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The Center for Refugee and Disaster Relief

Center for Refugee and Disaster Response
Center for Refugee and Disaster Response
Center for Refugee and Disaster Response
Center for Refugee and Disaster Response
Center for Refugee and Disaster Response
Center for Refugee and Disaster Response
Center for Refugee and Disaster Response
Center for Refugee and Disaster Response
Center for Refugee and Disaster Response
Center for Refugee and Disaster Response

Our People: Advisory Committee

Dean GoodermoteCHAIR: DEAN GOODERMOTE is a computer software entrepreneur having run or started half a dozen companies over the last twenty-five years. He is currently working on his start-up, Vinyl Dreams, a virtual music studio.  Most recently he was Chairman and CEO of Asset Control and prior to that, Double-Take Software. He has served on many corporate and non-profit boards and currently is a member of the Health Advisory Committee of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Chairs its Advisory Committee for the Center for Refugees and Disaster Response. Dean is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Berklee College of Music and for the New England Aquarium. He is active in USSA Freestyle skiing program and is a member of its Eastern Freestyle Competition Committee and a certified judge. Dean teaches part time at Leipzig, Germany’s HHL School of Management and was awarded its Honorary Professorship of Entrepreneurship. He is also a musician, playing jazz and rock.


KEN BANTA leads Corporate Strategic Affairs at Bausch + Lomb, the global eye health company. As a participant in Bausch + Lomb’s top management team, Ken is engaged in all aspects of driving a high performance transformation agenda for the Company, reporting to the CEO. Key responsibilities include developing and driving a new operating model and long term strategy for the company.

Previously Ken served as head of Corporate Strategic Affairs at Schering-Plough Corporation, the global, research-based pharmaceutical company. Prior to joining Schering-Plough, Ken headed Strategic Communications at the global pharmaceutical company Pharmacia Corporation, until Pharmacia’s acquisition by Pfizer in April of 2003. Before joining Pharmacia, Ken was a Senior Counselor with Burson-Marsteller based in London. He advised corporate, government, and non-profit organizations on public affairs and public relations.

From 1982 through 1991, Ken worked as a writer and foreign correspondent for Time Magazine based in Chicago, Vienna and London.  This included his assignment as Eastern Europe Bureau Chief from 1985 to 1990, covering the democratic revolutions of that region, and as Europe Senior Correspondent 1990-1991. 

Ken is a graduate of Amherst College. He attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. Ken was born in Frankfurt, Germany and grew up in Germany, Italy and the United States. In addition to his participation on the Advisory Committee for the Center, Ken serves on the Board of Common Ground, the New York organization dedicated to long-term solutions to homelessness. He is also a member of the Board of the Hudson Union Society, a Manhattan-based non-profit dedicated to multi-disciplinary dialogue. Ken also serves on the Board of The Active Theater Company in New York City. Ken Banta lives in Manhattan.


JOHN M. BARRY  is the author of six books, most recently Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul: Church, State, and Birth of Liberty. The National Academies of Science named The Great Influenza, a study of the 1918 pandemic, winner of the 2005 Keck Award for the year’s outstanding book on science or medicine. The National Academies also invited him to give the 2006 Abel Wolman Distinguished Lecture; he is the only non-scientist ever to give that lecture. His earlier book Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America, won the 1998 Francis Parkman Prize of the Society of American Historians for the year’s best book of American history. He has served on advisory boards at M.I.T’s Center for Engineering Systems Fundamentals and on a federal government Infectious Disease Board of Experts, and he has advised federal, state, and World Health Organization officials on influenza and risk communication. After Hurricane Katrina, the Louisiana Congressional delegation asked him to chair a bipartisan working group on flood control, and in 2007 he was appointed to both the Southeast Louisiana Flood Control Authority East, which oversees six levee districts in the metropolitan New Orleans area, and the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, which develops and implements the state's hurricane protection plan.

A frequent guest on broadcast media, he has also contributed to award-winning television documentaries and has written for publications ranging from the Journal of Infectious Disease to Sports Illustrated, as well as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Fortune, Time, Newsweek, and Esquire.


