Covid-19 has globally impacted health infrastructure and our efforts to combat other medical issues from women’s reproductive rights to the delivery of medical aid in the field. From considerations on global mental health to the role of humanitarian aid workers, our medical and health board assists us in analysing key trends in the sector with assistance from experts in the academic and health fields.
Medical & Health Programming Board
Professor Donald Donahue (co-Chair), Professor of Healthcare Administration and Global Health, University of Maryland Baltimore
Vivian Lopez (co-Chair), Senior Advisor, Global health Partnerships, UNICEF
Helen Seibel, Global Head of Community Investment and Philanthropy, AstraZeneca
Dr. Attila Hertelendy, Professor in the International Executive Master's in Emergency and Disaster Management, Georgetown University
HH Sayyida Basma, Founder, Whispers of Serenity Clinic for Mental Health
Emanuele Capobianco, Chief Strategy & Impact Officer, WHO Foundation
Board Member's Profile
Professor Donald Donahue (co-Chair)
Professor of Healthcare Administration and Global Health, University of Maryland Baltimore
Donald A. Donahue, DHEd, MBA, MSJ, FACHE, FRSPH, Lieutenant Colonel, MS, U.S. Army (Ret.) is professor of healthcare administration and global health with University of Maryland Baltimore (UMB). Don’s experience spans the military, government, and private sectors and focuses on healthcare operations, medical readiness, emergency preparedness, and bioterrorism. His work has included development of a medical intelligence course for a state department of health, creation of multiple undergraduate and graduate courses in healthcare administration and global health, evaluation of Veterans Affairs behavioral health residential treatment facilities, providing expert testimony on the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), and increasing access to healthcare and enhanced resiliency for vulnerable populations.
Dr. Donahue has a distinguished record of work in Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response. His work has ranged from department-level leadership in some of the most medically needy neighborhoods in New York to national policy development to international initiatives to define and promote interdisciplinary disaster medicine and public health. (Then) Lieutenant Colonel Donahue was a primary planner for the Department of Defense anthrax, smallpox, and military vaccine programs, as well as for readiness and force health protection initiatives for the Reserve Components. Following the 2001 postal anthrax attacks, he was the principle instructor for the CDC Anthrax Vaccination Program, providing post exposure prophylaxis and treatment education to the Public Health Service response team and regional reference laboratories across the nation. His work has included designing, directing, and delivering education and training to military and civilian audiences in disaster preparedness and response, management of logistical support for the District of Columbia Strategic National Stockpile program, and analysis of legal sufficiency for non-pharmaceutical interventions (the CDC-ASTHO Social Distancing Law Project).
Dr. Donahue’s experience includes work in behavioral care, home health, lobbying and consulting, and hospital administration, including corporate consulting and departmental leadership in major urban medical centers. He is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, the Royal Society for Public Health, and the University of Pittsburgh Center for National Preparedness, a Senior Fellow with the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, and executive director of the Potomac Institute’s Center for Health Policy & Preparedness. Professor Donahue serves on the board of directors of the American Academy of Disaster Medicine, American Association of Physician Specialists Foundation, and World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine. He is vice president of the Society for Disaster Medicine and Public Health and editor-at-large for the Society’s journal, Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness. Dr. Donahue is a Founding Director of the Commission Internationale de Médecine de Catastrophe/ International Commission on Disaster Medicine.
Previously, Professor Donahue was program chair for graduate healthcare administration and global health at the University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC). He served as Deputy Surgeon (Policy and Fiscal Administration) for the Army Reserve, where he was responsible for strategic planning, program development, and funding for medical operations, medical and dental readiness, health policy, medical aspects of homeland security, and bioterrorism issues. Donahue received the 2014 American College of Healthcare Executives Regent for the District of Columbia and Northern Virginia Senior-Level Healthcare Executive Award. Recognition for programs established by Dr. Donahue include the Vice President’s (Hammer) Award for Reinventing Government, the Department of Veterans Affairs Award for Contracting Excellence, and being named to Fast Company magazine's “Fast 50” recognizing innovators, entrepreneurs, and change agents. Other positions held by Dr. Donahue include managing partner for Diogenec Group, Senior Marketing Manager for Magellan Health Services, consultant and lobbyist for Jefferson Consulting Group, and emergency department administrator and corporate consultant for New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation.
