CATALYST Staff in Washington, D.C.

Taroub Harb Faramand

Activity Director

Taroub Harb Faramand, Director, CATALYST Consortium, is a physician, with postgraduate training from University of Leningrad School of Medicine. She also holds a Master of Public Health degree, specializing in International Health and Epidemiology from Emory University. Dr.  Faramand has nearly twenty years of clinical and managerial experience in the medical field, with a particular focus on sexual and reproductive health, including maternal and child health, and family planning. She designs health programs and provides policy and technical advice in a variety of cultural settings. She has extensive experience in designing and managing health programs in areas of political conflict. As a female health professional Dr. Faramand has extensive, first-hand experience with the social, economic, and cultural factors that influence human behaviors and the myriad issues and challenges of the (reproductive) health sector in the region.

Before becoming the Director at CATALYST, Dr. Faramand was the Senior Reproductive Health Advisor providing technical assistance to whole of CATALST Project. Dr. Faramand provided guidance in the design of the $40 million Reproductive Health program in Egypt, TAHSEEN. She operationalized the program into project activities with the joint active inputs of the Government, the donors, civil societies and the private sector. She established the project office, recruited the key management and technical personnel, and translated the activities into specific tasks with implementation timelines. She continues to hold policy dialogue with key policymakers, at the Ministers' level to ensure full financial, professional and political support to RH activities. She monitors implementation and advises on corrective measures. 

As a physician with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA), she provided primary health care and later served as Senior Medical Officer at the Jerusalem Health Center, the largest health center in the West Bank, which provided services to more than 100,000 refugees. In this capacity, she was responsible for the medical and administrative management of the health center and operated the Maternal and Child Health Outpatient Clinics and Diabetes Clinics.

Dr. Faramand was awarded the Meritorious Honor Award by the US Department of State in November 2000, for demonstrating the highest dedication to the improvement of the health status of Palestinian women and children.

Edward W. Abel

Deputy Director

Edward Abel has worked in the areas of international family planning and reproductive health for the past 25 years. During this time, Mr. Abel has worked in 27 countries assisting in-country counterparts to successfully develop and adopt improved policies for social services, and to advocate for increased resources to support those policies.  Mr. Abel's particular areas of technical expertise are in the areas of program management, policy analysis, computer modeling, strategic planning, and developing and delivering high-level policy presentations.  Some of the key issue areas for which he has applied this expertise include population growth, maternal and child nutrition, reproductive health, environment, and financing of family planning programs

Prior to joining the CATALYST Consortium, Edward Abel was the Asia/Near East Regional Director of the POLICY Project at The Futures Group International.  As such, he was actively involved in the management and oversight of Project offices and activities in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Nepal, the Philippines and Viet Nam, overseeing a portfolio with annual obligations of approximately $8 million per year.

Mr. Abel's experience in the corporate world included Group Manager, Computer Applications Division, The Futures Group, International, Glastonbury, Connecticut, where he managed all aspects of computer applications throughout the organization including software development, hardware, software and network support, and development and maintenance of corporate intranet sites. As Senior Research Analyst, The Futures Group, Glastonbury, Connecticut, Abel marketed, designed and developed corporate software applications for internal and client use.

Mr. Abel received his Masters in Public Administration from the Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania in 1978, and his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania in 1977.

Graciela I. Salvador-Dávila

Senior Reproductive Health Advisor

Graciela Salvador-Davila is the Senior Reproductive Health Advisor for the CATALYST Consortium.  She provides overall technical guidance for developing reproductive health service delivery strategies with other project staff while accommodating proven-country specific approaches.

Dr. Salvaldor-Davila has worked for nearly twenty years in the field of public health as a physician, educator, trainer, researcher, program planner, policy adviser and evaluator.  Following U.S. training in the United States, she served as a program officer on several projects in different continents of the world.  In the New York metropolitan area she served as a researcher and trainer in developing, implementing and evaluating clinical trials in HIV/AIDS.  Prior to joining CATALYST she had been developing comprehensive approaches to program development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.  Dr. Salvador-Davila was a team leader in participatory evaluation projects in Ghana, Malawi, and Peru using qualitative and quantitative methods, and in Thailand she led a team to collect micro-costing data.

Dr. Salvador-Davila received her M.D. in General Medicine and Surgery at the Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Central del Ecuador, Quito in 1980.  She received an M.S. at the Institue of Human Nutrition, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY in 1988, and she completed her M.P.H. at the Division of Population and Family Health, Columbia University, School of Public Health, New York, NY in 1991. 

Kamlesh Giri

Reproductive Health Officer

MPH specializing in Population and Family Health Sciences and MBBS medical degree from Calcutta University, India.

