Susana Mendoza Birdsong, MA

Contracts and Operations Manager

Susana Mendoza Birdsong has over ten years of experience with family planning programs at IRH. She is responsible for supporting the overall administration of the Institute, including contractual, personnel, logistics and travel matters, as well as supporting knowledge sharing and internal staff skill-building. Susana holds a master’s degree in Latin American Studies from Georgetown University and speaks French and Spanish.

Franccesca Cesti-Browne, MPA

Director of Finance and Operations

Franccesca Cesti-Browne has over 10 years of experience in finance, operations and contract management. She also has over 8 years of experience in program management, grant writing and business development. Franccesca holds a master’s in Public Administration from Florida International University.  As the Director of Finance and Operations, she leads the team that supports the Institute’s operating functions: HR, Contracts, IT, Field Operations, Administration and Finance. Franccesca manages the Institute’s annual budget, provides leadership and strategic management to all administrative, financial and operational functions.

Sandra Chipanta, MPH

Program Officer

Sandra Chipanta has over six years of experience in the management and implementation of international development interventions in Africa (Benin, Niger, and Togo) and in Asia (Bangladesh and Nepal). She has worked in the areas of maternal, newborn, and child health, sexual and reproductive health, and HIV/AIDS. At IRH, Sandra manages the Fertility Awareness for Community Transformation (FACT) Project in Nepal and reviews French translations. Prior to joining IRH, she supported capacity building activities for social franchises in Francophone West Africa and Madagascar. Sandra obtained her BA from Mount Holyoke College and MPH from George Washington University. Originally from Togo, she is fluent in both French and Ewe.

Oumou Cissé, BA

Program Associate
Oumou comes to IRH having spent many years living and working overseas. She has experience providing street outreach and housing-first case management to numerous clients experiencing homelessness in Montgomery County, MD. Oumou also served as a Youth Development Volunteer with Peace Corps where she facilitated programs and dialogues with youth in her village in Fiji on topics such as consent, empowerment, sexual reproductive health, and leadership. She received her B.A. from Lawrence University in Cultural Anthropology and Studio Art. She is Originally from Bamako, Mali and speaks French and Bambara. 

Laura Evaenes, BS

Finance Manager

Laura Evaenes is a business strategist who has worked in both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. She has experience ranging from political campaigns to foreign investment consulting abroad. At the Institute, she supports financial and operational activities. Laura holds a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Maryland.


Liya Haile, MHS

Research Officer

Liya Haile manages research and programmatic activities for mobile solutions at IRH, including the Dot Efficacy Study and monitoring and evaluation of the CycleBeads app in several African countries. Prior to joining IRH, Liya‘s research interest was in reproductive biology, specifically IVF and other assisted reproductive technologies. She transitioned to focusing on social and behavioral research after teaching sexual and reproductive health education to middle school students in Baltimore. Liya holds a MHS Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Sammie Hill, BJ

Communications Officer

Sammie is a communications generalist who works across all projects at IRH, supporting teams in creating and disseminating a wide range of materials including program tools, presentations, and webinars. She generates content for the Institute’s digital channels and manages internal communications efforts. Prior to joining IRH, Sammie worked as Digital Media Specialist for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. She holds a bachelor’s degree in International Peace Studies and Journalism from the University of Missouri and is perusing a Masters in Professional Studies through Georgetown University’s Public Relations and Corporate Communications program.

Victoria H. Jennings, Ph.D

Director, Principal Investigator of the FACT Project, and Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Georgetown University Medical Center

Dr. Jennings, an anthropologist whose academic interests focus on health behavior and culture change, has 30 years experience in the international family planning and reproductive health field. She is a recognized leader in fertility awareness as well as in research, capacity building, and scaling up health interventions. She is responsible for overall direction of the Institute and serves on numerous boards and task forces on international health issues.

Anjalee Kohli, MPH, PhD

Senior Research Officer

Dr. Anjalee Kohli has over a decade of international health and development experience focusing on research and practice for prevention of gender based violence, violence against children, HIV/AIDS and promoting improved mental health and resilience. Anjalee works as a Senior Research Officer, providing strategic leadership, research expertise and technical vision under the Passages Project. Anjalee received her PhD from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and holds an MPH. Anjalee previously worked with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing.

Rebecka Inga Lundgren, MPH, PhD

Director of Research; Research Instructor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Georgetown University Medical Center

Dr. Lundgren has over 25 years of comprehensive, hands-on experience developing and testing reproductive health and behavior change programs, with particular interest in expanding family planning choice, youth and engaging men in reproductive health. Rebecka’s current research interests include systematic approaches to scale-up,  social barriers to family planning use and prevention of gender-based violence. As an applied anthropologist, she has expertise applying qualitative and ethnographic methods to her work, and has developed innovative mixed method approaches to evaluate fertility awareness and gender transformation programs for very young adolescents. She received an MPH from UCLA’s School of Public Health in the Department of Population and Family Health in 1987, and her doctorate in applied anthropology from the University of Maryland.

