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Institute for Global Tobacco Control


Carla Clemens, BA, Administrative Program Coordinator
Elizabeth Crespi, BA, Research Assistant
Christopher K. Doyle, MFA, Instructional Designer
Ashley Grant, MPH, Research Program Manager
Graziele Grilo, MSc, Senior Research Program Coordinator
Jeffrey Hardesty, MPH, Research Associate
Michael Iacobelli, MPH, Research Program Manager
Bekir Kaplan, MD, Post-Doctoral Fellow
Asim Khan, MA, Communications Associate
Naseeb Kibria, MSE, Research Program Manager
Reema Nainani, MBA, Senior Grants and Contracts Analyst
Keisha J. Poole, Budget Specialist
Brian Shea, BA, Communications Associate
Sejal Saraf, BDS, MPH, Senior Research Program Coordinator
Ashley Waith, MBA, Budget Analyst
Kevin Welding, PhD, Senior Biostatistician

Ayodeji Awopegba, DMD, MPH
Research Program Manager

Ayodeji Awopegba, DMD, MPH manages a variety of projects at IGTC, including the Global E-cigarette Policy Scan that explores different approaches employed by countries to regulate e-cigarettes. He provides support for IGTC’s online tobacco control training programs. Awopegba also assists with other research, evaluation, and capacity building projects at IGTC. As a research assistant at the Institute during his master of public health studies, he contributed to the development of the TPackSS project. He previously worked as a dental officer for federal and state hospitals in Nigeria. Awopegba received his dental degree from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and his master of public health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Carla Clemens, BA
Administrative Program Coordinator

Carla Clemens, BA provides administrative and program support for IGTC. She assists and coordinates director-related administrative tasks, oversees the Institute’s Certificate Program in Global Tobacco Control, as well as collaborates with research and communications staff on special projects. She holds a bachelor of arts in biology, sociology, and Spanish from Goshen College, Indiana. Prior to joining IGTC, Clemens worked in the International Injuries Research Unit in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center as a Rehabilitation Technician.   

Elizabeth Crespi, BA
Research Assistant

Elizabeth Crespi currently works on a number of projects at IGTC, ranging from the TPackSS and VAPER studies to the Tobacco Control Leadership Programs. She previously worked on food security issues in Baltimore as a research assistant at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future and as a program coordinator for the Farm Alliance of Baltimore, a local nonprofit. Crespi holds her bachelor's degree in public health and biology from Johns Hopkins University.   

Christopher K. Doyle, MFA
Instructional Designer

Christopher K. Doyle, MFA is redesigning the IGTC online course, Global Tobacco Control: Learning from the Experts. Prior to IGTC, he was an accessibility specialist with the Maryland State Department of Education. Before that he worked in the education publishing field from 2008 to 2015 as an editor, writer, and accessibility specialist. Doyle holds a master of fine arts in creative writing and publishing arts from the University of Baltimore and a bachelor of arts in creative writing and philosophy from Loyola University Maryland.

Ashley Grant, MPH
Research Program Manager

Ashley Grant, MPH works on a variety of projects at IGTC that focus on the marketing of tobacco products online and at the point-of-sale. In 2016 Grant designed and coordinated an assessment of tobacco marketing near schools in 14 countries, and currently manages a study that seeks to characterize the marketing of flavored cigarettes in five countries in Latin America. She also contributed to a study to assess e-cigarette marketing online and at the point-of-sale in Russia, and has provided technical assistance for air quality monitoring projects in several countries. Grant received her master of public health degree in global health from Tufts University and is currently enrolled in a doctoral program in environmental health at Tulane University.

Graziele Grilo, MSc
Senior Research Program Coordinator

Graziele Grilo, MSc is responsible for the overall management of a mixed-methods study examining the youth appeal of packs sold in Mexico City, an extension of the TPackSS project. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from State University of Campinas, Brazil, and earned her master of science in women’s and gender studies at Towson University. Before joining the Institute, she worked on a qualitative study to identify factors contributing to gender-based violence and sexual risk (STIs/HIV) for female university undergraduate students in Ethiopia. As a graduate student, she managed the Arts Integration Institute at Towson University, helping to develop and implement a partnership with the Refugee Youth Project and Patterson High School in Baltimore City. Grilo is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.

