Our Team

Our Team

At the IFGH, we work hard to support our members and get the message out across the whole of our extensive network, but this doesn’t happen by itself!

Our team is comprised of two important components- the Secretariat, who conduct the majority of IFGH operations, as well as our dynamic Student Outreach Group Members, who conduct events and outreach in academic campuses around Ireland, north and south.

The IFGH Secretariat

Nadine Ferris France

IFGH Operations Director

Nadine Ferris France is the Operations Director for the Irish Forum for Global Health and ESTHER Ireland. She is a communicator, writer, trainer and civil society activist with over 20 years’ experience in gender, HIV and global health. She has worked extensively with global, regional and national civil society networks on HIV and TB for many years as the co-founder and Executive Director of Health & Development Networks (HDN).

In addition to her experience within the NGO-field, she has also worked extensively with the World Health Organization and also lectures with various academic institutions. She is currently a member of the Programme Advisory Panel for the Robert Carr Civil Society Network Fund and the European AIDS Treatment Group. At this stage in her own professional development, she is particularly passionate about issues such as self-stigma affecting people living with HIV and survivors of gender-based violence. Nadine holds an MSc in Global Health from Trinity College Dublin. Her full profile is available at:https://ie.linkedin.com/in/nadinefrance1

If you wish to contact Nadine, please email: nadine@globalhealth.ie

Steve Macdonald

IFGH Communications Coordinator

Steve manages the outgoing communications streams of the IFGH and ESTHER Ireland, to help keep members informed of news and upcoming events, as well as overseeing the strategic linking of IFGH/ESTHER Ireland communications with current events and other organisations in the fields of global health and development. He is also involved in generating original content for the IFGH website. Steve has a PhD. in biological sciences, with 5 years experience as a postdoctoral scientist, and his research has been published internationally in peer-reviewed journals, including recent work on the interaction of Tuberculosis with the human immune system. He also holds an MSc. in Global Health from Trinity College Dublin, and his current professional interests include global health advocacy, and research around HIV self-stigma.

If you wish to contact Steve, please email: steve@globalhealth.ie

Student Outreach Group

The IFGH Student Outreach Group was formed to give students a stronger voice in the IFGH. It is composed of a group of current students and recent graduates of courses related to global health and development. This group allows the students to contribute new and innovative ideas, helps ensure that the IFGH is meeting student needs, and provides members with exciting opportunities and connections in the field of global health.

Over the last few years, the SOG and its members were the driving force behind the addition of the Global Health Village to the IFGH 2012 International Conference and the first IFGH Global Health Debate. The SOG organised activities around World Toilet Day (November 2013), World AIDS Day (December 2013) and International Women’s Day (March 2014), among others. The contributions they make to the IFGH has a direct impact on the work the IFGH does.

Brynne Gilmore


Brynne has been a member of the IFGH since 2011, providing a focus on student engagement and activities. Professionally, Brynne is a health researcher on maternal and child health and community systems strengthening within low income countries. She specifically focuses on operations research with NGOs using implementation science techniques to improve programme understanding and effectiveness. She has lead projects and conducted research across a variety of settings including: Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Turkey, and Iraq. She also has consulted for several international NGOs for the development of M&E tools and final evaluations. Brynne teaches on the MSc in Global Health in Trinity College and in Kimmage on their Health and Development Module. She is currently completing her doctoral thesis using realist evaluation techniques to understand how community health committees contribute to community systems strengthening within Tanzania and Uganda.

Chiedza McClean


I am originally from Zimbabwe and have lived in Ireland for half of my life. My life experience and heritage is truly half Zimbabwean and half Irish. I completed my BSc. in Physiotherapy in Trinity College Dublin in 2012 and I won the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists Undergraduate Research Award. After that I worked in the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoghaire with spinal cord and brain injury patients and amputees. I have recently completed my MSc. in Global Health with the Centre for Global Health in TCD and I am currently professional intern with the IFGH. I have a strong interest in global health and in particular physiotherapy’s role in global health in developing countries. Ultimately I hope to make progressive change in health equity and policy in both my home countries, Ireland and Zimbabwe.

