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Program Staff: The Hispaniola Initiative

Hispaniola Initiative Program Staff

Gregory Noland, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Program Director, River Blindness, Lymphatic Filariasis, Schistosomiasis, and Malaria

In 2020, Gregory Noland was named director of the Carter Center’s River Blindness Elimination Program, Lymphatic Filariasis Elimination Program, and Schistosomiasis Control Program, as well as the Center's Hispaniola Initiative, which supports binational coordination between the Dominican Republic and Haiti to eliminate malaria and lymphatic filariasis on the island of Hispaniola.

Noland joined The Carter Center in June 2011 as a program epidemiologist with more than a decade of basic and applied research experience in parasitic diseases. Prior to joining the Center, he was a project manager and postdoctoral fellow for a University of Minnesota malaria research program in Kisumu, Kenya, in partnership with the Kenya Medical Research Institute. While in Kisumu, Noland managed operations of a more than 40-person staff on a multimillion-dollar research program to examine the epidemiology of malaria transmission and immunity in western Kenya. From 1998 to 2001, he was a guest researcher at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Parasitic Diseases.

Noland received a doctorate in molecular microbiology and immunology in 2007 from Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health, where he examined the impact of intestinal helminth infection on malaria disease progression, transmission, and vaccine response. He also holds a master of public health degree in global epidemiology from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University and a bachelor of science degree in biology from Davidson College.

Frank O. Richards Jr., M.D.
Senior Advisor, River Blindness, Lymphatic Filariasis, Schistosomiasis, and Malaria

Dr. Frank Richards served as director of the Carter Center's River Blindness Elimination Program, Lymphatic Filariasis Elimination Program, and Schistosomiasis Control Program from 2005-2020. During his tenure, these programs assisted ministries of health in 11 countries to provide (cumulatively) more than half a billion treatments to treat and prevent these debilitating diseases. Millions of treatments for river blindness and lymphatic filariasis have been safely stopped in nine of these countries. Richards also was co-director of the Center's Malaria Program from 2007-2014. That program helped distribute over 18 million bed nets to prevent malaria in Nigeria and Ethiopia, reducing infection rates in the areas where the program was active by 50% and 90%, respectively.

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. He retired with the rank of captain in the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service. Read full bio.

Karen Hamre, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Karen Hamre joined The Carter Center in 2021 after nearly a decade of experience with malaria, including recent work as an epidemiologist and CDC Foundation field employee at the CDC’s Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria in the Malaria Zero consortium. In Haiti, she provided technical assistance to Haiti’s National Malaria Control Program to strengthen surveillance and implement malaria elimination activities. Hamre earned a doctorate in epidemiology in 2015 from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. As a National Institutes of Health Fogarty Global Health Fellowship Scholar, she lived for 11 months in Kisumu, Kenya, where she contributed to the Kenya Medical Research Institute clinic, laboratory, and field data collection operations and helped build capacity at the local level. She holds a master of public health degree from Boston University School of Public Health and a bachelor of arts degree from St. Olaf College.

Victoria Krauss, M.P.H.
Senior Program Associate

Victoria Krauss supports The Carter Center’s Hispaniola Initiative by coordinating program budgets and contracts, drafting reports and program communication, and providing administrative and technical assistance for field activities.

In 2019, Krauss earned her Master of Public Health degree from Emory University. Upon graduation, she became the program coordinator for the Ventanilla de Salud (Window to Health) Atlanta, a preventative community health program for individuals visiting the Consulate General of Mexico in Atlanta. She served in the Peace Corps in Guatemala as a maternal and child health facilitator, collaborating with the Guatemalan Ministry of Health. Prior to joining the Carter Center, she was a senior project coordinator at Emory University, where she coordinated the implementation and evaluation of a cancer survivorship research project with cancer clinics across the nation.

Asmerom Gettu, M.A.
Program Assistant

Asmerom Gettu joined the Carter Center in 2023. He provides administrative support, coordinating travel and various duties for the team and is the lead in planning the program’s Annual Review.

Prior to joining The Carter Center, Gettu worked as a U.N. coordination associate in the United Nations Development Program in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He was responsible for providing coordination and administrative support for the U.N. country team in Ethiopia as well as supporting the management of projects.

Gettu earned a Bachelor of Arts in English language and literature and a Master of Arts in sociology from Addis Ababa University.

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