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The Center for Refugee and Disaster Relief


H.E.L.P. Course Instructors
(Subject to availability)

Course organizers are Gilbert Burnham and Mija Ververs. Course email address is

Judy Bass is associate professor of mental health in the JSHPH department of mental health, and has carried out mental research among conflict affected populations for a number of years.

Stephane Bonamy is deputy head of the regional International Committee of the Red Cross delegation in Washington. He discusses the protection mandate of the ICRC and its functions, with special emphasis on work among detainees.

Paul Bouvier is a senior medical advisor to the International Committee of the Red Cross. His work at the ICRC focuses on health and ethical issues.

Eric Brenner is a medical epidemiologist who teaches in the MPH programs at the University of South Carolina and at the University of Geneva (Switzerland).  He has nearly 30 years’ experience in local, national, and global communicable disease control programs.

Gilbert Burnham is a professor of International Health, Division of Community Health and Health Systems, at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Burnham has worked for 15 years in Malawi and Zambia.

Claude deVille worked for PAHO for many years as a leader in disaster management and now consults widely on disasters around the world.

Leonardo Hernandez works with the Department of Emergency preparedness and Disaster Relief at the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) Disaster Unit in Washington D.C.

Michael Hoffman is a lawyer and faculty member with the US Army Command and General Staff College and specializes in International Humanitarian Law.

Rafael Khusnutdinov is chief of security for Save the Children in Washington, DC, and discusses personal safety and protection in the field.

Hilmi Mahomed works at InterAction in Washington as a specialist in shelter in humanitarian emergencies.

Kwaku Nuamah is a political scientist with particular interest in armed conflict and conflict resolution.

Les Roberts is an engineer and epidemiologist. He works on areas of conflict and health and serves on the faculty of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

W. Courtland Robinson is a demographer specializing in measurement methods in emergencies and an Assistant Professor of International Health, Division of Health Systems at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of PUblic Health.

Hannah Tappis works with reproductive health in emergencies at Jhpiego, an affiliate of Johns Hopkins University. 

Mija Ververs has 30 years of experience and has worked with more than 15 organizations, ranging from international NGOs such as IFRC, ICRC, and the UN to government and academic institutions. Her field of expertise lies in nutrition, food security, and livelihoods programming in countries affected by conflict or natural disasters. 

Guest instructors come from various humanitarian organization to present special topics during the HELP course.


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