Meet our inspiring Women Leaders for Planetary Health!
Explore the journey of awardees 2020 and we hope to see you here next year.
Andisheh studied Bsc in Nutritional Science in Iran and Msc in International Health in Australia. While she was in Australia, she volunteered with Australian Red Cross, working with refugees and asylum seekers. She also had an opportunity to win a small grant to conduct a project within aborginal community with school-aged children in the area of Nutrition. She has worked with the WHO Country Office in Iran first as a volunteer and then as a consultant. She did her internship in Kampala, Uganda with an International NGO, WoMena, in the area of Menstrual & Reproductive Health in 2017 since then she has been volunteering with the organization in the Knowledge Management Team. At the moment, she works with Relief International, an International Humanitarian NGO, as a Health Officer in Iran.
She is a Medical Doctor, skilled in the delivery of medical care with a focus on patient assessment, correct diagnosis and effective treatment, with a personal vision to pursue excellence in clinical practice, to be an advocate for access to care concerns and to serve the community. She is a Public health enthusiast engaged in activities around health, climate, as well as gender equity for the last few years, and focused on promoting health and preventing poverty-related diseases, committed to work towards ‘gender-just’ informed health policies and solutions to improve health, strengthen health systems and so as to synergistically advance the SDGs.Advocate of Planetary health.
Bruna Bastos is brazilian and completely passionate about art, culture and people. She is a MA student at the Graduate Program in Development, Society and International Cooperation of the University of Brasilia. The main purpose of her research is to collaborate with global studies on health discussing traditional practices of midwives and women's health within the framework of international health policies of the World Health Organization and UN agencies. Bruna has already been an intern for cooperation projects at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil and a global volunteer for implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at NGOs in Argentina.
Connie Cai Ru Gan
Cai Ru (Connie) is a doctoral candidate at Griffith's Centre for Environment and Population Health. She is equally interested in public health research and translating those findings into public health policy. Her thesis focuses on future-proofing hospitals against climate-related disasters by leveraging innovative ways to streamline and accelerate adaptation activities in healthcare settings. Alongside research and work, Connie enjoys boxing, movies and flexes her linguistics muscles by learning her 6th/7th language.
Cyan is a South African medical doctor with a passion for health , leadership and sustainability. She is a systems thinker who enjoys finding creative solutions to building healthier communities. She is the founder of South Africa's largest student led women in leadership academy, The TuksRes women in leadership academy, which is 7 years old and has seen over 1600 women graduate in the program. She is a senior Atlantic fellow for health equity and is currently pursuing a master's in public health from King's College London. She was named as one of the top 200 young South African leaders in 2020 by the Mail and Guardian and is an alumnus of the Young Sustainable Impact program. She has also been named as a McKinsey and Company next generation women leader. In her spare time she enjoys travelling, podcasts, good coffee and spending time outdoors.
Dilruba Fatima Sharmin
Dilruba is originally from Bangladesh and is currently pursuing her PhD in Social and Ecological Sustainability at the University of Waterloo, Canada. Her research focuses on climate-induced migration. She is particularly interested in understanding the socio-economic and health consequences of climate-induced migration and linking that with gendered dimension. She also has broad interest in the field of environmental economics, climate change adaptation, resource management etc. Her research applies a transdisciplinary approach, and her objective is to work with vulnerable and marginalized communities to support sustainability. Beside her research and work, she likes listening to music, reading books, and spending time in nature. She is a cat lover!
Edna Molina Bacca
Edna Molina Bacca was born in Bogota, Colombia. She has always been deeply interested in optimization, and its use for sustainable development. Edna completed her bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering at the National University of Colombia. During her bachelor's, she worked on the improvement of chemical processes through simulation and metaheuristic optimization methods, and on process safety. She also was a visiting scholar at Michigan State University where her work was related to the production of chemicals from alternative sources (biodegradable) different from the usual petrochemical routes. Her desire to keep learning about sustainability led her to develop her Master’s degree in the sustainable production of electrical energy at the University of Calgary, in Canada. Her project allowed the evaluation of microgrids to sustainably supply the electrical energy demand of islanded communities.
