Our Founders

Gary L. Darmstadt, Faculty Director

Gary L. Darmstadt, MD, MS, is Associate Dean for Maternal and Child Health, and Professor of Neonatal and Developmental Pediatrics in the Department of Pediatrics at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Faculty Director within the Global Center for Gender Equality.  More Dr. Darmstadt also currently serves on the WHO’s Strategic and Technical Advisory Group of Experts on Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health and Nutrition advising on the resilience of health systems and responding to COVID-19. Previously Dr. Darmstadt was Senior Fellow in the Global Development Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), where he led a cross-foundation initiative on Women, Girls and Gender, assessing how addressing gender inequalities and empowering women and girls leads to improved gender equality as well as improved health and development outcomes. Dr. Darmstadt was formerly Associate Professor and Founding Director of the International Center for Advancing Neonatal Health in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He has trained in Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University, in Dermatology at Stanford University, and in Pediatric Infectious Disease as a fellow at the University of Washington, Seattle, where he was Assistant Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Medicine. Dr. Darmstadt left the University of Washington to serve as Senior Research Advisor for the Saving Newborn Lives program of Save the Children-US, where he led the development and implementation of the global research strategy for newborn health and survival, before joining Johns Hopkins. 


Sarah Henry, Executive Director

Sarah Henry, MPH, is the Executive Director of the Global Center for Gender Equality.  More  As Executive Director, she is working cross-university to build out a global Center focused on addressing root causes of inequality. Since, 2015 Sarah has served as a Senior Strategy Advisor to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to strategically and intentionally incorporate a gender equality perspective across the foundation. Sarah has more than 15 years of experience focused on the intersection of development, gender equality, global health, organizational strategy and impact. Sarah previously worked at Global Partnerships as the Director of Health Services responsible for building and managing a portfolio of initiatives in Latin America to help microfinance institutions (MFIs) and cooperative partners build on their credit delivery channels to provide essential health services with fully sustainable, scalable business models. Sarah also served as the Executive Director and Dominican Republic Country Director at World Connect, a Boston-based NGO dedicated to improving the health and well-being of women and children.


Our Team

Alex Munive, Policy & Program Lead

Alex Munive, Gender Equality Policy and Program Lead More 

Alex Munive is a leading expert on gender equality, inclusion and age responsive solutions. He has 18 years of experience in both building and leading high-performing teams, in organizational change management as well as hands-on experience in programs, policy, research and campaigns that tackle systemic inequality. At Stanford University he leads the team developing the world’s first gender transformative leadership package for Ministers and provide policy guidance on a governmental level. In his previous job he was the Head of Gender Equality and Inclusion for Plan International.  He has provided thought-leadership on gender equality to the 4 billion Euro organizational wide 5-year strategy. He has also led the development of Plan’s global gender transformative and multi-country flagship initiatives ‘Girls 2030’ known for quality programming, innovation, and results. These initiatives are currently been implemented in all continents. Alex has worked as a consultant for the European Union, the Nordic Development Fund, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the Finnish government. All this experience has allowed him to develop strategic and technical skills needed to drive change at scale. Alex has recognized cross-cultural communicator, skilled in collaboration and speaks multiple languages.


Angela Hartley, Gender Specialist

Angela Hartley is a Gender Integration Specialist More  within the Global Center for Gender Equality at Stanford University. She is a gender specialist with experience in project management, public health program design, research methods, and program evaluation. Angela holds a Master of Public Administration in Economic and Political Development from Columbia University, with a specialization in Gender and Public Policy. Her experience includes working with the Asia Pacific Coalition on Male Sexual Health (APCOM) in Thailand to advance a regional strategy to increase access to HIV testing and treatment for transgender communities, supporting Orbis International to complete a gender analysis and evaluation of school-based programs to reduce refractive error in children across India, and analyzing gender data for development programs with Ipsos Public Affairs. Prior to this work, Angela worked on malaria elimination policy and strategy initiatives with PATH, working primarily in Ethiopia, Kenya, El Salvador, and Guatemala. She also has worked as a Refugee Resettlement Case Manager in the U.S. and conducted research on linkages between education and women’s empowerment with the Fulbright program in Argentina. 


