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New partners. associates and milestones

We are delighted to announce that three new partners and one associate have joined hera. Each one brings unique expertise and energy, as well as commitment to our mission to work for the right to health and development for all. The addition of the three new partners also reflects a milestone for hera, as all of the new members are women, it expands our membership and marks the first time we can say that we are a majority women-owned company. It’s a positive sign and is something we are very happy to share. After undergoing a leadership renewal in 2021 we continue to adapt and grow to respond to challenging times with an amazing team of strong professionals with diverse expertise and experience to draw from. Please join us in providing a warm welcome to our colleagues, Alice Behendt, Joumana Yeretzian, Michèle Kosremelli Asmar and Marianne Eelens.

Alice Behrendt (MSc) became an associate partner with hera in 2018 and now joins as a full partner. She is a clinical psychologist with extensive experience in strategic planning, monitoring, evaluating and researching human rights-based programs. She is also an expert on gender. Described as a strategic thinker, engaging facilitator and cross-cultural fit, Alice breaks silos and brings people together, finding and implementing innovative and participatory solutions. Her strengths lie also in transforming large amounts of data into easily accessible reports, theories of change or convincing concepts. Behrendt is currently wrapping up the Mid-term assessments for the Spotlight Initiative.

Joumana Yeretzian (PhD, MSc) is an experienced biostatistician. She joins hera as a new partner and brings over 20 years of research experience in the health sector mostly in the fragile and emergency context of Lebanon. She has a strong background in both quantitative and qualitative analysis methods and her research focus includes designing and analysing epidemiological studies, exploring and assessing public-private partnerships and strengthening and optimising health information systems. Yeretzian recent work with hera includes supporting the evaluation of the Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance’s (Gavi’s) Fragility, Emergencies and Refugees (FER) policy. The main purpose of the evaluation was to assess the overall design, implementation, and results of the policy. The evaluation covered the application of the FER policy until mid-2020 through a global evaluation and case studies in three selected countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh and South Sudan).

Michèle Kosremelli Asmar (PhD, MSc) is a qualitative research expert and Associate Professor at Saint Joseph University of Beirut, Lebanon. She is also Director of the Higher Institute of Public Health (ISSP) since 2016. Dr. Asmar was a consultant in the Lebanese Health Sector reform project funded by the World Bank and she is a proven project leader in public health research and evaluation. She began working with hera as a consultant in 2019 and became a partner in 2022. Her recent work with hera includes the Third-Party Monitoring of the Lebanon Health Programme for Syrian Refugees and Vulnerable Lebanese Populations project funded by the European Union through the MADAD fund. Asmar and the monitoring team recently submitted the final assessment report summarising four years of monitoring.

Marianne Eelens (MSc.) joins hera as a new associate and brings over 10 years of experience in research, policymaking and programming in the field of public health, population and development. She has worked for the UN, government and the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI) giving her dynamic technical expertise in sexual and reproductive health and rights, health promotion, youth empowerment and health financing, among others. Her recent work with hera includes supporting the UNFPA contract for updating the SADC Scorecard for monitoring SRHR commitments and a Country Evaluation Brief and Portrait on DRC for Norad.