Speaker Bios


Dr. Cassandra Pierre

Dr. Cassandra Pierre is an Assistant Professor at the Boston University School of Medicine; she serves as the Medical Director of Public Health Programs and the acting Hospital Epidemiologist at Boston Medical Center; and as the Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Council for the Boston University Medical Group. Her focus is on population and public health in communities struggling with racial, economic and social marginalization. Dr. Pierre's research is focused on infection prevention in vulnerable populations. Her clinical interests include HIV management in special subpopulations (including immigrants of color and pregnant women). During the COVID-19 pandemic, she has led Boston Medical Center's multidisciplinary Infection Prevention and PPE response, designed ambulatory and operative re-opening protocols and advised Occupational Health and department leadership on COVID-19 prevention in healthcare workers. Dr. Pierre has also collaborated with local community organizations to develop and implement strategies to reduce COVID-19 infection in communities of color).

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Dr. Mark Dybul


The Honorable Mark Dybul, MD, is the Co-Director of the Center for Global Health Practice and Impact, and Professor in the Department of Medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center. He is also a Chair and Fellow with the Joep Lange Institute. A well-recognized global health expert and humanitarian, Dr. Dybul served as Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and as the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, overseeing the implementation of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Dr. Dybul served as a HIV research fellow at the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) under director Dr. Anthony Fauci in the late 1990s. He conducted basic and clinical HIV research at NIAID, and eventually conducted the first randomized, controlled trial with combination antiretroviral therapy with HIV patients in Africa. He went on to lead President George W. Bush’s International Prevention of Mother and Child HIV initiative for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and in 2006 was named U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator. As U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, he led the implementation of PEPFAR, a health initiative Dr. Dybul helped create. He later became the inaugural Global Health Fellow of the George W. Bush Institute.


Charlie helped found Adjuvant Capital while at the Global Health Investment Fund (GHIF) where he focused on investments in medical device companies, including the fund’s investments in IanTech (acquired by Zeiss) and Alydia Health. Before joining GHIF, Charlie was with Artemis Capital Partners, where he made private equity investments in industrial technology companies with a focus on the scientific instrumentation and advanced materials sectors. Previously, he lived in Haiti and worked at the country’s largest microfinance bank, Sevis Finansye Fonkoze, where he led financial and operational analysis efforts. Charlie remains active in Haiti and serves on the boards of Sevis Finansye Fonkoze and Fonkoze USA. He is a graduate of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute.


Charlie Petty


Phyllis Arthur

Ms. Arthur is responsible for working with member companies in vaccines, antimicrobial resistance, molecular diagnostics, and biodefense on policy, legislative and regulatory issues. Ms. Arthur joined BIO in July 2009 as the Director of Healthcare Regulatory Affairs.  Prior to joining BIO, she worked in numerous marketing and sales positions for Merck & Co Inc in their Vaccine Division.  Over her 16-year career in vaccines, Ms. Arthur launched several exciting new vaccines in the United States and internationally, including the first HPV vaccine, GARDASIL.  During her years in Marketing, she worked closely with clinical and academic thought leaders in infectious diseases, oncology, and public health.   In addition, Ms. Arthur also led a large vaccine sales organization of over 75 representatives and managers covering 14 states. Before graduate school, Ms. Arthur worked as a research assistant for two economists at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC.  There she conducted economic analyses related to savings and investment policies for the OECD countries. Ms. Arthur received her B.A. in 1987 in Economics and International Politics from Goucher College and her M.B.A. in 1991 from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.


Kimberly Mutcherson is Co-Dean and Professor of Law at Rutgers Law School in Camden. Her scholarly work is at the intersection of family law, health law, and bioethics. She writes on issues related to reproductive justice, with a focus on assisted reproduction, abortion, and maternal-fetal decision-making. Professor Mutcherson teaches Family Law, Torts, South African Constitutional Law, and Bioethics, Babies, & Babymaking. She has served as a Senior Fellow/Sabbatical Visitor at the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at Columbia Law School, a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, and as a fellow at the Institute for Research on Women at Rutgers University. She won a Center for Reproductive Rights Innovation in Scholarship Award in 2013 and a Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Award in 2011.She received her B.A. in history from the University of Pennsylvania and her J.D. from Columbia Law School where she was a Stone Scholar. At Columbia, she received the Samuel I. Rosenman Prize for excellence in public law courses and outstanding qualities of citizenship and leadership in the law school. She also received the Kirkland and Ellis Fellowship for post- graduate public interest work. Prior to joining the faculty at Rutgers School of Law in 2002, Professor Mutcherson was an Acting Assistant Professor of Lawyering at the New York University School of Law, a consulting attorney at the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy (now the Center for Reproductive Rights), and a Staff Attorney at the HIV Law Project.


Kimberly Mutcherson

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Ms. Nancy Breton

Nancy Breton is a PhD student in Social Research Methods at the London School of Economics and Political Science, as well as a health program and policy evaluator. She has extensive experience working in global health and development, specifically within the realm of sexual and reproductive health and rights. Nancy's perspective stems from postcolonial, decolonial, and anti-colonial theory in order to inform practical applications that take place in three schools of thought, practice, and research: global public health and development, sexual and gender-based violence interventions, and gender studies. From this approach, she uses qualitative research and evaluation methods – such as discourse analysis, community-based participatory research, and community asset-based mapping – in anti-colonial and community-led efforts within global health and development.

