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River Blindness Program, Lymphatic Filariasis Elimination Program, and Schistosomiasis Control Program Staff

Frank O. Richards Jr., M.D.
Director, River Blindness Program, Lymphatic Filariasis Elimination Program, and Schistosomiasis Control Program
Dr. Richards is an expert in parasitic and tropical diseases, who has worked extensively in Latin America and Africa. His professional interest is in the safe and effective delivery of available tools to control or eliminate tropical infectious diseases. The health programs he directs at The Carter Center have helped ministries of health and local communities to provide more than 200 million preventive chemotherapy treatments for parasitic disease in 11 countries. Dr. Richards came to The Carter Center from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where he spent 23 years in the Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria. Over the course of his career he has worked and published on lymphatic filariasis, schiostosomiasis, Guinea worm, cysticercosis, and malaria. Dr. Richards' particular expertise however is mass ivermectin administration programs for river blindness (onchocerciasis), and guiding mass ivermectin (Mectizan®). He has been involved in the Guatemalan onchocerciasis elimination program since 1987 and in the onchocerciasis elimination program program since 1992. He participated in the launching and operation of two major regional river blindness programs: the Onchocerciasis Elimination Program for the Americas (OEPA – launched in 1992), which reaches six countries in the Americas, and the African Program for Onchocerciasis Control (launched in 1996), reaching 31 countries in Africa. Dr. Richards currently chairs the Program Coordinating Committee for OEPA;  and serves on the Executive Group of the Global Alliance for the Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis, the WHO Strategic and Technical Advisory Group for Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), and the Mectizan Expert Committee. Read full bio.


Lindsay Rakers
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.


Lauri Hudson-Davis
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.


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