ibis reproductive healthibis reproductive health
 
staff

Kelly Blanchard, President

Kelly Blanchard, MSc
President

Kelly opened Ibis’s Johannesburg, South Africa, office in 2003 and oversaw Ibis’s work in the region until 2004 when she returned to the United States and was appointed President. Kelly provides overall strategic leadership for the organization and heads Ibis’s Senior Management Team. Kelly’s research has included clinical and social science studies on improving contraception and abortion technologies, including medication and surgical abortion, emergency contraception, and oral contraceptives; expanding access to and quality of reproductive health services; and documenting the impact of policies on women’s health around the world. Kelly also has had a range of leadership roles in key HIV prevention clinical trials evaluating safety and effectiveness of microbicides and the diaphragm in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia.

Kelly has authored more than 50 peer-reviewed publications in high-impact journals like The Lancet, the American Journal of Public Health, AIDS, and Obstetrics and Gynecology and has also published op-eds, letters, and blogs in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and RH Reality Check. Prior to joining Ibis, Kelly was a program associate with the Population Council in South Africa, and also received a Fulbright Scholarship and lived in Ghana. In 2006 Kelly received the Outstanding Young Professional Award from the Population, Family Planning and Reproductive Health Section of the American Public Health Association. She also received the Darroch Award recognizing excellence in research to advance sexual and reproductive health from the Guttmacher Institute in 2009. Kelly holds a Master of Science in Population and International Health and a Bachelor of Arts in Social Studies from Harvard University.

 

Staff in Cambridge, MA

Bridgit Burns, MPH
Project Manager

Bridgit joined Ibis in October 2011 and contributes to a variety of social science and clinical research projects, including investigating the potential for over-the-counter access to oral contraceptives and exploring the reproductive health needs and experiences of women in the US military. Her primary responsibilities include quantitative and qualitative data analysis and co-writing of manuscripts. Bridgit has worked in a range of public health settings, including the Population Council, the Manchester, New Hampshire Health Department, and the Cornell HIV/AIDS Education Project, and has training and experience in research design, database development, and survey administration. She spent a semester studying public health in South Africa, where she completed an independent study project surveying HIV-positive mothers about their infant feeding practices. Bridgit holds a Master of Public Health in Reproductive and Family Health from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology, Health, and Society from Cornell University.

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Sarah Calkins, JD, CPA
Director of Finance and Administration

Sarah holds a Bachelor of Business Arts from Albion College and a Juris Doctor from Emory University School of Law. Prior to joining Ibis in 2012 Sarah had extensive experience in finance and operations working with large for-profit corporations in the United States, including eight years with PricewaterhouseCoopers and ten years with International Business Machines Corporation, after which she spent six years working exclusively with not-for-profit organizations.

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Amanda Dennis, DrPH, MBE
Associate

Amanda joined Ibis in 2007 and has since led several studies evaluating how US health care policies, such as abortion restrictions and health care reform, impact women and health care providers. Amanda has also contributed to a number of Ibis’s efforts to ensure access to comprehensive, evidence-based sexual and reproductive health care in the United States and South Africa. Her dissertation work, which aimed to understand and respond to the reproductive health needs of adult women with epilepsy, inspired her to build a body of work focused on addressing the reproductive health needs of women and girls with various chronic health conditions. Her research has been published in Contraception, Health Services Research Journal, Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, and Women’s Health Issues, among other journals. Amanda’s choice of research topics and passion for patient-centered health care are informed by her work on the board of the Abortion Care Network and her prior experiences working in an ambulatory surgery center specializing in second-trimester abortion care and a domestic violence shelter. Amanda holds a Doctorate in Public Health from Boston University, a Master’s degree in Bioethics from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Bachelor of Arts from Hampshire College.

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Ella Douglas-Durham, MPH
Research Assistant

Ella is a research assistant at Ibis. Prior to joining Ibis in July 2013, Ella interned with Raising Women’s Voices, assisting with their health care reform implementation work, and with Concern Worldwide US, supporting the Innovations for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health initiative’s projects in Ghana and Sierra Leone. She holds a Master of Public Health in Sociomedical Sciences from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from the University of Michigan.

