2023 Global Achievement Awards
Yvonne Commodore-Mensah, Nurs ’14, SPH ‘19
Yvonne Commodore-Mensah is a cardiovascular nurse epidemiologist and Associate Professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her program of research advances local and global cardiovascular health equity in African-descent populations through community-engaged research and implementation science. She was the co-principal investigator of the ADHINCRA Study, a trial to address hypertension control in Ghana and the African Immigrant Health Study, which examined the health of African immigrants in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area. She led a study in collaboration with Resolve to Save Lives to examine team-based hypertension care in low-and middle-income countries. She was recognized as a World Heart Federation Salim Yusuf Emerging Leader in 2020. She is board member for the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association and the Greater Baltimore and Maryland American Heart Association. She is the Chief Executive Officer of the African Research Academies for Women, a non-profit, which seeks to address gender disparities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in Africa. She is the President and co-founder of the Ghanaian-Diaspora Nursing Alliance(G-DNA), a non-profit organization that seeks to foster a sustainable local-global collaboration between Ghanaian nurses in Ghana and the Diaspora to advance nursing education in Ghana and improve the health of Ghanaian people.
Heather Conley, SAIS ‘96
Heather A. Conley is the sixth president of the German Marshall Fund. Ms. Conley arrived at the German Marshall Fund in 2021 after 12 years at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), where she most recently served as senior vice president for Europe, Eurasia, and the Arctic and as director of the Europe, Russia, and Eurasia Program. At CSIS, Ms. Conley developed the acclaimed Kremlin Playbook series, a dedicated research effort that examined the doctrine and methodology of Russian malign economic behavior and its methodology across Europe. She also is a recognized expert on the Arctic region, focusing on the Russian Arctic, climate transformation and U.S. policy toward the region. Ms. Conley previously served four years as executive director of the Office of the Chairman of the Board at the American National Red Cross, where she supported the first comprehensive reform of the governance structure of the American Red Cross Board since 1947, incorporating modern best-governance practices. She worked closely with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on the International Movement’s policies and programs in the Middle East and elsewhere. From 2001 to 2005, Ms. Conley was deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs with responsibilities for U.S. bilateral relations with the countries of Northern and Central Europe. She co-led the U.S. interagency effort to enlarge NATO and secure Senate ratification of an Amended NATO Treaty, and she created a senior level U.S. dialogue with the eight Nordic and Baltic states, the Enhanced Partnership in Europe (e-PINE). Ms. Conley has received two State Department Meritorious Honor Awards. In 2022 she received Knight First Class of the Order of the Lion of Finland and the Order of the Crown, one of Belgium’s highest honors, for her exceptional contributions towards U.S.-Europe relations.
Ana Rita Gonzalez, SPH ‘94
Ana Rita Gonzalez, ScD is CEO, Policy Wisdom, LLC. She is a visionary leader and large-scale strategic thinker whose expertise in health policy has led her to work on consulting and health system strengthening projects across the world. Dr. González founded global health consulting firm Policy Wisdom, LLC in 2010 to work with governments, NGOs and the private sector as they try to identify and advance solutions to public health issues. The organization has worked in over 145 countries and guides local, national and supranational policy makers and agency leaders in developing evidence-and data-driven public health initiatives that target the specific needs of unique populations. Dr. González also has extensive experience in health systems research. She has served as a hospital director in Puerto Rico and later worked with the World Health Organization- Pan American Health Organization (WHO-PAHO). Her work at the WHO-PAHO included significant focus on health care reform design, health policy planning and influencing, crisis management, and policies for disaster preparedness. She has been especially outspoken about the health system of Puerto Rico, where inefficiencies in infrastructure were exposed after hurricane Maria in 2017 and again after Fiona in 2022. Having been recognized in CIO Views magazine as one of the 10 Most Disruptive Women Leaders in 2022, Dr. González is a unique and powerful force in the fields of health system strengthening/reform and public health consulting.
