Web Forum

At This Point in Time: Women's Health on the Changing Global Stage - Three perspectives on International Women's Day
Tuesday, March 8, 2011 | 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM Pacific

On International Women's Day, the Public Health Institute’s (PHI) Global Health Program is pleased to feature three presentations on women's health from a global perspective. Denise Raquel Dunning, director of PHI's Adolescent Girls Advocacy and Leadership Initiative (AGALI) will discuss the health and welfare of adolescent girls in Africa and Latin America. Ushma Upadhyay, a Fogarty Fellow in women's health and empowerment at the University of California, San Francisco's Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, will discuss the sexual and reproductive health needs of women in the global South. Jeff Meer, special advisor for Global Health Program at PHI, will discuss the impact of chronic and non-communicable diseases on women in the global South. The session will be moderated by Bethany Young Holt, Director of Coalition Advancing Multipurpose Innovations (CAMI) at PHI.






    Denise Raquel Dunning, MPA, MA
    Program Director and Principal Investigator
    Adolescent Girls Advocacy and Leadership Initiative
    Public Health Institute
    Oakland, CA

    Denise Raquel Dunning, MPA, MADenise is the Program Director of the Adolescent Girls’ Advocacy & Leadership Initiative (AGALI), a program implemented by International Health Programs (IHP) of the Public Health Institute (PHI) that promotes global health and development by enhancing the capacity of Latin American and African leaders to advocate for the health, education, and livelihoods of adolescent girls and young women.

    Denise previously worked in the Population Program at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation on grantmaking and research in Mexico, India, Ethiopia, and the Philippines. Denise has served as a Fulbright Scholar in Honduras, working with the United Nations Development Program to implement hurricane relief efforts following Hurricane Mitch, and as a consultant with The Population Council in Mexico City and CARE Nepal.

    Currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Sociology at the University of California Berkeley, Denise is conducting research on youth, gender, sexuality, and HIV prevention. She received a Masters in Public Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, where she focused on international development and health after graduating Summa Cum Laude from Duke University.
    Denise is a native Spanish speaker who also speaks French, Portuguese, and German. (agaliprogram.org)

    Ushma Upadhyay, PhD, MPH
    Women's Health and Empowerment Fellow
    Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH)
    Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health
    Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences
    University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)

    Ushma Upadhyay, PhD, MPHUshma Upadhyay, PhD, MPH is a Fogarty Fellow in Women's Health & Empower ment, based at the Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health Program at UCSF’s Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health. Her research interests include unintended pregnancy, gender-based relationship power, and access to contraception and abortion. Her current research focuses on women’s empowerment and assessing its influence on contraceptive use, abortion decisions, and fertility in the US and the global South. She is co-author of Family Planning: A Global Handbook for Providers, a Johns Hopkins/WHO publication providing evidence-based guidance on the provision of contraceptive methods. Dr. Upadhyay has a BA in Communications and International Studies from American University, an MPH from Columbia School of Public Health, and a PhD from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. (www.obgyn.medschool.ucsf.edu)

    Jeffrey Meer
    Special Advisor
    Global Health Policy and Development
    Public Health Institute
    Washington, DC

    Jeffrey MeerJeff Meer is special advisor for global health policy and development at the Public Health Institute. Based in Washington, DC, he provides strategic guidance to the organization on global health advocacy and develops new business proposals for Global Health Projects. In January 2011, he was selected as co-chair of the UN Process and Opportunities working group of the Global Health Council’s NCD Roundtable. Prior to this, he had been Director of International Advocacy for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Earlier, Mr. Meer was director of external relations for CHF International, a large international development nonprofit, where he oversaw private sector fundraising, communications and government relations activities. He had also been Executive Director of the US Association for UNHCR, a private nonprofit that builds financial and political support for the United Nations Refugee Agency, as well as founding Program Officer for Peace and Security at the United Nations Foundation. Mr. Meer was a foreign service officer with the US Department of State for more than a decade, serving overseas in the People’s Republic of China and in Germany, as well as in Washington. During this time, he was a staff delegate to the UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. Mr. Meer began his career as a magazine journalist, writing approximately 100 articles and reviews on a variety of mental health topics, and also published “Sports and Drugs,” a book intended for high school students. Mr. Meer is a graduate of Dartmouth College with a Bachelors degree in French language and literature. He speaks French, German and Cantonese Chinese. He is married with two grown children, and lives in Silver Spring, MD. (www.phi.org)


    Bethany Young Holt, PhD, MPH
    Coalition Advancing Multipurpose Innovations
    Public Health Institute
    Sacramento, CA

    Bethany Young Holt is a Principle Investigator (PI) with the Public Health Institute and is on the faculty of the University of California at Berkeley School of Public Health. She directs the Coalition Advancing Multipurpose Innovations (CAMI), a consortium of biotech developers, researchers, health advocates, and clinicians working in the area of reproductive and sexual health. CAMI serves as the secretariat for the Initiative for Multipurpose Technologies (IMPT), a global health initiative that raises awareness about and support for new and existing technologies that can be used in various combinations to address multiple reproductive and sexual health needs.

    Bethany received her PhD in epidemiology and master’s in maternal and child health from UC Berkeley, and her bachelor’s in biology from the College of Wooster. She has more than 20 years experience working in the area of reproductive health and HIV/STI prevention in the U.S. and internationally, including traineeships at the National Cancer Institute, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Institute Pasteur in Dakar, Senegal; Peace Corps volunteer work in Mauritania, West Africa; and relief work with the U.N. High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Senegal and Ethiopia. (www.cami-health.org)


The following documents are PDF versions of the speakers’ presentations and are intended to be used for reference only.

At This Point in Time: Women's Health on the Changing Global Stage – Three Perspectives on International Women’s Day Upadhyay/UCSF Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health

Upadhyay/UCSF Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health

Dunning/Adolescent Girls Advocacy and Leadership Initiative Meer/Public Health Institute

Dunning/Adolescent Girls Advocacy and Leadership Initiative

Meer/Public Health Institute


The following documents provide important background information that can enhance the Web Forum experience.


The following websites provide important background information that can enhance the Web Forum experience.

Center for Reproductive Rights
Information on Contraception, Guttmacher Institute
Non-communicable Diseases, General Assembly of the United Nations, President of the 65th Session
World Health Organization Non Communicable Disease and Mental Health Cluster

Publications in Sexual and Reproductive Health, World Health Organization


The organizations listed below have come together to sponsor this important effort:

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Public Health Institute