Country Directors

Guatemala – Thomas Hart

Thomas took up his current post in April 2005. He is from Northern Ireland and has lived and worked in Guatemala since 1993, working on a number of Health Poverty Action projects as well as undertaking consultancy work for Mayan NGOs. He has a BSc degree in social psychology from the London School of Economics and spent several years as a political researcher for BBC news and current affairs in London.

Nicaragua – Juan Herrera

Juan Herrera started with HPA in 2004 as a Field Technician, then as Project Manager in Siuna, then as Program Manager in Puerto Cabezas and is currently Country Representative in Nicaragua. He studied a Bachelor in Business Administration with mention in Banking and Finance, has a degree in Clinical Psychology and a Master in International Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid. He has collaborated in Mid Term Evaluations in Guatemala and Rwanda. He has worked in programs on SHR, SGBV, Maternal and Newborn Health, Water and Sanitation, economic empowerment and entertainment education for social change and cooperativism.

Sierra Leone – Prince Cummings

Prince Cummings is our Country Director for Sierra Leone based in Freetown. He has worked in the development sector for over 25 years and holds a PhD in Philosophy from the UK and a Master of Science in Administration (MSA) in International Development from the USA. Before now, Prince work as Executive Director for Flopac Development and Education Consultancy, as National Director of SOS Children’s Villages Sierra Leone, and as the Communication for Development Specialist for UNICEF Sierra Leone. He also worked as the Director of Studies/Lecturer for Crown International College London. He has years of experience in working to  ensure health and well-being for all, especially vulnerable children and women.

Namibia – Pieter Steenkamp

Pieter Steenkamp is Programmes Manager in Namibia. He has been working with HPA for over 17 years. Pieter joined HPA (HU) in 2001 as an Administrative Assistant and worked closely with Country Directors and project staff over 15 years and gained extensive knowledge in public health, project cycle management, programmes development, human resources and finance management. Pieter had 11 years working experience managing big staff compliments prior to joining HPA and holds a three year management diploma from the Cape University of Technology.

Rwanda – Dario Devale

Dario is our Rwanda Country Director, with studies in Cultural Anthropology and Peacekeeping and humanitarian interventions; he joined HPA in Rwanda in May 2018 working on a Country program focusing on Education, drop out of school girls, youth and employment and gender based violence. In the past he conducted researches in Kenya and Burkina Faso, worked as project coordinator in Ethiopia and Malawi and as Country Director in Mali and Myanmar, where he lived for 7 years working on programs on child protection, maternal and child health, IDPs camps in conflict’s areas and HiV prevention,care and treatment programs with most at risk populations.

Kenya – Boniface Yego

Boniface joined Health Poverty Action as area coordinator for HPA Kenya’s first programme in May 2012 and was promoted to Country Programme Manager in August 2015 before becoming the Country Director January 2018. He previously worked with at AMREF in Kenya as Programme Coordinator and Save the Children UK in Ethiopia as a Medical Coordinator. Prior to this, he worked for various organisations, both private and public, including as a public adviser and medical practitioner.
Boniface holds a Master’s degree in Public health as well as a degree in Public Health and Nursing and a Diploma in Kenya registered Community health Nursing (KRCHN).

Ethiopia – Alfenur Abu

Alfenur joined Health Poverty Action as Country Programme Manager for Ethiopia in July 2012. He previously worked at CARE International in Ethiopia, where from 2004 he held several positions including Pastoralist Programme Coordinator, Operations Coordinator and Project Manager. Prior to this, he worked for various organisations, both private and public, including as a medical practitioner.

As well as a degree in Public Health from Alemaya University in Ethiopia, Alfenur holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health from the University of South Africa.

Somaliland – Jitendra Panda

East Asia (Regional Manager) – Dr Zhang Jun

Zhang Jun has worked on Health Poverty Action’s projects in Kachin State in Burma since 1994 and was responsible for initiating our project in Wa State in 2001. He has coordinated projects in the border area including Burma and Yunnan in China for the past two years.  He became the first programme manager for the area in March 2002. A medical doctor with extensive experience in immunisation programmes in China, Zhang Jun worked for the Ministry of Health prior to joining Health Poverty Action.

Laos – Ronaldo Estera

Ronaldo Estera is our Laos Country Director based in Vientiane. Having already worked for Health Poverty Action for 2 years before taking on this position, Ronaldo is incredibly experienced in the work we do. He has worked with ethnic minority groups including women, children and youth along the borders of Thailand, Cambodia and Laos implementing programs on health and nutrition, water and sanitation, social enterprises, sustainable energy and child protection. He was also involved in a massive emergency response program after a super typhoon devastated the central regions of the Philippines. From 2005 to 2009, he worked with a cross-cultural and cross-functional team in the UK focusing on program accountability and learning that included developing a corporate system for monitoring programs and projects in more than 40 program countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Cambodia and Vietnam – Gary Dahl

Gary Dahl is our Country Director for Cambodia and Vietnam. Gary brings years of Public Health experience in South and Southeast Asia, and has a dedicated history of working to design, develop and manage community health programs throughout the region. Gary worked extensively in Thailand and Myanmar on projects to eliminate drug-resistant malaria, TB and to control other infectious diseases. He has also worked on a range of other issues such as maternal, reproductive and child health, gender-based violence prevention and response, and micro-enterprise development programs. He has extensive experience working with indigenous communities and has worked in emergencies with displaced people in Indonesia, Iraq, Myanmar, Pakistan and Thailand. Gary studied health development in Thailand and India, and psychology and South Asian studies in the United States.