Carolyn Kuan, Peab ‘04
Carolyn Kuan brings passion, unique interpretation, and a refreshing energy to the orchestral experience. She is known for bringing the music she conducts to life, as she spends time with every detail in the score, and clearly communicates these details to those under her baton. Recognized as a conductor of extraordinary versatility, Carolyn has enjoyed successful associations with top tier orchestras, opera companies, ballet companies, and festivals worldwide. Her commitment to contemporary music has defined her approach to programming and established her as an international resource for new music and world premieres. In 2011, she was appointed as the Music Director of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and will serve in this role until May 2024. She previously served as Associate Conductor of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra; Artist-in-Residence at the New York City Ballet; and Assistant Conductor for the Baltimore Opera Company. Some of Carolyn’s highlights in recent seasons include debuts with the Singapore Symphony, Santa Barbara Symphony, and the Portland Opera, conducting a production of Rossini’s La Cenerentola. Ms. Kuan made her debut with English National Opera in Philip Glass’ Satyagraha in the 2021/2022 season. Additional international concerts of hers have included Bournemouth Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, National Symphony of Taiwan, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Residentie Orkest, Orquesta Sinfonica de Yucatan, Royal Danish Ballet, the West Australian Symphony, and the Orquestra Sinfonica do Estado de Sao Paulo. Carolyn has cultivated a unique expertise in Asian music and contemporary works while maintaining a solid connection with traditional repertoire. For the Seattle Symphony, Ms. Kuan helped launch the hugely successful Celebrate Asia! Program with community leaders representing eight Asian cultures and led sold-out performances for three consecutive years. Carolyn is the recipient of numerous awards and holds the distinction of being the first woman to be awarded the Herbert von Karajan Conducting Fellowship by the Herbert von Karajan Centrum and American Austrian Foundation in 2003, resulting in her residency at the 2004 Salzburg Festival. She was also the winner of the first Taki Concordia Fellowship and received additional awards from the Women’s Philharmonic, Conductors Guild, and Susan W. Rose Fund for Music.
Chris Schaper, Bus ‘02
Chris Schaper earned his Master of Business Administration degree from Carey Business School in 2002, but was already well on his way to a global career in the insurance industry. Chris now serves as Group CEO for AIG Re, the global reinsurance business of American International Group, which brings together the organizations of Validus Re, AlphaCat, Talbot Treaty and Validus Research under one entity. In addition to his role as CEO of AIG Re, he also serves as the CEO of both Validus Re and AlphaCat and is a member of the AIG General Insurance Executive Committee. Additionally, he is on the Board of Fortitude Re, the legacy company initially founded by AIG in 2017. Chris joined AIG in 2019 and has over 30 years of insurance and reinsurance industry experience. His role places him as a global thought leader on the insurance and risk management industries. Based in Bermuda, Chris serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council for Carey Business School and advises the Dean and the school leadership on all aspects of the school strategic vision. Chris supports the work of Careys Center for Innovative Leadership, as he believes that leadership is a critical component of any organizational success.
Huda Zurayk, SPH ‘74
Huda Zurayk, PhD '74, is a change-driven leader who has brought together a multitude of stakeholders to advocate for women's and reproductive health in the Arab world, where much of her research has illuminated the overlap of biomedical, public health, social, and war-related factors of health and well-being for women in the region. Dr. Zurayk is recognized for leadership in three major initiatives, most notably: (1) Her contribution to the landmark 1994 Cairo Declaration on Population and Development through providing findings from innovative team research she led on women’s health in rural Egypt, and through encouraging context-driven group research by the Reproductive Health Working Group she founded, while working with the Population Council’s Regional office in Cairo, to continue the flow of policy relevant findings on women’s health and healthcare needs in the region. (2) Her lifelong commitment to building partnerships is evidenced in the support she gave to the production of Public Health in the Arab World, a group- edited book with over 80 contributors; in her participation in organizing 10 Lancet Palestinian Health Alliance conferences; and in serving on the Lancet Global Independent Commission on Education of Health Professionals for the 21st Century. (3) Her deep concern for excellence and global linkages was behind her efforts as Dean of Public Health at the American University of Beirut to work for CEPH accreditation of the MPH Program, which was the first to become accredited outside the Americas. She also worked to enhance the research capacity of her faculty to provide strong evidence in context that can speak to policy. Dr. Zurayk is a phenomenal leader with a demonstrated record of shaping policy and advancing women’s health and well-being of women across the Middle East.