Executive Steering Committee (ESC)

The Executive Steering Committee provides strategic oversight of network development and implementation of the grant, ensuring it fulfills the vision and drives impact aligned around Health as an economic sector.

The goals of the Executive Steering Committee are to:

  • Ensure that implementation of the grant is aligned with strategy and desired outcomes, guided by the partnership principles
  • Provide advice and recommendations with respect to program implementation
  • Identify new opportunities for investment that align with the overall strategy, as well as advise on proposed changes to programs
  • Provide guidance on the development of the overall network and approve new network members
  • Provide oversight of the gift by:
    • Reviewing the annual activity report for the overall grant, the annual budget and the annual reports from the Advisory Subcommittees
    • Guiding the development of and reviewing Impact Assessments conducted over the course of the grant

How the Partners and Executive Steering Committee work together

The Executive Steering Committee membership has strong representation from, and gives voice to, African partner universities, the Mastercard Foundation, and senior faculty and staff who are supporting the implementation of this grant. Members meet virtually a minimum of two times per year, with additional meetings scheduled when needed. Learn more about the standing members.

  • Chaired by the Vice-President International, U of T
  • Chair, President’s Advisory Council on engagement with Africa, U of T
  • Dean, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, U of T
  • Dean, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, U of T
  • Assistant Vice President International (ex officio)
  • Vice-President, Advancement (ex officio)
  • Senior Director, International Relations, Africa (ex officio) 

  • Representatives from the Mastercard Foundation (a maximum of two)
  • A senior leader from each of the seven African partner universities
  • A senior leader from the entrepreneurship community employed at U of T or one of the seven African partner universities
  • A senior leader from a U of T division participating in the Ecosystems Pillar
  • An alumnus of U of T/MCF programming

The Executive Steering Committee will be established in accordance with the Provost’s Statement on the Role of Advisory Bodies.

Meet our Executive Steering Committee

Photo of Dawit Wondimagegn Gebreamlak

Associate Professor, Addis Ababa University Consultant Psychiatrist, Tikur Anbessa Hospital Associate professor, Addis Ababa University, Co-chair and Director, Toronto Addis Ababa Academic Collaboration-TAAAC National Lead, African Health Observatory Platform- Ethiopia National Centre

dawit.wondimagegn@aau.edu.et

Photo of Wilfred Ndifon

Professor, Theoretical Biology and Chief Scientific Officer at AIMS

wndifon@nexteinstein.org

Photo of Nhlanhla Thwala

Vice – Chancellor of Africa Leadership University

Photo of Joachim Osur

Vice Chancellor, Amref International University

joachim.osur@amref.org

Photo of Angela Owusu-Ansah

Provost (Chief Academic Officer/Pro Vice Chancellor) at Ashesi University

aowusuansah@ashesi.edu.gh

Photo of Ellis Owusu-Dabo

Pro Vice-Chancellor, Office of the Vice-Chancellor

owusudabo@yahoo.com

Photo of Patrick Kerre

Dean, School of Public Health

kerrepatrick@gmail.com

Photo of Sue Harrison

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research and Internationalisation

Photo of Pappa Salif

Head of Health Initiatives, Mastercard Foundation

Photo of Adalsteinn (Steini) Brown

Dean of Dalla Lana School of Public Health

adalsteinn.brown@utoronto.ca

Photo of Wisdom Tettey

Vice-President of the University of Toronto and Principal of the University of Toronto Scarborough

wisdom.tettey@utoronto.ca

Photo of Joseph Wong

Vice President, International

joe.wong@utoronto.ca

Photo of Trevor Young

Vice-President, Provost

trevor.young@utoronto.ca

Photo of David Palmer

Vice President, Advancement

davidnpalmer@utoronto.ca

Ex Officio

Photo of Gwen Burrows

Assistant Vice-President, International Engagement & Impact

gwen.burrows@utoronto.ca

Ex Officio

Photo of Penina Lam

Senior Director, International Relations, Africa

penina.lam@utoronto.ca

Ex Officio

Contact Us

Photo of Tak Koguchi

Senior Regional Lead

tak.koguchi@utoronto.ca

Profile

Dawit Wondimagegn Gebreamlak, MD

Associate Professor, Addis Ababa University Consultant Psychiatrist, Tikur Anbessa Hospital Associate professor, Addis Ababa University, Co-chair and Director, Toronto Addis Ababa Academic Collaboration-TAAAC National Lead, African Health Observatory Platform- Ethiopia National Centre

Addis Ababa University

Dr. Dawit Wondimagegn is the former Chief Executive Director of the College of Health Sciences (CHS), Vice President of Addis Ababa University (AAU), Chair of AAU’s, Department of Psychiatry and Director of Graduate Programs for AAU, CHS in Ethiopia. Currently he is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at AAU, a Consultant Psychiatrist, Tikur Anbessa Hospital, Co-chair and Director, Toronto Addis Ababa Academic Collaboration-TAAAC and the National Lead, African Health Observatory Platform- Ethiopia National Centre.

