"The movers and shakers of global health in one conference, the experience was extremely valuable!"

- Supakorn Kueakomoldej
2016 Emerging Global Healthcare Leadership Symposium attendee


David C. Benton, PhD, RN, FFNF, FRCN, FAAN

IGHL Topic: Global Health Workforce Planning

David Benton took up post as Chief Executive Officer of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) on 1 October 2015.  Immediately prior to this, he worked at the International Council of Nurses in Geneva, Switzerland, for 10 years: first, as their consultant on nursing and health policy specializing in regulation, licensing, and education and then as CEO.

He is a qualified general and mental health nurse and has a PhD Summa Cum Laude from the University of Complutense for his work on researching an international comparative analysis of the regulation of nursing practice.

David is acknowledged as a global expert in nursing and regulatory policy and has provided support to countries in all WHO regions in their efforts to implement and modernize nursing and health professions regulation. He is a prolific author with over 200 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters to his name. He is the recipient of several awards and honors. He is particularly proud of being awarded the inaugural Nursing Standard Leadership award in 1993. He has been awarded Fellowship of the Florence Nightingale Foundation, the Royal College of Nursing, and the American Academy of Nursing.  Most recently he was awarded the Spanish Grand Cross for his contributions to nursing regulation and health policy.

Cate Bird

Cate E. Bird, PhD

IGHL Topic: Case Studies in Action: Global Healthcare Leaders Share Their Story

Cate Bird is the Missing Persons & Forensic Advisor for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Regional Delegation for the United States and Canada based in Washington, DC. She received her PhD in Anthropology from Michigan State University in 2013 and worked in medical examiner offices across the US performing forensic anthropological casework. Prior to joining the ICRC Washington Delegation, she worked as a Forensic Specialist in the Caucasus region to resolve missing person cases associated with the 1992-1993 Georgia-Abkhazia armed conflict. In her current position, Dr. Bird’s work focuses on the humanitarian consequences of migration, particularly missing and unidentified migrants along the US-Mexico border.


Patricia M. Davidson, PhD, MEd, RN, FAAN

IGHL Topic: Global Healthcare Issues 

Patricia Davidson is the Dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. Dr. Davidson is secretary general of the Secretariat of the World Health Organizations Collaborating Centers for Nursing and Midwifery, counsel general of the International Council on Women's Health Issues, a member of Sigma Theta Tau International’s Institute for Global Healthcare Leadership Advisory Board, and a board member of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health.

Andrea Harrison

Andrea Harrison, JD, LLM

IGHL Topic: Ethics and International Humanitarian Law

Andrea Harrison serves as Legal Advisor and Deputy Head of Legal Department for the Washington Delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross. In this capacity, she is responsible for legal support to ICRC activities in the US and Canada, with particular focus on conflict-related and migration detention issues (including legal processes). as well as privileges, immunities, and sanctions and export control issues.

Prior to being posted in Washington, Andrea served at ICRC's headquarters in Geneva as Legal Advisor to Operations for the Near and Middle East and Central and Southern Africa. Before this, she was a legal associate in the ICRC's Legal Division in Geneva.

In addition to work at the ICRC, Andrea teaches Law of War as an adjunct professor at American University School of International Service. She serves as the Chair of the Lieber Society for Armed Conflict, Co-Chair of the International Humanitarian Law Committee for the American Branch of the International Law Associate (ABILA), and on ABILA’s board of directors.

Andrea earned her J.D. at the Roger Williams University School of Law in Bristol, Rhode Island and is a member of the Texas bar. She also holds an LLM from The Geneva Academy of Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, and a B.A. in International Studies and Spanish from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Law at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom.

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Carol Huston, MSN, MPA, DPA, FAAN

IGHL Topics: Global Leadership: What are the Unique Challenges; Crafting a Personal Legacy as a Global Healthcare Leader

Carol Huston has been a Professor in the School of Nursing at California State University, Chico (CSUC) since 1982 and was named the 2001/2002 Outstanding Teacher for CSUC as well as the 2008/2009 Outstanding Professor.  She served as the Director of the School from 2010-2015 and currently teaches part-time as a Professor Emerita. In May 2016, she was inducted into the CSUC Hall of Honor.

Dr. Huston is the author of seven textbooks on leadership, management, and professional issues in nursing (23 editions total) and has published more than 100 articles in leading professional journals. She has also keynoted more than 300 presentations worldwide.

