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

River Blindness Elimination Program Staff

Frank O. Richards Jr., M.D.

Dr. Frank 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. 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, schistosomiasis, Guinea worm, cysticercosis, and malaria.

Richards's particular expertise, however, is mass ivermectin (Mectizan®) administration programs for river blindness (onchocerciasis). He has been involved in Guatemala's onchocerciasis elimination program since 1987 and in the overall onchocerciasis elimination program since 1992. He participated in the launch 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. 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.

Moses Katabarwa, M.A., M.P.H., Ph.D.
Senior 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.

Gregory Noland, Ph.D., M.P.H.

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.

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.

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.

Felicia Griffin
Program Assistant

Felicia Griffin provides logistical and administrative support for several Carter Center programs and projects. She acts as a liaison between program staff, field offices, and consultants. Griffin coordinates annual program meetings and other events, compiles and edits program reports, conducts research and data management, and provides support to traveling staff. Griffin holds a master’s degree in management and a bachelor of science degree in human services from Shorter University.

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