river blindness, lymphatic filariasis, and schistosomiasis programs by writing grant reports, annual program reports, and articles. In addition, she co-authors papers for journals, travels to field offices to assess program needs, and tracks and analyzes program activity data.
Ms. Rakers graduated with honors from Pennsylvania State University in 2000 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications.
Program Associate, River Blindness, Guinea Worm, Lymphatic Filariasis, Schistosomiasis, and Malaria Programs
Ms. Hudson-Davis acts as a liaison between program staff, field offices, and consultants. She coordinates annual program meetings and other events, compiles and edits program reports, and provides support to travelers. She also takes on special projects and occasionally visits programs in the field to collect data on program performance. Ms. Hudson-Davis graduated cum laude from Centenary College New Jersey in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science degree in business management.