Researchers

Maria Elena Figueroa, PhD

Director of Research and Evaluation; Assistant Scientist

Maria Elena Figueroa is currently Assistant Scientist in the Faculty of the Department of Health, Behavior and Society at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH) where she teaches a graduate seminar on Health Communication. She is also the Director of the Global Program on Water and Hygiene, and Director of the Research and Evaluation Division of the Center for Communication Programs (CCP) at the JHSPH. Over the past 20 years, Dr. Figueroa has contributed to the fields of health and development communication through research conducted in numerous countries worldwide, including Bolivia, Ecuador, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Pakistan, and Peru. Dr. Figueroa has conducted research on health behaviors related to family planning, HIV/AIDS, gender equity, youth reproductive health, quality of care, client-provider interaction, and avian influenza. Her current work focuses on the understanding of ecological, household and individual factors affecting water and hygiene behavior, and research focused on gender dynamics and HIV in Mozambique. Her additional research interests include the development of conceptual models and indicators to assess the effect of community-based interventions for participatory development; behavior change indicators related to gender in development programs; and the role of household traits on health behavior. As Director for the Global Program on Water and Hygiene, Dr. Figueroa provides technical expertise in these areas to CCP research and programs and to the larger community working on these issues. She is also a member of the Steering Committee of the JHU Global Water Program led by the Center for Water and Health at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Figueroa is fluent in Spanish and conversant in Portuguese. JHSPH Faculty Bio Page

J. Douglas Storey, PhD

Associate Director for Communication Science & Research

Dr. Storey has two graduate degrees in communication and communication research, over 30 years of professional work in strategic health communication and evaluation, numerous applied and academic publications on a wide range of communication topics, and extensive overseas experience on five continents. His work on communication applies an ecological “health competence” perspective and focuses on cultural factors affecting the use and impact of health and environmental communication and on the role of media in public discourse about social change. Using a broad palette of qualitative and quantitative methods, Dr. Storey has done research on health behaviors related to malaria, TB, ORT, HIV/AIDS, breast cancer early detection, passive smoking, nutrition, hypertension, immunization, maternal & child health, substance abuse, all hazards preparedness, pandemic flu prevention and response, service delivery quality improvement and capacity building, client-provider interaction, adolescent sexuality and risk behaviors, gender equity, reproductive health, safe motherhood, and family planning. Current projects include the Baltimore City Health Department Program to Improve Birth Outcomes, the Community-Based Avian Influenza Control program in Indonesia, the Communication for Healthy Living family health program in Egypt, and the CDC-funded Mass Media and Mental Health Preparedness research project. Dr. Storey is ex-officio Chair of the Health Communication Division of the International Communication Association and is fluent in Indonesian. JHSPH Faculty Bio Page

Stella Babalola, PhD

Research Director, Project SEARCH; Associate Professor

Dr. Babalola has over 26 years of experience in international health, teaching, communication and research. Currently, she is Associate Professor in the Department of Health, Behavior and Society at the Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Babalola has a strong record of publication, including books, book chapters and articles in scholarly journals, such as Social Science and Medicine, AIDS & Behaviour, Journal of HIV/AIDS Prevention in Children and Youth, Journal of African AIDS Research, Maternal and Child Health Journal and Child Health Care. During the last five years, Dr. Babalola’s research at CCP has been largely in the area of HIV risk reduction, childhood immunization and adolescent reproductive health. She also provided assistance in establishing M&E systems, designing indicators, developing strategies, evaluating the impact of communication programs, and building local capacity in several countries. Dr. Babalola is fluent in French and Yoruba. JHSPH Faculty Bio Page

Marc G. Boulay, PhD

Senior Program Evaluation Officer; Assistant Professor

Dr. Boulay is currently a Senior Program Evaluation Officer in the Research and Evaluation Division and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health, Behavior and Society at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. As an evaluation officer, he has provided research support for national health communication programs addressing a range of health issues, including HIV/AIDS prevention in Ghana, Tanzania and Zambia; family planning and reproductive health in Nigeria, Nepal and Bangladesh; malaria prevention and treatment in Uganda and Tanzania; and substance abuse and healthy lifestyles in the Russian Federation. At the global level, he has supported initiatives advocating for increased funding for malaria control and promoting best practices in the delivery and promotion of Insecticide-Treated Bednets. At the School of Public Health, he teaches a graduate-level course on the use of social and sexual network analysis in public health programs. His research activities have included studies investigating the interactive effects of programs that combine community-level and mass media activities. Dr. Boulay is conversant in Nepali. JHSPH Faculty Bio Page