Anjini Kochar, Lecturer & SCID Fellow

Anjini Kochar, Lecturer, Director, India Program (SCID), SCID Senior Research Scholar  More Anjini Kochar is a Senior Research Scholar at the Global Center for Gender Equality at Stanford University. Prior to this, Dr. Kochar was the India Program Director at Stanford University’s King Center for Global Development and an Assistant Professor in Stanford’s Department of Economics. Dr. Kochar received her Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago and also holds a MA in International Relations from the University of Chicago. Her research focuses on rural development in India, and encompasses research on education, health, fertility, financial inclusion and poverty programs.


Beth Katz, Senior Gender Specialist

Beth Katz, Senior Gender Integration Specialist   More Elizabeth (Beth) Katz is a development economist with expertise in gender and intrahousehold economics, food and agriculture, and program impact evaluation.  She received her Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has held positions as a staff economist at the World Bank and an Economics faculty member at Barnard College, Saint Mary’s College of California, and -- for the last sixteen years -- the University of San Francisco.  Her international research, consulting and fieldwork experience has given her the opportunity to work extensively in rural areas of Central and South America and in Rwanda.


Caslon Derieg, Administrative Associate

Caslon Derieg, Administrative Assistant  More Caslon (Caz) Derieg is an administrative assistant with the Global Center for Gender Equality. She is proficient in written communication, time management, problem-solving, and executing her work with an acute attention to detail. Caz has been serving as a temp on our Center’s team for a little under a year supporting the Gender Integration contract with financial processing, scheduling, travel arrangements, and logistical support for meetings and special projects.


Esther Kimani, Financial Analyst

Esther Kimani, Financial Analyst  More Esther is the Financial Analyst for Global Center for Gender Equality at Stanford University. Esther worked as a Program Manager at the Center of Research in Education Outcomes at the Hoover Institution. She focused on the areas of finance and budget management, program tracking, logistics and communications, and general program administration.  Prior to joining Stanford, she worked for a government agency in Philadelphia and for Caltrain in San Carlos.  Esther earned a Masters in Education from the College of New Jersey and her M.B.A from Colorado Technical University.


Florence Middleton, Program Manager

Florence Middleton, Program Manager  More Florence Middleton is an accomplished program management professional with nearly 10 years of expertise executing international education and gender integration projects. Florence has proven experience in budget management, contract negotiation and execution, recruitment, and compliance management. Within the Global Center for Gender Equality at Stanford University, Florence manages the Gender Integration Strategy Support and Product Development contract with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Before joining the Global Center for Gender Equality, Florence was with Room to Read where she worked in girls’ education and managed global literacy projects funded by partners such as USAID, Sesame Street, and the World Bank. She has significant experience across Asia and Africa, most notably in Laos, South Africa, and Jordan.


Franz Wong, Senior Gender Specialist

Franz Wong, Senior Gender Integration Specialist   More Franz Wong, PhD, first started working in gender issues in 1991 and has been a gender specialist for over 20 years with work experience in East and South Asia, East and Southern African and the Middle East. He has demonstrated experience in designing and implementing gender research and in providing gender and rights policy and technical advice as well as capacity building support in a variety of social and economic development areas including education, sustainable livelihoods, small and micro enterprise development, gender and rights, child rights and gender-based violence. He specializes is gender mainstreaming policy and practice, including organization assessments (such as gender audits) and strategy development, for research centres, multi-lateral and bi-lateral development agencies and NGOs.


Jessi Lucket, Program Manager

Jessi Luckett, Program Manager  More Embracing her lived experiences, Jessi Luckett is an accomplished program management professional with 10+ years of experience building and implementing programs around gender justice, race equity, LGBTQIA+ and disability rights. She has extensive experience in research analysis, program design, implementation, evaluation, grant-making, partnerships and donor engagement in support of developing and sustaining intersectional programming. Most recently, Jessi led the program grant strategy, communications/branding, strategic planning and engagement efforts economic justice funders in hopes of creating a funder collaborative at Tides focused on worker's rights. Prior to joining the Fair Work Initiative at Tides Center, Jessi developed her expertise leading cross-sector social justice initiatives as a consultant for public and private institutions such as Rockefeller Philanthropic Advisors, the Ford Foundation, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, New York Women’s Foundation, United Nations Population Fund and UN Women amongst others. 

Additionally, she brings her expertise as a housing rights organizer at community development organizations and public policy work with high level political actors working at state, national and international levels to this exciting new project at Stanford University.  

