Meet the Team
Message from the Director, Prabhjot Singh
What is global health? At the Arnhold Institute for Global Health, we are focused on protecting and improving the health and well-being of everyone on the planet. We envision a future where every individual has the same opportunity for health in every community across the world.
The need for more effective health care systems arises in communities around the world—from underserved communities in sub-Saharan Africa, to emerging middle-class communities in South Asia, to the diverse communities of East Harlem.
As the global arm of the Mount Sinai Health System, the Arnhold Institute leads research on the design of more equitable and effective care models, disseminating those models through digital products, training systems, and policy design. In close partnership with the Mount Sinai Department of Health System Design and Global Health, we work to accelerate and scale those models, both domestically and abroad. In addition, as part of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, our faculty prepares the next generation of global health leaders to apply these interdisciplinary tools to problems we cannot yet foresee.
As the Arnhold Institute for Global Health engages communities around the globe, again and again we find examples of places that face the same problems, despite having very little else in common. We have much to learn from these places—and they can benefit by learning from each other.
Yours in partnership for building a healthier world,
Prabhjot Singh, MD, PhD
Director, Arnhold Institute for Global Health
Chair, Department of Health System Design and Global Health
Lead Economist and Assistant Professor
Aaron Baum is an economist at the Arnhold Institute for Global Health and an Assistant Professor at the Icahn School of Medicine. His research applies methods from empirical economics to quantify causal relationships. Aaron integrates impact evaluations and R&D on commercial viability into the Institute’s portfolio of work with a focus on value-based care models and data products.
Aaron collaborates closely with financial, health care, and technology institutions. Since 2009, he has collaborated with the largest microfinance institution in Haiti to evaluate and scale up a network of community health entrepreneurs. He is a founding member of City Health Works, a social enterprise based in Harlem that aims to close the gap between hospitals and communities, where he supports business and technology development. Most recently, he was a Technologist in Residence at Cornell Tech on a team that built small data applications for the health care sector.
Aaron’s academic projects combine data and fieldwork to investigate causal relationships in heath and development economics. USAID (United States Agency for International Development), Grand Challenges Canada, and other foundations have supported his work.
Prior to his doctoral studies, Aaron was an MD/MSc candidate at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in the Clinical Scientist Training Program. Before that, he was a trader on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange.
PhD, Columbia University
BS, University of Chicago
Chief of Staff
As Chief of Staff at the Arnhold Institute for Global Health, David Berman is responsible for planning and directing the Institute’s administrative, operational, financial, and strategic functions, working with all business units within the Institute, as well as the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and key external stakeholders. David ensures an efficient flow of information between the Arnhold director and key staff, internal and external partners, funders, policymakers, and media. He works with the director and the Institute’s team to identify and address opportunities and challenges.
Prior to joining the Arnold Institute, David led business development at Next Street Financial LLC and was the principal at a private consulting practice providing advisement and strategic planning to mission-driven organizations around high-impact programming and compliance. David’s clients included a wide range of global and nonprofit organizations. David has also served as Special Assistant to the President of the Children’s Health Fund and was the Associate Director at New York University’s Center for Catastrophe Preparedness and Response where he managed university-wide, federally funded projects. In his early career, David was a senior financial analyst at several Silicon Valley startups.
David is a leader in translating advocacy campaigns into action. He has secured funding for and coordinated a conference on disaster case management resulting in an unprecedented agreement between federal agencies to restructure case management.
In addition, David has organized a coalition between prominent children’s advocacy organizations to solicit answers on child poverty, and he is on the board of advisors for two companies innovating ways to digitally engage people in philanthropy.
David is originally from Southern California and resides in Cold Spring Harbor, NY, with his wife and daughter.
MS, Sociology, Columbia University
BS, Business, California Polytechnic
Program Director for Education
Renee is the Program Director for Education at the Arnhold Institute for Global Health. In this role, she collaborates across ISMMS to design, implement, and manage the multi-level, global health educational programs offered within the School.
Renee combines a background in international politics, public health, and social work. She has worked extensively in the field, contributing to community-based efforts in HIV management, women’s health, and nutrition in Niger and Uganda.
