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triangle global health Career day

FEBRUARY 1, 2019

cAREER DAY speakers 


Don Alexander

As a recruiter with over 20 years of professional and executive search industry experience, Don Alexander has spent more than 16 years focusing exclusively on talent acquisition and recruiting, nationwide, for seasoned professionals in the Life Sciences sector (Biotechnology, Pharmaceutical, Medical Device, Diagnostics and supporting Services and Tools). He has successfully completed hundreds of recruitment projects that involved senior level individual contributors through C level executives, with particular emphasis on sales, business development, marketing, product development, project management and pre-clinical R&D. 

Andre Blackman

Andre is an influential and connected agent of change/innovation within the health innovation community. He is very passionate about the intersection of media, technology and useful innovative concepts as it relates to the improvement of population and systemic health. Andre is a pioneering strategist with deep ties into the public health/healthcare, technology and branding landscapes. He is also the Founder and CEO of Pulse + Signal, a branding and innovation strategy consultancy where he helps healthcare focused organizations stay equipped for the future. Andre is a sought after advisor to companies building the future of health and brand builder for the leaders who run them. His contributions have been featured in Forbes, NPR, Reporting on Health, U.S. News and World Report.

Rob Callus

Rob Callus currently works for World Relief as a Program Coordinator for their refugee and immigrant youth programs. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame with degrees in Health Sciences and Theology. His first experiences in global health came from a service-learning program in Uganda where he was an HIV counselor at a rural health center. After his undergraduate studies, Rob served with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where he taught English at a secondary school for two years. Rob then completed a fellowship with Curamericas Global where he supported community-based maternal and child health programs in western Kenya. He finds himself at World Relief in his current position exploring how to use his skills in program development and data analysis on both local and global levels through social work and education.

Kim Chin

Kim Chin is Founder and Managing Partner of McChin Healthcare Solutions headquartered in the Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. The firm specializes in global healthcare business development for digital health, telemedicine service providers and medical informatics companies. He consults for publicly listed companies, government and statutory boards, private equity and venture capital firms, and private sector enterprises across the global healthcare spectrum.

Prior to the founding of McChin Healthcare Solutions, Kim served in senior management positions in local government and the private sector. He led multi-disciplinary planning, marketing and government relations teams to implement healthcare access programs for communities in Washington, Oregon, California, Colorado, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. In addition to the Americas, Kim has negotiated deals for clients in the Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, Latin America Caribbean (LAC), Africa, India and China.]

Kim earned his undergraduate degree from the Allen School of Journalism at the University of Oregon.  He is an alum of the University of Washington's Daniel J. Evan's School of Public Policy and Governance Cascade Executive Program. Kim is a member of the Board of the North Carolina World Trade Association, a trade body representing multinational companies to promote international commerce between enterprises in the state and the world. Kim is a founding member of the Japan America Society of North Carolina, and is a contributor to Go Global NC international study tours and missions for business leaders and elected officials.

Ali Ghiassi

With degrees from UNC-Greensboro in International Business, Economics, and Spanish, and over a decade of experience in the Life Sciences industry, Ali has had the opportunity to support a wide range of innovative Pharma, Biotech, Medical Device and Service organizations (CRO, CDMO) across the globe. Creating strategic partnerships while implementing effective and efficient programs for talent acquisition, talent management, employee engagement and employer branding.


Leveraging his language skills in English, Spanish (C2), French (A1), and German (A1) he’s had the great opportunity to work with organizations such as Catalent Pharma Solutions, Novartis, Clarivate Analytics and dozens of other Life Sciences companies during his time with Aerotek.


He’s a fan of traveling, cooking, camping, hiking, skiing, painting and lending time to a few great non-profit organizations.

Heidi Scott Giusto

Heidi Scott Giusto, Ph.D. has owned and operated Career Path Writing Solutions since 2013. Dedicated to helping individuals and businesses succeed when the stakes are high, she delights in helping job seekers navigate career change. One of Heidi’s specialties is helping life science professionals as they transition into new roles, a specialty she developed as a result of co-facilitating a life science networking event for four years. She holds certifications in resume writing, interview preparation, and empowerment coaching and has written for organizations including FBI-LEEDA, BiteSizeBio, and CareerIgniter. Heidi is a frequent speaker and workshop facilitator in the Raleigh-Durham area.

Sarah Martin

Sarah manages graduate admissions for the Duke Master of Science in Global Health program, as well as two opportunities for doctoral-level students at Duke University. She also helps DGHI develop new programs and respond to opportunities to enhance existing global health educational programming at Duke. A Durham-native, Sarah returned to North Carolina after many years living in colder climates. She holds a M.Ed. in Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration from the University of Vermont, and before coming to DGHI, served as the Director of University Relations at World Learning/SIT Study Abroad.

Beryl Opar

Beryl Opar is a global Human Resource professional with experience working in the telecommunications, financial technology and international development industries across Africa, India, Middle East and the Americas.

She currently works at DAI Bethesda as a HR Business Partner serving as an influential people partner, advising leaders across two business units, while playing a key role in developing and implementing HR strategy and programs in support of short-term and long-term business goals with the overall goal of attracting, retaining, and developing the best talent.

Ms. Opar has a Masters in Management (AMBA) from the University of Warwick Business School, a B.A. Economics and French from Carleton University, Canada and is a certified Global Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHRi).

LaHoma Romocki

Dr. Romocki is a Health Communication specialist. Her experience includes managing complex statewide, national, and international public health programs, teaching public health courses, applying scientific research to program operations and interventions, handling media relations, conducting communications research, writing proposals, developing curricula and educational materials, and conducting public health education workshops for U.S. and international audiences.

Dr. Romocki has worked extensively in the area of reproductive health including the prevention of HIV/AIDS and other STDs. She has developed a network of colleagues throughout government and non-governmental programs to integrate research findings into communication and training programs targeting service providers, policy makers and family planning clients. She has worked with the media, and has made numerous television and radio appearances. She has substantive work experience in nine developing countries and has good command of both conversational and professional French.

Aaron Turner

Aaron Turner has over 20 years of talent acquisition experience. He is currently the Talent Acquisition Manager at RTI, supporting Social, Statistical, and Environmental Sciences Organization (SSES).


Prior to joining RTI, Aaron worked in the government contracting space in many areas, including life sciences, research & development, information technology and management consulting. Earlier in his career, he was part of the executive management team for a consulting firm which - in addition to the human capital aspect - allowed him to get a view of business from the sales, execution and delivery points of view.


Aaron is very passionate about employee development. He recognizes the need to constantly develop talent and prepare employees for the next step in their careers. He strives to understand internal client needs in order to strategically build teams, ensure growth opportunities, and deliver results.


Born and raised in Northern Virginia, Aaron, his wife and two kids moved to North Carolina in 2015.

Gretchen Van Vliet

Gretchen Van Vliet is a senior public health project director at RTI International with more than 20 years of experience in public health and global health. She has worked at two international NGOs in North Carolina: FHI 360 and RTI International. She works on projects related to business development, global health security in Africa, HIV, workforce development and health communication. She also previously served as the director of the Office of Global Health at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and currently holds an adjunct assistant professor position in the Public Health Leadership Program at the Gillings School.  

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