Jessi holds a B.A. from Hunter College of the City University of New York and a Master's in Public Administration at NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, specializing in International Development, Public Policy, Nonprofit Management and Gender Equity.


Kristen Envarli, Gender Specialist

Kristen Envarli, Gender Integration Specialist  More Kristen is a Gender Integration Specialist within the Global Center for Gender Equality at Stanford University.  She currently supports the development of a new pillar on gender equality and philanthropy. Kristen previously managed a consortium of researchers and academics on the development and dissemination of a Lancet Series on Gender Equality, Norms and Health as well as provided consulting services to the Gates Foundation Gender Equality team integrating a gender lens into their program teams. Prior to Stanford, Kristen worked at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation within the Global Health and Global Growth and Opportunity divisions. In her role as a program coordinator, she managed high-volume requests for proposals within the Grand Challenges program, namely Healthy Birth & Growth and Putting Women & Girls at the Center of Development. During herlast few years at the foundation, she was an Associate Program Officer on the newly formed Gender Equality team supporting the Gender Integration programming and co-led a community of practice of grantees from the Women and Girls at the Center of Development initiative. Prior to joining the foundation, she worked at World Vision on a national community engagement campaign and served in the Davidson County District Attorney’s office in Nashville, TN as a court advocate for domestic violence survivors. She holds a BA in Sociology and a Masters in Community Development from Vanderbilt University. She has studied in the UK and Costa Rica and has experience working in India and East Africa.


Laila Soudi, Program Founder of Sana Relief

Laila Soudi, Program Founder of Sana Relief, Consultant   More Laila Soudi is the Founder and Lead of Sana Relief, a program at Stanford University School of Medicine focused on health research and implementation in the MENA region. The focus of the program is vulnerable populations, including women and refugees. Laila also founded and led Stanford University’s response to the Syrian refugee crisis, supported by President Tessier-Lavigne of Stanford. Prior to this, Laila served as a global mental health researcher in the Psychiatry Department at Stanford University School of Medicine, where she worked to better understand the mental health of Syrian child refugees exposed to trauma and torture. Born and raised in MENA, Laila has been working extensively with displaced individuals across the Middle East and Europe. An advocate of refugee health, Laila has published about the refugee crisis in Stanford Medicine Scope, Huffington Post, SF Chronicle, Washington Post, and the Guardian and has spoken about the neglected role of mental health in humanitarian aid to a variety of audiences, from medical doctors to top US government officials. She holds an undergraduate degree in neuroscience/psychology from UC Berkeley and a graduate degree in global health from UC San Francisco.


Lucero Quiroga, Director of Gender Integration

Lucero Quiroga, MS is the Director of Gender Integration   More Lucero Quiroga is the Director of Gender Integration within the Global Center for Gender Equality at Stanford University. Lucero has twenty-five years of international experience in gender mainstreaming and curriculum development for gender equality. Prior to this role, she served in in various organizations as Senior Gender Equality Consultant. Most recently, Lucero supported the Gender Equality Team at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in developing a foundation-wide approach, toolbox and capacity building program for gender integration in investment design and implementation. She has provided technical support on gender mainstreaming and integration for organizations that include Plan International, UNDP, UN Women, UNFPA, the Dominican Education Ministry, the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation, and the German Technical Cooperation Agency. She is the principal author for Planting Equality, Plan International’s gender equality and child rights staff capacity building program, as well as that organization’s Champions of Change for Gender Equality and Girls Rights youth curricula. Lucero is the former Co-Director of the Center for Gender Studies in the Dominican Republic, where her primary areas of research were violence against women and women in higher education. Lucero advised the United Nations Dominican Inter-Agency Strategic Planning Committee on integrating gender issues into the Common Country Assessment and in the UN Development Assistance Framework and advised the team of researchers that produced the 2007 and 2009 Dominican Human Development Reports. 


Margaret Hellis, Assoc. Gender Specialist

Margaret Hellis, Associate Gender Integration Specialist  More Maggie Hellis is an Associate Gender Specialist within the Global Center for Gender Equality at Stanford University. She has over 8 years of experience in global public health, as well as project and program management.  Before joining Stanford, Maggie was with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, working in vaccine delivery, gender integration and most recently, global health delivery. Maggie received her BA from the University of Washington in the Comparative History of Ideas, with a focus in global development.