BSFS, International Politics, Georgetown University
MPH, Population and Family Health, Columbia University
MSW, Social Enterprise Administration, Columbia University
Emilie Bruzelius is an Analyst at the Arnhold Institute for Global Health, and a doctoral student in Epidemiology at Columbia University. She is interested in the intersection of data science and social epidemiology—leveraging emerging technologies to tackle challenges in population health.
Emilie’s current work uses high-variety data to explore social and environmental determinants of health across multiple geographical and temporal contexts. Prior to joining the Arnhold Institute, Emilie conducted research and program evaluation at Columbia University, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and Massachusetts General Hospital.
Mary Caliendo’s work focuses on supporting the work of Dr. Prabhjot Singh in his roles as Director of the Arnhold Institute for Global Health, and Chair of the Department of Health System Design and Global Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
Prior to joining the Institute, Mary supported the Senior Vice President to Cardiac Services in Hospital Administration for the Mount Sinai Health System. She has held previous supporting roles at Memorial Sloan Kettering, and The Economist.
For nearly a decade, Mary was an international program planner with Avon Products, Inc.
Mary is also an Emergency Department volunteer advocate with the Mount Sinai Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Program (SAVI). Mary is also a former professional musician and enjoys international travel.
Senior Data Analyst
As Senior Data Analyst, Patrick is responsible for collecting, analyzing, understanding, and presenting data within the Arnold Institute for Global Health. Patrick works with the data science team and other members in the Institute to undertake research across a wide variety of topics in public health. He uses a wide variety of statistical tools: from descriptive analysis to deep learning.
Prior to joining Mount Sinai, Patrick was a Fellow at the Insight Data Science program, where he developed a tool to predict population from satellite images.
Patrick earned his PhD in economics from the Australian National University. His research delved into the design of policy to reduce emissions from deforestation in Indonesia. Upon completion of his PhD, he became a postdoctorate researcher at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). At PIK, he researched environmental, climate, and trade policy.
Patrick was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, and is currently living in Brooklyn.
PhD, Economics, Australian National University
BA and Bachelor of Commerce, Philosophy, Germanic Studies, and Economics, University of Melbourne
Project Manager for Health System Design
As Project Manager for Health System Design, Michael is responsible for forecasting, managing, and executing complex systems design projects within the Mount Sinai Health System, in partnership with Mount Sinai Health Partners. He works directly with the health system design team to develop criteria and measurement metrics to monitor progress and sustain the overarching goal of transforming practices to improve health outcomes.
Prior to joining Mount Sinai, Michael was a project manager at New York University Langone Medical Center focusing on program initiatives for various areas in the biomedical sciences. He was responsible for the development, design, and delivery of projects, as well as for the management of several operational processes within the organization. Michael also worked in a medical education agency focusing on growing and maintaining client relations, and developing and executing projects within the boundaries of scope and budget.
In his studies, Michael focused his research on the New York City welfare fraud system, and the process between the District Attorney and Bureau of Fraud Investigation, which resulted in an internal staff training in procedural updates and best practices.
Michael was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, and currently resides in Harlem.
MPA, Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy, New York University
BA, Economics and International Relations, Connecticut College
Chief Technology Officer
Dr. Faghmous is Assistant Professor in Population Health Science and Policy at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
His work combines algorithmic, statistical, and scientific thinking to accelerate scientific discoveries in big data applications. He is one of the proponents of theory-guided data science in which novel data science methods are combined with a domain’s first principles to make significant and lasting discoveries. His PhD thesis from the University of Minnesota ranked fourth globally in data mining, and is one of the first practical examples of theory-guided data science at the intersection of data mining and global climate change. In 2014, it was awarded the Best Dissertation Award in physical sciences in engineering, the university’s highest distinction for graduate work.
At University of Minnesota, Dr. Faghmous was a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellow, and prior to that, a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Neuro-Physical-Computational Fellow. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from the City College of New York where he was a Rhodes and Gates Scholar nominee.
PhD, Computer Science, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
BSc, Computer Science, City College of New York
Global Health Fellow
As a Global Health Fellow at the Arnhold Institute for Global Health, Darinka leverages her scientific background to help build an innovative learning environment. She serves learners within the Institute, at the Icahn School of Medicine, and around the globe.
