Country Directors

Regional Manager (East Asia) – 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 co-ordinated 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.

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.   

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.

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.

Rwanda – Jean Claude Nshimiyimana

Jean Claude joined Health Poverty Action as Rwanda Country Director in July 2011. For the last eight years he has worked on community development projects specialising in project managing health, education and economic empowerment programmes. Joining Health Poverty Action from a USAID/Youth Livelihoods project, he has also previously worked with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) as a National HIV Project Coordinator.

Jean Claude’s mother tongue is Kinyarwanda, and he is fluent in English, French and Swahili. He holds a degree in education from the Kigali Institute of Education and a Masters in Public Health from the University of Nairobi.

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.


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