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Angel Foster, DPhil, MD, AM
Affiliated Scholar

Angel joined Ibis Reproductive Health in 2002. She received her DPhil (PhD) in Middle Eastern studies from Oxford University, attending as a Rhodes Scholar, and her MD from Harvard Medical School. Angel also holds both a Master’s degree in international policy studies and a Bachelor’s degree in international relations and biology from Stanford University. Angel has conducted both qualitative and quantitative research in the US, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, Tunisia, and Egypt and has authored and co-authored over thirty articles, book chapters, and reports dedicated to reproductive health issues in both the Middle East and the US. She has previously served on the board of directors of Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health, on the American Academy of Family Physician’s Public Health Commission, and as the 2003-2004 President of the Board of Directors of Medical Students for Choice. Angel currently serves on the advisory committee of the Global Network of Researchers on HIV/AIDS in the MENA region, the steering committee of International Consortium for Emergency Contraception, and the advisory board of Nursing Students for Choice and in 2004 was named one of Choice USA’s “30 Under-30 Activists for Reproductive Freedom.”

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Kate Grindlay, MSPH
Senior Project Manager

Kate manages a portfolio of quantitative and qualitative social science research with a focus on improving reproductive health in underserved communities and exploring the potential of innovative approaches and technologies to increase reproductive health access. She also serves as the Executive Director of the Cervical Barrier Advancement Society, an advocacy organization managed by Ibis that provides information and resources about cervical barriers methods, including diaphragms, caps, female condoms, and other devices. She has published and presented on reproductive health access for US servicewomen; the safety, effectiveness, and acceptability of telemedicine for medication abortion provision; and over-the-counter access to oral contraception, among other topics. Prior to joining Ibis, Kate worked for the University of California, San Francisco’s Women’s Global Health Imperative on the MIRA trial to evaluate the diaphragm as a possible method of female-controlled HIV and STI prevention. She left UCSF in 2007 to pursue an MS degree in Public Health at Harvard University, and has been at Ibis since graduating in 2009.

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Shayna Lewis
Office Manager

Shayna has been with Ibis since 2013. She is active in many areas of Ibis’s work, including communications, development, and administrative support. Before Ibis, Shayna worked at the UCSF/UC Hastings Consortium on Law, Science, and Health Policy as a Program Manager and Senior Legal Research Fellow, where she coordinated and participated in the Reasoning from Group Scientific Data to Individual Decisions (G2i) in the Law Committee. She has worked with a number of organizations that advance reproductive health and rights, including Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH), NARAL Pro-Choice California, Legal Momentum, and Human Rights Campaign. Shayna holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Political Science and a law degree from Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law.

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Becky Nelson
Office Assistant/Bookeeper
Becky has been with Ibis since 2011, working on finance and administrative support. She has been involved in many aspects of the reproductive health field, from sexual education to abortion counseling to working as a doula. Prior to coming to Ibis, she worked as an informed consent counselor at Four Women Health Services, a Massachusetts reproductive health clinic. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English as well as a certificate in Culture, Health and Science from Smith College, and is currently working towards a nursing degree.

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Britt Wahlin
Director of Development and Communications

Britt has led Ibis’s fundraising and communications efforts since she joined the organization in 2007 and serves on the Senior Management Team. She is also active in Ibis’s work to move oral contraceptives over the counter, get unsafe abortion on the maternal health agenda, and ensure women are able to access abortion and the full range of contraceptive methods under US health reform. Before Ibis, Britt was a consultant specializing in philanthropy and strategic communications. She spearheaded film-based public awareness campaigns for the nonprofit media organization, Active Voice, on topics ranging from immigration and political asylum to gender equity in science. She has worked with organizations that advance women’s and girls’ rights throughout her career. Previously, she was a program officer at the Women’s Foundation of California, where she made grants to grassroots, women’s and girls’ organizations and directed a program that taught leadership and philanthropy skills to young women. Her writing has been published in AlterNet, RH Reality Check, and ThinkProgress, among other publications. Britt holds a Bachelor of Arts in Modern Thought and Literature and a Master of Arts in Humanities from Stanford University.