Deborah PicDEBORAH BESEMER is a software industry executive.  She was the CEO of Gemvara from 2009 to 2010 and currently is Chairman of the Board of that company. Previously she was the President and CEO of BrassRing, a leading provider of talent management solutions. Under her leadership, revenues grew consistently, from $1 million in revenue to $40 million until she oversaw the sale of the company to Kenexa Corp. for $115 million. Prior to joining BrassRing, Deborah spent more than a decade at Lotus Development, where she held the position of Executive Vice-President, Worldwide Field Operations with revenues in excess of $1.3 billion and more than 4,000 employees in 46 countries.  She is currently serving on the board of directors at Brightcove, Inc. and Gemvara Corp. Formerly, she served as a board director at Double-Take Software, Bullhorn, My Perfect Gig, Kubisoft, Inc. and Eprise Corporation.
Deborah has taken an active role in organizations that serve disaster victims, women in business, and the technology industry.  Deborah is a former Chairperson of the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council (formerly Mass Software Council) and served on the Board of Trustees for 9 years. She served on the University of Massachusetts High Tech Executive Council, and The New England Small Business Advisory Council for the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Deborah is a Trustee at the Commonwealth Institute, a non-profit to help women grow their careers and companies.  She is a member of the Disaster Assistance Team for the American Red Cross.


MICHAEL CLURMAN, is retired as Vice President of Operations at The Washington Post where he was responsible for production operations, engineering, information technology and large capital projects.

While Vice President of Production, Michael was appointed Chairman of The Post’s Futures Committee with responsibility for driving The Post’s Capital spending strategy.  In 1994, Michael directed the successful $250 million recapitalization of The Post’s printing and production facilities, including the construction of a new plant in College Park, Maryland. In 2000, Michael was promoted to the position of Vice President of Operations where he was also responsible for Systems and Information Technology.

In March of 2009 Michael accepted the temporary position of President and Chief Operating Officer of INVISION Inc. INVISION is the leading provider of advertising planning and sales solutions to the media industry and is trusted by the leading media content providers to manage over $13 billion in advertising revenue each year.
Michael graduated with honors from the University of Maryland where he earned a degree in Business Managment. In 1988, he attended the extended PMD Program at Harvard Business School.

Michael has served on the Industry Advisory Board of Rochester Institute of Technology.  He also served on the Technology Advisory Board of the Newspaper Association of America. He is a member of the Board of Governors of The Packard Foundation for ALS Research at Johns Hopkins. He is also a board member of Habitat for Humanity, Washington Metro Region. Michael is also a licensed Private Pilot.


James CobeyJAMES C. COBEY MD, MPH, FACS, graduated from Hamilton College with a BA in History specializing in Thai foreign policy in the 19th Century.  He received his MD from the Johns Hopkins Medical School and his MPH at the School of Hygiene and Public Health, focusing on international health.

Dr. Cobey is a board certified orthopaedic surgeon in an independent practice that specializes in major trauma, spine reconstruction, and total joint replacement.  He has been the team doctor for Gallaudet University (school for the deaf) for twenty years and he is an instructor on International Humanitarian Law and Disaster Relief for the Red Cross. He holds the rank of Professor of Orthopaedics at Georgetown University and Senior Associate at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He has been guest lecturer at Yale University, George Washington University and other medical schools.

As a member of Physicians for Human Rights, Dr. Cobey shared in the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for the International Campaign to Ban Land Mines.  He received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and in 2002 the Frank Annunzio award from the Christopher Columbus Foundation.  He is president of the School’s Society of Alumni and a member of the Dean’s Alumni Advisory Council.

In 1992 Dr. Cobey won the Charles R. Drew Award from the American Red Cross.  In June 1998, he was awarded the American Red Cross’s International Humanitarian Service Award.  He is author of numerous articles on orthopaedics and international relief.



WILLIAM FLUMENBAUM is a senior vice president and investment counselor for Capital Group Private Client Services. Prior to joining the organization in 1998, he spent eight years with the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as an executive director of the Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation and director of principal gifts across the campus. Before that, he was executive director of the Children’s Health Fund in New York City and a director of programs for Helen Keller International. He also worked in international public health with a Swiss foundation for nearly a decade. Bill earned an MA in educational psychology from the California State University, Hayward and a BA in psychology from the University of California at Berkeley. He serves on the board of directors of the Venice Family Health Clinic, UCLA Library, UCLA Board of Governors and the Health Advisory Board for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Bill holds a Series 65 license and is based in our West Los Angeles office.


Gabaudan PicMICHEL GABAUDAN became president of Refugees International in September of 2010, leading RI forward in its mission to bring attention and action to refugees and displaced people worldwide. Prior to his role with RI, Michel served as the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) Regional Representative for the United States and the Caribbean. Michel’s career with UNHCR spanned more than 25 years, including international service in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Pacific.