As part of the education team, Darinka contributes to the design and implementation of innovative global health educational programs, focusing on interactive, experiential, and customized learning.
Darinka has an interdisciplinary scientific background and performed her PhD research in Biomedical Engineering at Harvard University. She has worked at the Harvard Global Health Institute, where she developed global health educational tools and topic guides. Her background further involves research at the Harvard School of Public Health, and teaching math courses.
BSc and MSc, Medical Natural Sciences, VU University, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
PhD, Biomedical Engineering, Harvard University, and VU University Amsterdam
Carroll Hayek is a management analyst at the Arnhold Institute for Global Health, providing analytical and project management support by running business reports, managing documents, and assisting with various departmental tasks.
Carroll’s passion for working in health care began as early as 2003 with internships at the Lutheran Medical Center Professional Affairs and External Affairs Department, and the Mount Sinai Hematology and Medical Oncology Department.
He began full-time employment at Mount Sinai in 2008 as a data manager for the Bone Marrow Transplant Program. Upon earning his Master in Public Health in 2012, Carroll was promoted to senior database coordinator. His focus was gathering program information and using it to generate and report statistics to improve patient outcomes. In 2013, Carroll became a financial analyst for the Department of Surgery, where his main task was the reconciliation of financial data.
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Field Researcher for Arnhold Institute
David Heller is a practicing internist and clinician-investigator who studies how to adapt primary care health systems in developing countries for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases.
As an assistant professor in the Department of Health System Design and Global Health, and the Division of General Internal Medicine, both at Mount Sinai, Dr. Heller focuses his work on cardiovascular disease control in Uganda and Ghana.
As a Fogarty fellow in Mbale, Uganda, Dr. Heller conducted an evaluation of hypertension control programs associated with the SEARCH study, a randomized controlled trial of universal test-and-treat programs for HIV prevention and control.
As a primary care research fellow at the University of California, San Francisco, Dr. Heller studied the impact of university-policymaker partnerships on implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and the comparative effectiveness of statin use guidelines for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease.
In addition to peer-reviewed publications, Dr. Heller’s writings have appeared in The Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, and The Lancet editorial series.
MD, University of California, San Francisco
MPH, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Residency, Internal Medicine, Osler Training Program, Johns Hopkins Hospital
Fellowship, Primary Care Research, University of California, San Francisco
Education Program Coordinator
Farah Khan is the Education Program Coordinator at the Arnhold Institute for Global Health. She is responsible for organizing all programmatic, teaching, and operational activities for the medical students in the global health education program. Farah’s interest in health care began in 2013 with New York City’s Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC), where she worked with the Family Health and Support Center (FHSC) to improve access and treatment for families and children who were affected by drug dependency. Prior to HHC, Farah worked with the NYC Department of Probation in Family Court.
Farah was born in Bangladesh, an underserved country, but raised in Queens, New York. She understands the importance and need for global health education to improve global health equity.
When not working, Farah is an avid traveler, hoping one day she will visit every country in the world.
BA, Sociology, City University of New York (CUNY) Hunter College
MA, Criminal Justice, CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Advanced Certificate, Healthcare Policy and Administration, CUNY SPS
Sandeep P. Kishore, Sunny, is the Associate Director of the Arnhold Institute for Global Health, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine, and the Department of Health System Design and Global Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
He is also the founder of the global non-profit, Young Professionals Chronic Disease Network; his work focuses on the prevention and control of chronic illness in poor communities globally.
Dr. Kishore is the inaugural Lancet Awardee for Community Service, an MIT Dalai Lama Center Fellow, a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow, and a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. His work has been featured in the United Nations General Assembly, TEDMED, the WHO Executive Board and in journals including Health Affairs, The Lancet and JAMA.