Margaret Troung, Executive Assistant

Margaret Truong, Executive Assistant   More Margaret Truong is the Executive Assistant for Gary Darmstadt, the Faculty Director for the Global Center for Gender Equality. She previously worked with the division of Pediatric Cardiology for almost three years, where she provided administrative and lab management support for faculty. Prior to joining Stanford, she spent five years in the start-up tech industry, specializing in account management and operations.


Radha Friedman

Safa Abdalla, Research Scientist

Safa Abdalla, Research Scientist   More Dr. Safa Abdalla is a research scholar at Stanford University where she is carrying out research on links between gender norms and health among other global health projects. Dr. Abdalla holds a bachelor degree in medicine (1999) and doctorate in community medicine (2006) from University of Khartoum, Sudan, and is a member of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine of Ireland (2012). She was elected a fellow of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine UK by distinction (2019).

Prior to her current role at Stanford, Dr. Abdalla held various academic and research positions across three countries. She commenced her academic career in public health at the University of Khartoum in Sudan where she researched the burden of disease and injury and served in various teaching and advisory positions. After moving to Ireland early in her career, she worked at University College Dublin and University College Cork, researching social inequalities in health in Ireland. She worked closely with partners from Sudan supporting various public health functions, including improving evidence on injury epidemiology in the country, and contributing to the review of national strategies among other consultancy roles.  She taught on several public health undergraduate and postgraduate courses, including MPH courses for public health professionals and academics from low- and middle- income countries. She is associate editor at BMC Public Health and serves on the editorial board of Injury Prevention.



Tae Ho Kang, Senior Program Manager

Tae Ho Kang, Senior Program Manager   More Tae brings more than 15 years of experience in community and international development. Most recently, Tae worked at Room to Read, an international education non-profit focused on literacy and girls' education, providing home office management for the organization's global program operations, as well as specific oversight of the Africa region. Prior to Room to Read, Tae led program operations for the Education Technical Unit at the International Rescue Committee and for the Africa region at the International Youth Foundation. Tae has managed large and diverse program portfolios funded by bilaterals, corporations and foundations.


Tara Smalley, Program Administer

Tara Smalley, Program Administrator   More Tara Smalley is a Program Administrator for the Global Center for Gender Equality. She joins us after three years in the division of Pediatric Cardiology, where she has overseen faculty affairs, event management, and recruitment.  Prior to this, she spent more than seven years working in the clinical environment of Pediatric Intensive Care at Stanford Children’s Hospital.  She has also worked with the YWCA of Northern California as a Domestic Violence Hotline Operator and as a Courtroom Companion for domestic violence legal cases.  She brings a passion for collaboration, effectiveness, and using tech tools to enhance both.


Victoria Ward, Clinical Assistant Professor

Victoria Ward, MD is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford and Director of Maternal and Child Health   More Victoria is a clinical assistant professor of pediatrics at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, with a research focus in pediatric global health.  In addition to her role as an attending physician on the pediatric wards, she also leads the global child health portfolio for Dr. Darmstadt’s team.  Her current projects include the evaluation of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s large-scale investment in maternal child health in Bihar, India, and the implementation of a multi-site study of metabolomic-based gestational age dating for newborns in low resource settings.  Victoria has additionally spent the past ten years working on the issue of human trafficking, implementing large-scale awareness and prevention programs.  Her research underpins the FRDM platform focused on the elimination of forced labor for supply chains, and she currently serves as the Chair of the Board for the anti-trafficking organization, Made in a Free World, which works to provide care and rehabilitation to those rescued out of trafficking


Wajeeha Mahmood, Program Manager

Wajeeha Mahmood, Program Manager   More Wajeeha Mahmood is a Program Manager within the Global Center for Gender Equality at Stanford University. She currently supports a range of programs, from gender integration work including Gender Integration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, managing a grant on Landscaping of Women’s Economic Empowerment in East Africa, and managing a grant for a Gender Transformative Leadership Curriculum for the Ethiopian Government. Wajeeha Mahmood has proven experience with the Global Center for Gender Equality in program management including developing workplans and managing deadlines; managing budgets with Stanford’s financial system; developing and executing consultant contracts and sub-contractor awards. As a medical doctor, Wajeeha also has deep knowledge working in the healthcare sector and conducting academic research, grant and proposal writing.