Trained as a medical doctor in addition to holding a master’s degree in tropical public health, Michel spent a decade working in Guyana, Zambia, Brazil, London and Yemen before joining UNHCR as a Field Officer in Thailand in 1978. His UN career took him to field operations in Cameroon and Pakistan as well as several years at the agency’s headquarters in Geneva, where he served as the first public health advisor to the organization.

Subsequently, he served as a Secretary to CIREFCA, the International Conference on Refugees in Central America, where he led a joint UNHCR- UNDP team for a year and a half, supporting peace processes in Latin America. He was then assigned as Charge de Mission in Guatemala where he negotiated the first phases of the return of refugees. In 1995, he was appointed as the Regional Representative in Mexico responsible for all Central American countries. That same year, Michel was the recipient of the Order of the Quetzal, Guatemala’s highest honor. The award was bestowed upon him in appreciation for his involvement in the country's peace process.

He then went on to become head of UNHCR’s funding and donor relations service at headquarters in Geneva. Between 2001 and 2004, Michel was the Regional Representative in Australia. Prior to coming to Washington, he served as the Regional Representative for UNHCR in Beijing.


MARGARET CONN HIMELFARB is an editor and medical research advocate with a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MPH from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is a member of the JHSPH Health Advisory Board and has served on the School's Institutional Review Board for a decade. She serves on the advisory committee for the Center for Public Health and Human Rights, and she chairs the School's Centennial.

Ms. Himelfarb is a member of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Institutional Stem Cell Research Oversight Committee (ISCRO), and was recently re-appointed by the Governor to the Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission. As immediate past Chair of the Commission, she increased collaborations between public and private entities and leveraged funds by establishing interstate research partnerships.

She is a founder, past chair, and the first Honorary Lifetime Board Member of the Maryland Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). Her leadership helped the Chapter transition from a small group of concerned families to a major, statewide organization, raising millions of dollars for diabetes research. She also served on the JDRF International Board of Directors, and currently sits on its International Board of Chancellors.

Ms. Himelfarb reviewed research grants for JDRF for many years, testified before the FDA on diabetes related matters, and served on various advisory committees for the National Institutes of Health. Her advocacy efforts include spearheading a successful national campaign for a Diabetes Awareness US Postage Stamp and leading a state-wide grassroots coalition to help secure the legislation that authorizes Maryland to fund human stem cell research.

Ms. Himelfarb has received several humanitarian awards for raising public awareness about diabetes and support for medical research. She was also honored at the 2009 World Stem Cell Summit for her efforts to advance stem cell research. In 2010, she received the Johns Hopkins University Heritage Award, and, in 2012, The Daily Record named her one of Maryland's Top 100 Women.


MYUNG KEN LEE, MD, MPH, PhD, has been actively involved in the care and development of international refugee situations, especially with North Korean refugees.  He began his career as a program director with Mercy Corps in 1998, establishing and successfully running a program devoted to helping North Korean refugees in China in collaboration with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health faculty. With his established track record of success in his field, Dr. Lee has served as an advisor to various organizations, including the Ministry of Social Affairs of Cambodia and Hunchun City of China.  He also has been actively involved with several refugee projects in Nepal, Mongolia and Thailand.

Dr. Lee is a board member of the Korean Society of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, and over the past 20 years he has been a faculty member at Yonsei University School of Medicine, Wonju Medical School, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Yanbian School of Science and Technology of China.  Dr. Lee was also the president of Kanghwa General Hospital from 1992 to 1996.

In 2009, Dr. Lee was invited to be the president of Joy of Sharing, a South Korea-based international NGO. In the same year, he also became a senior board member of another NGO, Global Together, and became a Vice President of the U.S. - based United Relief and Community Development.

Dr. Lee received his degrees from Yonsei University in South Korea, specializing in Health Policy and Hospital Management. In 1997 Dr. Lee attended the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to earn a post-doctoral fellowship in International Health, and he has worked as an associate with the School since 2002.


WILLIAM LIN, Ph.D. is Director of Corporate Contributions and Community Relations at Johnson & Johnson. Dr. Lin’s responsibilities include managing the Company’s response to natural disasters and humanitarian crises, and responsibilities for the Company’s product donations portfolio.

Dr. Lin developed the product donation program strategy to embody Johnson & Johnson values with respect to the health and well-being of women and children. In ensuring that J&J is effective in responding to global humanitarian and natural disasters, Dr. Lin also manages and develops the relationships with major international governmental as well as non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Since joining the group in 2005, Dr. Lin has led the development of the program Children Without Worms, the largest global drug donation effort by a pharmaceutical company for the treatment and prevention of intestinal worms.