BS, Duke University
M.Sc. as the Usher Cunningham Scholar, University of Oxford
MD and PhD, Cornell University in Evolutionary Microbiology
Medical Internship and Postdoctoral Fellowship, Yale University in Social Network Science and Global Health
Chief Operationg Officer
Kirsten Knaup has had extensive experience with financial and operational management, in both private and academic settings. Her career has included senior positions at Mount Sinai’s Institute for Interventional Cardiovascular Research and Clinical Trials, the Stem Cell Institute at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Columbia University’s International Center for Health Outcomes and Innovation Research, and Columbia’s Mailman School/Earth Institute National Center for Disaster Preparedness. Kirsten has specialized working in start-up and restructuring environments and gravitates toward organizations that are energetic, innovative, mission-driven, and goal-oriented.
At the Arnhold Institute, Kirsten works with the Institute’s organizational leadership to ensure that the team can deliver upon its mission and to anticipate future needs. In her current role, Kirsten is responsible for the management and professional development of all non-academic staff related to the Institute; she oversees the development and maintenance of the research, educational, and service infrastructure; and she is the single point of accountability for all financial matters.
Kirsten Knaup was educated in Germany, and completed her Abitur in Biology, Social Studies, and Art History at the Hansa-Schule in Hamburg-Bergdorf. She has been a volunteer for the Domestic and Other Violence Emergencies (D.O.V.E.) program at Columbia, and a consultant to The Children’s Health Fund in New York. She has consistently focused on supporting globally related projects, including The Resiliency Program in response to the 2004 Tsunami as well as long-term global field site support in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Matthew is a software developer at the Arnhold Institute for Global Health. He is responsible for both front-end and back-end software development, and works closely with a team of researchers, data scientists, and designers. His interests generally include machine learning, data mining, high-performance computing, concurrency, and parallelism.
Throughout his studies, Matt has published in a number of top-tier conferences, including the International Conference on Data Mining (ICDM), the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, and the International Conference on Functional Programming.
BS, Computer Science, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
MS, Computer Science, Rochester Institute of Technology
Lead Health Systems Design Engineer, Mount Sinai Health Partners
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine
Dr. Privett focuses on improved decision making and efficient processes for complex problems and systems. Her work involves the design, improvement, and implementation of systems to improve health care delivery and ultimately population health outcomes. She is Lead Systems Design Engineer at Mount Sinai Health Partners and Assistant Professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
Dr. Privett’s studies focused on operations and supply chain management. She received her BS in industrial engineering from Texas A&M University, and she subsequently worked in manufacturing.
Prior to joining Mount Sinai, Dr. Privett was Assistant Professor of Management and Policy at the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University and a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the MIT-Zaragoza Logistics Program in Zaragoza, Spain.
Her research interests include healthcare delivery, implementation science, and global health supply chains. Dr. Privett has published many academic articles on a wide range of related topics.
MS, Management Science and Engineering, Stanford University
PhD, Management Science and Engineering, Stanford University
Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship, Global Health Supply Chains, MIT-Zaragoza Logistics Center
Andrew Randall is the administrative manager for the Arnhold Institute for Global Health. In this role, he assists in the management and coordination of administrative, operational, fiscal, and office service activities such as records control, human resources, event planning, and digital marketing for the Institute.
Andrew’s experience with multiple myeloma principal investigators’ grant preparation, veteran status with the United States Marine Corps, and educational standards make him an important part of the coordination and system creation in the Institute.
In addition, Andrew has a passion for mental wellness and physical fitness, which led him to earning a certificate in personal training.
BS, Psychology, Wagner College
MPH, Health Management and Policy, Capella University
Certified Personal Trainer, National Council on Strength and Fitness
Visual Designer for System Design, Change Packet Developer & Lead Interaction Designer
Since joining the Department of Health System Design and Global Health as its lead visual interaction designer, David Rojas-Leon has continuously developed and refined advanced technical skillsets in his area of expertise, visual interaction design.
David has acquired his skills by working on a range of projects involving different design techniques, such as, digital and print design, branding, communication, and strategic design over the last 12 years. In addition to his breadth of experience, David incorporates interdisciplinary research skills for human-centered design, systems thinking and analyses of user interaction/user experience (UI/UX). This skillset is essential in collaborating with data scientists, engineers, and health workers to translate and articulate abstract thought models into product solutions for end users by utilizing visual design tools for verbal and nonverbal communications.