Currently, she works as a doctoral researcher at the Potsdam Institute for Climate impact research. Her project deals with the optimal way to better capture spatially-explicit crop production dynamics. The main aim of the project is to holistically evaluate the coherence of climate and agricultural policies. From her current studies, she expects to identify the distributional effects of climate change in the agricultural production system, the effects that agricultural and climate policies could have over the system, and the spillover of emissions that tight regulations in Europe can represent to other countries.
Flavia Megda Garcia
Flavia is a 25 years old Brazilian medical student. She is very fond of and active in public health programs, researches and discussions, mainly in subjects regarding mental health and social vulnerability. In 2021, she is the Brazil's National Public Health Officer Assistant (NPO assistant) for Brazil-DENEM and for the International Federation of Medical Students Association (IFMSA).
Furthermore, she plays the western flute and is in love with every manifestation of art!
Hasini Gunasiri, is an international student from Sri Lanka following a PhD on Climate Change, Mental Health, and Young People at Deakin University, Australia. She completed her Master of Health and Human Services Management Degree at Deakin University in 2020. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology Degree from Iowa State University, United States and an Associates of Arts Degree from American College of Higher Education, Sri Lanka.
Her goal is to conduct research to make new findings about the links between climate change and mental health, develop awareness and improve Health among the public. She believes the only true happiness one can get is from helping someone and seeing their smile. She believes her country helped her become the person she is today by providing her with care and support. She thinks that now it is her turn to help my small country and the world by helping people improve their health and thereby making their lives prosperous.
Lira Ramadani is currently a doctoral student and a research assistant at the School of Public Health- University of Bielefeld, Germany. Her research focus is Climate Change and Health Education. Previously, she was a consultant at the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) project “Healthier Kosovo”, which inspired her to continue research in the health and environment domain. Additionally, she worked and interned with different civil society organizations and government institutions in the environmental field, such as: Connecting Natural Values and People (CNVP), Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, Kosovo Environmental Protection Agency, Institute for Development Policy, New York Restoration Project, etc.
Lira completed two bachelor degrees: BA in Environmental and Agricultural Management and BA in English Language and Literature. After the completion of the bachelor studies, Lira attended an intensive professional programme on Sustainability Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which inspired her to continue her studies in this field. Lira then completed her Master’s Degree in Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management at The New School in New York.
Maria Virginia Solis Wahnish
Maria Virginia Solis Wahnish is from Argentina and a social entrepreneur with a Master in Global Entrepreneurial Management from the University of San Francisco. She is the Co-founder and CEO of Matera, a Start-up that sells yerba mate from Argentinian small and medium scale farmers in the US.
She is passionate about connecting with others globally and creating vehicles for social and environmental holistic impact. She has work experience with the agricultural and food development industries and has a strong background in financial analysis and project management. She has served as consultant for entrepreneurs and Start-ups. Currently, she is an active participant of the Agriculture & Justice Village for the Economy of Francesco.
Marisol Yglesias is a professional in Environmental Health from the University of Costa Rica and has a master's degree in International Health from the Institute of Tropical Medicine and International Health of Charité - Berlin Medical University. Marisol has worked on environmental management issues for the Costa Rican Ministry of Health, has been consultant for the WHO Regional Office for Europe in topics of Sustainable Development Goals, climate change and health. She has also worked on environmental and public health projects with Doctors Without Borders in Latin America, Asia and Africa. She is currently doing a post-doctorate with the Lancet Countdown South America, is part of the Leadership Committee of PlaHNet, a network of young professionals in Planetary Health and is advisor of the Regional Consultation of the Americas on Climate Change and Health of the WHO and the GCHA.
Mirana Njakatiana Andriarisoa
Mirana Njakatiana Andriarisoa is a vibrant young leader from Madagascar, currently an Ambassador at the African Youth Climate Hub. She is a recent master graduate in Energy policy from the Pan African University for Water and Energy Sciences in Algeria where she is also a former leader of the Pan African University Climate Change and Gender Club. She has a background in Economics from the University of Antananarivo Madagascar. Mirana is passionate in research about the Economics-Energy-Climate change nexus. As from a country where only 5% of the population have access to electricity, and also where the population is so vulnerable from climate change impacts, her aspiration is to promote green energy for rural electrification in Madagascar and in Sub Saharan Africa at large.