Through his numerous activities as a clinical and health systems leader, global mental health expert, IPT expert, and researcher, he is helping to decrease stigma and improve access to mental healthcare. An Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at AAU, he co-leads with Marci Rose the Toronto Addis Ababa Academic Collaboration to develop post-graduate subspecialty training programs in numerous areas of medicine, primary care and nursing in Ethiopia.

He has published in the areas of global mental health, family medicine, medical ethics, psychotherapy knowledge translation, and post-partum depression. He was a primary investigator of two Grand Challenges Canada funded projects – The Biaber Project, to scale up screening and mental health care in Ethiopian primary care settings; and to engage with Ethiopian traditional healers, using a collaborative care model to increase the identification and treatment of psychiatric disorders. He has culturally adapted IPT for Ethiopia (IPT-E) and led IPT workshops for psychiatry residents at AAU and University of Toronto. The Biaber Project enabled the training of >500 Ethiopian primary care nurses in IPT-E.

Profile

Wilfred Ndifon, PhD

Professor, Theoretical Biology and Chief Scientific Officer at AIMS

African Institute for Mathematical Sciences

Wilfred Ndifon is Professor of Theoretical Biology and the Chief Scientific Officer at AIMS, a Pan-African network of higher-education institutes dedicated to catalyzing Africa’s socio-economic transformation through advanced training and research in mathematical sciences.

He has made important contributions to a range of topics at the interface of mathematics and biology, including discovering a mechanism that allows flu viruses to escape from antibodies, with significant implications for the design of more effective flu vaccines; a physical mechanism that governs the generation of T-cell diversity via genetic recombination; and a unified mechanistic explanation for the age-old problem of the original antigenic sin. Recently, he led the development of a new mathematical approach to pooled testing, which has produced substantial testing-efficiency gains in field applications conducted in both Rwanda and South Africa. He took his PhD at Princeton.

Profile

Nhlanhla Thwala, PhD

Vice - Chancellor of Africa Leadership University

African Leadership University

Dr. Nhlanhla Thwala started his career in 1986 as a high school teacher in his native Eswatini after completing a BA in History and English, and a Diploma in Education.

In 1990, he completed an MA in Linguistics at Syracuse University. In 1994, he completed a PhD in formal Linguistics from the University of California in Los Angeles.

His post-PhD career started in Indiana University, Bloomington where he was a Visiting Scholar and Coordinator of the African Language Program from 1996 to June 1998. He then spent 16 years at Wits University, Johannesburg from June 1998 to May 2014 in various capacities including serving as the founding Head of the School of Literature, Language and Media (2001-2003), Director of the Wits Language School (2007-2014), Researcher at SOAS while on Sabbatical at Wits (2004-2006). In 2014, he left Wits and first joined Advtech (one the largest JSE listed private education companies in South Africa) as Head of the Institute of Independent Education (IIE). He then joined Pearson South Africa as Managing Director of CTI Education Group (a higher education company acquired by Pearson in 2013) from September 2014. In that time, he also served as the Academic Director of Pearson Institute of Higher Education from 2016 until his departure in September 2020 this year.

Nhlanhla’s education professional career spans 34 years. After starting as a Higher School teacher, in June 1996, he returned to the University of Swaziland in January 1997 as a Teaching Assistant in the English Department until June 1988.

During his graduate studies, he worked as a teaching assistant at Syracuse University and UCLA. He also had Summer Teaching roles at Yale University (1993), Boston University (1994), and Ohio State University (1996). In 1998, he started at Wits as Lecturer and rose to Senior Lecturer in 1999 before his appointment as Head of the School of Literature Language and Media in 2001.

Profile

Joachim Osur, PhD

Vice Chancellor, Amref International University

Amref International University

Joachim Osur is a Professor of Public Health as well as a Sexual and Reproductive Health practitioner. He is the Vice Chancellor, Amref International University.

