Mark Smolinski, MD, MPH
Mark Smolinski brings over 25 years of experience in applying innovative solutions to improve disease prevention and control across the globe. As president of Ending Pandemics, he leads a team of innovators working to improve early disease detection and rapid response in the planetary hotpots for emerging diseases.
Since 2009, Mark served as the Chief Medical Officer and Director of Global Health at the Skoll Global Threats Fund (SGTF), where he developed the Ending Pandemics in Our Lifetime Initiative in 2012. His work at SGTF created a solid foundation for the work of Ending Pandemics, which branched out as an independent entity on January 1, 2018.
Prior to SGTF, Mark was part of the starting team at Google.org, Google’s philanthropic arm. Working with a team of engineers, Google Flu Trends (a project that had tremendous impact on the use of big data for disease surveillance) was created in partnership with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Mark has served as Vice President for Biological Programs at the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a public charity directed by CNN founder Ted Turner and former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn. Before NTI, he led an 18-member expert committee of the National Academy of Medicine on the 2003 landmark report “Microbial Threats to Health: Emergence, Detection, and Response.” Mark served as the sixth Luther Terry Fellow in Washington, D.C., in the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General and as an Epidemic Intelligence Officer with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
During COVID, Mark was appointed to the National Academy of Medicine’s Standing Committee on Emerging Threats in the 21st Century. Mark received his BS in Biology and MD from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He is board-certified in preventive medicine and public health and holds an M.P.H. from the University of Arizona, where he was recognized as the 2016 Alumnus of the Year. Mark was on the investigation team that discovered hantavirus, a newly identified pathogen, in 1993. His passion for helping all peoples of the world save lives and improve livelihoods motivates partners on five continents.
Nomita Divi, MSPH
Nomita Divi oversees the implementation of a highly evolving work plan at Ending Pandemics and manages the team. Nomita brings expertise in stakeholder engagement, management, needs assessment, and program planning. Nomita developed a portfolio of projects while serving as Program Officer on the Ending Pandemics team at the Skoll Global Threats Fund, including network-building in South Asia, crowdsourcing epidemics intelligence for verification of outbreaks through EpiCore, and formulating creative opportunities to engage with technologists. Nomita spent eight years at Stanford University managing health policy programs and running a student fellowship to explore and document the ground realities that impact health seeking behavior in rural India. Before her time at Stanford, she worked at Massachusetts General Hospital, managing the application of a global HIV simulation model in India, South Africa, Cote d’Ivore, and the Caribbean.
Nomita holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Ottawa, Canada as well as a Masters of Science in Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health.
Carrie McNeil, DVM, MPH
One Health Specialist
As a veterinarian and epidemiologist, Carrie supports Ending Pandemics’ deploying a One Health approach for ensuring timely, community-level outbreak detection. From her early career work in ecosystem health through her recent global One Health readiness projects, Carrie has employed a community-based approach to understanding challenges and finding effective solutions to improve health and wellbeing of animals, people and the environment.
While at Sandia National Laboratories, Carrie developed a unique web-based platform for participant-led tabletop exercises, Portal for Readiness Exercises and Planning (https://legacyprep.
Prior to Sandia, she served as a New Mexico based Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer for the U.S. CDC where she coordinated infectious disease outbreak investigations, conducted a community-based rabies study and death reviews related to domestic violence and opiate overdose, and contributed to efforts addressing food insecurity and environmental health. Prior to EIS, she worked as an emergency response planner with the CDC and completed her MPH with honors in Global Environmental Health at Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University in 2012 with a thesis evaluating community health needs in a diverse, impoverished county in rural. As a committee consultant with the California State Legislature and director of a water-quality nonprofit, she worked to ensure science was incorporated in developing natural resources and environmental health policies. After completing her DVM at University of California Davis in 2004 and internship in 2006, Carrie practiced in small animal emergency medicine and served as a Veterinary Medical Officer with the National Veterinary Response Team. She maintains active veterinary licenses in California and New Mexico.
Adejare (Jay) Atanda DMD, MPH, DrPH(c)
Jay brings over a decade of healthcare and public health experience to Ending Pandemics where he is helping countries in East Africa and South Asia strengthen their early warning capabilities by developing event-based and improving “One Health” surveillance.
Recently, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the National institutes of Health (NIH) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) where he supported analytic work using real-world data to generate real-world evidence from EHRs under the 21st Century Cures Act. Before that he led Maryland’s biosurveillance and early warning program, ESSENCE using its capabilities to respond to public health threats; and supporting counties and local governments in implementing ESF #8 activities.
Jay has experience with multilateral organizations and international NGO’s (WHO: PAHO/WPRO, MSF, and Red Cross) and has consulted for national public health institutes suchas the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). He is on the editorial board of the journal, Population Medicine and leadership of the Epidemiology Section of the American Public Health Association.