Don serves on the speaker selection committee for the American Institute of Architects’ Academy of Architecture for Health and the American College of Healthcare Architects Summer Leadership Summit and with the medical theatre working group for the 2020 World Humanitarian Forum. He is a past Board Chair for Melwood, an $100 million p.a.
nonprofit serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and the nation’s fourth largest AbilityOne program. Other professional activities include services as a peer reviewer for the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
Professor Donahue’s educational credentials include a Doctor of Health Education from A.T. Still University, Master of Business Administration from Baruch College, Master of Jurisprudence (Health Law) from Seton Hall University, Bachelor of Science (Sociology and Political Science) from the University of the State of New York, and a graduate of the United States Army Command and General Staff College.
Vivian Lopez (co-Chair)
Senior Advisor, Global health Partnerships, UNICEF
Prior to her current role, she served as the Executive Coordinator of Every Woman Every Child – an initiative of the United Nations Secretary-General to advance the health and well-being of women, children and adolescents globally. Prior, she served as a Senior Advisor for UNICEF’s Deputy Executive Director, Innovation and Field Results, in the Office of the Executive Director overseeing a portfolio which includes UNICEF’s Supply Division, Field Results Group, Innovative Finance and Innovations teams. Ms. Lopez previously led the Global AIDS Advocacy work for UNICEF’s HIV/AIDS Programme, focused on bringing attention to the situation of women, children and adolescents affected by the pandemic. Ms. Lopez was the Regional Advisor on Adolescent Development and Participation in the UNICEF Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in Amman, Jordan from 2010- 2014. Prior to MENA, she spent seven years in UNICEF’s Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean in Panama as the Regional AIDS Advisor. Ms. Lopez has been working in the fields of Children & AIDS and Adolescent Development since the mid-90s consulted for various international organizations including UNAIDS, the World Health Organization, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Pan American Health Organization and the UN Secretariat's Youth Unit. She was a Research Fellow in the Medical Faculty of the Catholic University of Chile, a Rotary Ambassadorial Fellow, and has also conducted research for the Yale Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS. Ms. Lopez was a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Youth and holds a Master's of Public Health from the Yale University School of Medicine and a Bachelor of Science from Tufts University.
Dr. Attila Hertelendy
Professor in The International Executive Master's in Emergency and Disaster Management, Georgetown University
Dr. Hertelendy has over 25 years leadership experience in emergency and disaster management. He has worked as a hospital administrator and executive in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Canada and the USA Dr. Hertelendy’s consultations to government and private industry have involved pandemic planning and response efforts related to H5N1, SARS, MERS and COVID 19 and Crisis Leadership training for executives. He is a frequent international keynote speaker on crisis leadership, global health security and humanitarian response and climate change
Dr. Hertelendy is the Director of Innovation and Technology, Associate Director of Research and a faculty member in the Disaster Medicine Fellowship at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Department of Emergency Medicine, Harvard Medical School Teaching Hospital.
Dr. Hertelendy is also an adjunct Professor at Georgetown University where he teaches Public Health and Humanitarian Response in the international Executive Master’s in Emergency and Disaster Management program.
Dr. Hertelendy is the author of over 45 published articles, numerous book chapters, and is the Special Guest Editor for the Journal of Emergency Management, Co-Editor in Chief for International Journal of Emergency Services, Associate Editor for Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness and is on the editorial boards of Prehospital and Disaster Medicine.
HH Sayyida Basma Al Said
Founder, Whispers of Serenity Clinic.
A well-established Psychotherapist and Clinical Hypnotherapist, owner and founder of the first
mental health center in Oman, Whispers of Serenity Clinic. Serenity clinic is a holistic well-
being center. She is also a mental health consultant and psychotherapist with over 20 years of
experience seeing and treating patients from a wide array of disorders. She holds a master’s
degree in Health Counseling in 2008 from Curtin University of Technology in Australia.