He is a leader with wide experience in building sustainable health systems in Africa. He is also a specialist in higher education with a focus in building fit for purpose health workforce for African health systems. He is a medical practitioner specialized in Sexual Medicine and continues to attend to patients in his line of specialization.

Profile

Angela Owusu-Ansah, PhD

Provost (Chief Academic Officer/Pro Vice Chancellor) at Ashesi University

Ashesi University

Angela Owusu-Ansah is a full professor educated in Ghana (BA in psychology with sociology), Spain (MS in International Educational Administration, and a certificate in TESOL), the United States (Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration, Quantitative Research Methods and Social Science Statistics, Instructional Technology), and United Kingdom (a residency at Oxford University).

She is currently the Provost (Chief Academic Officer/Pro Vice Chancellor) at Ashesi University. She also serves as a national commissioner for the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), Washington DC. She was formerly a Professor of Doctoral Studies where she taught Research (quantitative and qualitative), statistics and assessment; leadership; and creativity, inquiry, and innovation. She was Faculty Chair of Dissertation Research and Innovation Fellow at Concordia University, Portland OR.

She was also the Associate Dean at The Center for Access & Success at Elon University, the Associate Dean of the School of Education, the Director of the Master of Education Program, and Coordinator of Unit Assessment and Accreditation at Elon University. Prior, she served as Assistant Dean and Associate Professor at Samford University, Orlean Bullard Beeson School of Education.

She was the originator and editor of The Educational Collaborative journal and her research interests are in Higher Education Impact Assessment and Change regarding Digitized instruction, African Students’ intercultural understanding, Science of Learning, Scholarship of Teaching & Learning, and African women in leadership. 

She is exploring the reciprocal benefits between industry, government, and academia, and their current ecosystem in Ghana. Her hobbies include painting with acrylic on stretched canvas & learning how to play tennis.

Profile

Ellis Owusu-Dabo, PhD

Pro Vice-Chancellor, Office of the Vice-Chancellor

Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology

Dr. Ellis Owusu-Dabo is a Consultant Public Health Physician, Teacher and Researcher.

As a Professor of Epidemiology and Global Health, his area of expertise is in Medical Epidemiology and applied public health technologies. As a teacher, he has trained undergraduate and postgraduate 2 students, as well as mentored young faculty at both local and international levels.

Ellis is a demonstrable astute university administrator and a research project management consultant. He is highly driven in his research interest area, mainly non-communicable diseases in low-income country settings. He also has considerable interest in population genomics of pulmonary tuberculosis.

Ellis has secured and managed multimillion United States dollar research grants from principal granting institutions such as the European Union, National Institutes of Health (NIH), The World Bank and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) as well as many bilateral organisations. He serves on several boards at both local and international levels, and has a massive network of individuals and organisations he works with. Dr Owusu-Dabo has published over 250 research articles in peer-reviewed journals. As Perelman International Scholar of the University of Pensylvannia School of Medicine, his passion is in building capacities of next generation scientists and health systems to help solve Africa’s health problems through scientific research collaborations.

Profile

Patrick Kerre, PhD

Dean, School of Public Health

Moi University

Profile

Sue Harrison

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research and Internationalisation

University of Cape Town

Professor Sue Harrison was appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Internationalisation at the University of Cape Town, Africa’s leading university, in August 2019.

Her portfolio includes advancing the research quality, quantity across the university and its broader impact, enhancing UCT’s African agenda, internationalisation and research partnerships, growing and transforming the postgraduate sector, and oversight of interdisciplinary university research institutes. Through this, the positioning of UCT, as a research-intensive university to contribute to knowledge in, for and from Africa is nurtured.

She has a long, varied track record in academic management and leadership, starting with her headship of Chemical Engineering over 20 years ago. She served as Deputy Dean: Postgraduate and Research for six years. Her research and teaching career extends over some 30 years. She has formed and led research groupings in bioprocess engineering and sustainable resources and championed interdisciplinary research capacity at UCT. She has built experience in value from waste in the mining sector and re-thinking post-mining economies.

Her contribution to UCT’s research management is shown through her ongoing involvement with research and postgraduate committees and working groups at UCT. Her contribution to research nationally has been demonstrated through her leadership role in nurturing innovation and in the implementation plans for the bioeconomy strategy.