Michelle R. Kaufman, PhD

Research and Evaluation Officer

Dr. Kaufman is trained as an applied social and health psychologist, with specialization in gender and sexual risk behavior. She completed her doctoral degree at the University of Connecticut. Dr. Kaufman conducts research primarily on HIV risk behavior as it relates to gender roles, substance use and violence. She has worked in the US, Nepal, South Africa and Tanzania. Dr. Kaufman completed a Fulbright Research Fellowship in Nepal from 2007-2008. She has served in leadership roles on projects funded by USAID, CDC, NIH, NIJ and Pfizer. She also has an interest in human trafficking and has researched and published on the issue in the US and Nepal contexts. Dr. Kaufman’s current work focuses on sexual risk behavior, cross-generational sexual relationships, family planning and malaria prevention in Tanzania. She has presented her work at several international conferences and has published widely in international peer-review journals focused on gender, psychology and behavioral aspects of HIV prevention and intervention. She teaches courses on the psychology of gender, global gender issues and sex trafficking of girls and women. She is conversant in Spanish, Nepali and Kiswahili.

Deanna Kerrigan, PhD

Project Director; Associate Professor

Dr. Kerrigan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health, Behavior and Society at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her research focuses on the social and structural factors affecting the health and well-being of underserved populations. Much of her work over the past two decades has focused on developing and evaluating effective HIV prevention interventions among marginalized groups in Latin America such as female sex workers and people living with HIV as well as at-risk youth in the United States. Dr. Kerrigan directs a global HIV prevention research program entitled, Project SEARCH: Research to Prevention (R2P) funded by the United States Agency for International Development and coordinated and managed by the Center for Communication Programs. R2P conducts applied research in 15 countries, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa, aimed at improving the quality and effectiveness of HIV prevention programming and policies. She has also worked as a Program Officer for the Ford Foundation, coordinating their Sexuality and Reproductive Health and Rights portfolio in Brazil and subsequently their Global Sexuality Research Initiative. JHSPH Faculty Bio Page

D. Lawrence Kincaid, PhD

Senior Advisor; Associate Scientist

Dr. Kincaid is currently a Senior Advisor for the Research and Evaluation Division and Associate Scientist in the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He has worked in Asia, Latin America, and South Africa. He developed and tested the ideational model for health communication evaluation; tested new methods for the longitudinal analysis of communication impact, structural equation, propensity score analysis, and path modeling; developed the theory and computer programs to analyze the multidimensional image (mapping) of audience perceptions of health-related behavior; developed and applied computer simulation methods to test a new theory of social influence in communication networks; developed methods to measure the cost-effectiveness of communication campaigns; helped develop a new framework to measure the social changes and individual health behavior outcomes of community dialogue and collective action projects; and most recently an elaboration of drama theory for the study of entertainment-education programs. The convergence theory of communication which he helped develop is now included in the Encyclopedia of Communication Theory. Before coming to CCP, he co-authored the first book in the field on communication networks, and he edited the first book on communication theory from both eastern and western perspectives, which won the outstanding book award from the Intercultural Communication Division of the International Communication Association. Dr. Kincaid has worked in the field of health communication for 30 years. Dr. Kincaid is fluent in Spanish. JHSPH Faculty Bio Page

Rajiv N. Rimal, PhD

Associate Professor; Senior Research Officer

Dr. Rimal brings 15 years of expertise in health communication and risk communication research. He has served as the Chair of the Health Communication Division of both the International Communication Association and the National Communication Association. He has considerable experience in risk communication and evaluation of health programs, particularly as they pertain to the design and dissemination of risk- and norms-based health messages. His work has focused on the role that risk-induced anxiety plays in people’s information seeking motivations and their information-processing abilities. He is also integrally involved in the evaluation of media and community programs to reduce HIV prevalence in Sub-Saharan Africa. He has worked on HIV prevention work in Namibia and Uganda, and he is currently working in Malawi and Ethiopia. He has served as an editorial board member on a dozen peer review journals and he regularly reviews for the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. JHSPH Faculty Bio Page

Suruchi Sood, PhD

Research and Evaluation Officer

Dr. Sood has over seven years experience in utilizing qualitative and quantitative research methodologies to design, monitor, and evaluate health communication projects. Her expertise is in studying how entertainment-education programs have their effects. Dr. Sood is currently responsible for the strategic and comprehensive design and implementation of the formative research, program monitoring and evaluation of multi-media health campaigns on family planning, reproductive health, HIV/AIDS and maternal and neonatal health in Asia, specifically Nepal, India, Indonesia and to some extent in Pakistan and Bangladesh. She is a native Hindi speaker and conversant in Bengali and Urdu.