Dr. Huston served as the 2007-2009 President of Sigma and is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing. She has led numerous healthcare delegations globally to locations including China, Vietnam, Cambodia, India, Russia, Cuba, Peru, Hungary, and Poland.

Marty Makinen (2)

Marty Makinen, PhD

IGHL Topic: The Global Economy

Marty Makinen is an economist with more than 40 years of experience in health systems, financing, economics, nutrition, agriculture, and governance issues in low- and middle-income countries. He has worked in more than 40 countries on developing and applying practical solutions to policy and practice issues.

Makinen served as a Vice President at Abt Associates Inc. and as Executive Vice President at Results for Development Institute. He is an adjunct faculty member of the George Washington University Milken School of Public Health and has had academic affiliations with American University, Tulane University, Emory University, the University of Delaware, and the University of Michigan. Makinen provides strategy development and implementation, management, leadership, analysis, technical assistance, and project and program design, and conducts research for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; the Global Fund for AIDS, TB, and Malaria; and international consulting organizations. He teaches in the areas of health, population, and nutrition concerning financial, organizational, and management policy; cost, benefit-cost, and cost-effectiveness analyses; project and program design and evaluation; alternative financing systems; financial risk-sharing arrangements; demand for services; and food and nutrition policy. Makinen is a native speaker of English and also speaks French fluently.


Dusan Marinkovic

IGHL Topic: Government Resources for Global Healthcare Businesses

Dusan Marinkovic is a Senior International Trade Specialist at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s U.S. Commercial Service in Washington, DC, and is currently serving as Chief of Staff to the Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS) for Domestic Operations. In this role, Dusan advises the DAS and senior leadership on a full range of strategic, operational, and interagency issues and initiatives. Dusan has spent twelve years in the field offices where he assisted numerous U.S. businesses and organizations in expanding to foreign markets and increasing their international sales through trade counseling, international business matchmaking, market intelligence, and commercial diplomacy. At Commerce Headquarters, Dusan helps oversee the day-to-day operations of the organization’s network of 106 U.S. Export Assistance Centers whose international trade specialists engage regularly with their overseas colleagues at U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide to help American businesses develop or fine-tune their global growth strategies. Previously, Dusan has worked with companies in Minnesota and Indiana, and prior to joining the Commercial Service, Dusan spent five years working as an International Marketing Manager of a U.S.–based export trading company.  


Rear Admiral Susan Orsega, MSN, FNP-BC, FAANP, FAAN 

IGHL Topic: Case Studies in Action: Global Healthcare Leaders Share Their Story

As Director of Commissioned Corps Headquarters (CCHQ), Rear Admiral (RADM) Susan Orsega is responsible for directing all functions regarding personnel, administration, operations, readiness, deployment, and policy for the approximate 6,500 members of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. She is the principal advisor to the Surgeon General (SG) on activities and policies related to Commissioned Corps training, preparedness, activation, deployment, and total force fitness.  
RADM Orsega served as the Chief Nurse Officer of the USPHS from May 2016 to March 2019. In this role, she advised the Office of the Surgeon General and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on the recruitment, assignment, deployment, retention, and career development of nurse professionals, and was responsible for providing leadership to 4,500 Commissioned Corps and civilian nurses.  

Prior to joining the Office of the Surgeon General to lead CCHQ, RADM Susan Orsega was assigned to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She was responsible for the operational management of international research that are U.S. Government to Government partnerships with South African and currently with Malian government involving 150 international nurses and researchers and 500 research participants. Since 2015, RADM Orsega played a fundamental role in the United States Government (USG) NIH Ebola and Emerging Infectious Disease response. In 2015, at the height of the Ebola, she was one of the US NIH team members on the ground for the first human vaccine trial in Liberia and Ebola Z-Mapp trial in Sierra Leone. As part of the U.S. NIH collaboration with the Mali government, she was responsible for the NIAID operations of the University Clinical Research Center.  Her emphasis was focused on building the infrastructure and leading the operations of the US NIH Ebola Vaccine Trial in Mali and Emerging Infectious Disease Trial focused on early detection of suspicious febrile cases in that country.   
In addition, RADM Orsega has a distinguished public health emergency and disaster care experience ranging from an elite medical team after 9/11 as well as 14 other national and international disaster/humanitarian USG missions serving in roles with progressive nursing and leadership responsibilities. She was selected as the only USPHS officer on the Advance Planning team, USS Pacific Peleliu Navy ship health diplomacy mission.

