Our Advisory Board

Ange-Marie Hancock Alfaro, Ph.D.

Ange-Marie Hancock Alfaro

Dean's Professor of Gender Studies and Professor of Political Science
Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA USA
[email protected]

Ange-Marie Hancock Alfaro is Professor and Chair of Gender Studies at the University of Southern California and a globally recognized scholar of intersectionality theory, the world's leading analytical framework for analyzing and resolving inequality. She has written numerous articles and three books on the intersections of categories of difference like race, gender, class, sexuality and citizenship and their impact on policy: the award-winning The Politics of Disgust and the Public Identity of the “Welfare Queen,” (2004), Solidarity Politics for Millennials: A Guide to Ending the Oppression Olympics (2011) and Intersectionality: An Intellectual History (2016). The applied forms of her research focus on diverse donors in philanthropy, partnerships between funders and nonprofits for social change, and cross-sector training of leaders to implement intersectionality.

In 1993, under the mentorship of NBA Hall of Famer Tom “Satch” Sanders, Hancock Alfaro conducted the original survey research and designed the business model for the Women’s National Basketball Association. The only women’s professional basketball league to succeed in the United States, the WNBA began its 21st season in May 2017. Her recent collaborative work includes service on the Board of the Liberty Hill Foundation and work with both Hispanas Organized for Political Empowerment (HOPE) and the Los Angeles African American Women’s Public Policy Institute (LAAAWPPI). She sits on four boards: the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California (ACLU SoCal), Community Partners, LAAWPPI, and Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Political Empowerment (SCOPE-LA). Her current work includes new research projects on asylum requests for survivors of domestic violence, empirical applications of intersectionality, and the free speech-hate speech debate.

Jameta Nicole Barlow, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Jameta Nicole Barlow

Assistant Professor of Writing
University Writing Program
The George Washington University
[email protected]

A community health psychologist, Dr. Jameta Nicole Barlow is Assistant Professor of Writing in the GW Writing Program, as well as an affiliate faculty member in the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program and the Milken Institute School of Public Health's Jacobs Institute of Women's Health at GW. She has spent 22 years in transdisciplinary collaborations with physicians, public health practitioners, researchers, policy administrators, activists, political appointees, and community members in diverse settings throughout the world. Dr. Barlow utilizes decolonizing methodologies to disrupt cardiometabolic syndrome and structural policies adversely affecting Black girls' and women's health, as well as intergenerational trauma. She believes "writehealing" is an effective approach towards uncovering trauma and healing.

Her funded community-engaged, collaborative projects employ Black Feminist ontological and Womanist epistemological approaches to counter Black girls’ and women’s experiences of intersectional sexism and racism. These include:

  • Saving Our Sisters Project, a digital storytelling project that uses writing and personal narrative to improve Black women's mental health and well-being;
  • Black Feminist Phenomenological Inquiry into Black Women’s Birth Experiences, a qualitative exploration of Black women’s recent birth experieces, perceptions of structural determinants of maternal mortality and ecological factors associated with a successful birth; and
  • Engaging Community Participatory Action-Based (CBPR) Approach to Develop the Sisters’ Keepers Intervention Program (SKIP) Program to Address Maternal Mortality.

Certified as an Emotional Emancipation Circle Facilitator and trained as a doula and childbirth educator, Dr. Barlow is a 2015 Academy Health/Aetna Foundation Scholar in Residence Fellow and a 2016 RAND Faculty Leaders Fellow in Policy Research and Analysis. She has written and edited numerous articles on Black girls' and women's health, intersectionality and restorative health practices. Her work includes a co-edited a special issue on Black women’s health, “Speaking for Ourselves: Reclaiming, Redesigning, and Reimagining Research on Black Women’s Health,” “Restoring Optimal Black Mental Health and Reversing Intergenerational Trauma in an Era of Black Lives Matter” and “What The Health (WTH)?: Theorising Southern Black Feminisms in the US South.”

Mary Ellsberg, Ph.D.

