"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.


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.

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Captain James Lavelle Dickens, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, FAANP

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

CAPT James Dickens serves in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Region VI-Dallas with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as the Manager of the Survey Branch. Previously, he served in the Office of the U.S. Secretary for Health as the Senior Program Manager for the Office of Minority Health in Region VI. He is an experienced Registered Nurse and Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner with over 31 years of federal healthcare experience. CAPT Dickens’ clinical experiences include Orthopedics, Emergency Department, Surgical Services, Long-Term Care, and the Primary Care setting. He currently serves as the AANP Region 6 Director for Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas. 

CAPT Dickens is a Commissioned Officer in the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps, whose mission is to promote, protect, and advance the health and safety of the Nation. His medical deployments include participating as a clinical team member for the Afghanistan Health Initiative (AHI) in Kabul, Afghanistan. The mission of the AHI was to improve quality of care, and maternal and infant mortality rates at Rabia Balkhi Women’s Hospital in Kabul. He served as a technical advisor as a member of a Commissioned Corps hospital assistance team in Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and in St Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.
CAPT Dickens also served as the Officer in Charge of the Commissioned Corps Ebola Response, Team 2 (76 member inter-professional team) serving at the Monrovia Medical Unit (MMU) Ebola Treatment Unit in Monrovia, Liberia-West Africa, leading all local MMU clinical response efforts. CAPT Dickens has received numerous nursing leadership and uniformed service awards during his career.

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.  

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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Hannah Tappis, DrPH, MPH

IGHL Topic: Emerging Global Health Threats

Hannah Tappis, DrPH, MPH is a Senior Technical Advisor at Jhpiego, an affiliate of Johns Hopkins University, and faculty at the Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health where her work focuses on generating and using evidence to improve the quality of maternal and child health services in conflict-affected settings. She holds degrees from Johns Hopkins and Princeton Universities and more than 15 years of experience working with Ministries of Health, UN agencies, and international and local NGOs in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Her recent projects include a national assessment of the quality of maternal and newborn health services and evaluations of health workforce development and health service strengthening initiatives in Afghanistan, and case studies of health service delivery in South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Yemen.

Sylvia Trent-Adams

Rear Admiral Sylvia Trent-Adams, PhD, RN, FAAN

IGHL Topic: Socio-Cultural and Political Awareness 

As the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, she shares responsibility with Assistant Secretary for Health for planning, coordinating, and directing substantive program matters; policy and program development; and determining and setting legislative and program priorities covering the full range of public health activities within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health. 

She served as the Acting Surgeon General from April 2017 through September 2017, Deputy Surgeon General from October 2015 through December 2018 and as Chief Nurse Officer of the USPHS from 2013 through 2016. 

RADM Trent-Adams has held various positions in HHS, working to improve access to care for poor and underserved communities. As a clinician and administrator, she has had a direct impact on building systems of care to improve public health for marginalized populations domestically and internationally. 

Prior to joining the USPHS, RADM Trent-Adams was a nurse officer in the U.S. Army.

RADM Trent-Adams received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Hampton University, a Master of Science in Nursing and Health Policy from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She became a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing in 2014. She recently was elected as a member of the National Academy of Medicine’s Class of 2018.

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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.