Carol Underwood, PhD

Senior Research Advisor; Assistant Professor

Dr. Underwood is a Senior Research Advisor for Research and Evaluation at the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs, where she has been on staff for almost 20 years. A sociologist with a Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Underwood has conducted research and worked in the area of international development and health communication for 20 years. A key aspect of her work is to translate theory and research findings into workable programmatic recommendations, with particularly attention to achieving gender equity. Dr. Underwood has published peer-reviewed articles, based on qualitative and quantitative methods, on a range of communication and health topics, including HIV prevention among adolescents, Muslim religious leaders' views on family planning, emerging leadership in the Arab world, Islam and health policy, enabling women's agency in the Arab world, and bringing gender into health communication programs. She directs the Gender Initiative to Reduce Girls’ Vulnerability to HIV/AIDS. Recent and forthcoming publications include, "Enabling Women's Agency: Arab Women Speak Out," and "“Ritual Communication and Changing Gender Norms in Uganda: A Study of African Transformation.” Dr. Underwood teaches graduate seminars in communication theory at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in the Department of Health, Behavior and Society, where she is an assistant professor. She has worked in Azerbaijan, Botswana, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Iran, Jordan, Malawi, Mozambique, Oman, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United States, Yemen, and Zambia. She is fluent in Persian. JHSPH Faculty Bio Page

Catherine Harbour, PhD

Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor

Catherine Harbour has more than 15 years of work experience, primarily in health communication, development and education. She joined CCP in 2001 as a Program Officer and supported family planning and reproductive health programs in Indonesia and Bangladesh. In 2009 Catherine earned a PhD from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Department of Health, Behavior and Society. Her dissertation research examined social norms among Egyptian youth. Before joining CCP, Catherine conducted research for documentary film production. Catherine has worked on formative research, evaluation research and program management for integrated development programs as well as for communication programs related to water and hygiene, environment, lifeskills for youth, family planning, reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, mental health and aging, among others. In 2009/2010 as a Fulbright Fellow in Cairo she researched the health of Egyptian youth. She is conversant in Spanish, French and basic Egyptian Arabic.

Hilary Schwandt, PhD

Technical Advisor

Dr. Schwandt is the technical monitoring and evaluation advisor for a number of CCP projects, including the Go Girls Initiative! – a project that aims to reduce adolescent girls’ vulnerability to HIV/AIDS in Botswana, Malawi, and Mozambique; the Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative – a project that aims to reduce the barriers to family planning use among the urban poor and increase the contraceptive prevalence rate in six urban areas; a prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV project in Ethiopia; and a health systems strengthening project in Zambia. Prior to her work at CCP, Dr. Schwandt conducted qualitative research on the pathways to abortion and a randomized, noninferiority trial of group vs. individual family planning counseling in Ghana. Other past research projects include contraceptive discontinuation using DHS calendar data; gender and health in India; couples VCT in Tanzania; adverse childhood experiences and adult health outcomes in the Philippines; preferences of vaginal vs. caesarean delivery in Ghana; and a comparison of incomplete pregnancy patients in Ghana. Dr. Schwandt’s main areas of research interest are gender and reproductive health. She earned her PhD from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Rachel Weber, PhD

Senior Technical Advisor

Dr. Weber received her PhD in infectious disease epidemiology and her MPH in international health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH). She has more than ten years experience in public health and previously worked on public health and research projects in Nigeria, Gabon, Israel, Russia, the Palestinian Territories, and Baltimore. Her research experience and interests include HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections, and reproductive health in vulnerable populations (including sex workers, victims of sex trafficking, adolescents, and refugees) as well as behavior change. Dr. Weber joined JHU/CCP in September 2009 and is currently working on research and evaluation projects in Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal. She is conversant in French.

Kuor Kumoji, DPHrPH

Senior Technical Advisor

Dr. Kumoji is the Sr. Technical Advisor for Data Analysis and Utilization for Project SEARCH: Research to Prevention, Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs (JHU/CCP). She has over ten years of practical program and research experience in domestic and international health, and in quantitative and qualitative research methodology. Prior to joining JHU/CCP, she worked with the World Health Organization in Geneva to develop a strategic framework for integrating HIV prevention and treatment interventions into routine maternal and child health platforms in developing countries, and also with the National Institutes of Health to develop and implement national evidenced-based clinical guidelines for cardiovascular health. She is also an adjunct assistant professor with the Howard University Center for Minority Health Services Research. Her passion is working with high-risk, marginalized, and vulnerable groups, including women and children, homeless populations and street children and youth, and her areas of interest include gender issues, sex work and trafficking, reproductive health, adolescent health, and socio-cultural drivers of behavior. Dr. Kumoji obtained her doctoral degree in maternal and child health and a master’s degree in international health from the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, and a master’s degree in community health from the University of Maryland. She is currently conducting research on HIV alcohol in Botswana, and HIV among street youth in Zambia. Dr. Kumoji is fluent in Ga and Twi.