Nancy's doctoral thesis explores how to apply anti-colonial and decolonial methodologies to strengthen existing Zambia-based sexual and gender-based violence interventions in collaboration with the community.


Abraar Karan is an American global health physician and writer. He is a resident at the Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. He was active in the COVID-19 epidemic response in Massachusetts and involved nationally through his contributions to lay press media platforms. His previous work over the past 13 years has included various projects/experiences in Latin America (Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua, Haiti, Dominican Republic), Asia (India, Thailand), and Sub-Saharan Africa (Rwanda, Uganda, Mozambique). In 2011-2012, as a Yale Parker Huang Fellow, he conducted an anthropological research study in India exploring sex trafficking and intergenerational sex work in Hyderabad and Delhi. Dr. Karan has authored works in the NEJM, The Lancet, The BMJ, Academic Medicine, Health Affairs, NPR, WaPo, Vox, Los Angeles Times, Scientific American, Huffpost, Boston Globe, Harvard Business Review, and other major publications. Since January 2019, he has also been a columnist at the British Medical Journal. Prior to that, Dr. Karan co-edited the book, "Protecting the Health of the Poor", which was released in December 2015. He has a notable interest and experience in medical ethics, having served as a medical fellow in Auschwitz studying the history of the holocaust for the FASPE program in 2016; and has led the AMA Journal of Ethics twice (2016-17 on international healthcare systems; 2019-20 on the pandemic response).


Dr. Abraar Karan

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Dr. Tammam Aloudat

Tammam Aloudat, Deputy Medical Director of MSF Switzerland,  is a Syrian medical doctor and public health expert. He has worked for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and for MSF in the field and headquarters directly supporting emergency medical assistance in multiple contexts. Tammam has a medical degree from the University of Damascus and a Masters degree in Public Health in Developing Countries from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He has published multiple works on health and medical interventions in emergencies and conflict including on epidemic control, natural disasters, non-communicable diseases, and psychosocial support. In addition to his role in managing the medical department in MSF, he works on issues related to quality of medical care in emergencies, health information systems, and medical ethics in emergencies.


Dr. Weissman's laboratory focuses on the study of RNA and innate immune system biology and the application of these findings to vaccine research and gene therapy. There are three main projects in his laboratory. The first project began through the use of mRNA encoding antigen as a delivery system to load dendritic cells to promote broad immune responses as part of a vaccine. This project has expanded to include basic studies of RNA immunogenicity and translation and the development of applications for gene therapy. The second project develops new HIV envelope immunogens that can induce broad responses and cross-reactive neutralizing antibodies. The third project continues previous studies that identified a protein found on DC, macrophages, and epithelial cells that binds HIV envelope with high affinity. The main focus of this project is testing whether these and related molecules function in vivo to promote HIV genital tract infection.


Dr. Drew Weissman


Tiaji Salaam-Blyther is a thought leader with an outstanding record in facilitating and coordinating high-level negotiations, managing international development projects, and guiding cross-cultural information exchanges. Salaam- Blyther has lived in Ghana, Senegal, Zimbabwe, Italy, and Switzerland, and through her work in the U.S. federal government, United Nations agencies, and non-profit organizations, traveled to more than 15 other countries. Salaam- Blyther is widely published—having written over 70 products on global health and development—and regularly provides confidential advice to Members of Congress and their staff on crafting legislation, developing floor speeches, and drafting letters to the executive branch. As a trusted adviser, Salaam-Blyther has traveled with Members of Congress and their staff to several countries to assess U.S. progress in improving global health and advancing development worldwide. Her unique skill set has equipped Tiaji to produce compelling products aimed at explaining key factors shaping some of the world’s most pressing problems and outlining possible solutions to these challenges. 


Tiaji Salaam-Blyther


Crystal Lander is an experienced senior policy and development expert both in the United States and globally. Ms. Lander was recently announced as the new executive director of global affairs leading the design and delivering advocacy campaigns, overseeing advocacy strategies, and serving as an ambassador for the organization globally. Prior to this role, Ms. Lander developed and led the advocacy team at Living Goods, where she managed the organization’s engagement on global health policy. She and her team worked to drive lasting and systemic impact that will enable every family to access quality health care in the community in which they live.  Ms. Lander also developed and led the advocacy unit at Management Sciences for Health (MSH) for more than seven years where she successfully managed the organization’s engagement on global health policy in the United States and in more than 30 countries. Ms. Lander is a graduate of the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish and Economics and a Master of Public Health from Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine with a degree in International Health Policy.  She is engaged in her local community as an active member of the National Association of Parliamentarians, Alexandria West Rotary Club and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.


Crystal Lander


Dr. Magdalena Szaflarski

Dr. Szaflarski is a medical sociologist and health disparities researcher. Her research focuses on barriers to optimal health for vulnerable populations including racial/ethnic minorities, low-income groups, and people living with chronic conditions. Dr. Szaflarski has conducted and published studies examining immigrant mental health, social factors in epilepsy, and the role of religion and spirituality in HIV. Dr. Szaflarski’s work has been funded by NIH, state agencies, and private organizations. Dr. Szaflarski has partnered with community and advocacy groups on community-engaged research projects. Dr. Szaflarski’s current projects examine health care provider views on medical cannabis and COVID-19 responses and outcomes in the United States and Poland. Dr. Szaflarski teaches medical sociology, sociology of mental health, health disparities, health care systems, global health, and other sociology courses.