Dr. Giri has twelve years of clinical and public health experience and has worked in the field of maternal and child health (MCH), and family planning and reproductive health (FP/RH) for more than eight years. He is a Master Trainer and Instructional Designer and has helped develop several training packages like the self-paced training package for no-scalpel vasectomy, on-the-job training package for postabortion care services for Nepal and the anesthesia learning resource package for emergency obstetric care for the AMDD (Averting Maternal Death and Disability). He worked as the Reproductive Health Advisor (RHA) for JHPIEGO-an affiliate of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He has traveled extensively in Asia and Africa to provide technical assistance for reproductive health programs. As the Reproductive Health Officer for CATALYST he works in coordination with the Senior Reproductive Health Advisor in providing technical guidance for developing reproductive health service delivery strategies with other project staff.

Orlando Hernández

Senior Evaluation Advisor

PhD, Psycho-sociology, Rural Sociology and International Development.  Dr. Hernández has worked for over 20 years in the design, monitoring and evaluation of international development interventions.  His work has spanned different sectors and different donors, such as health and population, nutrition, environmental protection and agricultural development.  He is currently responsible for defining and implementing the Monitoring and Evaluation Plans at the CATALYST Consortium.  He has experience in program management, and provides technical guidance on monitoring and evaluation for in-country activities as well as designing and directing specific studies in support of interventions in the field.  In his work with AED, he has done extensive monitoring and evaluation of FP/RH, HIV/AIDS and MCH programs.  He has worked in a variety of countries around the world.

Paula E. Hollerbach

Evaluation Advisor

PhD, Sociology; postgraduate training in Epidemiology.  Dr. Hollerbach has over 20 years of experience in research and evaluation in population (determinants of fertility, fertility decision making, the acceptability of contraceptive methods and their demographic impact) with extensive experience in the analysis of DHS and CPS Surveys. Dr. Hollerbach serves as the AED's Evaluation Advisor to the CATALYST consortium. At CATALYST, she assists in the development of monitoring and evaluation plans for programs and interventions, followed throughout the duration of each project. She provides technical assistance in qualitative and quantitative methodology, such as the design of questionnaires, focus group themes, pre- and post-intervention assessment instruments and data analysis plans for research and evaluation projects designed to improve the quality of services, prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and promote youth development. She is also engaged in designing, conducting and analyzing data for a process evaluation, focusing on the factors affecting the successful implementation and effectiveness of the consortium.   

Suzanne I. Knecht

Reproductive Health Officer

Dr. Knecht completed her Ph.D. at University of Michigan in Women's Health with a focus on International Reproductive Health.  She holds a Master's Degree from the University of Michigan in Women's Health and has practiced clinically for years as a Nurse Practitioner specializing in Reproductive Health.  She holds a Bachelors Degrees in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic where she studied Marine Biology and Art, and Nursing from Grand Valley State University.  

She has worked with publicly funded clinics, Planned Parenthood, and the U.S. government to provide comprehensive reproductive health services to women and men. She is an expert clinician providing contraceptive services, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and pre and post-natal maternal/child care.  She has worked as a consultant for JHPIEGO Nepal where she helped write the national reproductive health protocols and conducted Reproductive Health (RH) trainings. 

Dr. Knecht's research expertise includes condom use and STI prevention for women; emergency contraception knowledge, attitudes, practice; emergency contraception service delivery capacity building and availability; dual method use; and oral contraceptive consistency of use.  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded her innovative condom promotion for women their first place award. Her unique condom pouches intervention is now being adopted by Planned Parenthood Federation of America for the prevention of STIs.

As a Reproductive Health Officer Dr. Knecht provides technical guidance for developing reproductive health service delivery to several country programs.  Her current work includes clinic scale up for RH services in Yemen and Egypt and managing several Optimal Birth Spacing Initiatives by NGOs in the LAC and ANE regions and a male involvement project in Romania.  In addition, she will coalesce the forthcoming research findings from the Matlab analysis and the systematic literature review on Optimal Birth Spacing into clear, usable guidelines that will inform programs and policies.

Zynia L. Rionda

Senior Program Advisor

MPA, Public Administration. Ms. Rionda has over 25 years of international development experience working in population and health programs, including designing, managing and evaluating FP/RH programs; strategic program planning; public/private partnerships; and developing integrated program approaches. At CATALYST, she is Senior Advisor for Programs, with responsibilities including developing and managing health sector public/private partnerships and corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives; HIV/AIDS/STI formative research involving young men in Bangladesh and Nepal; and the emergency contraception pills (ECP) regional initiative with USAID's Asia and Near East Bureau. In addition to being part of the Pakistan country team, she is the country manager for Bangladesh, Nepal and Laos. As Senior Reproductive Health Technical Advisor for the ANE Bureau, USAID/Washington, she developed and managed regional initiatives in service delivery, health reform, safe motherhood and adolescent programs, and supported ANE missions in PHN strategy/results package development and project design.