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Staff in Oakland, California

Dan Grossman, MD
Vice President for Research

Dan received his Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University and an MD from Stanford University. He completed his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Prior to joining Ibis in 2005, he held the position of Health Specialist at the Population Council in Mexico City. His current research includes both clinical and social science studies aimed at improving access to contraception and safe abortion in the United States, Latin America, and sub-Saharan Africa, as well as evaluating the impact of integrating reproductive health and HIV services. He also coordinates the Oral Contraceptives Over-the-Counter Working Group. He has published over 50 articles in peer-reviewed journals and serves on committees for professional organizations such as the American Public Health Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Dan is also Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at UCSF and works as a physician part-time in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Sarah Baum, MPH
Project Manager

Sarah currently manages Ibis research projects in the United States and Latin America to expand safe abortion and reproductive health care access. Projects include evaluating restrictive abortion laws in Texas, addressing abortion-related stigma experienced by providers and women, and use of misoprostol in legally restrictive countries in South America. Prior to joining Ibis, Sarah was a research assistant with the Louisiana State University Adolescent Clinic, evaluating a clinic-based pregnancy prevention intervention for adolescent girls. She has managed qualitative and quantitative research projects with the Young Men’s Health Initiative in New York City and NYU’s School of Social Work. Her experience also includes work as a counselor and medical assistant at an abortion clinic in Oregon. Sarah holds a Master of Public Health in Reproductive and Family Health from Columbia University’s Mailman School and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Lewis & Clark College.

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Liza Fuentes, MPH
Senior Project Manager

Liza is a Senior Project Manager at Ibis. Prior to that she was a fellow at the City University of New York Institute for Demographic Research, and was a researcher at National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health. Her research has focused on the effects of immigration and health policies on Latina and immigrant reproductive health, clinician training in reproductive health, and abortion access. She is also interested in issues around the role of social scientists in the movement for reproductive justice. She is the current chair of the board of directors of Reproductive Health Technologies Project, a board member of Forward Together, and is a former member of the board of the National Network of Abortion Funds, New York Abortion Access Fund, and the DC Abortion Fund. Liza is doctoral candidate at the CUNY School of Public Health and has a Master of Public Health from Columbia University.

 

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Staff in Johannesburg, South Africa

Tshego Bessenaar, MA
Senior Project Manager/Acting Branch Manager

Tshego holds a Master of Arts in Research Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. She has experience in social, clinical, and market research. She is currently studying toward a Doctor of Literature and Philosophy in Psychology at the University of South Africa. Tshego was a Research Assistant with the African AIDS Vaccine Programme’s ethics, law and human rights group. She has eight years of experience in qualitative and quantitative research methods, including monitoring and evaluation and research ethics. Her previous work also includes coordination of HIV trials, program design, project branding, protocol development, communications, and community mobilization. Her research interests include reproductive health, maternal and child health, adolescents’ sexual behavior, HIV/AIDS, and TB. 


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Belinda Gqoboka
Project Assistant

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Dumi Magagula
Research Assistant

Dumi is a research assistant at Ibis. Prior to joining the Joburg office in September 2013, Dumi worked as a quality check officer at the Centre for AIDS Programme Research in South Africa (CAPRISA). She holds a Social Science Honours degree from the University of Zululand. Dumi has 14 years of experience in clinical trials research including, administration of informed consent, case reporting, preparation of study regulatory files, data management, and management of study participants. Her research interests include HIV/AIDS, monitoring and evaluation, and research ethics.

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Stella Tshona
Office Manager
Stella holds a Certificate in the Basics of Business and studied toward a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at the University of South Africa. She has 20 years of experience working at NGOs, 17 of which were at Senior Management level. Prior to joining Ibis, she worked as Administration and Finance Manager and also served as Company Secretary for a Policy Research Institution that formerly formed part of Wits University. She has experience managing finances, human resources, and corporate governance issues.

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