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Global Health Leadership Forum

With over 220 active organizations, companies and academic institutions, North Carolina is a leading center for global public health research, practice, and innovation. The Global Health Leadership Forum is a quarterly speaker series featuring a mix of topics and perspectives spanning the global health, public health, and environmental health arenas. 


Please join us to learn how our communities are impacted by global health challenges, and how our global health leaders address these challenges through advocacy, collaboration, and innovation to improve the health of populations around the world.

Women in Global Health Leadership

Tuesday, March 17th (4:30 - 7:00 PM)

RTI International, Horizon Auditorium

The Global Health Leadership Forum serves as a venue for exploring and acting on important topics impacting the global and public health sectors. Join us for our next topic, "Women in Global Health Leadership" on March 17th from 4:30 - 7:00 PM at RTI International.

The program will feature a welcome from our host RTI International, introductory remarks on women's leadership in global and public health, a moderated panel discussion with top women leaders in diverse health sectors, and intergenerational and multisectoral roundtable conversations. The closing reception will further facilitate networking and relationship building. In this engaging event, we will explore the current state of and gaps in women's leadership in global and public health and proffer strategies, resources, and local opportunities to advance gender equity in leadership across all health sectors.

Thank you to RTI International for hosting this event and to Global Citizen, LLC for co-organizing the program!

Important details:

  • Registration has been closed and the event will be postponed due to the COVID-19 public health response. 

  • All paid registrations will be refunded.

  • The event will be rescheduled at a future date, yet to be determined. 

Featured speakers:​

Peggy Bentley, MA, PhD, Associate Dean of the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

Dr. Bentley received her MA and PhD degrees in Medical Anthropology from the University of Connecticut. From 1985-98 she was on faculty in International Health at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University. Since 1998 she has been on faculty at the University of North Carolina, where she has held several leadership roles. Dr. Bentley’s research focuses on women and infant's nutrition, infant and young child feeding, behavioral research on sexually transmitted diseases, HIV, and community-based interventions for nutrition and health. She has particular expertise in qualitative research methods and the application of these for program development and evaluation.

Dr. Bentley formerly led an NIH-funded intervention to improve child growth and development in Andhra Pradesh, India and currently leads an NIH-funded trial in North Carolina for prevention of obesity among infants and toddlers. She is Principal Investigator of a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant for analyses of nutrition data from the Breastfeeding, Antiretroviral and Nutrition (BAN) study. Dr. Bentley was a member of the Advisory Board of the Indo-US Joint Working Group on Maternal and Child Health and is a member of the ASPPH Global Health Committee. She is a Fellow of the Society for Applied Anthropology.  She was the founding Chair of the Board of Directors of the Triangle Global Health Consortium. She is an officer of the Board of Directors of the Consortium for Universities in Global Health. In 2019, she was elected president of the Society for Implementation Science in Nutrition.

Dana Weston Graves, MHA, FACHE, Founder & President, DMG Executive Resources

Dana Weston Graves is Founder & President of DMG Executive Resources, a consulting firm providing healthcare strategy, leadership development, and advocacy services. Dana previously served as President & CEO of UNC Rockingham Health Care in Eden, NC where she was responsible for the strategic vision, daily operations, and overall system growth – including leading the rural hospital successfully through Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Her earlier career experiences include facilitating the implementation of hospital partnership models and serving as a consultant to health systems across the region (Adept Health), as well as managing strategic planning for acute care facilities and clinical service lines (Novant Health).


Originally from St. Louis, MO, Dana received a Master of Healthcare Administration degree from UNC - Chapel Hill and a Bachelor of Science degree in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology from Emory University. Dana is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and has held active leadership positions in both professional and community organizations. Her recognition & awards include Triad Business Journals’ 40 Leaders Under 40 (2017), Emory University Alumni 40 under Forty (2018), National Association for Health Services Executives (NAHSE) Young Healthcare Executive of the Year (2018), Triad’s Most Admired CEOs (2019), and the UNC Gillings School of Public Health Alumni Leadership Award (2019).