Bianca van Bavel


Born and raised in London, Ontario, I spent the past five years living in Montreal, Quebec; learning to love and embrace the bilingual freedoms and diversities in my home country of Canada. While there, I graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Conservation Ecology and Medical Anthropology from McGill University (Montreal, Canada).

My genuine curiosity for new experiences has guided my travels around the world and fostered some of my own educational exploration, travelling to East Africa, India and Nepal. I volunteered as an international affiliate for the Kibale Health and Conservation Centre, a Community-Based Organization in Uganda. Collaboratively, with local communitarian support we worked to improve access to healthcare services and encourage environmental understanding, through educational outreach programmes and participatory conservation efforts. This experience has made me keen to study and learn more about universal health equity and access. Additionally, my time spent studying the disease demographics of primate populations in Kibale National Park (Uganda), has sparked my interest to explore the complexities at the disease interface between human and animal health, and the impacts of emergent zoonotic infectious disease on human health.  Most recently, I have completed my M.Sc. in Global Health at the Centre for Global Health (TCD) with a focus on the social and environmental determinants of leptospirosis in vulnerable populations across East Java, Indonesia.  Currently,  I am working as a professional intern for the IFGH.

Sanskriti Sasikumar

University of Limerick

Sanskriti graduated summa cum laude from her bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences (Honours) from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario before choosing to pursue medicine at the University of Limerick. Whilst in Canada, she discovered a passion for Global Health, participating not only in several debates and conferences, but also in publishing articles under the McMaster Health Forum, entitled “Assessing Proposals for Access to Medicines Reform” (2012) and  “Addressing Mental Health: Reframing the Understanding of Mental, Neurological and Substance Abuse Disorders in Low- and Middle- Income Countries” (2013).  She became involved with the Irish Forum for Global Health in 2013, after participating in the first Making Time debate.  Although only a recent addition to the Student Outreach team, her roles as the medical school representative to the University of Limerick Student’s Union and co-founder of the university’s Global Health Society allows her to expand global health awareness to a wide audience.

Rebecca Jones

Dublin City University

Rebecca Jones is a second year undergraduate student of the BSc Health and Society in the school of Nursing and Human Sciences at Dublin City University. She is interested in Justice, Poverty and Inequalities and their relationships with health. Her main interest in research is the enabling role of Traditional Medicine in the changing global healthcare landscape.

She is a licensed Acupuncture practitioner, Tui Na therapist and has studied and practiced numerous other complementary therapies. She gained clinical experience in teaching hospitals such as Zhejiang University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Beijing, China, studying the art of Traditional Chinese Medicine in 2006. Further clinical training was undertaken in the Jiangsu Province Hospital in Nanjing, China in 2008. Her main interest with TCM is with maternal health and fertility. Rebecca believes that traditional practitioners should be recognised, valued and in relevant aspects integrated into the national health services.

She has also had a lot of experience working with the DIT Library services helping students with information literacy.

Kerstin Rieger

TCD/UCD Masters in Development Practice

Kerstin Rieger is originally from Germany and is in her 2-year of her MSc Development Practice study at TCD/UCD in Dublin/Ireland. Kerstin has worked for several years in the corporate world in Ireland as a Sales and People Manager, which helped her to gain very valuable skills, relevant to a successful researcher. Spending three years abroad, living and working in Vietnam and Nepal, gave her a good insight into the daily challenges faced by local people and their culture. During her Summer Research placement in Malawi she discovered her passion for field research. She is an enthusiastic and dedicated person with a strong interest in the area of climate change in connection with safe drinking water, sanitation & hygiene interlinked with health and Adult Education. Kerstin has a further interest in water and air pollution, waste management and solar power, as well as the effects of hazards and climate change on living conditions such as water tables, firewood, food and housing.

Martin Nikolaev Mroue

University of Limerick

A mixed background 22 and a curious mind may have been the major triggers for my fascination with the world and its people. However, my interest in global, public, individual and personal wellbeing was fuelled having grown up in a country where it could be clearly observed how instability and turmoil significantly affect the various determinants of health.