Rosser, Elizabeth

Elizabeth Rosser, DPhil, MN, RN RM, Dip NEd, RNT, Dip RM, PFHEA

IGHL Topic: Acculturation as a Global Migrant

Elizabeth Rosser is Professor Emeritus at Bournemouth University, England.  She has held a number of leadership roles internationally, both clinically and academically and has experienced acculturation first hand, as a global migrant.  Elizabeth is a Director on Sigma’s Board (2015-19) and has a particular interest in culturally relevant care.  


Gwen Sherwood, PhD, RN, FAAN, ANEF

IGHL Topic: Influence and Implementation

Gwen Sherwood is Professor Emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing where she served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and the founding Associate Dean for Global Initiatives. Her global experience includes developing nursing graduate education on the Texas Mexico border, working with the China Medical Board to implement the first nursing Master’s program in China, partnering with USAID funded projects in Kazakhstan and Sakhalin, joining IntraHealth International to scale up health professions education in Kenya, and serving as Visiting Professor in Thailand, China, Sweden, and Taiwan.

Dr. Sherwood is co-developer of QSEN, the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses project funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to define a competency model to improve quality and safety now spreading around the world. She helped lead a multi-national patient safety program with the International Network of Universities in Hiroshima, Japan with students, clinicians, and faculty. For seven years, she led a three-week Reflective Practice seminar with Thai nursing faculty. She is co-editor of four books including three AJN Book of the Year awards: Quality and Safety in Nursing: A Competency Approach (translated into four languages) and three books on reflective practice published by Sigma. She is a past president of the International Association for Human Caring and Vice President of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society for Nursing. Among many awards, received the Special Award for International Interprofessional Education from the Prince Mahidol Conference and Sigma’s Mary Tolle Wright Excellence in Leadership Award. In October, she will receive an Honorary Doctorate from Jonkoping University in Sweden.

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Richard Southby, PhD (Med), FCHSM, FCLM (Hon), FFPHM, FRSPH

IGHL Topic: What is Global Health, How Important is it, and How Do We Measure it?

Dr. Richard Southby is Executive Dean and Distinguished Professor of Global Health Emeritus at Milken Institute School of Public Health, The George Washington University. Dr. Southby joined The George Washington University faculty in 1979.

After attending Geelong Church of England Grammar School, Corio, Australia, he graduated with a bachelor's degree from The University of Melbourne, Australia, in 1965; a master's degree from Cornell University, New York, in 1967; and a doctoral degree from Monash University, Australia, in 1973.

Professor Southby is a Fellow of the Australian College of Health Service Management; a Fellow of The Royal Society of Medicine, an Honorary Fellow of the American College of Legal Medicine; a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine, Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom, and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health. 

In addition to his appointment at The George Washington University, Dr. Southby is Adjunct Professor of Military and Emergency Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland.

Dean Southby is Co-Director of the Security and Health Executive Leadership Institute (SAHELI) within the Nossal Institute for Global Health, The University of Melbourne. Since 1984, he has been the Director of the Interagency Institute for Federal Health Leaders, the major continuing education program for senior health professionals from the US Army, US Navy, US Air Force, US Public Health Service, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. 

Dr. Southby is a member of numerous professional organizations. He is President Emeritus of the Royal Society of Medicine Foundation, Inc.; Past President, Asia-Pacific Academic Consortium for Public Health; President of the International Health Policy and Management Institute; and Past President of the Association of NROTC Colleges and Universities. He was President of the Australian Public Health Association.

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Cynthia Vlasich, MBA, BSN, RN, FAAN

IGHL Topics: Business Planning; Value Proposition

Cynthia Vlasich is the Director of Global Initiatives for Sigma. In this role, she works with the global initiatives team to expand Sigma's reach and reputation globally through maintaining the organization’s Economic and Social Consultative Status with the United Nations; developing global healthcare leaders; establishment of satellite offices in Asia, Africa, and Europe; expanding relationships with global healthcare organizations; and presenting information about Sigma around the world. Cynthia has a broad level of diverse nursing leadership experience. She served as Chief Nurse of the American Red Cross for nearly a decade, during which time she also chaired the Global Advisory Group for Nursing under the International Committee of the Red Cross. She has been both a member and chair of the United States Federal Nursing Chiefs Council and has coordinated nursing involvement for various international relief missions. Prior to her appointment as chief nurse, Cynthia provided nursing leadership and support to Americans stationed in Europe and the Middle East as Director, Nursing and Health Services, European Area, American Red Cross.