Born and raised in Bogota, Colombia, David’s first job was at Casa Editorial El Tiempo, Colombia’s largest daily newspaper. In 2010, he began work with the Bogota government for the Housing Authority of Bogota and remained in the public sector working with the Urban Studies Institute at the National University of Colombia as a designer and visual communicator.
David believes that designers have an important role to play in social, economic, and political transformation. His experience in New York City includes serving as a Visual Design Fellow for the United Nations Foundation where he worked on the Foundation’s Mashable Social Good Summit 2015 and the Earth to Paris Summit 2015. David also co-produced the Priya’s Shakti Augmented Reality Art Exhibition.
MFA, Design for Social Innovation, School of Visual Arts, New York
BFA, Graphic Design, Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano, Bogota
Program Director for Systems Design
Dr. Safo A. Stella is an HIV primary care physician and Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She is the Program Director for Health System Design at the Arnhold Institute for Global Health in the Mount Sinai Health System, where she leads the design and development of effective population health care models.
Dr. Safo completed a residency in Primary Care and Social Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx and subsequently completed an HIV Clinical Scholars Fellowship with HIV Medicine Association at Montefiore.
Dr. Safo is from Ghana and was raised in Brooklyn and Long Island, New York. She currently resides in Harlem, New York City.
MD Harvard Medical School
MPH Harvard School of Public Health
Joseph Scarpa is a forward-deployed engineer at the Arnold Institute for Global Health. His work focuses on leveraging data analytics to inform health system design, identify high-risk and high-need patient subpopulations, and improve population health outcomes.
Prior to joining the Institute, Joseph was a systems biologist studying topics at the intersection of genomics and neuroscience. His work was supported by the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award.
Joseph’s PhD work focused on the genetic and molecular bases of sleep dysfunction and stress susceptibility. He specializes in quantitative modeling of high-dimensional data.
PhD, Neuroscience, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
BA, Neuroscience, University of Virginia
Head of Design and Product Development
Bruno Silva is an award-winning experience and product designer. His extensive design experience includes global brand repositioning, television network branding, environmental graphics, and digital applications for both mobile and the web.
Most recently, Bruno created digital experiences for the classroom based on the NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards) in partnership with Lawrence Hall of Science, UC Berkeley. He is also developing a geographic information system to create transparency and help Mexico City citizens identify areas of need. Bruno is passionate about technology and the role it can play to affect social change, and his goal is to ensure that innovation benefits the entire society, not only a privileged few.
Bruno’s works have been featured by many prominent design publications, and displayed at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), and the Cooper Hewitt Museum, both in New York City.
MFA, Design for Social Innovation, School of Visual Arts
BFA, Graphic Design and Advertising, School of Visual Arts
Program Manager for Policy
Anna Stapleton leads policy work at the Arnhold Institute for Global Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She is interested in pursuing socially grounded policy solutions to challenges in health care delivery.
Ms. Stapleton served as a White House intern with a focus on health policy.
Prior to joining the Institute, Anna was a research associate at the Advisory Board Company, where she studied issues pertaining to the operation and management of health care systems and medical groups.
Born and raised in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, Anna currently resides in Manhattan.
AB, University of Chicago
Director of Communications and Marketing
Sasha Walek is responsible for leading the internal and external communications strategies for the Arnhold Institute for Global Health. She oversees all public communications activities including media relations, digital and print platforms, public events, advocacy communications, and marketing initiatives.
Prior to joining the Institute, Sasha worked in the public affairs office for the Mount Sinai Health System as an Associate Director of Media and Public Relations.
Originally from Toronto, Sasha’s interest in health care and health policy developed throughout the decade she worked as a TV news producer for CNN, CNN International, Bloomberg TV, CNBC, and MSNBC. As a journalist, she covered politics, international affairs, natural disasters such as the Tsunami of 2004 and Hurricane Katrina, global health and pandemics, and the ongoing debate over health care reform in the United States. Sasha is committed to volunteer work in suicide prevention and mental health advocacy.
MPA Candidate, Health Policy & Management, NYU Wagner
Bachelor of Journalism, Ryerson University
Bachelor of Arts, University of Toronto