Jeffrey Hardesty, MPH
Research Associate

Jeffrey Hardesty, MPH currently works on several projects at IGTC, including an experimental study of cigarette health warning labels in China, sustainability of philanthropic initiatives, and approaches to use social media and online communities to encourage higher levels of public engagement in smoke-free issues. He previously conducted clinical research at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health aiming to increase patient participation in non-small cell lung cancer clinical trials in an ethical manner. Hardesty received his master of public health from Johns Hopkins with a concentration in epidemiology and biostatistics

Michael Iacobelli, MPH
Research Program Manager

Michael Iacobelli, MPH leads the monitoring of field data collection for the TPackSS project, and manages the intake and coding process of packs from 14 countries around the world. He leads contract activities with in-country data collection agencies and supports in-field training. Iacobelli holds a master of public health from George Washington University School of Public Health and previously worked as a research associate at Evidera.

Bekir Kaplan, MD
Post-Doctoral Fellow

Bekir Kaplan, MD is currently a post-doctoral fellow at IGTC. His research at the Institute focuses on cigarette health warning labels, compliance with smoke-free legislation in Turkey and the effects of toxins from waterpipe (hookah) smoke in real-world setting. Kaplan received his medical doctorate in 2007 and a public health specialist degree from Hacettepe University in 2011. He previously worked at the Turkish Ministry of Health in Ankara between 2012 and 2015 where he was in charge of conducting several national surveys on behalf of the Ministry of Health.

Asim Khan, MA
Communications Associate

Asim Khan, MA is responsible for developing and implementing communication strategies to effectively disseminate the work of the Institute through multiple channels, including the web and electronic media. He is also involved in creating multimedia content and design projects for IGTC. Khan holds a master of arts in media design/publications design from the University of Baltimore, and a bachelor of arts in sociology from McDaniel College.

Naseeb Kibria, MSE
Research Program Manager

Naseeb Kibria, MSE supports a number of capacity building initiatives at the Institute including the Regional Tobacco Control Leadership Programs and the tobacco control research networks in Bangladesh and Indonesia. Previously she was involved with a multi-country study to measure levels of secondhand smoke exposure in public places. She also managed a multi-year project in Vietnam aimed at building the tobacco control capacity of the Ministry of Health. Kibria previously worked as a program manager on asthma and environmental health issues at the national headquarters of the American Lung Association in Washington, DC. She holds a bachelor of dental surgery degree from Dhaka Dental College, Bangladesh, and a master of science and education in public health from the University of Toledo, Ohio.

Reema Nainani, MBA
Senior Grants and Contracts Analyst

Reema Nainani, MBA is the contact for financial issues at IGTC. She provides financial support by monitoring and forecasting budgets, processing procurement contracts, and financial reporting. She is responsible for pre- and post-award management for IGTC staff. Nainani holds a master of business administration from Gujarat University, India and a master of science in international studies with a focus on international business and economics from Oklahoma State University.

Sejal Saraf, BDS, MPH
Senior Research Program Coordinator

Sejal Saraf, BDH, MPH manages the smokeless tobacco/bidi component of the TPackSS project, in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. As a research assistant at the Institute during her master of public health studies, she helped with development of a TPackSS codebook, coding of tobacco packs for health warning label, and preparing factsheets. Saraf previously worked as a senior dentist for various nonprofit organizations and private clinics in India. She received her dental degree from Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, India, and her master of public health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Keisha J. Poole
Budget Specialist

Brian Shea, BA
Communications Associate

Brian Shea, BA, is responsible for developing and implementing communication strategies to effectively disseminate the work of the Institute through multiple channels, including the web and electronic media. He is also involved with managing IGTC's social media accounts. Shea holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Allegheny College.

Ashley Waith, MBA
Budget Analyst

Ashley Waith, MBA is the first point of contact at IGTC and is responsible for administrative tasks that support the Institute’s staff. She is a 2012 master of business administration graduate from the University of Baltimore, and received her undergraduate degree in business administration from Stevenson University.

Kevin Welding, PhD
Senior Biostatistician

Kevin Welding, PhD leads analysis for the TPackSS project, and provides statistical support on a variety of other projects at IGTC. During his doctoral studies, he studied the effectiveness of state-level cigarette excise taxes on older smokers in the U.S. His work in the domestic fiscal policy area highlighted the significance of the global market and of tobacco control policies that complement cigarette taxation. Welding received his doctoral degree in economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and his masters in applied economics from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.