Malcolm Potts, MB, BChir, PhD, FRCOG
Malcolm Potts is a Professor at the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley. He was the first holder of the Fred H. Bixby endowed chair in Population and Family Planning and founded the Bixby Center for Population, Health & Sustainability with a team of young experts. He is Co-Director of the Berkeley International Group (BIG) with Dr. Julia Walsh. While he was the first Medical Director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation for a decade, he introduced family planning methods into scores of developing countries. As CEO of Family Health International (FHI), he launched the first large scale studies of maternal mortality, which helped start the worldwide Safe Motherhood Initiative. He has published ten books and over 200 scientific papers. His most recent book is Sex and War: How Biology Explains War and Terrorism and Offers a Path to a Safer World.
Alisha Graves, MPH
Alisha Graves leads strategy, development and advocacy efforts for The OASIS Initiative and is the President of Venture Strategies for Health and Development, a non-profit organization aiming to help stabilize global population by securing women’s freedom to choose their family size. Alisha lectures internationally on population and food security in the Sahel. She is a research fellow for Project Drawdown, analyzing the potential contribution of family planning for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Previously, she worked to improve women's access to misoprostol, a generic, essential medicine. In this role, she worked on drug registration, operations research, and advocating for evidence-based maternal health policies across seven countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. She completed her MPH in International Maternal and Child Health at UC Berkeley in 2006.
Abdoul Moumouni Nouhou
Abdoul Moumouni Nouhou is a demographer-statistician. After working at the National Institute of Statistics in Niger, he joined the World Food Program where for four years he conducted monitoring and evaluation of health / nutrition, rural development and school feeding programs. Nouhou is actively involved in innovative work on demographic issues in West Africa. His PhD research focuses on the links between empowerment of women and fertility projections, including the use of contraception. Mr. Nouhou firmly believes in the potential of women to contribute to the welfare of families and the need for African countries to unlock this potential to accelerate their economic and social development.
Paige Passano, MPH
Director, Sahel Leadership Program
Paige Passano is a researcher at the Bixby Center for Population, Health & Sustainability with expertise in global maternal health, adolescent girls’ education and capacity building. In 2013, she joined The OASIS Initiative, contributing to program design and development, partnership building and fundraising. After completing her MPH in International Public Health from the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, she was a project manager for Population Services International (PSI) in Mumbai, India for 4 years. She has been with the Bixby Center since 2007, working to reduce maternal mortality in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and northern Nigeria.
Co-Director for Girls Programming and Evaluation
Daniel Perlman is a research medical anthropologist at UC Berkeley with more than twenty years’ experience implementing and evaluating primary health care programs in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. He leads OASIS’ girls education and empowerment programming. Perlman founded the Population and Reproductive Health Initiative in partnership with Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Nigeria. He has over a decade of experience implementing an innovative school-based empowerment program for adolescent girls in Nigeria with the Centre for Girls Education.
Head of Programs
Allyson Fritz supports the research and program administration for the OASIS Initiative through her position at Venture Strategies for Health and Development. She brings experience in organizational system’s building, program evaluation, and fundraising. She has worked for Tostan in Senegal supporting the M&E, Communications and Grants teams, primarily focusing on Tostan’s efforts to promote the abandonment of Female Genital Cutting. She is passionate about youth education and livelihoods opportunities, and has worked on program evaluations for Uganda Youth Development Link in Kampala and locally with Marin County Probation. Allyson completed her MSW from UC Berkeley’s School of Social Welfare in 2016 with a concentration in Management and Planning.
Sanoussi holds a Masters in Sociology, with an emphasis on health anthropology. He has worked at UNICEF as a Communications for Development Consultant (C4D) and has worked on numerous program and research evaluations, including the UNFPA Illimin program, a World Bank study on sexual health and reproductive health of adolescents. Previously, Sanoussi worked as a Research Assistant for 4 years at the Laboratoire d’études et recherche sur les dynamiques sociales et le développement local (LASDEL). He also conducted research on the therapeutic pathways of people living with HIV / AIDS at the Ambulation Treatment Center (ATC) in Niamey. Sanoussi aims to develop his skills in qualitative research, in connection with field development programs and thus to broaden his experience and areas of expertise.