After completion of high school in Lebanon, moving to the UK for further education made perfect sense considering my ambition to study in Europe. In the UK, I completed a BSc in Molecular Medicine at the University of Sussex. Just as I was about to dedicate a year to exploring the world in its vast breadth and depth, I decided to enroll in an MSc in Global Health at the Brighton and

Sussex Medical School instead. Fortunately, as part of my research project for the course, I had the opportunity to immerse myself in an internship with UNICEF in north-eastern India. The research involved the documentation and evaluation of an accreditation system used to assess the performance of the largest community-based project in the world, the Integrated Child Development Service. Travelling, and certainly planning for it, constituted a major part of my time as a BSc and MSc student. Currently, I find myself confronted with a new challenge in Ireland as a first year medical student at the University of Limerick.

Hanna Phelan


Hanna is an MSc in Global Health student in the Center for Global Health Trinity College Dublin. Following completion of her undergraduate degree in International Relations and French from University College Dublin in 2013 she undertook a nine month internship with an Irish NGO. Hanna is particularly interested in maternal, neonatal and child health, human rights and health and information and communication technology for health.

Ruth Ceannt


Ruth is currently a student on the MSc programme in Global Health in Trinity College Dublin. She qualified as a doctor in 2010 and since then has worked in general medicine/surgery and is now specializing in Psychiatry. She has taken a break from her training to study for the MSc in Global Health. During her time in medical school she travelled abroad extensively, this included voluntary work in Delhi, India, as an English teacher and also  a medical elective in Mengo Hospital, Kampala, Uganda. Thus far her experience has been primarily clinical and she is keen to broaden her horizons and learn more about policy and health systems. Her main interest is in mental health, particularly amongst marginalized groups such as the homeless population, barriers to accessing mental health services for these groups, stigma and mental illness, and also in the interplay between culture and mental health.

Kate Brady

UCD/TCD Masters in Development Practice

Kate Brady is a second year master’s student of Development Practice at Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin. She holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and philosophy from Trinity College Dublin. Currently, she is researching barriers to accessing community health services in the Southern Province of Rwanda. She is also interested in exploring the philosophical foundations of development and human rights.

Carlos Bruen


Carlos Bruen is a Research Officer on the Global Health Initiatives (GHIs) in Africa research consortium. Comprised of researchers in six countries, the consortium is exploring the health systems-effects of GHIs in southern African countries and the impact of GHI finance on the health and wider aid landscape. He contributes to the Global HIV/AIDS Initiatives Network (GHIN), a network of researchers from 22 countries. Carlos is also a PhD candidate at RCSI. Prior to this he completed an MSc (UCD), after which he worked for several years as a Teaching & Research Fellow in the Equality Studies Centre, UCD, coordinating and contributing to modules in global politics and development, and postgraduate research methods training. A social scientist by background, his research interests include global health policy, health systems and governance.

Nuha Ibrahim


Nuha Ibrahim is originally from Sudan. She holds a BA in Biology from University of Khartoum, Sudan (2004) and master of Global Health from Centre for Global Health, Trinity College Dublin (2010). She is currently undertaking a PhD in Global Health at Trinity College Dublin.  Nuha’s academic areas of interest include Health System Strengthening, human resources for health and Nutritional challenges & Food security.

Claire McCauley

University of Ulster

Claire chose to study for an MSc in Health Promotion and Population Health at the University of Ulster as a result of working as a community pharmacist in a severely economically deprived area of Northern Ireland for nearly six years.She is particularly interested in the areas of mental health, women’s health and social justice. Her MSc thesis explores the empowerment of women in the decision to use antidepressants in pregnancy. With a background in pharmacy, Claire believes the efficient delivery of healthcare services are most needed in an economic and political interface. She now works in a pharmacy management position and has experienced first-hand the devastating impact of poverty, lack of education, and civil unrest on a community’s health and well- being. She understands the difficulties faced by health practitioners delivering health promotion in this context, and has learned that involvement with local community groups and the voluntary sector is essential. She developed an “Our community-Our health” fayre where she invited health support awareness groups from the city to display the services they offer in the local shopping mall. Throughout the year her pharmacy regularly runs awareness days in and outside the pharmacy while also providing general health checks. She is a National Pharmacy Association (NPA) media spokesperson and the pharmacy contact for her local BBC radio. She also edits a weekly health column for a national paper, The Irish News. Claire has delivered a complex weekly health promotion project with the Irish Travelling community, and won the Young Community Pharmacist of the Year Award in January 2011.