Mary Ellsberg

Executive Director
Global Women’s Institute
The George Washington University
[email protected]

Dr. Mary Ellsberg is the Executive Director and Founding Director of the Global Women's Institute at the George Washington University.  Dr. Ellsberg has more than 30 years of experience in international research and programs on gender and development. Before joining the university in August 2012, Dr. Ellsberg served as Vice President for Research and Programs at the International Center for Research on Women. Dr. Ellsberg’s deep connection to global gender issues stems not only from her academic work, but also from living in Nicaragua for nearly 20 years, leading public health and women’s rights advocacy. She was a member of the core research team of the World Health Organization’s Multi-Country Study on Domestic Violence and Women’s Heath, and she has authored more than 40 books and articles on violence against women and girls. Dr. Ellsberg earned a doctorate in epidemiology and public health from Umea University in Sweden and a bachelor's degree in Latin American studies from Yale University.

Olena Hankivsky, Ph.D.

Olena Hankivsky

Chair in Women’s Health and Director of the Centre for Health Equity
School of Population and Global Health
The University of Melbourne
Melbourne, Australia
[email protected]

Dr. Olena Hankivksy is currently on leave as Professor, School of Public Policy, and Director, Institute for Intersectionality Research and Policy, at Simon Fraser University, BC, Canada, where she has held a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Chair from the Institute of Gender and Health. Dr. Hankivsky is also Visiting Professor at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland, and was Visiting Scholar at the Centre for the Study of Social Inequalities and Health, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University (2008-2009), and Visiting Professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (2014-2015). Recently, she has been instrumental in the development of the Ukrainian Catholic University’s Lviv School of Public Health. She is internationally recognized for her substantial body of interdisciplinary research and policy development (including between social science, biomedical and clinical domains) that uses an intersectionality perspective to strengthen and advance understanding of diversity and equity in women’s health and in gender and health, most recently focusing on global health and sustainable development goals (SDGs) that require new ways to understand the complex nature of health inequities.

Dr. Hankivsky has published widely in both the social science and medical literature, and among her policy impacts have been with Status of Women Canada, to bring about the first-ever change in the Canadian government’s policy on gender mainstreaming from gender-based analysis (GBA) to GBA+, which explicitly incorporates intersectionality. This change has been recently formally adopted by the Institute of Gender and Health (part of The Canadian Institutes of Health Research) as a SGBA+ (sex and gender based analysis +) framework.

Shawnika J. Hull, M.A., Ph.D.

Shawnika J. Hull

Assistant Professor of Communication
School of Communication and Information
Rutgers University
New Brunswick, NJ USA
[email protected]

Dr. Shawnika Hull’s research focuses on reducing racial inequities in HIV incidence through community- engaged, applied communication science. In particular, she develops, implements and evaluates theoretically grounded communication interventions focused on impacting individual and social- structural barriers to HIV prevention. This research is informed by, and developed in close collaboration with community partners. Her expertise includes qualitative (i.e. focus groups) and quantitative (i.e. surveys, experiments) data collection and analytical methods. Her research has been funded through various institutional, non-profit (i.e., MAC AIDS Fund) and governmental mechanisms (i.e., NIH, CDC) and 4 published in communication and public health journals. Her rigorous, theoretically grounded, collaborative approach to research informs health communication theorizing and practice.

Her current research focuses improving Black women’s HIV prevention by improving the quality of their communication with healthcare providers. This research is focused on identifying and mitigating providers’ implicit biases, which impede their HIV prevention-relevant communication. She is the principal investigator of a new K01 NIH Research Training grant, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse to understand the social-structural and contextual barriers to Black women’s PrEP uptake and design an intervention (SISTA-P) that leverages Black women’s agency to overcome these barriers to PrEP uptake such as partner, health care provider, and substance-use. She is also a co-investigator on the PRISM and Intersectional Toolkit Project.

Eiko Hiraoka Strader, Ph.D.

Eiko Hiraoka Strader

Assistant Professor of Public Policy
and Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies
The Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration
The George Washington University
[email protected]

Eiko Strader is a sociologist who primarily studies gender inequality and public policy. Much of her work tries to understand how and under what conditions gender becomes relevant in predicting life chances across different levels of geographical location. She employs intersectionality-informed multilevel models to examine intersecting sources of inequality, such as race, ethnicity, parenthood and class, while simultaneously analyzing labor market policies or conditions that impact gender inequality.

Her current research program focuses on: (1) wage inequality among LGBT populations across EU countries, 92) regional wage effects of immigration, (3) the effects of marriage and parenthood on promotion and retention outcomes in the U.S. military, and 94) combat assignment of ex-felons in the U.S. military. She considers the U.S. military to be an interesting case for studying inequality and public policy because they strongly enforce equal employment opportunity (EEO) policies, operates and subsidizes high-quality childcare, and provides extensive benefits to enlistees and their families.

