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 a 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 cooperation.

Sierra Leone – Ibrahim Turay

Ibrahim Turay is our Country Director for Sierra Leone since 2021, and he lives and is based in Freetown. He has worked in the development field for over 20 years, with experience in human rights, education and health. Ibrahim holds a Masters Degree in Sustainable Development, and professional credential in Project Management (Certified Development Project Manager CDPM III – Master Level). Ibrahim has been working with Health Poverty Action in Sierra Leone since its inception in 2005 and has held various positions in Senior Management, Project Management and Programme Management. Prior to joining Health Poverty Action, he worked for several organisations including Bajito Onda Foundation (USA-based) and the Council of Churches of Sierra Leone. He has years of experience working with marginalised people in remote communities, changing their health status and ensuring their well-being.

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.

Kenya – Ibrahim Ali

Ibrahim Ali is the Country Programme Manager for Kenya and a public health specialist with over 13 years of experience in community health work. Ibrahim has been working in health systems programming with Health Poverty Action since 2012. He has a management and public health background and brings extensive experience in humanitarian community health contexts as a community health programmer. Ibrahim is a passionate advocate for social change in communities who are marginalised and discriminated against, including the health workers who serve them.

Ethiopia – Mirchaye Mekoro

Mirchaye Mekoro joined Health Poverty Action in November 2019 as Country Programme Manager for Ethiopia. He has more than eight years’ experience in programme design, implementation and monitoring and evaluation in both governmental and civil society organizations. He has managed diverse programmes in health, education, food security, livelihoods, disability, peacebuilding and conflict resolution. He has worked on these diverse development programmes throughout the Horn of Africa region covering Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan. Mirchaye holds a master’s degree in International Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid from Kalu institute in Spain, and a Bachelors degree in Health Education and Behavioral Science from Jimma University in Ethiopia.

Somaliland – Rohit Odari

Rohit Odari joined Health Poverty Action as the Country Director for Somaliland in August 2019. Rohit has worked with us twice previously in his career as far back as 2008 before being offered his most recent Country Director position. Before joining this mission in Somaliland, he was working with Americares Foundation in Nepal as the Country Director responsible for the Nepal Earthquake Recovery program in 2016. Previously, he worked with the UK’s Department for International Development in Nepal. While there, he worked on a 10-year program in west Nepal supporting health and basic service activities in conflict-affected communities. He started his international development career in 1993 working with SNV Nepal.

Rwanda – Maurice Nizeyimana

Maurice Nizeyimana has worked with Health Poverty Action for nine years. Before joining us, he worked at the Pan African office of Pax Romana in Nairobi as the Pan African Coordinator from 2007 to 2012. In 2012, he joined Health Poverty Action in Rwanda as the Project Manager for the EU funded SALTWASH project. In addition to SALTWASH, he also managed the Youth Livelihood project (Huguka Dukore) in 2013, funded by USAID through the Education Development Centre. From 2013 he also managed the Rwandan Girls Education and Advancement Programme (REAP) funded by DfID through the Girls Education Challenge window.

East Asia (Regional Manager) – 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 – Dr Thet Lynn

Cambodia – Thomas Cai

Vietnam – Than Vu