SECRETARIAT

Our roles and responsibilities

The Secretariat supports the coalition-building  functions of the Self-Care Trailblazer Group (SCTG) – including operations, administration, communications, outreach, and global advocacy as well as deliverables for the SCTG’s programmatic elements and reporting to donors. The Secretariat’s coalition-building role is guided by the Coalition Steering Committee (CSC), while the Program Advisory Committee (PAC) oversees its programmatic functions.

Population Services International (PSI) houses the staff that makes up the SCTG Secretariat through 2023, at which time this function will shift to a new host that can more closely support coalition and programmatic functions in the Global South.

Contact us at [email protected].

COORDINATION TEAM

Dr. Sarah Onyango

Dr. Sarah Onyango

Secretariat Director and Co-Chair of Evidence & Learning Working Group

Dr. Sarah Onyango is the Senior Technical Advisor, Self-Care at PSI in the Health Systems Accelerator (HSA) team. She is responsible for leading and coordinating PSI’s technical, research, and programmatic self-care portfolio. Sarah is a health professional with significant expertise in sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and has led international SRHR organizations and programs at the country and regional levels with industry leaders such as Ipas, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, USAID, and IPPF. Most recently, she was the Director, Technical at IPPF where she led IPPF’s Technical Leadership team. She also worked with the Ministry of Health in Kenya and has served as a representative at WHO, UNFPA, FIGO, the IBP consortium, and other international fora. She is a medical doctor and holds master’s degrees in Public Health and Health Research and is currently pursuing a PhD in Public Health.

Chelon Nickolette

Program Officer

Chelon Nickolette has six years of professional experience in the nonprofit development sector and, since 2019, has supported program management and delivery at PSI. After an initial focus on adolescent and youth SRHR programs, she transitioned to self-care program management where she ensures smooth operational and programmatic execution for partners, with a portfolio of Nigeria, Senegal, and Uganda. Additionally, as a  Secretariat staffer, Chelon provides financial and contractual management of national level teams in the SCTG’s three focus countries. She received a MA from the University of Sussex, UK.

GLOBAL ADVOCACY AND COMMUNICATIONS

Sandy Garçon

Sandy Garçon

SCTG Founding Director and Co-Chair, Global Advocacy & Communications Working Group

Formerly the Secretariat Director of the Self-Care Trailblazer Group, Sandy Garçon shepherded the creation and expansion of the global coalition from November 2018 to October 2021. He has transitioned to oversee the global advocacy and communications agenda of the SCTG. Sandy is currently Senior Communications Manager at PSI, where he leads strategic communications for HIV/TB, malaria, and sexual and reproductive health programs. He has over a decade of communications, global health advocacy, and program management experience. Sandy holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Florida, a Master in International Public Management from the Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po Paris), and a Master in Communications from the Université Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne. He is also fluent in French and Haitian Creole.

Stephanie Kim

Stephanie A. Kim

Co-Chair, Global Advocacy & Communications Working Group

Stephanie A. Kim is the Associate Manager of Advocacy and Communications at PSI. With over six years of program management and communications experience, she managed a global menstrual health advocacy project and currently supports the SCTG’s global advocacy and communications workstream. Prior to PSI, Stephanie spent 3.5 years in Vientiane working for the Lao Rugby Federation (LRF) through Princeton in Asia, a post-graduate fellowship program. She led sponsorship and communication efforts and later provided program management support for the federation’s sport-for-development project. Stephanie received her Bachelor of Arts from Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs. 

Elesha Kingshott

Elesha Kingshott

Co-Chair, Global Advocacy & Communications Working Group

Elesha Kingshott is consulting with the SCTG to support the Global Advocacy and Communications Working Group (GAC) to ensure that self-care is part of universal health coverage (UHC) and primary healthcare (PHC) resolutions, global and regional guidelines, and financing. Elesha has provided support to the Secretariat and GAC on projects including the development of a global advocacy and communications strategy and work plan, creating communications and advocacy tools, and facilitating strategic engagement with priority stakeholders. Elesha is Founder and Principal at Kingshott Consulting where she works with organizations to ensure they have the strategy, financial resources, and political support to respond to the world’s most pressing challenges. She has 15 years of experience working with nonprofits, governments, and multilateral organizations in advocacy, communications, and coalition building. Her work focuses on reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health, early childhood development, gender, and health systems. Along with her professional experience, Elesha has a Master of Public Health degree with a concentration on Health Policy and Financing from Johns Hopkins University and a Master of Social Work degree with a concentration on Nonprofit Management and Community Organization from the University of Maryland. She has also completed trainings in facilitation and project management.