She has published on related topics in Social Forces, Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, Sociology Compass, Socius, and Journal of International Affairs, and her research examining job performance of ex-felons in the U.S. military has been covered by news outlets such as the BBC, the Economist, The Washington Post, CBS News and National Public Radio.

Carlos E. Rodriguez-Diaz, Ph.D.

Carlos E. Rodriguez-Diaz

Associate Professor
Department of Prevention and Community Health
Milken Institute School of Public Health
The George Washington University
[email protected]

Dr. Carlos Rodriguez-Diaz is a community health scientist with over 15 years of experience practicing public health and conducting action research in Puerto Rico, the United States of America, and the Caribbean Region. His work has focused on infectious diseases, particularly HIV care and prevention, as well as sexual health promotion and health equity through actions on the social determinants of health.

Dr. Rodriguez-Diaz is currently studying health and racial disparities during the COVID-19 pandemic. He has lead in several programs and research projects addressing health inequities among populations made socially vulnerable including people with HIV, Hispanic/Latinxs, incarcerated populations, and sexual and gender minority groups. 

Dr. Rodriguez-Diaz’s research and scholarship has led to coverage in well-known national and international media sources such as the Washington PostThe HillThe GuardianEl Nuevo Día (Puerto Rico), El Mercurio (Chile), and  Folha de S.Paulo  (Brazil), as well as in major research publications and conferences.

Patti Simon, M.P.H.

Patti Simon

Administrative Director
DC Center for AIDS Research
The George Washington University
[email protected]

Patti Simon, MPH is the Administrative Director of the District of Columbia Center for AIDS Research (DC CFAR). In this role, she is responsible for the management and oversight of a multi-institutional, citywide NIH-funded research center. During her tenure, Ms. Simon has introduced and coordinated innovative programming that has strengthened investigator engagement, deepened community partnerships and increased funding for HIV research in Washington, DC. This work is central to the mission of the DC CFAR to promote and support research that contributes to ending the HIV epidemic in Washington, DC in partnership with government and community.

Ms. Simon has nearly two decades of experience managing complex public health and health policy programs and grants. Prior to joining the DC CFAR, Ms. Simon served as a Senior Study Director at the Institute of Medicine (IOM) at the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM). In this role, Ms. Simon edited eight peer-reviewed reports produced by expert panels of the nation’s leading scientists on topics ranging from access to care, quality of care, health disparities, and safety net programs. Prior to working at the IOM, Ms. Simon worked in the Department of Health Policy at the Milken Institute School of Public Health, where she managed a national program focused on the social determinants of health.

Patti Simon received a master’s degree in public health from the University of Texas School of Public Health.

Ruth E. Zambrana, Ph.D.

Ruth E. Zambrana

Professor, Department of Women’s Studies
Director of the Consortium on Race, Gender and Ethnicity
Adjunct Professor of Family Medicine
University of Maryland, Baltimore

Dr. Ruth Zambrana’s scholarship applies a critical intersectional lens to structural inequality and racial, Hispanic ethnicity, and gender inequities in population health and higher education trajectories. Her recent work includes an anthology with Sylvia Hurtado, The Magic Key: The Educational Journey of Mexican Americans From K-12 College and Beyond (UT Press, 2015); an edited volume with Virginia Brennan and Shiriki Kumanyika, entitled Obesity Interventions in Underserved U.S. Communities: Evidence and Directions (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014); Latinos in American Society: Families and Communities in Transition (Cornell University Press, 2011).

Dr. Zambrana’s awards include the 2013 American Public Health Association Latino Caucus, Founding Member Award for Vision and Leadership, 2013 University of Maryland Outstanding Woman of Color Award for her lifetime achievements, and the 2011 Julian Samora Distinguished Career Award by the American Sociological Association, Sociology of Latinos/as Section for her contributions to the sociology 6 of Latinos and immigrant studies, teaching and mentoring. She was Principal Investigator of a study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation on Understanding the Relationship between Work Stress at U.S. Research Institutions’ Failure to Retain Underrepresented Minority (URM) Faculty and her book, entitled Toxic Ivory Towers: The Health Consequences of Work Stress on the Health of Underrepresented Minority Faculty is in press. The most recent award from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Expanding the Bench program initiative, aims to translate these new findings on URM faculty barriers and challenges into higher education policies to enhance retention and promotion.