Jessica Shao, MA
Jessica Shao oversees all finance functions at Ending Pandemics and manages contracts and budgets. Jessica brings nearly 15 years of experience in strengthening non-profit organizations including project implementation, program evaluation, and grants management. While serving as the Program and Grants Associate at the Skoll Global Threats Fund, Jessica managed the grant budget for the Ending Pandemics Program, and oversaw the grantmaking cycle. She designed a comprehensive grant approval process, and implemented metrics and tools to improve the grantmaking process for the program team and grantee partners. Jessica spent three years at the James Irvine Foundation facilitating grantmaking activities for the California Democracy program and the Leadership Awards program. Prior to her work Philanthropy, Jessica led program evaluation initiatives for social impact organizations based in California. She is a global citizen and intercultural communication specialist with experiences living and working on three continents. As an intercultural communications trainer, she has trained business managers on how to communicate effectively in the Chinese and the U.S. culture. She is an experienced researcher and facilitator, guiding cross-functional stakeholders to maximize the impact of social programs in global health, women’s empowerment, youth development, and economic development. Jessica is passionate about advancing racial equity and justice in the philanthropic and nonprofit sector.
Jessica has a Master of Arts degree in Sustainable International Development at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies and Japanese from the University of Pacific.
Marlo Libel, MD, MPH
Marlo Libel applies over 40 years of public health surveillance experience to the goal of ending pandemics. He provides sound advice and strategic direction, along with technical support to CORDS (Connecting Organizations for Regional Disease Surveillance) and EpiCore, a global crowdsourcing network of volunteer human, animal, and environmental practitioners committed to verifying disease outbreaks. Marlo previously worked with Ending Pandemics at the Skoll Global Threats Fund on a variety of projects. He led the SGTF project on participatory surveillance for early detection of disease outbreaks at mass gatherings (2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics, both in Brazil).
Marlo was a medical epidemiologist at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) from 1985–2009. Initially stationed in Panama, he directed the technical cooperation in Central America to improve public health surveillance systems, outbreak investigation and control, and HIV/AIDS surveillance and prevention strategies. From 1989 onward, at PAHO’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., he served as regional advisor on communicable diseases with responsibility for coordinating PAHO’s response to disease outbreaks. His work also included establishing emerging infectious disease networks in the Southern Cone, the Amazon Basin, and Central America and acting as regional focal point for the implementation of IHR (2005). He received his MD from the Faculdade Catolica de Medicina de Porto Alegre, Brazil, and his MPH from the Tulane School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
Jaś Mantero, MD, PhD
EpiCore and Surveillance Expert
Jaś Mantero supports Ending Pandemics in applying innovations to disease surveillance across hard to reach communities.
He has worked in the field of public health for the past 15 years with a focus on early detection, verification, assessment, and response at various agencies including the World Health Organization, European Centre for Disease Prevention & Control, Doctors without Borders (MSF), and the European Union.
Jaś works as an independent Public Health consultant covering epidemic intelligence and health risk assessment tasks for governmental institutions.
Prapapan Phetra has been working with the Ending Pandemics team on the planning and implementation of EpiHacks™ across the globe since 2012.
Prapapan runs her own software business in Thailand, Business On Network Co. Ltd., where she provides counsel and IT solutions with open-source technologies for NGOs, academia, public and private sector industries.
Onicio Leal Neto, MPH, PHD
Onicio Leal-Neto brings 12 years of experience in digital epidemiology and technologies applied to disease surveillance. He has worked for local governments in Brazil and several international organizations as consultant (Pan-American Health Organization, UNICEF, Inter-American Development Bank).
He led Participatory Disease Surveillance projects during the FIFA World Cup 2014 and Olympics 2016 and co-hosted important events like Epicrowd 2015 and Epihack Rio 2015. During Covid-19 pandemic, he was the chairman of Brasil Sem Corona, the biggest participatory disease surveillance strategy in Brazil. He was a project partner of the SURPRISE study, the first participatory disease surveillance approach for healthcare workers in 25 hospitals in Switzerland.
Onicio holds a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences, a Master’s degree and Ph.D. in Public Health & Epidemiology. He is a post-doc fellow at the Center for Child Well-being & Development – University of Zurich, co-leading wearables and machine learning projects for disease outbreaks and child development.
Elizabeth Aaron, MFA
IWOPS Project Coordinator
With extensive project management experience, Elizabeth is helping the Ending Pandemics team coordinate the 4th International Workshop on Participatory Surveillance. Her interest in healthcare is grounded in more than a decade at such companies as Kaiser Permanente and Wildflower Health. Elizabeth’s work as coordinator of the Northern California Peace Corps Association’s speaker program earned her national recognition and provides her with a global perspective focused on inclusivity, diversity, and storytelling. Also bringing knowledge of the technology and veterinary sectors to her role, she is excited to contribute to the expansion of participatory surveillance around the world. Elizabeth has an MFA in creative writing from Mills College and a BA in Communications, English, and French from Simmons College.
Our Advisory Board
Margaret Hamburg, MD
Dr. Hamburg is an internationally recognized expert in medicine and public health as well as a leading authority on emergency preparedness and response.
Currently, Dr. Hamburg is the Foreign Secretary for the National Academy of Medicine, where she serves as senior advisor on international matters and is the liaison with other Academies of Medicine around the world. She is also the President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest scientific membership organization.