Sanita van Wyk
Dr. Sanita van Wyk is a mentee at Women Leaders for Planetary Health. She works as a Postdoctoral Fellow in International Environmental Law and as a Lecturer of Law at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. She is also a qualified Attorney of the High Court of South Africa. She was previously a researcher at the Berlin Centre of Caspian Region Environmental and Energy Studies (CREES) at Freie Universität Berlin in Germany, and is the author of the book entitled: The Impact of Climate Change Law on the Principle of State Sovereignty over Natural Resources. Her primary fields of research include international law, comparative law and environmental law (including sustainable development, climate change and climate litigation in the European Union and Southern Africa). E-mail: email@example.com
Stuti Chakraborty is currently working at Christian Medical College, Vellore. She is a country representative for Healthcare Information for All; part of the SDG 3 as well as Science Policy working group for the United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth; a country correspondent for YourCommonwealth; a communications team correspondent for the Global Healthcare Workforce Network and a country correspondent for IHP Global. She recently started working with Global Health Mentorships as a content facilitator and has also been a pioneer member for the launch of the India Chapter of Women in Global Health as a Chapter Officer. She was also a youth speaker from India to shed light on the topic of ‘Gender Equity in the Healthcare Sector' for the GHWN Youth Hub Online Conference hosted in December 2019. She has represented her country across several platforms including being a youth representative from the UN MGCY at the Global Conference on Primary Healthcare held in Astana in 2018. In her work, she advocates for young people's health with a special focus on the rights of Persons with Disabilities. She wishes to pursue research in the field of neurosciences in the near future and recently joined the International Youth Neuroscience Association and Sci4Teens as a mentor. She has authored a paper on addressing the existing gaps between the developed and developed world, published jointly by the JSPG and UN MGCY in the Special Issue on Emerging Technologies which was presented in May 2020 at the United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development and was also a panelist for the Public Interest in Technology (PIT-UN) webinar organised by New America and JSPG to talk about the same.
Thelma Zulfawu Abu is currently a PhD Candidate at the Department of Geography and Environmental Management in the University of Waterloo, Canada. Her research interests include global environmental change, environmental justice, environmental health inequalities, social determinants of health and wellbeing, and environmental impact assessment. She is currently a Queen Elizabeth Scholarship recipient on the Water Security as a Foundation for Healthy Communities and Sustainable Livelihoods project. Her thesis research focuses on water, sanitation and hygiene for resilient healthcare systems in Kenya. Thelma enjoys watching movies and visiting tourist attractions.
Titis Apdini is PhD Candidate at Wageningen University, The Netherlands. Her research is focusing on feeding intervention on livestock as mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions in the tropics. While finishing her doctoral thesis, she participated as a mentee at the Women Leader for Planetary Health. During the fieldwork in smallholder dairy farms, she observes the role of female farmers in decision-making at the farm level but this role is lacking at the institutional level. In the case of mitigation strategies, the inclusion of female farmers in decision-making at the institutional level will leverage the implementation at the farm level.
Beatriz is from Mexico and the Chairwoman of the Future Climate – Engineering Solutions (FC-ES) project, a volunteer-based global network of professional engineering associations that support governments to meet their Nationally Determined Contributions, aligned to the Paris Climate Agreement. She was a speaker at UNFCCC COP21 and COP23 representing FC-ES, advocating for multi-stakeholder collaboration to advance the global climate change agenda. Beatriz also volunteered with Engineers Without Borders USA, contributing to projects that delivered health, energy and water services in Nicaragua. She is an experienced sustainability professional and has worked for international organizations and the private sector, leading projects on resource efficiency, environment protection, and climate change. Beatriz holds a master’s degree in Engineering for Sustainable Development from the University of Cambridge, and a first degree in Chemical Engineering. She is passionate about protecting and enjoying nature, especially swimming in lakes and oceans.