EVIDENCE AND LEARNING

Andrea Cutherell

Andrea Cutherell

Co-Chair, Evidence & Learning Working Group

Andrea Cutherell is an accomplished public health practitioner with a focus on self-care and market systems approaches to improve health outcomes. She brings over 15 years of experience leading complex initiatives, managing teams, providing technical assistance, and delivering health impact in dozens of countries in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2019, she helped to establish the SCTG Technical Working Group, which later became the Evidence and Learning Working Group. She is also Team Lead for Innovation Sites under the PSI-led Delivering Innovation in Self Care (DISC) project, which seeks to demonstrate a proven model to increase the voluntary conversion rate to self-injection and scale-up successful prototypes. Andrea has held technical leadership roles in maternal and child health, family planning, nutrition, malaria, and HIV, and has managed multi-million-dollar health portfolios. Andrea holds a Master of Health Science from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and served on faculty with them in Afghanistan  from 2007 to 2009 where she co-designed the country’s first national HIV/AIDS surveillance system.

Image is a profile photo of Saumya RamaRao, who's wearing a pink jacket and standing in front of a bookcase

Dr. Saumya RamaRao

Co-Chair, Evidence & Learning Working Group

Dr. Saumya RamaRao oversees major product introduction research, generates evidence about health systems and the people who use them, and provides technical assistance for program design and implementation. An economic demographer by training, RamaRao has worked on a wide range of reproductive health issues, including family planning, safe abortion, post-abortion care, and safe motherhood. She has led multi-country research projects using a variety of methodological approaches ranging from implementation science to social science and market research. She conducts on-the-ground research to identify specific reproductive health needs; works closely with Ministry of Health officials and service-delivery organizations to expand their range and quality of services; plan for financing of services; and provides technical assistance and support to program monitoring and evaluation. She serves on the board of the International Contraceptive Access Foundation and Population Council, Kenya—an affiliate of the Council. Saumya is an economic-demographer by training and holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Southern California.

Claire Rothschild

Co-Chair, Evidence & Learning Working Group

Dr. Claire Rothschild is the Senior Research Advisor for Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) Strategic Evidence and Learning at PSI. In this role, Claire leads PSI’s global SRHR evidence agenda, providing scientific oversight for research implemented across 35 countries. Prior to joining PSI, she advised the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s family planning strategy and was a National Institutes of Health Predoctoral Fellow, where her research focused on using digital technology to explore novel measurement approaches in family planning. Previously, she led research and evaluation for a private maternity provider in Kenya. In her role on ELWG’s leadership team, Claire leads efforts to promote dissemination and utilization of high-quality research and evidence on quality self-care in SRH. Claire holds a BA in Human Biology from Stanford University, an MS in Global Health and Population from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and a PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Washington. 

Gilda Sedgh

Gilda Sedgh

Co-Chair, Evidence & Learning Working Group

Gilda Sedgh is a member of the SCTG’s ELWG leadership team. She is a population scientist with more than 20 years of experience studying global, regional, and national sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) issues; collaborating with partners in low, middle, and high income countries; publishing in high impact journals; participating in strategic planning initiatives and leading multi-stakeholder consultative processes. Her roles have included Principal Research Scientist at the Guttmacher Institute, Senior Research and Evaluation Associate at the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, and Technical Advisor, UNFPA.

COUNTRY ADVOCACY & SCTG LEARNING LAB

Kim Whipkey

Kimberly Whipkey

Co-Chair, Country Advocacy Working Group

Kimberly Whipkey is an accomplished advocacy and communications professional with more than 15 years of experience advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights internationally and in the United States. She currently works at White Ribbon Alliance (WRA), where she leads the development and execution of WRA’s communication strategy and oversees the implementation of country advocacy strategies. During her tenure at WRA, Kimberly has served as the SCTG Country Advocacy Working Group Co-Chair and a lead organizer of the Self-Care Learning and Discovery Series. Prior to WRA, she worked at PATH as Senior Policy and Advocacy Officer responsible for developing and implementing strategies to advance sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health policy and advocacy goals in PATH’s program countries and to support the introduction and scale up of new contraceptive options including DMPA-SC, Woman’s Condom, and Caya Diaphragm. Before PATH, she oversaw grassroots advocacy to strengthen U.S. foreign policy on sexual and reproductive health and rights at the Center for Health and Gender Equity and led community mobilization to advance state-level reproductive health policy at Planned Parenthood of Northern New England in Maine. She received an MPH from George Mason University and a BA in sociology and women and gender studies from Bates College. 

Tariah Adams

Tariah Adams

Co-Chair, Country Advocacy Working Group

Tariah Adams is the Movement Builder at White Ribbon Alliance (WRA) where she leads in partnership engagement, network building, and supports the communication efforts of the Global Alliance. She also serves as co-chair of the Country Advocacy Working Group under the SCTG. Tariah was recently Senior Communication/Advocacy Officer at White Ribbon Alliance Nigeria, a role in which she supported WRA Nigeria and the Nigeria Self-Care Network in self-care advocacy strategy development, stakeholder engagement, and media relations. She brings to her new role a wealth of experience and relationships that will drive engagement at global and national levels.

Stay Connected

Sign up for the Self-Care Trailblazer Group email list and receive our updates and newsletters!

Join the conversation #selfcare4uhc