Courtney J. McLarnon-Silk, MSc

Program Officer

Courtney brings has over six years of experience in international development, coordinating and managing initiatives related to gender equality and mainstreaming, women’s rights, and women’s empowerment. At the Institute, Courtney works on the Passages project, focusing her time on project management, management of the Transforming Masculinities/Masculinite, Famille et Foi intervention, and on establishing regional Communities of to strengthen regional work on normative change
for AYSRH. Courtney also manages the Institute’s​ ​ongoing​ ​work on bringing CycleTel to market. She received an MSc from the University of Edinburgh, and a BA from McGill University. Originally from Montreal, Canada, she speaks fluent French.

Jarai Sabally, MA

Program Associate

Jarai provides administrative and financial related support to the Passages Project team. Prior to joining IRH, she worked at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and Nursing. Jarai holds an M.A. in International Studies from Georgetown University and a B.A. in International Studies from Towson University. Jarai is originally from Senegal and The Gambia, and she speaks French, Wolof, and Mandinka.

Lea Satta, MA

 Program Associate

Lea supports the Passages Project and the Learning Collaborative to Advance Normative Change. Prior to joining IRH, she worked for the Patient Advocacy and International Services department of Georgetown University Hospital. Lea has national and global-level experience in the field of women’s rights, and interned at the McCain Institute for International Leadership where she worked on human trafficking in the United States and corresponding legislation, and later at a women’s rights association in Morocco. Lea holds an MA in Political Science from Segalen Bordeaux II University, an MA in International Relations from Jean Moulin Lyon III University, and speaks fluent French.

Dominick Shattuck, PhD

Senior Research Officer and Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Georgetown University Medical Center

Dr. Shattuck has 20 years of development experience, focusing on rigorous public health research, implementation science approaches, and behavior change interventions that increase access to health services, education and economic opportunity. With vast experience leading social behavioral research projects around the world in the areas of HIV, gender, and family planning, Dr. Shattuck prioritizes collaborative work with government officials and grassroots organizations to define locally relevant solutions. At IRH, Dr. Shattuck leads the FACT Project’s work in Nepal, developing family planning messages and game-based approaches. As a known champion for the inclusion of men in reproductive health work, he is an active advocate of vasectomy services, publishing research articles, blogs, presentations and other thought pieces for a variety of audiences. Dr. Shattuck received PhD from NC State University in Psychology, his B.A. in History from Clark University. He speaks Amharic (Ethiopian National Language).

Bryan Shaw, PhD, MPH

Senior Research Manager

Dr. Bryan Shaw has over a decade of international health and development experience, focusing on rigorous public health research and behavior change interventions. At IRH, Bryan works as a senior research officer, largely providing strategic leadership and quality control for research studies under the Passages Project. He received his PhD from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in International Health and also holds a MPH and MS in Applied Medical Anthropology. Bryan worked previously with Population Services International (PSI), UNICEF, and USAID.

Sarah Thompson, MA

Program Associate

Sarah supports the Fact Nepal project and the Dot Efficacy Study. Prior to joining IRH, she worked for an education NGO in Cambodia after completing her MA in International Development from the University of Kent, Brussels School of International Studies. She has worked and studied in the areas of global education management, migration, and sexual and reproductive health.

Lauren VanEnk, MPH

Program Officer

At IRH, Lauren Van Enk manages several family planning and reproductive health programs in Africa. She has over nine years of experience working in design, implementation and management of global reproductive and maternal health projects. She provides technical guidance in community-based family planning as well as training design for providers. Lauren is particularly passionate about building the capacity of faith-based organizations and religious leaders in family planning and has provided this support across several countries in Africa. Focusing on disseminating research and program results, Lauren has authored and contributed to many of IRH’s articles, reports, and curricula. She believes IRH is uniquely poised to address global family planning challenges by enabling both women and men to make informed decisions about their reproductive health. She holds a Master’s degree in Global Public Health from George Washington University and a BA from Calvin College. Her past experiences involve research in reproductive health and HIV/AIDS with BRAC University in Bangladesh, advocacy in global maternal health, and nutrition education.

Janay Watson, BA

Finance Associate
As part of the operations team, Janay supports all of IRH’s current projects and Institute-wide finances. Janay attended Delaware State University, where she earned a degree in Integrated Studies: English and Education. She taught 7th grade English and science, worked with Cornell University as part of a science teachers internship, and with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. Before joining IRH, Janay held sales roles in for-profit companies. She is currently pursuing a Masters of Science in Finance through Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business program.