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

River Blindness Elimination 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.

Lindsay Rakers
Associate Director

Lindsay Rakers supports the Center's river blindness, lymphatic filariasis, and schistosomiasis programs, with particular focus on Nigeria and the Americas. Her work includes technical assistance, strategic planning, program implementation, field office support, advocacy, operational research, and tracking and analysis of program activity data. She also writes papers, grant reports, annual program reports, and newsletter articles. Rakers holds a bachelor of arts degree in communications from Penn State. She has been with the Carter Center health programs since 2001.

Emily Griswold M.P.H.
Associate Director

Emily Griswold assists the Center's river blindness, lymphatic filariasis, and schistosomiasis programs by reviewing budgets, reports, and articles. In addition, she co-authors papers for journals, plans surveys, travels to field offices to assess program needs, conducts operational research studies and statistical analysis of program data, and evaluates program performance.

Prior to coming to the Center, Griswold worked for Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH) supporting vaccine delivery technologies and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the Division of Global HIV/AIDS. Griswold graduated from Macalester College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in international studies and German. She earned a Master of Public Health degree from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University.

Moses Katabarwa, M.A., M.P.H., Ph.D.
Program Epidemiologist

Moses Katabarwa provides scientific support to the Center's river blindness, lymphatic filariasis, and schistosomiasis programs. A medical anthropologist trained in public health, Katabarwa studies the importance of community structures in the delivery of health care services. Katabarwa is a leader in the elimination of river blindness from Uganda (where he serves on the Ugandan Onchocerciasis Elimination Expert Advisory Committee), Sudan, and Ethiopia.

Katabarwa helped establish a national community-directed treatment with ivermectin program for river blindness control in Uganda that resulted in the 2001 Ugandan government decision that all community-based health programs should include community-directed intervention approaches. A similar approach had been adapted by the World Health Organization's African Program for Onchocerciasis Control in 1996.

Katabarwa served as country director for the Carter Center's Uganda office from 1998 to 2003. He also has worked at a senior level with other nongovernmental development organizations including OXFAM, World Vision International, and River Blindness Foundation.

Katabarwa earned a bachelor of science degree from Makerere University, Uganda. He has a master's degree and doctorate in anthropology from Commonwealth Open University in the United Kingdom. He received a master of public health degree from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. He received the Sheth Distinguished International Alumni Award from Rollins in 2005. He has been a guest researcher in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and currently is adjunct professor at Rollins. Since 1996, Katabarwa has been a member of Lions Clubs International.

Lauri Bernard
Senior Program Associate

Lauri Bernard coordinates mass drug administrations and maintains treatment data for Latin America and Africa field offices of the Carter Center’s river blindness, lymphatic filariasis, and schistosomiasis programs. She provides oversight for the programs in Uganda and has some supervisory responsibilities. Bernard assists in grant reporting and the preparation of articles and program reports. Her responsibilities also entail the preparation of budgets and program graphics.

Before entering the field of public health, Bernard was associate director of New Jersey Advocates for Education, a scholarship organization supporting and mentoring students through their college experience. Bernard graduated from Centenary College in New Jersey with a bachelor's degree in business administration and is currently enrolled in Emory University’s executive Master of Public Health program.

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