Sahel Leadership Program Coordinator
Aminatou holds a Masters in Development with a specialization in Management of Cultural Industries from the Senghor University of Alexandria in Egypt and a bachelor's degree in Business Communication from the African Institute of Technology in Niamey. Before joining the OASIS Initiative, Aminatou was in charge of Mission at the Franco-Nigerian Cultural Center Jean Rouch. She is also the promoter of the Women's Words Festival, a forum for female expression. It defends the rights of women and promotes the talent of women artists.
Chaibou Halidou Illiassou
Sociologist by training, Chaibou Halidou Illiassou is in the last phase of achieving a Masters in Gender and Development from Abdou Moumouni University in Niamey. He has strong experience in the field of reproductive health, gender and climate change, decentralization, and involvement of women and youth in the political sphere, working as a collection officer and a Field Supervisor. After his civic service at the department of formal and informal education of Aguié, he participated in several ethnographic research projects, including the Sauki project in Maradi with Mercy Corps and the Jimiri project of REGIS-ER in the same region. While contributing to other activities, Illiassou now manages the Women in Development internship program at the OASIS Initiative.
Assistant de Recherche, Méthodes quantitatives
Amani Hachimou is a demographer and development sociologist. After his academic research on maternal and child health in Niger, Amani worked at the Ministry of Economy and Finance as part of his National Civic Service. As a Research Assistant at the Bureau of Studies and Research in Economics and Social Sciences, he regularly participated in large-scale data collection operations, namely the Niger 2012 Census, the Food vulnerability surveys and the USAID Food For Peace survey. Amani now has a rich experience in collecting and analyzing statistical data, particularly on health, population and agriculture.
OASIS Affiliated Faculty and Researchers
Fatima Lamishi Adamu
Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, Usmanu Danfodiyo University
Fatima Lamishi Adamu is woman activist and serves in numerous executive and board positions in many academic, government and non-governmental organizations. She is an Associate Professor of Gender Studies in the Department of Sociology Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto, Nigeria. She has published numerous articles nationally and internationally on women, gender relations and religious movements and coordinated national and international level research in Nigeria. She is currently a National Programme Manager of a UKaid funded programme “Women for Health” responsible for supporting state efforts to increase the number of female health workers in the states of Jigawa, Kano, Kastina, Zamfara and Yobe. Prior to that she was a Director of Research and Documentation at the National Centre for Women Development and also a member of a think tank group of Mr President and was responsible for Social Development 2003-2006. She is currently a member of Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) fund responsible for the reduction of maternal mortality (2012-2015). She was also a delegate, representing her state in the recent National Conference and Dialogue to decide the future of Nigeria.
Lecturer, College of Natural Resources, University of California, Berkeley
Federico Castillo is a lecturer and researcher in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at the College of Natural Resources (CNR), University of California, Berkeley. His current research includes the economic impact of climate change, particularly in regard to the impact of extreme events on the rural sector (agriculture, water, and ecosystem services) and migratory phenomena. He is also conducting research on the economics of innovation, technology transfer, and technology adoption in both the developed and developing country context. His consultancies include the Food and Agricultural Organization, the Tropical Agricultural and Research Center, and the World Wildlife Fund.
Director, Bixby Center for Population, Health and Sustainability, University of California, Berkeley
Ndola Prata is the Director of the Bixby Center for Population, Health, and Sustainability at University of California, Berkeley and Medical Director for Venture Strategies Innovations, a Berkeley-based non-profit organization. Her primary research focuses on developing and testing innovative, cost-effective solutions to improve maternal and reproductive health services for disadvantaged populations. She has published extensively in areas of family planning, the role of the private sector in developing countries, and cost-effective strategies to reduce maternal mortality.
Staff Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, University of California, Berkeley
Michael Wehner is a staff scientist in the Computational Research Division of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He studies extreme weather events in a changing climate, especially heat waves, intense precipitation, drought, and tropical cyclones. Before joining the Berkeley Lab, Wehner was an analyst at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the Program for Climate Modeling Diagnosis and Intercomparison. He is a lead author for both the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the upcoming 3rd U.S. National Assessment on climate change.
Marthe Diarra Doka
Independent Consultant - Gender & Resilience Expert
Marthe Diarra Doka has joined the OASIS Initiative as co-Principal Investigator for the "Room to Grow" project. Ms. Doka is a gender and resilience specialist in women's rights and land rights, the gender dimension in food security, and social change in West Africa. She holds Masters degrees in Sociology of Development and Business Administration, a Masters 1 Degree in Sociology of Work, and a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology from the University of Toulouse.
