Visiting Research Scholars

Visiting faculty from other universities and institutes across Latin America and the Caribbean are invited to the Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas to share research work in their area of expertise.

Héctor Arreola-Ornelas 

Héctor Arreola-Ornelas is a Research Coordinator in Economics at the Health Competitiveness Program in the Mexican Health Foundation (FUNSALUD), also Associate Researcher at Tómatelo a Pecho an NGO in Mexico. He holds a master’s in health economics from the Centre for Research and Teaching in Economics and the National Institute of Public Health and a BA in Economics from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México. In 2005, he was awarded the First Prize for Research of the Global Development Network, in the category of Health and Institutional Development for his work "Preventing Impoverishment, Promoting Equity and Protecting Households from Financial Crisis: Universal Health Insurance in Mexico Through Institutional Reform” written with Felicia Marie Knaul, Oscar Méndez and Martha Miranda.

His areas of research include financial protection, policy and health systems, labor economics, economic evaluation and health and competitiveness. He has worked in the Mexican Social Security Institute, the National Public Health Institute and the Center for Economic Research and Teaching. He is the author of 42 research papers and 10 book chapters. He is part of the National System of Researchers in Mexico.

Didi Bertrand

Wingdie "Didi" Bertrand spouse Farmer, MA, DEA, DESS is a medical anthropologist and community health specialist who has worked in Haiti, Rwanda, Malawi and Lesotho. Born in Port-Au-Prince Haiti, Ms. Bertrand Farmer studied social science, community health, and health systems management in Haiti and in France. For the last 15 years, she has worked as community organizer, program developer and implementer, activist for women and girls' rights, and researcher. She served as the Director of the Community Health Program and the Head of the Biosocial Research and Social Development Programs for Partners In Health Rwanda Inshuti Mu Buzima from 2005 to 2015 supporting the Rwandan Ministry of Health. She has been the principal investigator on studies focusing on community health, malnutrition, reproductive health, and traditional healing in rural Rwanda. She also serves as the Chair of the Haiti-Rwanda Commission, initiated after the 2010 earthquake to promote South-South cooperation and exchange. She currently acts as Senior Adviser on Community Health for Partners in Health and leads a Women and Girls Initiative in both Rwanda and Haiti. She is also the mother of 3 wonderful children.

Afsan Bhadelia

Afsan Bhadelia, PhD, MS is a Research Associate in the Department of Global Health and Population at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Bhadelia applies and translates systems theory to three core areas to promote health systems performance improvements and to advance value-based care: 1) health inequities faced by marginalized populations; 2) chronicity and its implications for health systems strengthening across the care continuum and life course; and 3) gender responsiveness of healthcare. Using mixed methods, each area incorporates a focus on developing innovative metrics for priority-setting and implementation, with an emphasis on integrating ethical considerations. She seeks to advance dynamic health systems modeling and effective policy analysis and translation to achieve better health outcomes for all. Dr. Bhadelia was a lead co-author of the report of the Lancet Commission on Global Access to Palliative Care and Pain Relief and co-Chaired the Commission’s Scientific Advisory Committee. She co-authored and co-edited the book, “Closing the Cancer Divide: An Equity Imperative.” She was previously named a ‘Young Cancer Leader’ by the Union for International Cancer Control and has served as a Minority International Research Trainee and an Albert Schweitzer Fellow. She is currently co-Chair of the Taskforce on Women and NCDs. Dr. Bhadelia received her PhD in International Health and Health Systems from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, an MS in Food Policy and Applied Nutrition and a BS in Biology and International Relations, both from Tufts University.

Salomón Chertorivski Woldenberg

Salomón Chertorivski Woldenberg is a Mexican politician and economist. He served as Ministerio of Health of Mexico, during the last part of President Felipe Calderón's administration. He was the Secretary for Economic Development in Mexico City from 2012 to 2017. He entered the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico as a student of the economics degree. He focused on the area of social policy to combat poverty. In his college years, he undertook ideas such as prefabricated panels for home construction and supplying glasses for children in rural communities. He completed a master's degree in economics at his alma mater and then a master's degree in Public Policy from Harvard University.

During his tenure as National Commissioner for Social Protection in Health in 2009, the affiliation of one million Mexicans per month was achieved to attain coverage for 53 million Mexicans. In his term, it expanded coverage to germ cell ovarian cancer, prostatic, testicular, colon cancer and universalized VPH vaccination among many other things. Formed agreements to provide Popular Insurance to Mexican immigrants in the United States and their families in Mexico with the support of Mexican consulates. He is currently a public policy Professor at the very prestigious CIDE and Chairman of the national advisory council "Pensando en México".