Dr. Lin started his professional career as a research scientist in the AIDS and Hepatitis division of the diagnostics sector of Johnson & Johnson. With successes and experience in new product development, he advanced through several other divisions of J&J that included positions in Quality Systems, Operations Information Management, and Strategic Sourcing. With 15 years of in-depth experience in the inner workings of this multi-national pharmaceutical company, he was well positioned to bring an operational perspective to the corporate social responsibility (CSR) arm of J&J.  Dr. Lin holds a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from UCLA.


Marincola PictureELIZABETH MARINCOLA has been the Chief Executive Officer of the nonprofit scientific publisher and advocacy organization the Public Library of Science (PLOS) since August 2013. PLOS publishes a number of open access scientific journals, including PLOS Biology, PLOS medicine, and the online publication channel PLOS Currents. She was formerly President of the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization Society for Science & the Public, and publisher of the award-winning Science News family of publications.

Marincola was for fourteen years Executive Director of the American Society for Cell Biology, a scientific society which is a leader in Congressional advocacy for biomedical research funding, promoting access to the scientific literature, and the support of women and underrepresented minorities in science. For its work, Marincola accepted the 2004 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring from the President of the United States. The ASCB honored her service in 2002 by naming her, with the late actor-advocate Christopher Reeve, the first Citizen Member of the Society.

Marincola served on the founding National Advisory Committee to PubMed Central of the National Institutes of Health from 2000-2003, as Director of the Joint Steering Committee for Public Policy (now the Coalition for the Life Sciences) from 1991-2005, on the Board of Directors of the Public Library of Science (PLOS) from 2005-2011, and on the Advisory Council of the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study at George Mason University from 2002-2012. She is the only nonscientist to be named the Fae Golden Kass Lecturer at Harvard Medical School.

Marincola was Director of Development for Stanford University Hospital and held other administrative posts at Stanford, where she also earned her bachelor’s degree in 1981 and her MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1986. She has served as Principal Investigator or co-PI on several Federal research grants, and is author or co-author of dozens of articles published in journals and magazines, including Harvard Business Review, Cell and Science. Marincola has contributed a regular column on science education to the Huffington Post since 2010.


MELISSA MOWBRAY-D'ARBELA is Co-Founder and CEO of Filligent Ltd., a Hong Kong-based global biotech company that develops essential preventative personal health products to help combat disease transmission and initiation.  Filligent develops proprietary and advanced biochemical technologies to provide pragmatic health solutions, primarily to addresses health gaps in developing nations.

Prior to founding Filligent, Melissa worked as a corporate lawyer at Skadden Arps in the US and Asia, as an investment banker at Lehman Brothers in Asia, and as a private equity investor at GE Equity (Asia).  Melissa also co-founded Maven International, an ethical investment fund.  She holds a law degree from New York University, School of Law.

Melissa provides the company's vision, and is fiercely dedicated to Filligent’s mission: save lives, stay strong.  Melissa applies the same principles to her pro bono work.   In 2007, she co-founded PathFinders Limited, a Hong Kong charity that helps migrant women and their children who are at risk to find safe and legal homes.  A principle aspect of this is to advocate for changes in the treatment of this unrepresented class of people at both government policy and grassroots levels.

Melissa also serves as board member of Mother's Choice Limited, a charity that helps babies and pregnant women in crisis. At Mother’s Choice she spearheads their advocacy group to improve the rights of children.  She also heads their medical advisory group, focused on infection control, reflecting her commitment to developing pragmatic tools for disease interventions at all strata of society.

Melissa is a member of the 2010 class of Henry Crown Fellows, Aspen Institute.  The fellowship aims to develop the next generation of values-centered leaders, providing them with tools to meet the challenges of business and leadership in the 21st century.


MARGARET ROGGENSACK is the Senior Advisor for Business and Human Rights at Human Rights First, responsible for managing initiatives to address the human rights impact of global business operations. She serves on the Boards of the Fair Labor Association, the Global Network Initiative, the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights and the Temporary Steering Committee of the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Providers. She is also an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University Law Center, where she teaches a course on human rights and corporate accountability. Prior to joining Human Rights First, Ms. Roggensack practiced law with Hogan Lovells L.L.P., chairing the firm's Latin America Practice Group. During Ms. Roggensack's nearly 20 year career in private legal practice, she counseled clients on bilateral and multilateral trade agreements and sector specific arrangements; represented private sector interests in World Trade Organization dispute settlement proceedings; advised multinational corporations on U.S. and Latin American investments and led in industry task force and coalition efforts.

