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Program Staff: The Hispaniola Initiative

Hispaniola Initiative Program Staff

Stephen Blount, M.D., M.P.H.
Director, Special Health Projects

Dr. Stephen Blount joined The Carter Center as director of Special Health Projects in 2013. Blount oversees the Center's work to intensify binational coordination between the Dominican Republic and Haiti to eliminate malaria and lymphatic filariasis on the island of Hispaniola. He is also leading the Center's effort to expand public health training in low-resource countries.

Before joining The Carter Center, Blount spent 25 years at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a succession of leadership positions, the last of which was as associate director for global health development. Prior to that, he directed the CDC's Office of Global Health from 1997 to 2005 and the Coordinating Office of Global Health from 2005 to 2010. In these roles, Blount provided programmatic and financial oversight for the Global AIDS Program, global immunization and disease eradication activities, as well as malaria, tuberculosis, and tobacco control efforts. He oversaw a $1.8 billion budget, 200 U.S. government staff in 50 countries, and 1,500 locally hired staff and contractors. Blount was the CDC's lead strategist for global activities and managed key partnerships with ministries of health, United Nations organizations, the World Bank, other U.S. government organizations, and nongovernmental organizations. Read full bio. 

Gregory Noland, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Epidemiologist, Health Programs

Gregory Noland joined The Carter Center in June 2011. He provides scientific support to the Center's Lymphatic Filariasis Program and Hispaniola Initiative. He has more than a decade of basic and applied research experience in malaria and other parasitic diseases.

Prior to joining The Carter Center, Noland 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 doctoral degree in molecular microbiology and immunology in 2007 from Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health, where his dissertation evaluated 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.

Aida Smajic
Program Assistant, Special Health Projects

Aida Smajic provides administrative and logistical support for the Carter Center’s Hispaniola Initiative, Nigeria Public Health Training Initiative, and Sudan Public Health Training Initiative. Originally from Bosnia and Hercegovina and raised in Berlin, she is fluent in Bosnian and German. She moved to the U.S. in 1999. Smajic holds a bachelor of business administration in international business and a bachelor of arts in German from the University of Georgia. She plans to study the science of mental health in graduate school.

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