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Program Staff: Guinea Worm Eradication Program

  • No medicine cures Guinea worm disease; no vaccine prevents it. Eradication hinges on giving people the knowledge, skills, and resources to change their behavior. (Photo: The Carter Center/ L. Gubb)

Guinea Worm Program Staff

Adam Weiss, M.P.H.
Director, Guinea Worm Eradication Program

In 2018, Adam Weiss was named director of the Carter Center's Guinea Worm Eradication Program. In this capacity, Weiss works in conjunction with the World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Research, Training, and Eradication of Dracunculiasis at the CDC to provide technical assistance to national eradication programs, and to monitor and disseminate information about the status of the global campaign.

Weiss joined the Carter Center in 2005 as a technical advisor to national Guinea worm eradication programs in Ghana and Ethiopia, and, prior to becoming director, was senior associate director for the program. He also worked as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ghana where he focused on access to safe water, AIDS awareness, community-based health education, and assisted in the effort to eradicate Guinea worm disease.

Weiss graduated cum laude from Ripon College with a bachelor of arts degree in anthropology and politics and government and holds a master of public health degree from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. Weiss received the Charles C. Shepard Award for his thesis on Guinea worm in Ghana.

Donald Hopkins, M.D., M.P.H.
Special Advisor for Guinea Worm Eradication

Dr. Donald R. Hopkins is the former director of health programs at The Carter Center. He first joined the Center in 1987 as the senior consultant for the health programs, leading the Center's efforts to eradicate Guinea worm disease and river blindness worldwide. Hopkins' professional experience includes serving as deputy director (1984-1987) and acting director (1985) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He was an assistant professor of tropical public health at Harvard School of Public Health, and he directed the Smallpox Eradication/Measles Control Program in Sierra Leone.

Hopkins attended the Institute of European Studies at the University of Vienna. He received his bachelor of science degree from Morehouse College, his doctor of medicine from the University of Chicago, and his master of public health from the Harvard School of Public Health. He is board certified in pediatrics and public health and has been a member of seven U.S. delegations to the World Health Assembly. Read Full Bio.

James A. Zingeser, D.V.M., M.P.H.
Senior Project Advisor, Guinea Worm Eradication Program

Dr. James A. Zingeser is an epidemiologist who has worked at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and The Carter Center since 1989. Zingeser trained in clinical veterinary medicine at Michigan State University and public health epidemiology at the University of Michigan. He began his career at CDC in 1989 as an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer and subsequently worked throughout Africa, Europe, and Asia on projects ranging from Guinea worm and polio eradication to trachoma and meningococcal meningitis control. In the course of his career, Zingeser has been posted to one ministry of agriculture, two African ministries of health, and the World Health Organization. He participated in the first Guinea Worm Eradication Program mission to Togo in 1989 and joined the Center's Guinea worm efforts full time in 1995, as the resident technical advisor in the Republic of Niger. He then returned to Carter Center headquarters as a senior epidemiologist in 1998 and launched the Trachoma Control Program in seven countries.

Beginning in 2009, Zingeser was posted by the CDC to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Rome to build a One Health Partnership for the control of diseases at the human-animal interface. In April 2014, Zingeser became the second CDC Ebola Response Team lead in the Republic of Guinea, early in the epidemic. He subsequently returned three more times for Ebola control duty in Sierra Leone and Guinea before returning to the Carter Center in March 2016.

Karmen Unterwegner
Associate Director, Guinea Worm Eradication Program

Karmen Unterwegner first joined the Carter Center in 2013 as a technical advisor to the Guinea Worm Eradication Program in Chad. After leaving the program in 2015 to seek her graduate degree, she rejoined the Guinea worm team in 2018 as associate director.

Unterwegner began her development work in Mali with the United States Peace Corps, and has continued to work in sub-Saharan Africa for most of her career. She has largely focused on water and sanitation in efforts to reduce or eliminate the burden of various diseases. Unterwegner has a bachelor of architecture degree from the University of Oregon and a master of public health degree with a focus on global health from Emory University, where she was a Robert W. Woodruff Scholar.

Sarah Anne J. Guagliardo, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Epidemiologist, Guinea Worm Eradication Program

Sarah Anne J. Guagliardo is a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention epidemiologist assigned to the Carter Center’s Guinea Worm Eradication Program. Guagliardo analyzes and manages Guinea worm surveillance data of infections in humans and animals with the goal of understanding transmission patterns. Guagliardo previously served as an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer in the CDC’s Division of High-Consequence Pathogens and Pathology. She holds a Ph.D. in population biology, ecology and evolution from Emory University, and an M.P.H. in the epidemiology of microbial disease from Yale University. Guagliardo served as a health education volunteer with the United States Peace Corps in rural Honduras. Since then, she has worked in 12 countries throughout Latin America and Africa.

Renn McClintic-Doyle, M.A.
Office Manager, Guinea Worm Eradication Program

As office manager with primary responsibility for the Guinea Worm Eradication Program, Renn McClintic-Doyle maps disease prevalence; archives publications; produces newsletters, journal articles, and health education flip charts; coordinates foreign travel; and works with overseas consultants.

McClintic-Doyle holds a master's degree in health care administration and is pursuing a master's in education, both from the University of Phoenix.

Christiane Williams
Program Assistant, Guinea Worm Eradication Program

Christiane Williams provides support to the Guinea Worm Eradication Program by coordinating travel plans with overseas consultants and managing the French-language Guinea Worm Wrap-Up newsletter.

After receiving her bachelor’s degree from Ambassador College, Williams worked in the admissions office for the Emory University School of Law. Later, she worked with Associated Colleges of the South, where she coordinated technology workshops for the Faculty Development Program and the Blended Learning Initiative, developed and maintained the website, and produced the quarterly newsletter. She also worked with faculty and administrators to promote and foster collaboration through the use of technology. She speaks French, Creole and Spanish.

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