Current Fellows

Josyann Abisaab, MD


Dr. Josyann Abisaab is an attending physician in the Emergency Department at the New York Presbyterian Hospital and a faculty member of the Global Emergency Medicine Program at Weill Cornell Medical College. Her areas of interest include global health, complex humanitarian emergencies and refugee protection. She has conducted human rights research and advocacy in the Middle East and, in 2014, joined a team of Harvard FXB researchers on a rapid needs assessment project conducted in the Syrian refugee camps in Jordan. She is currently involved in a research initiative in Lebanon with a focus on primary health care access among host and refugee communities. Abisaab completed her internal medicine residency at the New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center, earned her MD from the Rochester School of Medicine and holds a BS from the American University of Beirut.

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Sergio Aguayo, PhD, MA


Sergio Aguayo is a Professor at the Centro de Estudios Internacionale, El Colegio de México, where he coordinates the Seminar on Violence and Peace and recently published a report investigating two mass killings in Mexico by gangs in the drug trade. While a Visiting Professor at the Harvard School of Public Health in 2014 and 2015, he taught courses on the human consequences of structural violence in Latin America and the public health and human rights’ dimension of drug and arm trafficking-related violence. Professor Aguayo’s academic training and public experiences have led to an outstanding career as a public intellectual concerned with the roots of violence in Mexico and long-term solutions.

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Sudhir Anand, PhD, MA

Visiting Scholar

Dr. Sudhir Anand is Professor of Economics at St. Catherine’s College, Oxford University, and a world-recognized development economist. The author of many books and articles on health economics, human development, and the theory and measurement of economic inequality, he is the lead author of the Cost of Inaction. Anand is distinguished visiting scholar with Harvard FXB and for the past several years has been Visiting Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine at the Harvard Medical School. He served as acting director of the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies from 1997 to 1999. There he led a research initiative exploring the theory and measurement of health equity. Anand has chaired the WHO Committee on Global Health’s systems performance assessment. He received his MA in mathematics and DPhil in economics from the University of Oxford.

Satchit Balsari, MD, MPH

Dr. Satchit Balsari is director of the Global Emergency Medicine Program at Weill Cornell Medical College/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. His interests are focused on humanitarian studies, disaster preparedness, emergency medicine education, and the application of smart technology to advance public health. Committed to global health education, Balsari directs several courses at Weill Cornell, targeting a wide audience ranging from undergraduates to mid-career professionals. He has participated in research and training initiatives in Haiti, UAE, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Iraq, South Sudan, and India.

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Susan Bartels, MD, MPH


Dr. Bartels is an attending physician in the Emergency Department at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Her international work has included HIV/AIDS programmatic work in Kenya, working with Burundian refugees in Tanzania, and helping to develop an early warning drought surveillance system in Ethiopia. Dr. Bartels has also helped manage a cholera outbreak in central Ethiopia and participated in the International Rescue Committee’s nationwide mortality study in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She has expertise in women’s health and sexual violence as a weapon of war, having lead two research projects in eastern DRC and assisted with a project on war crimes in Darfur. A major focus area for Dr. Bartels is children affected by complex humanitarian emergencies and disasters. In the fall of 2013 Dr. Bartels helped conduct a child protection assessment of Syrian refugees living in Lebanon for Harvard FXB. Dr. Bartels completed a five-year residency in emergency medicine at Queen’s University in Canada followed by a fellowship in international emergency medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a Master’s of Public Health at Harvard School of Public Health.

Mihir Bhatt, MA


Mihir Bhatt directs the All India Disaster Mitigation Institute, which he founded in 1989. AIDMI began as a three-person team and has grown to a staff of 83 working in 11 activity centers. He is a member of the managing committee for the mumbaiVOICES project, a grassroots effort to record and discuss the Mumbai train bombing of July 11, 2006, and the response to that emergency ( Bhatt has pushed for “beneficiary feedback” on the performance of NGO and UN humanitarian agencies through his evaluations of the Disaster Emergency Committee’s response to the 2001 earthquake in Gujarat, India, and to the recovery following the 2004 South Asian tsunami. He is currently evaluating the humanitarian work of both UN and international nongovernmental agencies on tsunami relief and rehabilitation activities in coastal areas of South India, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia.

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Emily Chan, MD, SMPIH, DFPH (UK)


Professor Emily Y. Y. Chan is director of the Collaborating Centre at Oxford University and the Chinese University of Hong Kong for Disaster and Medical Humanitarian Response, director of the Centre of Global Health, convener of the Climate Change and Health Study Group, and a member of the faculty of medicine at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Apart from being a public health research expert, she is also an expert in evaluating medical humanitarian interventions in extreme events and in developing health programs in remote and resource-deficient settings.


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Hilarie Cranmer, MD, MPH


Dr. Hilarie Cranmer, attending physician in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, received her MD from Washington University School of Medicine. At the Harvard School of Public Health, Cranmer received a Master’s in Public Health. She completed her residency in emergency medicine with Harvard Affiliated Emergency Medicine Residency Program (HAEMR) at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and MGH. She completed her fellowship in International Emergency Medicine and Health at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

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Chris Desmond, PhD, MCom


Dr. Chris Desmond is a chief research specialist in the HIV/AIDS, STIs and TB (HAST) research program for the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) in Pretoria, South Africa. He holds an MCom in economics from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (formerly the University of Natal), and obtained a PhD in development studies from the London School of Economics in the United Kingdom. Previously, he was a research specialist at Harvard FXB Center and worked for the Health Economics and HIV/AIDS Research Division (HEARD) at the University of Natal.

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Vasileia Digidiki, MA, PhD

Visiting Scholar

Vasileia Digidiki is a psychologist with a specialization in forensic and social psychology. Her research focuses on child protection challenges amidst the recent humanitarian crisis and the commercial sexual exploitation of migrant children in Greece. She has worked extensively on sex trafficking in Greece with a focus on victim and client blaming and its impact on re-victimization and attitudes towards the phenomenon. She has also conducted research on the integration of migrant and Roma students in schools throughout Greece. Digidiki joined Harvard FXB Center in 2014, after being awarded the Greek State Scholarship. She earned her PhD in social psychology from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, with excellence, and holds two master’s degrees, one in forensic psychology and the other in social psychology.

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