Marie France Semmelbeck

Senior Advisor for Sustainability and South-to-South

MBA, International Business.  Ms. Semmelbeck has over 10 years of experience providing technical assistance in finance, management and sustainability to grassroots and developing country agencies. She has extensive knowledge of NGO systems including capacity building, cost accounting, budget preparation and analysis, maintenance of adequate accounting systems, strategic planning and compliance with USAID standard provisions. She has worked throughout Latin America and the Caribbean with various stakeholders ranging from IPPF affiliates, NGOs to USAID/Missions and other international agencies and foundations. She speaks fluent English, Spanish and French. In her position with CATALYST, she is responsible for providing technical leadership in sustainability and for developing and implementing strategies to promote South-to-South collaboration fostering the exchange of knowledge, experience and process among developing countries to ensure sustainable development and ultimately the sexual and reproductive health of women, men and young people.

CATALYST Overseas Staff


Gladys Pozo

Country Representative of the Catalyst/Pathfinder Bolivia Office

MD, Pediatrics. Dr. Pozo has 20 years of experience implementing maternal and child health programs at the national level with the Ministry of Health and NGOs. For many years she worked with Fundación San Gabriel (a non-profit organization in charge of one of La Paz's MOH health Districts), first as director of the Primary Health Care component and then as the Director of the Hospital San Gabriel. She was also the Head of the Bolivian Association for Sex Education. From 1995 to 2001 Dr. Pozo was the Project Director of FOCUS at Pathfinder where she worked in coordination with a multidisciplinary task force composed by different Ministries of the Bolivian Government and the First Lady's Office to develop national policies for youth. She has also supported the MOH in the implementation of the National Adolescents Program, and the development of National Norms and Protocols for Adolescents. Since 2001 she has been Pathfinder/Catalyst's Country Director for Bolivia. As Country director, she has driven the scale-up of PAC and Adolescent programs in the public and private sector, and implemented innovative initiatives to reach adolescents and women in holistic ways such as the introduction of community participation and social mobilization as a key aspect to improve services and health practices. Dr. Pozo speaks fluent Spanish, Portuguese and English.


Damianos Odeh

Country Representative

Dr. Odeh brings over 25 years of experience in program design, evaluation, project implementation and international development to the launch of CATALYST's Egypt office.  As Country Representative, he is responsible for improving the availability, quality and use of RH/FP services by Egypt's remaining underserved client groups, strengthening Egypt's institutional health services capacity and maximizing the participation and sustainability of the NGO and commercial sectors in the provision of RH/FP services.  He has worked in more than 20 countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and North America, implementing health activities at national policy and program levels.  Through many years working with the World Bank in these diverse locations, Dr. Odeh prepared countries' socioeconomic development plans, identified projects, appraised their financial and institutional viability and concluded loan agreements with governments.  He also initiated programs to enlist community involvement in public sector activities through NGOs and the wider civil society.


Bulbul Sood

Chief of Party, Innovations in Family Planning Services (IFPS);  Country Director for CEDPA/India

MBBS with a Master's degree in Public Health and Preventive and Social Medicine. Dr. Sood has over 25 years of experience as a professor of medicine at one of the most prestigious medical colleges in Delhi and in reproductive health program coordination and management. She has worked previously for EngenderHealth and The Profit Project. She currently oversees several innovative projects on sustainability, expanding method mix, operations research for SDM and safe motherhood.

Abrar A Khan

Regional Capacity Building and Management Advisor

Masters in Social Work. Mr. Khan is Regional Capacity Building and Management Advisor, as part of the Capacity Building Division of CEDPA/Washington, D.C. Prior to his current assignment, Mr. Khan worked as Director of Prerana Population Resource Centre (PPRC), Prerana, CEDPA Associate in India. Prior to this, he was a Reader at the Department of Social Work, Jamia Islamia University, New Delhi. For the past several years he has co-facilitated international training courses, including the GEM certificate program on Appreciative Inquiry organized by the Case Western Reserve University. He has conducted training courses in India, the South Asia region and Egypt, particularly in areas of institutional building, reproductive health, program management, capacity building, strategic planning, gender equity and sustainability.

Arundhati Mishra

Youth Coordinator

A MBBS medical professional, with a Masters in Health Management. She has been working in the NGO sector for several years and has provided technical assistance in the implementation, monitoring, documentation and evaluation of youth development and Adolescent Reproductive Health (ARH) programs and in the design and implementation of in-country training activities.

Ravi Anand

Reproductive Health Advisor

MBBS. Dr. Anand has been working at CEDPA/India since 1995. She is a medical professional, with fellowships from The Institute for Reproductive Health, Georgetown Medical Centre and from the College of General Practitioners, Indian Medical Association. She provides technical assistance in reproductive health to the NGOs in the IFPS project of USAID in Uttar Pradesh and works closely with the Apex Training Centres in the development of systems and tools for the NGO sector to facilitate the provision of high quality reproductive health care. Dr. Anand is also a life member of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) and has held various important posts in IMA.