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Tolbert G. Nyenswah, MPH

  • Senior Research Associate

Departmental Affiliations

Contact Information

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Education

MPH, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2012
LLB, University of Liberia, 2009
BSc, University of Liberia, 2004

Overview

Tolbert Nyenswah, LLB, MPH a senior research associate, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of International health. An internationally recognized legal scholar and a global public health expert. Specializes in public health emergencies preparedness and response, advising on incident management system functionalities. Tolbert has been engaged with several public health emergencies, including, Ebola, Lassa Fever, Zika, Meningitis and currently the COVID-19 response. Since COVID-19 some of the major contribution to the COVID-19 response includes the development of a COVID-19 contact tracing course that has over 700,000 enrollment and certification and over 15 million viewers- COVID-19 Contact Tracing Course , Crowdsourcing surveillance course and Harvard University building state capacity. Tolbert appeared on several webinars advising high level political and technical global leaders: CGD, Carey Business School ,Cornell University, JHU Faculty Real time COVID-19 response. Tolbert has been interviewed by: African, North American, Asian, European and South American media, few samples: Washington Post, The HILL , Business Insider, Bloomberg, USA Today, NPR Radio, BBC , Business Insider, VOA News, World Economic Forum, The Philadelphia Inquirer, VOA Africa, The New Yorker, STAT, POLITICO

My current research focuses on Ebola vaccines, detection of persistent Ebola virus in survivors, and transmission dynamics for emerging infectious diseases, especially using One Health (OH) approach. I was named winner of the Bloomberg Hopkins Emerging Leader Award, 2016. In honor of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Centennial. Award was established by Bloomberg Philanthropies to recognize a Bloomberg School student or alumni with the potential to impact public health on a large scale for years to come.

I have been recognized as public health leader both at home and internationally as a leader in Liberia’s successful response to the 2014 Ebola outbreak, I have made an enormous impact on public health in disease control programming in West Africa.

A lawyer by training. My work as a public health leader first public health leadership role with the National Malaria Control Program in Liberia, a program that helped to reduce malaria prevalence from 66% in 2005 to 28% in 2011. I became Assistant Minister of Health and Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Prevention in 2012-2015, Deputy Minister of Health for Disease Surveillance and Epidemic Control 2015-2017. The position recognizes my role in bringing an end to the worst Ebola epidemic ever known and my leadership of the incident management system that quickly detected and contained the outbreak. Throughout my career I have consistently demonstrated analytical excellence and strong leadership, notably through effective communication and skilled team building. My leadership has saved thousands of lives in Liberia preventing the Global spread of Ebola. Being a visionary, I led the establishment of Liberia's First National Public Health Institute after the Ebola crisis and became its First Director General and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) 2017-2019. The National Public Health Institute of Liberia as a center of excellence to prevent, detect and respond to public health threats in Liberia and West Africa.

Honors and Awards

Bloomberg Hopkins Emerging Leader Award Winner

Outstanding Recent Graduate Award, Johns Hopkins University Alumni Association

TIME Magazine Persons of the Year for Ebola Fighters in West Africa

Medal of Excellence for Public Health Services, the Surgeon General of the United States

Golden Image Award, created in Honor of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President, Republic of Liberia

Gender Award, International Learning Institute

Medal Award of Excellence for Coordination and Response Mitigation of the National

Ebola Crisis in West Africa, USAID/Office of Foreign Disaster Assistant

Certificate of Award in Memory of the German Bundeswehr, Humanitarian AID for Western

Africa, in recognition of support to build the Severe Infection Temporary Treatment Unit (SITTU)

in West Africa

USAID/ FAO One Health Award for establishing the One Health Program in Liberia

  • Infectious Diseases Ebola Malaria HIV/AIDs TB
  • One Health Approach(Animals, Environment, Humans)
  • Global Health Security
  • Health Systems
  • Health Care Policies and Designs
  • Health Management Information Systems(HIS)
  • Africa
  • Health Systems in LMICs
  • SDGs
  • Universal Health Coverage(UHC)

Publications I believe with highest impact factors- most recent public health issues

  • Kennedy, S. B., Neaton, J. D., Lane, H. C., Kieh, M. W., Massaquoi, M. B., Touchette, N. A., ... & Nyenswah, T. G. (2016). Implementation of an Ebola virus disease vaccine clinical trial during the Ebola epidemic in Liberia: design, procedures, and challenges. Clinical trials, 13(1), 49-56.
  • Mate, S.E., Kugelman, J.R., Nyenswah, T.G., Ladner, J.T., Wiley, M.R., Cordier-Lassalle, T., Christie, A., Schroth, G.P., Gross, S.M., Davies-Wayne, G.J. and Shinde, S.A., 2015. Molecular evidence of sexual transmission of Ebola virus. New England Journal of Medicine, 373(25), pp.2448-2454.
  • Yamin, D., Gertler, S., Ndeffo-Mbah, M.L., Skrip, L.A., Fallah, M., Nyenswah, T.G., Altice, F.L. and Galvani, A.P., 2015. Effect of Ebola Progression on Transmission and Control in LiberiaEbola Disease: Progression and Control. Annals of internal medicine, 162(1), pp.11-17.
  • Forrester, J.D., Pillai, S.K., Beer, K.D., Neatherlin, J., Massaquoi, M., Nyenswah, T.G., Montgomery, J.M. and De Cock, K., 2014. Assessment of ebola virus disease, health care infrastructure, and preparedness-four counties, Southeastern Liberia, august 2014. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep, 63(40), pp.891-3.
  • Summers, A., Nyenswah, T.G., Montgomery, J.M., Neatherlin, J. and Tappero, J.W., 2014. Challenges in responding to the Ebola epidemic—four rural counties, Liberia, August–November 2014. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep, 63(50), pp.1202-4.
  • COVID 19