Purity Mwendwa

TCD/UCD Masters in Development Practice

Purity Mwendwa is a Kenyan and currently a second year student doing a Masters in Development Practice (MDP) at Trinity College and University College Dublin. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Politics and Linguistics (German Major), a higher Diploma in Counselling Psychology, and she is a trained Nurse Technician. Her research areas and dissertations have mainly focused on the health of women, namely: the impact of HIV and Aids on women living in Kibera slums, Nairobi (2004) and Support and Services for women presenting with Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Ireland (2010). Her current research is on Maternal Health and looks at the progress made towards achieving MDG 5.The research evaluates the role that the Millennium Villages Project (MVP) has played in facilitating emergency obstetric and antenatal care services in five Villages in Rwanda.

Josephine Nabaggala

Kimmage DSC

Josephine is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Development studies at Kimmage DSC, Dublin. She has for the last six years been working with the public service sector in Uganda, focused on local government management and performance. Her most recent work focuses on service delivery in the public sector as well as decentralised programme implementation.

Dr Kunal Patel


Dr Kunal D Patel is a medical doctor, academic and Global Health advocate. Recently he has been based in Thailand, working with the Childrens’ Rights Foundation/ Baan Gerda as a Technical Advisor. Previously, he was working as a policy/advocacy officer at MPlus+, a group focusing on HIV in the MSM population of Thailand. He also works for groups focusing on HIV stigma particularly amongst children and also with Harm Reduction advocates. Due to his research background, he has other GH interests including Non Communicable diseases (in particular Cardiovascular disease), Sustainability and Development. His work in the Global Health field can be seen via the many online publications and newspaper articles he has produced but also as the founder of the online charitable experiment, The Power of 100. Having had experience in general, plastic and vascular surgery. It was his interest in NCDs, particularly vascular disease, that resulted in his role as a Research Fellow at Trinity College, Dublin. This research led to the discovery of certain inflammatory molecules termed cytokines to be upregulated after a myocardial infarction. It has also led to further insight into the upregulation of other markers in atherosclerotic disease such as Interleukin 17. The work produced from this role has resulted in peer reviewed publications and presentations at national and international meetings. Additionally, Dr Patel reviews articles for journals such as Circulation. He continues to teach alongside his duties as a Fellow, being primarily responsible for medical students and those involved in Masters Programmes associated with Molecular Medicine, acting as a supervisor for end of year theses. His interest in Global Health and the impact of Tropical disease has resulted in Dr Patel working for the Tropical Medical Bureau for the past two years. This has also led him to be an active member of the Irish Forum for Global Health.

Manisha Sachdeva

NUI Galway

Manisha is in her second year of medicine at NUI, Galway and has a Masters of Science degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Toronto and Bachelors of Health Sciences degree from the University of Ottawa. She was involved with IMAGINE, a student-led interdisciplinary clinic for the homeless in downtown Toronto where she acted as the Community Partnerships director

liaising with local organizations, and with the Student University Network for Social and International health to help engage students in global health initiatives. Her past research includes exploring neuro-cognitive challenges in individuals living with HIV, and current research involves working with a family physician to develop a preventive care tool for the Inner City Health Associates in Toronto. She’s also the recent founder and head of a student-led Think Thank, Students for Health Equity

Frederique Vallieres


Frédérique is currently pursuing her PhD in the Centre for Global Health, Trinity College Dublin. Her doctoral work is focused on the potential use of mobile phone technology beyond knowledge transfer, to support ongoing supervision and maintain motivation among community health workers (CHWs). She obtained her BSc. in Psychology from McGill University (2006) and her MSc. in Global Health from Trinity College Dublin (2010). She previously served as a research assistant at the Montréal Institute for Research on Youth Depression; research co-coordinator examining cognitive vulnerabilities to depression in youth at Peking University in China; as the principal investigator conducting a situational analysis of OVCs in Nakuru, Kenya; and as the Lead Monitoring & Evaluation Officer with World Vision Ireland conducting the baseline exercises for a four-year Irish Aid funded maternal and child health project taking place across Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Mauritania, and Sierra Leone.

Jacinta Whelan

I have been working with AIDS partnership with Africa for several years & am interested in HIV and other global health issues.