Sayyida Basma is a pioneer in mental health issues awareness and is renowned for dealing head
on with taboo subjects in the Middle East such as abuse and eating disorders. She is one of the
few psychotherapists in the Gulf to use techniques such Hypnotherapy as well as her most
recently earned training of Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PET) for PTSD from Harvard
On 2014, Her Highness initiated “Not Alone” an ongoing campaign to create societal
awareness of the importance of mental well- being. This is a living proof of her dedication and
ambition towards the betterment of the society. Not Alone campaign has opened a messaging
support line on the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic where it provides a psychological and
emotional support dedicated to teens, the elderly and most importantly, the frontline health
workers. She also spearheaded on providing free counseling for individuals and groups during
the second wave of COVID-19 in India, Beirut incident and the current situation for
Moreover, she is the current Honorary President of Oman Heritage – a team that looks after
and preserves Omani practices and culture.
Recognized not only in the Arab world but also internationally, she has attended and delivered
a total of 800 in governmental and 400 in private institutional talks, workshop and webinars.
She also has been featured and interviewed by prominent networks and media such as CNN
Arabia, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar Arabia to name a few.
Awarded as International Social Responsibility Ambassador by The International Union for
Social Responsibility (IUSR) on July this year and has been honored as one of the 50 Omani
Updated as of 26/06/2021
women who have played a significant role in the country’s development and for their
achievements in the field of their work by the Honorable Lady, Wife of His Majesty Sultan
Haitham bin Tarik on Omani Women’s Day 2020.
Global Head of Community Investment and Philanthropy at AstraZeneca.
Helen leads a $35 million global portfolio of strategic non-profit programming including the Young Health Programme and many humanitarian relief efforts. With more than two decades of experience in corporate social responsibility (CSR) and philanthropy, Helen has built award-winning partnerships that address issues affecting people in some of the most vulnerable communities around the world. For the past 10 years, she has focused this work on disease prevention and youth, empowering millions of young people with the knowledge and information to make healthy choices. She is a frequent speaker who galvanizes her audience into addressing complex social issues and driving meaningful change. In 2013, Helen developed a CSR course at Ryerson University and teaches as part of the Chang School of Continuing Education. She received her BA with Honours from the University of British Columbia and holds Executive Education certificates from The Carroll School of Management at Boston College, Yale University and the University of Melbourne in the fields of global health and corporate community involvement. Helen lives in Canada with her husband, two children and a dog.
Chief Strategy and Impact Officer at the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation.
Emanuele Capobianco is a humanitarian and global health expert, currently serving as the Chief Strategy and Impact Officer at the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation. The WHO Foundation is an independent grant making institution that brings together donors, world health professionals and the WHO network, to create partnerships that drive innovative actions to address the most pressing health challenges of today and tomorrow. From 2017 until September 2021 Emanuele was Director of Health and Care at the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). He led the IFRC global Health and Care Team that provides strategic and operational support to 192 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies around the world in the areas of community health, emergency health and WASH. He was the IFRC lead and spokesperson for the global health response to COVID19 and the emergency coordinator for the response to several Ebola outbreaks in DRC.
Before joining IFRC, Emanuele was the Deputy Executive Director of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health and the Senior Policy Advisor at the Global Fund. He served as the Chief of Health & Nutrition in UNICEF Mozambique and UNICEF Somalia. As Senior Health Specialist with the World Bank he worked in Afghanistan on primary health care and in India on tuberculosis. Emanuele started his career as a Junior Program Office with WHO in the Eastern Mediterranean Office dealing with tuberculosis control programs in South Sudan and the Middle East. Emanuele holds a Medical Degree from Italy, a Master in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University and an Erasmus Mundus’ Master in International Humanitarian Action. Emanuele is a father of three girls, a passionate traveler and a (slow) triathlete.