Profile

Pappa Salif, MD

Head of Health Initiatives, Mastercard Foundation

Mastercard Foundation

Pappa Salif joined the Mastercard Foundation in September 2021 as Head of Health Initiatives with a focus on Health Employment, Health Entrepreneurship and Health Ecosystems.

He is a Professor at the Faculty of Medicine University of Dakar (Senegal) and Head of the Department of Infectious Diseases (2002-2012). Then, Papa Salif joined the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle, in 2012 as Senior Program Officer in Global Health HIV/AIDS supporting resource-limited settings in Africa in collaboration with key stakeholders, government, academic institutions, and communities. On January 3, 2017, Papa Salif joined Gilead Sciences (US Biopharmaceutical Company), as Vice President for Access Operations & Emerging Markets, Africa/Geneva, supporting HIV, Viral Hepatitis B/C and Capacity building programs for African countries.

Papa Salif trained as a physician at the University of Dakar and received his Doctor of Medicine degree in 1987. He completed his training with a Master of Sciences at the Institute of Tropical Medicine of Antwerp in Belgium in 1992 and in Nagasaki University Japan in 1993.

Profile

Adalsteinn (Steini) Brown, PhD

Dean of Dalla Lana School of Public Health

University of Toronto

Adalsteinn (Steini) Brown is the Dean of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto.

Prior to becoming Dean, Steini was the Director of the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation and the Dalla Lana Chair of Public Health Policy also at the University. Other past roles include senior leadership roles in policy and strategy within the Ontario Government, founding roles in start-up companies, and extensive work on performance measurement. He received his undergraduate degree in government from Harvard University and his doctorate from the University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

Profile

Wisdom Tettey, PhD

Vice-President of the University of Toronto and Principal of the University of Toronto Scarborough

University of Toronto

Wisdom Tettey is Vice-President of the University of Toronto and Principal of the University of Toronto Scarborough, as well as a Professor of Political science and Development Studies.

His research interests include media, politics, and civic engagement in Africa; transnational citizenship and the African diaspora; political economy of globalization and information technology in Africa; African higher education and the knowledge society.

He was Dean of the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences and the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies, both at the Okanagan Campus of the University of British Columbia, and Interim Dean of the Faculty of Communication and Culture at the University of Calgary. He began his academic career at Queen’s University. He is an alumnus of the University of Ghana, the Pushkin Institute (Russia), the University of British Columbia, and Queen’s University.

Professor Tettey has served as a consultant/advisor to various international organizations, including the World Bank, the UNDP, the Africa Capacity Building Foundation, and the International Association of Universities. He is an elected Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences and currently serves on the Board of CivicAction and on the advisory/editorial boards of various academic publications.

Profile

Joseph Wong, PhD

Vice President, International

University of Toronto

Joseph Wong is the University of Toronto’s Vice President, International. He is also the Roz and Ralph Halbert Professor of Innovation at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, and a Professor of Political Science.

He was the Director of the Asian Institute at the Munk School from 2005 to 2014, and held the Canada Research Chair in health, democracy and development for a full two terms, 2006 to 2016.

Joe is the author of many academic articles and several books, including Healthy Democracies: Welfare Politics In Taiwan and South Korea and Betting on Biotech: Innovation and the Limits of Asia’s Developmental State, both published by Cornell University Press.

He is the co-editor, with Edward Friedman, of Political Transitions in Dominant Party Systems: Learning to Lose, published by Routledge, and Wong co-edited with Dilip Soman and Janice Stein Innovating for the Global South with the University of Toronto Press.

Professor Wong’s articles have appeared in journals such as Annual Review of Political Science, Bulletin of the World Health Organization, Perspectives on Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Politics and Society, Governance, among many others.

Professor Wong has been a visiting scholar at institutions in the US, Taiwan, Korea, and the UK; has worked extensively with the World Bank and the UN; and has advised governments on matters of public policy in Asia, Africa, the Americas, and Europe.

Joe’s current research focuses on poverty and innovation. Professor Wong is the founder of the Reach Alliance at the University of Toronto (http://reachalliance.org/). He is also collaborating with Professor Dan Slater (Michigan) on a book about Asia’s development and democracy, currently under contract with Princeton University Press.

Professor Wong is also writing a book for the Cambridge University Press on the political economy of the welfare state in East Asia. Professor Wong teaches courses in the department of Political Science, the Munk One program and the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy. Joe was educated at McGill University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Profile

Trevor Young, PhD

Vice-President, Provost

University of Toronto

Trevor Young is Acting Vice-President & Provost at the University of Toronto.