Prior to this, President Obama appointed her to serve as Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In this role she was known for advancing regulatory science, medical product innovation and the globalization of the agency, while also overseeing the implementation of groundbreaking laws to curb tobacco use and enhance food safety.
Previously, Dr. Hamburg served as Vice President and as a Senior Scientist at the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a foundation dedicated to reducing nuclear, chemical and biological threats. Dr. Hamburg also served as New York City Health Commissioner, where she undertook major initiatives to address HIV/AIDS, curtail the resurgence and spread of tuberculosis, and launched the nation’s first public health bioterrorism preparedness program. President Clinton later named her Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the chief policy role in the department. Dr Hamburg also served as the Assistant Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health.
Larry Brilliant, MD, MPH
Dr. Larry Brilliant is the author of ‘Sometimes Brilliant: The Impossible Adventures of a Spiritual Seeker and Visionary Physician Who Helped Conquer the Worst Disease in History.’ He currently serves as the Chairman of the Advisory Board for Ending Pandemics. Larry is also a Senior Advisor at the Jeff Skoll Group. He previously served as the Skoll Global Threats Fund’s President and CEO, the Vice President of Google, and as a founding Executive Director of Google.org.
Dr. Brilliant is board certified in preventive medicine and lived in India for more than a decade working as a United Nations medical officer where he played a key role in the successful World Health Organization (WHO) smallpox eradication program in South Asia. He is also the co-founder of The Seva Foundation, an international NGO with programs and grantees that have given back sight to more than 5 million blind people in over 20 countries.
He has worked with four Presidents, the United Nations, G8, and Chaired the National Biosurveillance Advisory Subcommittee. He co-founded one of the first digital social networks, the Well. He was also a professor at the University of Michigan and founding chairman of the National Biosurveillance Advisory Subcommittee.
Dr. Brilliant has been recognized as one of the “100 Most Influential People,” by Time Magazine, received the TED Prize, and has four honorary doctorates. He currently serves on the boards of Skoll Foundation, Salesforce Foundation, and Dharma Platform.
Suwit Wibulpolprasert, MD
Dr. Suwit Wibulpolprasert is a general practitioner, a public health specialist, an administrator, and a policy advocator. He was the Director of the Northeastern Public Health College, Director of Technical Division of the FDA, Director of Bureau of Health Policy and Planning, Assistant Permanent Secretary, Deputy Permanent Secretary and Senior Advisor at the Thai Ministry of Public Health.
He has been extensively involved in research and development covering many areas of health including human resources, economics, financing, international trade, information, advocacy, and pharmaceuticals. Dr. Wibulpolprasert has published more than 100 papers, reports, and books locally and internationally.
He currently chairs the Steering Committee of the Asia Partnership on Avian Influenza Research and the Steering Committee of the Asia-Pacific Action Alliance on Human Resources for Health. He is also a member and Chair of the Program Coordinating Board of the UNAIDS, and member and Chair of the Program and Policy Committee of the interim Board of the Global Health Workforce Alliance.
Dr. Wibulpolprasert served as a Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Thai Ministry of Public Health, in 2000-2003. Currently, he serves as the highest-ranking government official as a Senior Advisor in Disease Control, after serving as a Senior Advisor in Health Economics during 2003-2006. He is also responsible for Health Policy and International Health Works of the Ministry.
Taha A. Kass-Hout, MD, MS
Taha A. Kass-Hout, MD, MS is a senior leader at Amazon focusing on health care and AI-related initiatives, including Amazon Comprehend Medical. The expansion of AWS Comprehend into medicine is the first health care-specific machine learning service offered by AWS. Taha has a successful track record over the past two decades pioneering in health care and life sciences, digital health, big data, open science, precision medicine, crowdsourcing, and cloud. He served as the first Chief Health Informatics Officer for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (2013-2016). During that time, he created multiple innovations, including openFDA and precisionFDA. OpenFDA is a big data cloud platform that provides open source Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) enabling a large community of software developers, researchers, scientists, and the public to search and analyze adverse events, recalls, and labeling for most medical products in the market. PrecisionFDA is the bioinformatics cloud platform for ensuring the accuracy of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) genetic tests by crowdsourcing reference material and data, and part of President Obama’s 2015 Precision Medicine Initiative. Both platforms were referenced in the 2015 White House updated Strategy for American Innovation, and precisionFDA was awarded the top prize at the 2016 Bio-IT World Best Practices. Taha spearheaded groundbreaking programs at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for electronic disease surveillance and early disease detection, including BioSense 2.0 (2009-2013), and at InSTEDD (founded by Google, Inc. in 2006) where he led the automated early warning and response for natural disasters and pandemics (2006-2009). In 2010, the Thomson Reuter Foundation used InSTEDD’s cloud platform to launch a first-of-its kind, free disaster-information service for the people of Port Au Prince, Haiti after a devastating earthquake there. He also served as the SVP and Chief Digital Health and Analytics Officer at Trinity Health (2016-2017), one of the leaders in value-based health care systems in the U.S. and advised the American Heart Association, where he was an integral part of the development of AHA’s Precision Medicine cloud platform. Taha received his medical training at Harvard’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and holds a Doctor of Medicine and a Master of Science (Biostatistics) from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.