Director of Bureau of Studies & Research in Economics & Social Sciences
ILLA Souley is a Demographer-Geographer by training. He worked as director of a food security project (2009-2011) before joining the National Institute of Statistics of Niger as an Analyst at the Central Census Bureau (2011-2014). Since 2015, Illa has headed the Bureau of Studies and Research in Economics and Social Sciences (BERSES) in Niamey, Niger. Illa is currently pursuing a doctoral degree at the Institute of Demography of University of Paris, Panthéon Sorbonne. His research explores obstacles in accessing contraception in Niger. He brings a wealth of experience in organizing large-scale data collection, and his Bureau of Studies regularly conducts surveys and data analysis for national and international organizations.
OASIS Advisory Board
Director of Maternal and Child Health, Government of Niger
Executive Secretary, Comité permanent inter-État de lutte contre la sécheresse au Sahel (CILSS) (Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel)
An agronomist by training, Dr. Djime Adoum was appointed Executive Secretary of the CILSS in May 2013. Prior to this appointment, he served as the Chadian Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation, where he worked to connect with rural communities, bringing in best practices and implementing the vision of the government. Dr. Djime Adoum hopes to modernize agricultural systems to increase yields via technologies, food processing, marketing, training, extension, and research along with judicious management of scarce water resources. He sincerely believes in the power of science to improve the well-being of the Sahel’s population. His motto is “Live with drought but avoid famine!”
Senior Associate and Ethiopia Country Director, The Population Council
A social scientist with over 20 years’ experience managing research and programs related to adolescent reproductive health and gender in sub-Saharan Africa, Dr. Erulkar oversees large projects related to child marriage, child domestic workers, and male involvement. She has established Population Council offices in Nigeria and Ethiopia, and authored over 70 publications related to adolescence in sub-Saharan Africa. She has lived in Africa for over 20 years, leading adolescent programs in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. She is a key player in developing innovative strategies to delay marriage and onset of childbearing among adolescents.
J. Keith Gilless
Dean, College of Natural Resources, University of California, Berkeley
J. Keith Gilless is the dean of UC Berkeley’s College of Natural Resources and a professor of Forest Economics in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management. His research uses economic analysis and operations research modeling techniques to address forest resource management issues such as forest products market forecasting, analysis of resource-dependent local economies, the role of forestry in international development, forest harvest, scheduling, protected area management, non-market valuation, the impact of climate change on fire control, structure survival in large urban-wildland fires, and wildland fire protection planning. .
Country Representative for Nigeria, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
An obstetrician-gynecologist by training, Mairo Mandara works with the foundation’s Nigerian partners to help improve the lives of the country’s poorest people. Before joining the foundation, she served as a senior country advisor to Nigeria for the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and as the Nigeria-based health systems advisor for the Earth Institute at Columbia University.
Director, Center for Girls Education (CGE), Population and Reproductive Health Initiative, Nigeria.
Habiba Mohammed is the director of the Center for Girls Education (CGE), a joint program of Ahmadu Bello University’s Population and Reproductive Health Initiative, and the Bixby Center for Population, Health & Sustainability at the University of California, Berkeley. CGE is an educational enrichment program for girls that complements government secondary schooling by improving girls’ core academic performance and providing opportunities for them to build trusting relationships and acquire critical life skills not currently offered in secondary education. Habiba is an accomplished teacher having taught at the Ahmadu Bello University Demonstration Senior Secondary School for 14 years before taking on leadership of CGE.
Senior Associate and Country Director, Ghana, Population Council
Throughout his career, Tapsoba has addressed sensitive public health issues in traditional African settings, and has been recognized as a leader who confronts stigmas surrounding sexual and reproductive health. Tapsoba is on the board the Global Research and Advocacy Group. He studied medicine at the University of Padua, Italy, and subsequently earned both a master's in public health and a master's in medical anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles. He has presented at many national and international conferences and has authored multiple peer-reviewed journal articles.
Research Analysis Intern
Justine conducts analysis and research for OASIS' family planning, food security, and gender equity initiatives. She recently graduated cum laude with a dual B.A./B.S. from the UC Berkeley School of Public Health and Haas School of Business.