Professor Young is Dean of the Temerty Faculty of Medicine and and Vice Provost, Relations with Health Care Institutions since 2015.

Previously, he was Physician-in-Chief, Executive Vice President Programs at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. Professor Young is a clinician-scientist who studies the molecular basis of bipolar disorder and its treatment. He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed journal articles and has held more than 35 peer-reviewed grants.

Profile

David Palmer

Vice President, Advancement

University of Toronto

Since 2007, David has served as Vice-President, Advancement for the University of Toronto.  Under David’s leadership, U of T launched Boundless which concluded in 2018 as the largest campaign in Canadian history with $2.64 billion raised.   

David is a Senior Fellow of Massey College, a Council for Advancement and Support of Education Laureate and former trustee, an executive committee member of the National Council of Foundation Executives, and a director of the Earth Rangers Foundation. He earned his Master of Fine Arts in musicology from Princeton University and began his career as a Lecturer in the Faculty of Music at Western University, his undergraduate alma mater.

From 1999 to 2007, David served as President and Executive Director of the Royal Ontario Museum Board of Governors. From 1993 to 1999, David led a ground-breaking campaign for the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University, ushering in a new era in professional-faculty fundraising in Canada.

David was recognized in 2011 with the Outstanding Fundraising Professional Award by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. In 2016 he was recognized with the Outstanding Achievement Award by the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education.

Profile

Gwen Burrows

Assistant Vice-President, International Engagement & Impact

University of Toronto

Gwen Burrows is Assistant Vice-President, International Engagement & Impact at the University of Toronto.

The Assistant Vice-President, International Engagement and Impact (AVP IEI) collaborates with colleagues across the university and internationally to advance the University of Toronto’s global excellence and impact in research, its translation, and in teaching and learning. The Assistant Vice-President leads and executes the University’s integrated international strategy across multiple dimensions, with a particular focus on region-specific engagement strategies and the development of partnerships to maximize global impact.

Gwen was Executive Director in the Office of the Vice President International for five years before becoming AVP IEI and in that role, supported the creation and implementation of the University’s first international strategic plan, and led the development of key international partnerships in a number of regions around the world. Gwen came to the University from The Hospital for Sick Children, where she held a number of leadership positions, including Executive Director, Public Affairs and Child Health Advocacy. As Director, Strategic Projects for the SickKids Research Institute from 2006-2013, amongst other accomplishments Gwen co-led a successful $227 million Canada Foundation for Innovation grant proposal and its implementation to support the vision guiding the development of the Peter Gilligan Centre for Research and Learning. Gwen holds a Master’s in Philosophy from Johns Hopkins and a BA from McGill University.

Profile

Penina Lam, PhD

Senior Director, International Relations, Africa

University of Toronto

Dr. Penina Lam is the U of T’s Senior Director of International Relations, where she leads strategic engagement and development of partnerships with Africa.

 She also leads the implementation the Africa Higher Education Health Collaborative, designed to facilitate talent development and entrepreneurship among African youth. She oversees the Secretariat team and works in close partnership with colleagues across U of T, with African institutions, and the Mastercard Foundation. 

As a scholar-practitioner, she’s passionate about research and programs that foster access to and equity in education, health, and employment opportunities.  Prior to joining U of T, she worked as an Organizational Development (OD) consultant at the World Bank, in healthcare and education sectors. She’s experienced at engaging with diverse stakeholders to design, develop, and deliver impactful learning and talent development program.

Her academic career has spanned research, faculty, staff, and senior leadership roles working with African, Canadian, and US institutions. Dr. Lam holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership & OD, with a focus on Human Resource Development.

Profile

Tak Koguchi

Senior Regional Lead

University of Toronto

Tak is Senior Regional Lead (Africa) and Co-lead for the Health Ecosystems Pillar in the AHEHC for the University of Toronto (U of T). 

As Pillar Co-Lead, his role focuses on establishing collaborative certificate and short course programs to train professionals in a wide range of disciplines critical for sustainable and equitable health-sector growth in Africa. As member of the collaborative’s Secretariat, he plays an active role in supporting the network’s collective activities and governance.  In his capacity of Senior Regional Lead, he is responsible for growing U of T’s engagement with Sub-Sahara Africa. Tak is a graduate of U of T (BA) and York University (MPPAL).