Staff

Vanessa Boulanger, MSc, Program Manager

Vanessa Boulanger is the Program Manager for the Health Rights of Women and Children (HRWC) Program. Her work is situated at the intersection of research, policy, advocacy, and public health practice with a focus on sexual and reproductive health and rights. Previously, she has worked with community health workers to increase knowledge, access, and utilization of HIV health services in Namibia; conducted community-based assessments and advocated for donor funding in the Philippines; developed curricula, lead training sessions, and evaluated the impact of a peer educator program for women in Vietnam; and measured The Cost of Inaction, a study conducted at the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights on the consequences of a failure to address the social and economic needs of children affected by HIV/AIDS.

Boulanger received a MSc in Global Health and Population from the Harvard School of Public Health with a focus on Women, Gender, and Health and a BA in International Development and Social Change with a focus on Women and Gender Studies from Clark University. She also completed an intensive training program at the Harvard Center for Geographic Analysis GIS Institute.

Rebecca Cantor, MPH, MSW, Program Coordinator

Rebecca Cantor is the Program Coordinator for the Health Rights of Women and Children (HRWC) Program. Prior to joining HRWC, Cantor facilitated coalition-building with pregnant and parenting teens and their providers in Massachusetts, conducted research on the social justice implications of culturally relevant care at Boston Medical Center, and drafted policy related to LGBT and immigrant health at the Boston Public Health Commission. Cantor received an MPH in Maternal and Child Health from the Boston University School of Public Health, an MSW in Macro Social Work from the Boston University School of Social Work, and a BA in History from Vassar College.

Greta Cuko, Administrative Coordinator

Greta Cuko is the Administrative Coordinator for the FXB Center. She works closely with the Senior Grants Manager and Executive Director in processing financial statements as well as conducting administrative duties for the Center.

Greta graduated from Boston College with a degree in Communications and concentration in Public Relations.

Rochelle Frounfelker, MPH, MS, Project Manager

Rochelle Frounfelker is a Project Manager for the Research Program on Child and Global Adversity.  Her work is focused on a community-based participatory action research project being conducted in collaboration with the Chelsea Collaborative.  This study investigates the well-being of Somali Bantu and Bhutanese refugee children and families in the Boston area.  She is a doctoral student at Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences with a focus on social epidemiology and mental health.

Frounfelker holds both a Master of Public Health and Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University.

Catherine Kirk, MPH, Program Manager

Catherine Kirk is the Program Manager for the Research Program on Children and Global Adversity’s Rwanda program. Prior to joining the FXB Center, she worked on an education sector capacity building project in rural Namibia and with Uganda Village Project to conduct community-based assessments and support health promotion activities through the community health worker program in eastern Uganda. She was also part of the research team at the Center for Sexuality and Health Disparities at the University of Michigan where she focused on structural and community factors that lead to HIV-risk for Black and Latino young men who have sex with men in the Detroit metro area.

Catherine received a MPH from the University of Michigan with a focus on Global Health and a specialization in Gender, Sexuality, and Population Health. She completed a BS in Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University where she conducted research on caregiver’s barriers to accessing mental health care for children and adolescents.

Grace Lilienthal, Program Assistant

Grace Lilienthal is the Program Assistant for the Research Program on Children and Global Adversity (RPCGA), directed by Dr. Theresa Betancourt.  Prior to joining the RPCGA team, Lilienthal spent eight months in Rwanda working on development and post-genocide reconciliation efforts. She has served with organizations promoting the health and thriving of children and youth in China, El Salvador, Singapore, and in low-resource and school settings in the United States.

Lilienthal holds a BS in Child Development and Political Science from Vanderbilt University. Her interests include risk and resilience in populations facing multiple forms of adversity, mental health services research, and developmental psychology.

Hector Lucero, Senior Finance Manager

Hector Lucero is the Senior Finance Manager for the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights. Working closely with faculty, program managers, field team members and the Center’s leadership, he helps to provide insight and guidance on the reporting, tracking and forecasting needs of the Center and its related fiscal activities. Hector received his B.S/B.A from Boston University in 2003 and has been with Harvard University since 2008.

