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Trachoma Control Program Staff

  • A girl in Bossadje, Niger, drinks from a dosing cup as part of an international study that has shown a link between azithromycin and reductions in child mortality. (Photo: Gates Archive/Dominique Catton)

Trachoma Control Program Staff

E. Kelly Callahan, M.P.H.
Director, Trachoma Control Program

Kelly Callahan oversees the Carter Center’s Trachoma Control Program, which works in partnership with the ministries of health in five African countries to treat more than 37 million people annually. Callahan earned a master of public health degree from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health. She holds an undergraduate degree in earth sciences and communications from the University of Cincinnati.

Callahan previously was assistant director of program support for Carter Center health programs. Prior to that, she was the country representative for the Center’s Sudan Program, operating out of Nairobi, Kenya. In that role, Callahan managed three health programs — Guinea worm disease elimination, river blindness control, and trachoma control — in more than 6,000 villages in an active war zone. During this time, she was responsible for the distribution of more than 9.2 million personal water filters and served as an elected representative to the U.N. umbrella organization Operation Lifeline Sudan.

She also served two years with the U.S. Peace Corps in Cote D’Ivoire, working on community development, Guinea worm disease control, and water quality issues. In 2017, the National Peace Corps Association bestowed on Callahan its annual Sargent Shriver Award for Distinguished Humanitarian Service.

Callahan and the Trachoma Control Program’s work are featured in the documentary film Trachoma: Defeating a Blinding Curse, directed by Gary Strieker. Watch: Kelly Callahan at TEDxAtlanta. 

Scott Nash, Ph.D.
Epidemiologist, Trachoma Control Program

Scott Nash provides technical and scientific support to the Center's Trachoma Control Program. Nash conducts impact surveys, monitors and evaluates program activities, and develops measurable indicators for field research.

Prior to joining The Carter Center, Nash served as a postdoctoral research fellow at the National Institutes of Health. His epidemiological experience includes global health research in sub-Saharan Africa, including a study on the role of environmental factors on the presence of blinding trachoma in Tanzania. Nash also served as an HIV/AIDS and biology educator with the U.S. Peace Corps volunteer for two years in rural Tanzania.

Nash earned both a master of science and doctorate in population health sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he was the lead epidemiologist for quality control and assurance for two large observational studies of the aging senses. He also holds a bachelor of science in education and zoology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Angelia Sanders, DrPH, M.P.H., M.A.
Associate Director, Trachoma Control Program

Angelia Sanders assists the national trachoma control programs supported by The Carter Center by writing grant proposals and reports; monitoring program activities and spending; and providing technical assistance to ministry of health and Carter Center field staff.

Sanders has an extensive background working in public health with a focus on program delivery in resource-poor communities. She previously worked for The Carter Center in South Sudan, serving as a regional coordinator in the Guinea Worm Eradication Program before becoming a technical advisor in the Trachoma Control Program. In 2019 she was named vice chair of the International Coalition for Trachoma Control.

Sanders also brings experience from serving in Kenya with the United States Peace Corps, the NATO Civil-Military Fusion Center, and the University of South Florida Global Center for Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance. She holds Doctor of Public Health and Master of Public Health degrees from the University of South Florida, where she also received a graduate certificate in humanitarian assistance; a Master of Arts in international studies from Old Dominion University; and a Bachelor of Science in government administration from Christopher Newport University.

Kim Jensen, M.P.H.
Associate Director, Trachoma Control Program

Kim Jensen assists the national trachoma control programs of the ministries of health in Ethiopia, Mali, and Niger. This support includes writing grant proposals and donor reports; monitoring program activities and outputs; developing and tracking program budgets; and providing technical guidance to the Carter Center country teams and ministries of health.

Jensen has an extensive background in trachoma and Guinea worm disease. As a graduate student at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, Jensen was a graduate assistant with The Carter Center and supported an assessment of the health education curriculum in Amhara, Ethiopia. After that first stint at The Carter Center, Jensen worked for other partners working on trachoma elimination, including the International Trachoma Initiative (ITI) and Sightsavers. She also served as a technical advisor for the Guinea Worm Eradication program in Ethiopia. Jensen holds a dual Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and mass communication and Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a Master of Arts in Spanish language teacher education from Universidad de Alcalá, and a Master of Public Health degree from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University.

Drew Deathe, M.P.H.
Manager of Research Projects, Trachoma Control Program

Drew Deathe provides technical support and manages scientific research projects for the Trachoma Control Program. He earned a master of public health degree in global health from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health. He also holds a bachelor of science in health sciences and biology from Ball State University. Prior to joining The Carter Center, Deathe worked as an epidemiologist for IHRC, Inc., where he developed and implemented monitoring and evaluation tools for food- and water-borne diseases in resource-poor settings for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Throughout graduate school, he served as a research fellow at the Neglected Tropical Diseases Support Center, a program of The Task Force for Global Health. Deathe also supported research projects in the field of pediatric and adolescent HIV at the Indiana University School of Medicine. He also conducted his graduate thesis on health service coverage at maternal and child health clinics in western Kenya.

Vanessa Scholtens, M.Sc. 
Program Associate, Trachoma Control Program

Vanessa Scholtens assists the program in coordinating operational aspects including grant reporting, proposal writing, preparation of budgets, drafting articles and program reports, maintaining program databases, and preparation of program presentations. She works closely with the Carter Center's development offices to contribute to donor reporting and proposal development. She also manages the Trachoma Control Program's monthly and bimonthly program reports and supports the team for research studies and publications. Scholtens works directly with field offices to support field visits and meetings and support program activities.

Prior to joining the Trachoma Control Program, Scholtens worked as a researcher for the Scottish NGO Children in Scotland and as a translator for the United Nations. She has also held several project management positions with organizations such as Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australian Aid (AusAID), and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Scholtens holds a Bachelor of Arts from The American University of Paris in international and comparative politics. She also holds a graduate diploma from Sorbonne Nouvelle in French studies as well as a Master of Science from the University of Edinburgh in international development in Africa and Latin America.

Laurie Baxley
Program Assistant, Trachoma Control Program 

Laurie Baxley assists the rest of the Trachoma Control Program staff by arranging travel, organizing meetings, planning the calendar, and providing other office support. She also helps plan and coordinate the annual trachoma program review in Atlanta. Before joining The Carter Center staff full time, Baxley was a temporary administrative assistant in Health Program Support and a logistical coordinator for Carter Center health programs. She also owned a photography business.

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