Ms. Roggensack has served as an advisor to numerous private and quasi-governmental organizations on democratic transition, rule of law, and economic recovery initiatives and U.S. policy toward Latin America. She is a member of the board of the Due Process of Law Foundation, and past president of the Washington Foreign Law Society.


Frances Stead SellersFRANCES STEAD SELLERS is a senior editor of the Washington Post, where she oversees the paper's daily feature and arts section, Style. From 2009 to 2011, she was the deputy national editor responsible for health, science and the environment coverage, which included such major news stories as the swine flu outbreak, the political and legal battles over the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Gulf oil spill, and the Japan nuclear disaster. A series of stories she edited about the medical treatment of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

Ms. Sellers came to the Post from Civilization, the magazine of the Library Congress, which she helped launch in 1994 and which won a National Magazine Award for General Excellence in 1996. She has written for a wide variety of U.S. and British publications, including the Post, the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Guardian and the Times and was a guest editor of the
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's book, "Saving Lives: Millions at a Time." In 2003, she received an Alicia Patterson Foundation Fellowship to write about dual citizenship and transnationalism, and in 2006 she was awarded a Wolfson College Press Fellowship at Cambridge University to do research into the evolution of newspapers in an age of instant news. In 2012, she edited the Pew Charitable Trusts book "Even a Better Land" about the preservation of open space in the Northeastern United States.

Ms. Sellers grew up in the south of England, the only member of her immediate family not to pursue a career in medicine, and came to the United States as a British Thouron Scholar to do graduate work at the University of Pennsylvania.


Joe SestakJOE SESTAK Born and raised in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, Joe Sestak graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1974. He served 31 years in the U.S. Navy, attaining the rank of 3-star Admiral, during which Joe led a series of operational commands at sea, culminating in command of the GEORGE WASHINGTON Aircraft Carrier Battle Group consisting of 30 ships during combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. He also served as President Clinton’s Director for Defense Policy in the National Security Council in the White House, and oversaw the Navy’s $70 billion warfare budget as Deputy Chief of Naval Operations. In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, Joe became head of “Deep Blue,” the Navy anti-terrorism unit formed in response to the attacks in order to establish the Navy’s strategic, budgetary, and operational policy for the "Global War on Terrorism."

After the Navy, Joe was elected to Congress to represent Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District, where he served from 2007 to 2010 when he ran for the U.S. Senate.  He was on both the Armed Services and the Education and Labor Committees, and also was Vice Chairman of the Small Business Committee. According to the Office of the House Historian, Joe is the highest-ranking former military officer ever elected to office of either branch of the Congress. Joe received a Masters in Public Administration and a PhD in Political Economy and Government from Harvard University while in the Service. He is fortunate to be married to Susan Clark-Sestak, and be Dad to Alex, and resides in Edgmont, Pennsylvania.


Stewart SimonsonSTEWART SIMONSON is senior vice president and general counsel for Futures Group, an international development consulting firm.  He is responsible for providing legal advice and counsel to Futures Group staff in Washington DC, Durham, North Carolina, and around the world.

Prior to joining Futures Group, Simonson was vice president for government affairs at SRA International, Inc., a professional services consulting firm. He was previously SRA’s vice president and director of strategic initiatives within the Global Health business, where he managed thought leadership on key health topics and provided strategic consulting for health-related projects and proposals.

Simonson spent nearly five years with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where he served in several senior positions, including deputy general counsel and assistant secretary for the public health emergency preparedness. As assistant secretary, Simonson coordinated public health preparedness activities of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health. He was instrumental in drafting and securing passage of the Project BioShield Act of 2004. From his first days at the Department of Health and Human Services, Simonson played an integral role in improving pandemic influenza preparedness and served as the Secretary’s point person for this work.

Simonson has received several awards recognizing his contributions to public health, including The Surgeon General’s Medallion and the Food and Drug Administration Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research’s Public Health Achievement Award.

Earlier in his career, Simonson was chief legal counsel to the governor of Wisconsin. He is a member of the D.C. and Wisconsin bars. Simonson serves on the Advisory Committee for the Center for Refugee and Disaster Response at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He also serves on the Advisory Council for the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases.


SUZANNE WOLFF is a retired Senior Vice President of Mercantile Bank. Mrs. Wolff has two children who have graduated from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  One is involved in international health issues.  Another son, a graduate of School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), works at the UN.

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