Peter Hansen joins R4D as director of the Health Systems Strengthening Accelerator

June 26, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Peter Hansen, Ph.D., has joined Results for Development (R4D) as the director of the Health Systems Strengthening Accelerator (the HSS Accelerator), a five-year initiative funded by USAID and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, designed to provide catalytic support to countries as they tackle vexing health systems challenges and accelerate progress toward self-sustaining health systems.

Peter has worked most recently for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and, before that, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. At the Global Fund, Peter led a department responsible for accelerating the introduction and scale up of innovations and ensuring scientific and technical quality of Global Fund investments in the three diseases and health systems, which total nearly $4 billion per year in over 100 countries. At Gavi, he built the Alliance’s monitoring and evaluation function and led the development of a number of key policies and strategies approved by the Gavi Board, including the re-orientation of Gavi’s health systems strengthening investments.

In addition to providing executive oversight of the HSS Accelerator, Peter will join Cheryl Cashin, Ph.D., as one of the co-leads of R4D’s health practice. In this capacity, he will serve on the executive team — helping to generate and apply learning from across R4D’s innovative programs in health and other sectors, to inform new models of supporting countries to address complex systems issues.

“We’re delighted to welcome Peter — a recognized health systems expert who brings a wealth of public-private partnership experience,” said Gina Lagomarsino, R4D’s president and CEO. “Since the launch of the Accelerator, our team at R4D and partners at the Health Strategy and Delivery Foundation in Nigeria and ICF have made quick progress and are now working with a number of countries, USAID missions and other partners at country and regional level.  The first wave of participating countries includes Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia and Ghana, as well as the USAID West Africa Bureau. Together with the great team we have in place at R4D and with partners working across multiple geographies, I am confident Peter will continue to propel this initiative into exciting new territory.”

Prior to his work in Geneva, Peter served as country director for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Afghanistan, where he and his colleagues helped the Afghanistan Ministry of Public Health significantly enhance its capacity to collect, analyze and use data to exercise effective, data-driven stewardship over the health sector.  Peter also worked for an NGO in China, where he partnered with government health agencies and the World Bank to strengthen primary health care in poor and underserved areas.

“This is an incredibly exciting opportunity to engage with countries through an innovative partnership approach to help them strengthen their own ability to address complex systems issues for improved health outcomes today and in the future,” said Peter Hansen, program director of the HSS Accelerator and managing director at R4D. “Together with partners, we are aiming to generate learning from country- and region-focused work to help develop a new approach to health systems strengthening that focuses on countries’ own abilities to drive change to meet today’s needs as well as adaptive challenges that will arise in the future.”

Peter joins a strong cohort of leaders on the HSS Accelerator, including:

  • Nathan Blanchet, Sc.D., technical director for the Accelerator. Nathan leads the technical aspects of the program’s activities, supporting its partners and team to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of integrated health systems strengthening approaches. As a senior program director at R4D, he also leads work on the design and implementation of national health insurance programs and other means of achieving universal health coverage in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Afua Ofosu-Barko, M.A., operations director for the Accelerator. Afua leads operations, and oversees financial management, contract compliance, subcontract management and program management.
  • Amanda Folsom, M.P.H., director of country engagement for the Accelerator. Amanda provides programmatic and management support to the project’s country-based activities to onboard and support local and regional partners, ensure genuine country demand, and facilitate stakeholder engagement. As a senior program director at R4D, she also leads the organization’s collaborative learning practice and a portfolio of programs that support policymakers and government leaders to design and implement reforms to increase the equity, quality and efficiency of their health systems.
  • Nkem Wellington, communications director for the Accelerator. Nkem leads strategic communications and outreach for the program. She also works closely with technical leads to plan and execute critical cross-cutting communications functions such as stakeholder mapping, outreach and engagement activities, knowledge management, and packaging and dissemination.

Additionally, Cheryl Cashin oversees coaching and mentoring for the Accelerator. Jean Arkedis, M.A., R4D’s evaluation and adaptive learning practice lead, oversees the Accelerator’s evidence generation and adaptive learning.


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