conference Keynote speaker

Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins

Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins was nominated by President Barack Obama in April 2009 and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in June 2009 as the Department of State’s Coordinator for Threat Reduction Programs in the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation. Ambassador Jenkins promotes the coordination of Department of State Cooperative Threat Reduction and U.S. government programs in chemical, biological, nuclear and radiological security (CBRN). She also works closely with international partners in coordinating global CBRN security programs and funding to help ensure a coordinated approach when governments implement these programs internationally.

She is the U.S. Representative to the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction. She is the Department of State lead on the Nuclear Security Summit. Ambassador Jenkins is also engaged in the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), a multi-sectoral initiative dedicated to reducing infectious disease threats around the world. She works closely on this initiative with domestic and international partners in the bio-security, animal and human health, development, and law enforcement sectors and leads U.S. government outreach to domestic and international non-governmental

organizations. She also works closely with the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S chemical industry in strengthening global security and safety of chemical weapons precursors.

Jenkins has focused on a U.S. coordinated effort on threat reduction in Africa, culminating in a “Threat Reduction in Africa” U.S. interagency program. She is currently the Chair of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Nuclear Security and Support Center Network (NSSC) and represents the U.S. and the IAEA Information Exchange Meetings. She co-leads the GHSA NGO Consortium, and spearheaded the establishment of the GHSA Next Generation Network. She is also co-Chair of the Global Partnership Center of Excellence Sub-working Group.

Dr Mahama Ouedraogo

Mahama Ouedraogo holds a PhD in plant breeding from Texas A&M University. He served as acting Director of the Semi-Arid Food Grain Research and Development and Executive Secretary of the African Union Scientific Technical and Research commission.

He is currently the head of science and Technology division and acting director of the department Human Resources Sciences science and Technology (HRST), of the African Union Commission. In these capacities he oversees the implementation of various African Union decisions on Science and technology, including the Science Technology and Innovation strategy for Africa (STISA-2024); the African Space Policy and Strategy, and the Pan African University.

Dr Luisa Massarani

Dr. Luisa Massarani is the Director of RedPOP, the network for science communication in Latin America and the Caribbean, for the period of 2014-2017. Since 2003, she has been the Latin American Co-ordinator of SciDev.Net (, a gateway based in London aimed at science and development in developing countries. Dr. Massarani has worked on research, teaching and practice in Public Communication of Science and Technology, since 1987. She is based at the Museum of Life (, a hands on science museum in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) linked to the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), a key health research institution in Latin America, linked to the Brazilian Ministry of Health.

Dr. Massarani is a visiting researcher of the Free-Choice Learning Lab, Oregon State University (US). She is an Honorary Research Associate of the Department of Science and Technology Studies at the University College London. She is a Productivity Fellow of the Brazilian Council for Science and Technology and a member of the scientific committee of the PCST Network, the international network for Public Communication of Science and Technology.

Dr. Massarani has published about 70 papers in scientific journals; and organized about 30 publications on science communication, as well as about 400 stories in newspapers, magazines and websites (including SciDev.Net, Nature, Chemistry World, the Mexican Cómo ves? and the Brazilian Folha de São Paulo). She is a recipient of the prestigious Mercosul Award for Science and Technology in 2014.

Dr John Amuasi

Dr.  John Amuasi a Senior Research Fellow at the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative research in Tropical Medicine (KCCR) in Kumasi, Ghana. He holds an undergraduate degree in human biology and was trained as a medical doctor, both at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology-Kumasi, Ghana.

He further graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, USA, with an MPH in Public Health Policy and Administration and an MS is Health Services Research and completed a PhD in Health Services Research, Policy and Administration also at the University of Minnesota. In between his Masters and PhD studies, he served as head of the R&D Unit at the Komfo Anokye teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana for 3 years.

He has been consulted by a number of international organizations including the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), World Health Organization (WHO), Health Action International (HAI) Africa, Dalberg Global Development Partners, the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD), and France Expertise Internationale (FEI) on a wide range of issues related to health services, policy and systems in Ghana and other parts of Africa. Dr. Amuasi is an executive committee member of the West African Task for Emerging and Re-emerging infectious diseases (WATER

Dr Klement Jaidzeka

Klement Jaidzeka is a global health professional currently working as a research assistant at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University. He has helped develop and implement an Emergency Management training program across Guinea as well researched and managed projects to strengthen Guinean Emergency Management System, Laboratory Specimen Referral Network and Zoonotic Disease and One Health Systems.
Prior to joining the Global Health Security team, he worked as intern for OIC International where he provided research support to their USAID funded HANDS program to improve food security in Liberia, to the development and implementation of their Walmart Foundation funded EARN program to provide vocational retail training in Kenya and Nigeria. Before that, for over 10 years he worked as a certified pharmacy technician in several hospitals in the Washington, DC area.
Klem is currently finishing up his MPH in International Public Health with the University of Liverpool. He holds a B.Sc in Biological Sciences from the University of Maryland-College Park.

Dr Stephen Kennedy

Stephen B. Kennedy, MD, MPH, is trained in general medicine, infectious disease biomedical research, infectious disease epidemiology and international health from Liberia, United States (U.S.) and Zambia. Dr. Kennedy possesses nearly 2 decades of experience in public health, prevention research, biomedical and clinical-based research, and clinical trials in HIV/AIDS, STDs, Malaria, Tuberculosis (TB), community health, and Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). Furthermore, Dr. Kennedy possesses nearly 3 decades of experience as a medical doctor in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Presently, Dr. Kennedy serves as Coordinator for EVD Research at the Liberia’s Emergency Operations Center (EoC) of the Incident Management System (IMS) of the Ministry of Health (MoH), Liberia’s PI for the EVD Vaccine Clinical Trial of the Liberia-US Joint Clinical Research Partnership of the Partnership for Research on Ebola Vaccines in Liberia (PREVAIL), Co-PI for a three-country EVD Vaccine Clinical Trial (PREVAC) of a multinational (NIH, INSERM, LSHTM) and most affected countries (Sierra Leone, Guinea & Liberia) consortium, Associate Co-PI for EVD therapeutic trial among male EVD survivors in Liberia, thematic Lead for the establishment of biobank in Liberia, Lead for Research & Capacity Enhancement for the West African Taskforce for the Control of Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases (WATER), Member of the Core Working Group (CWG) of the Sub-Regional Collaboration Research Group on EVD Vaccines and Therapeutics, and member of the Action Committee on Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers (VHFs), including Lassa Fevers (LFs) and EVDs, for the West Africa College of Physicians (WACP), respectively.

Lastly, Dr. Kennedy is Fellow of the Liberia College of Physicians (FLCP) and Fellow of the West African College of Physicians (FWACP).

Dr Kambiz Shekdar

Kambiz Shekdar is president and founder of the Research Foundation to Cure AIDS. Prior to establishing the RFTCA, Kambiz served as Chief Scientific Officer of Chromocell Corporation, a biotechnology company he co-founded. He obtained his Ph.D. in the laboratory of his mentor, Nobel Laureate Günter Blobel, at The Rockefeller University in New York City. It was during his graduate studies that Kambiz invented Chromovert® Technology, a novel technology that allows access to highly desired, exceedingly rare cells that had otherwise remained out of reach.

This technology was the basis for the Chromocell Corporation, and it holds promise for the development of a stem cell cure for AIDS.