Stephanie Hawkins, PhD, Director, Youth, Violence Prevention, and Community Justice Program at RTI International

Dr. Stephanie Hawkins is a clinician and researcher with more than 20 years of experience working with  youth who reside in resource-poor urban communities. She has extensive research experience working in the areas of girls and delinquency prevention, boys and men of color, youth violence prevention, teen dating violence prevention, youth substance abuse prevention, youth mentoring, the provision of evaluation technical assistance, and program and systems-level evaluations. 

Stephanie received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Howard University and completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Violence Prevention Research, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine. 

*RTI International Welcome Introduction

Anu Kumar, MPH, PhD, President & CEO, Ipas

Dr. Kumar joined Ipas in 2002 as Executive Vice President. In that role, she had oversight of Ipas’s fundraising and communications efforts, started a new technical area working with communities and pioneered work on abortion stigma. In 2016, she became Ipas’s first Chief Strategy and Development Officer and lead the organizational strategic planning process, along with fundraising, partnership development and technical innovation. In her tenure at Ipas, she has overseen technical and operational aspects of the organization from finance to medical abortion. Dr. Kumar has been involved in the creation of several new country programs for Ipas including in Indonesia, Myanmar and Mozambique. Dr. Kumar has published in blogs, including Huffington Post and Ms. Magazine, and in peer-reviewed journals.

Prior to joining Ipas, Dr. Kumar served for seven years as senior program officer in the Population and Reproductive Health program of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. In that capacity, she was responsible for grants to organizations working in India and to international organizations, and for grants in the field of population and the environment. Prior to her work with the MacArthur Foundation, Dr. Kumar worked as a social scientist at the World Health Organization’s Reproductive Health Research Division. Dr. Kumar has a master’s degree and a PhD in anthropology and a master’s degree in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Maternal and Child Health at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Joan Packenham, PhD, Director of the NIEHS Office of Human Research Compliance

Dr. Joan Packenham manages Scientific Programs and Scientific Resources for NIEHS, and currently serves as Director for the Office of Human Research Compliance in the NIEHS Clinical Research Branch and the Vice Chair for the NIEHS Institutional Review Board. Her research and scientific administrative expertise includes: clinical research, translational research, toxicology, molecular genetics, pathology, molecular genetic mechanisms of oxidative stress, signal transduction, apoptosis, DNA repair, cell cycle control, cancer research, gene expression in environmentally induced disease, mouse genetics and the NIEHS Environmental Genome Project.

Dr. Packenham has a B.S. degree in Biology and a minor in Chemistry from North Carolina Central University and a Ph.D. in Experimental Pathology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Medicine. Dr. Packenham, has also served as a Government Senior Science Policy Advisor, being selected as an American Association for the Advancement of Science Policy Fellow. In 2010, Dr. Packenham received the National Women of Color in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) award for Career Achievement in Government.

Katherine Turner, MPH, Global Citizen LLC

Katherine L. Turner, MPH is the Founder and President of Global Citizen, LLC, a consulting firm that works in the United States and internationally to strengthen leaders’ capacity to effect organizational and social transformation by advancing global public health, human rights, intercultural competence, equity, diversity, and inclusion. As Adjunct Professor at the UNC-Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health, she teaches and mentors the next generation of global health leaders. Katherine is an internationally-recognized thought leader, executive consultant and coach, senior global advisor, public speaker, educator, author, and change agent who has lived and/or worked in English, French, and Dutch in more than 50 countries spanning five continents. 


Katherine graduated with honors with a B.A. and certificate in women's studies from Duke University and a master of public health (MPH) from the UNC-Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health. She worked as a Peace Corps volunteer and trainer in Togo, West Africa and in senior leadership positions at the Durham County Health Department and Ipas before founding her consulting firm in 2011. Her leadership roles include providing strategic direction for the N.C. Advisory Committee of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition and the N.C. Coalition for Global Competitiveness; co-founding the N.C. Equity Cadre of consultants and practitioners; co-chairing the Duke University LGBTQ+ Network Board’s Diversity and Membership Committee; and providing keynote addresses and performance-enhancing coaching, consulting, and instruction in her many expertise areas. Katherine has founded and led the board of directors of numerous nonprofit organizations and won academic and industry awards for excellence in leadership, education, and advocacy.

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Thank you to our co-organizer!

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