Mariana Chudnovsky

Mariana Chudnovsky studies public administrations and their interaction with public policies in Latin America, with a strong interest in gender and social policy. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Universidad Torcuato Di Tella (Argentina) a Master in Politics from New York University (US) an MPA from University of San Andrés (Argentina), and a BA in Sociology from Universidad de Buenos Aires (Argentina). She currently is a Professor at the Department of Public Administration at the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE) in Mexico City and she belongs to the Mexican National Research System. Her research focuses on what capacities are needed to implement policies across a variety of territories (supply side) as well as the bureaucratic procedures and practices that can complicate -or even excludes- access to services and benefits for citizens (demand side). Her research agenda aims to provide evidence to show that is important to break away from the State-centered studies to examine public policies and, in turn, to address the way bureaucratic barriers could affect equity and rights. Her work has been published in Desarrollo Económico, Foro Internacional, Gestión y Política Pública, Revista de Gestión PúblicaEstado, Gobierno y Gestión Pública, Latin American Policy, Latin American Research Review, Social Policy and Administration, International Review of Administrative Sciences, Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics, PLOS ONE, among others.

Carolina Coll

Carolina Coll is an epidemiologist with strong interest in health inequalities, especially those related to women’s health. She obtained a MSc and PhD Degree in Epidemiology at the Federal University of Pelotas in Brazil and acquired extensive fieldwork experience in the conduction of epidemiological studies, having participated in the supervision and data collection of the 2015 birth cohort study, among others. During her PhD she also completed a doctoral fellowship at the University of Oxford (UK), where she was involved with the Psychiatry Department and established relevant collaborations around women’s mental health. In 2017, Carolina joined the International Center for Equity in Health as a postdoctoral researcher. Her work involves data analysis of national health surveys from low and middle-income countries and writing of scientific papers. She has been mainly involved in projects addressing reproductive health and gender-based violence which has led to publications in high impact journals in ​​global health. Mostly recently, Carolina is also serving as a young researcher to the Lancet Commission on Gender-based Violence and Maltreatment of Young People and supporting the Director of the Institute, Dr. Felicia Knaul, in the development of the global work plan.

Roopa Dhatt

Dr. Roopa Dhatt is a passionate advocate for gender equality in global health and a leading voice in the movement to correct the gender imbalance in global health leadership. She is also a practicing Internal Medicine physician at Georgetown University MedStar Hospital in Washington, D.C. Dr. Dhatt is particularly committed to addressing issues of power, privilege, and intersectionality that keep many women from global health leadership roles and to opening up spaces for the voices of these women to be heard. Determined to build a movement to transform women’s leadership opportunities in health, Dr. Dhatt co-founded Women in Global Health in 2015. Today, Women in Global Health has more than 25,000 supporters in more than 90 countries and continues to grow. Dr. Roopa Dhatt, the Executive Director, and the global team work with a network of WGH chapters in every region to challenge power and privilege for gender equity in health. Dr. Dhatt has worked in global health for nearly 15 years, collaborating with 120+ countries. She holds numerous advisory, board and ambassador roles. She advises the WHO on matters of health workforce, gender equity, and universal health coverage. She has published in the Lancet, BMJ, Devex, Forbes and been interviewed in National Geographic, Nature, NPR, EuroNews and numerous other channels. Dr. Dhatt was recognized in the Gender Equality Top 100, the most influential people in global policy 2019.

Xiaoxiao Jiang Kwete

Xiaoxiao Jiang Kwete is a research associate at Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health with a research interest of health policy analysis in chronic illness and health systems. She graduated from Peking University Health Science Center, China with a bachelor’s degree of Medicine, and later Harvard School of Public Health with a Master of Science in Global Health and Population. Her current work includes extended cost-effectiveness analysis for priority setting, health system modeling, population health measurement, and China-Africa health collaborations. She was also a core member of the research team for the Lancet Commission on Global Access to Palliative Care and Pain Relief.

From March 2013 to August 2014, she was the project manager for Harvard School of Public Health Breast Cancer Awareness Education and Pilot Training in China. She led a team based in Beijing working with different government branches, academic and social groups, such as All China’s Women’s Federation, China National Center for Women’s and Children’s Health, Peking Union Medical College and Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences. The project developed breast cancer awareness and training materials used in a pilot phase for about 900,000 rural women aged 35-64 across western, middle, and eastern China.

She also served as the youth commissioner of Lancet-University of Oslo Commission on Global Governance for Health from 2012 to 2014, and is currently a member on the board of directors of Aid for Health Simulation, an organization dedicated to engage young students and scholars in the discussion of global development for health related issues.

William Rosa

Billy Rosa, PhD, MBE, NP, is an Assistant Attending Behavioral Scientist, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Center. He received his PhD and Master of Bioethics as an RWJF Future of Nursing Scholar from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Rosa completed MSK’s Hospice & Palliative Medicine Interdisciplinary Clinical Fellowship and served as Chief Fellow of MSK’s NIH/NCI T32 Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Psychosocial, Palliative, and Community Research in Cancer. His streams of research focus on cancer pain disparities, global palliative care inequities, LGBTQ+ inclusive palliative care communication, and psychedelic-assisted therapy in the context of cancer-related distress. He is the editor of four books and has contributed more than 150 academic publications in journals and texts. He was lead researcher for the 2021 Nurses for Health Equity: Guidelines for Tackling the Social Determinants of Health policy report endorsed by the World Health Organization, among others.  Dr. Rosa has been recognized with numerous distinctions, including Sigma’s international Research Dissertation Award, the national Excellence in Oncology Nursing Health Policy and Advocacy Award from the Oncology Nursing Society, and the International Association for Hospice & Palliative Care’s (IAHPC’s) Individual Recognition Award. He was most recently named to the Crain’s New York Business Notable in Health Care 2021 list and is a Scientific Advisory Group Member for the Lancet Commission on Cancer and Health Systems. Dr. Rosa serves as Associate Editor for Palliative & Supportive Care, the editorial boards for the Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing, Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, and American Journal of Nursing, a board/committee member for multiple global health and palliative care organizations, and is Course Director for MSK’s annual U.S. Celebration of World Hospice & Palliative Care Day scientific conference and The Global Palliative Care and Pain Relief Webinar Series, hosted in collaboration with University of Miami and IAHPC. Dr. Rosa is a 2021 Cambia Health Foundation Sojourns Scholar, International Council of Nurses Global Nursing Leadership Institute Scholar, and an American Psychosocial Oncology Society Health Equity Scholar. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, and the New York Academy of Medicine. You can find more information at:

Eduardo Saenz Rovner

Eduardo Saenz Rovner, PhD in History from Brandeis University, Professor at the Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Universidad Nacional de Colombia. He has published The Cuban Connection. Drug Trafficking, Smuggling, and Gambling in Cuba from the 1920’s to the Revolution (Chapel Hill, 2008, Bogotá, 2005), Colombia Años 50. Industriales, política y diplomacia (Bogotá, 2002), and La ofensiva empresarial. Industriales, políticos y violencia en los años 40 en Colombia (Bogotá, 1992).

He has done extensive historical research and published on drug trafficking in Colombia, Colombian traffickers in Miami and New York, and the diplomacy of drug trafficking between the United States and Colombia. He is currently working on a book on the history of drug trafficking in Colombia between the 1930’s and the 1990’s.

David A. Watkins

David Watkins is an Associate Professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine and in the Department of Global Health at the University of Washington. He studies health system reform and policy implementation challenges, with a particular emphasis on universal health coverage and the growing burden of non-communicable diseases in low- and middle-income countries. He is also a key collaborator on the Disease Control Priorities Project, leading the DCP site at the University of Washington and serving as a series editor for the upcoming 4th edition of Disease Control Priorities. Dr. Watkins’s team works in three thematic areas: (1) population and economic modeling to support policy analysis, (2) integrated healthcare delivery, and (3) use of evidence in policy formulation. His research has been featured in high-impact journals like The Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine and is being used in policy and advocacy by international organizations including WHO, the World Bank, and Resolve to Save Lives. In addition to his scholarly work, he teaches on global health and quantitative research methods and continues to practice as an internal medicine specialist at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Dr. Watkins received a bachelor of science from Rhodes College and a doctor of medicine from Duke University before moving to Seattle, where he completed a residency in internal medicine and a research fellowship in health economics at the University of Washington, and an MPH through the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

Alicia Ely Yamin

Alicia Ely Yamin is currently a Lecturer on Law and the Senior Fellow on Global Health and Rights at the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology and Bioethics at Harvard Law School; Adjunct Senior Lecturer on Health Policy and Management at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health; and Senior Advisor on Human Rights and Health Policy at the global health justice organization, Partners In Health.

Known globally for her trans-disciplinary work in relation to economic and social rights, sexual and reproductive health and rights, the right to health, and the intersections between development paradigms and human rights, Yamin’s 25+-year career has bridged academia and activism.  She has lived and worked in Latin America and East Africa for half of her professional life, working with and through local advocacy organizations. 

Yamin has served on numerous UN, WHO and other global expert committees, including being appointed by the UN Secretary General as one of ten international experts to the Independent Accountability Panel for Women's, Children’s, and Adolescents' Health in the Sustainable Development Goals (2016-2021).  She was the chief consultant to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and drafter of the ‘Technical guidance on the application of a human-rights based approach to the implementation of policies and programs to reduce preventable maternal morbidity and mortality, “the first guidance on a ‘human rights-based approach to health’ to be adopted by the UN Human Rights Council.

Yamin currently serves on the WHO’s Technical Advisory Group on ‘Health Technology Assessments’; the joint World Bank/Norwegian Institute for Public Health/Bergen Centre on Ethics and Priority Setting Project on ‘Health Financing for Universal Health Coverage’; the Lancet Commission on Arctic Health; and the Steering Committee on Global Public Investment. 

In 2011, Yamin was named by the iconic Colombian Constitutional Court as an Independent Expert on the implementation of T 760/08, a major structural judgment that led to significant health system reform In Colombia. She was also the only non-Kenyan appointed to the oversight committee for health matters of the Constitutional Implementation Commission in relation to the 2010 Kenyan Constitution.

Yamin regularly provides testimony and guidance to tribunals and legislative bodies around the globe, as well as amicus curiae briefs, in relation to the application of international and constitutional law to health issues. 

Yamin holds Juris Doctor and Master’s in Public Health degrees from Harvard University, and a Doctorate in Law from the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina.  She has published over 150 articles on international and comparative law, international development and global health in English and Spanish. Her latest book, When Misfortune becomes Injustice: Evolving Human Rights Struggles for Health and Social Equality, was published by Stanford University Press in 2020.