Angela Murray, Faculty Assistant 

Angela Murray is the Faculty Assistant to Center Director Jennifer Leaning and Director of Research Jacqueline Bhabha. Murray comes to the FXB Center from the Harvard College Freshman Dean’s Office, where she was the Assistant to the Resident Deans of Freshman and the Director of Freshman Programming.

Murray holds a BA in Psychology and minor in Global Health from Cornell University. She did her field work on maternal and child health in Zambia.

Jessica Moore-Kaplan, Managing Director

Jessica Moore-Kaplan is Managing Director for Health and Human Rights: An International Journal. Throughout her career as a journalist and web producer, she has focused on digital content strategy, working with news providers and non-profits to improve their online presence, reach, and efficacy.

Moore-Kaplan was senior web producer for PBS’s nightly news program PBS NewsHour, where she led the production of multimedia news stories. While there, she won two Scripps Howard Awards for Excellence in Web Reporting and a South Asian Journalists Association Award. She was senior web editor at Media Matters for America, working with the then-fledgling media watchdog group to bring their reporting and web presence up to full capacity. As senior producer for U.S. News and World Report, Moore-Kaplan managed education coverage for USNews.com, planning and executing education-related news packages, including the publication’s college and graduate school rankings. Moore-Kaplan has also acted as editor and publisher of Teen Voices, a magazine and mentoring program focusing on media literacy for girls. She was previously managing editor of digital media at Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit that produces Sesame Street and other educational children’s programming. While there, she strategized content approaches for the Workshop’s relaunching website, for which the team won the 2009 Daytime Entertainment Emmy for New Approaches.

Najmeh Modarres, MPH, Program Manager

Najmeh Modarres is currently the Program Manager for the Research Program on Children and Global Adversity (RPCGA) based in Freetown, Sierra Leone. She previously worked at the Johns Hopkins Centers for Communication Programs, evaluating communication programs focused on sexual risk behavior, cross-generational sexual relationships and family planning in Tanzania and Baltimore. Following experiences with EnCompass LLC in Bostwana, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, NGO Commission on the Status of Women, and a brief yet moving post-Katrina volunteer experience, she moved to New Orleans where she graduated from Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in Global Maternal and Child Health. Her interests continue to grow in bettering the lives of vulnerable women and children through evidence-based interventions in disadvantaged settings.

Krista Oehlke, Editorial Assistant

Krista Oehlke is Editorial Assistant for Health and Human Rights: An International Journal. Working under the direction of the Executive Editor and Managing Director, she currently helps to manage the production and timely launch of the biannual open-access publication.

Oehlke holds a BA in Comparative Literature from Dartmouth College, with a concentration in Spanish and philosophy. Her honors thesis focused on the experimental works of Argentine authors Julio Cortázar and Manuel Puig in light of Western theories on mass produced art and the age of mechanical reproduction.

Bonnie Shnayerson, Communications Coordinator

Bonnie Shnayerson is the Communications Coordinator for the FXB Center, where she handles communications, marketing, and outreach efforts.

Previously, she served as the Executive Assistant to Center Director Jennifer Leaning and Director of Research Jacqueline Bhabha. Prior to her work at the FXB Center, she was the Managing Editor of Publications for the Asian University for Women Support Foundation, a non-profit that oversees the development of a liberal arts women’s university in Bangladesh.

She received her BA in English and Diplomatic History from the University of Pennsylvania.

Ista Zahn, Data Analyst

Ista Zahn is a Data Analyst for the Research Program on Children and Global Adversity (RPCGA). Zahn holds a master’s degree in social psychology from the University of Rochester. During graduate school he discovered a love of statistical programming, primarily using the R environment for statistical computing. His areas of expertise include data management, graphical displays, and regression modeling.

Doctoral Students

Ryan McBain

Post-Doctoral Students

Lauren Ng, PhD

Interns

Melanie Baskind
Kate Hoffman
Tej Mishra
Alexandra Goodwin