SHE Center Leadership

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Program Founder and Director

Navid Madani, PhD, is a Senior Scientist in Dana-Farber Cancer Institute's Department of Cancer Immunology and Virology, with appointments at Harvard Medical School in the Departments of Microbiology and Global Health and Social Medicine.

Madani’s research emphasizes HIV/AIDS, drug discovery, and development of a woman-controlled microbicide to halt HIV transmission. She uses a multidisciplinary approach to find preventive measures to inhibit HIV-1 transmission. Her studies have led to the biochemical characterization of two classes of small-molecules that bind HIV-1 gp120 and inhibit HIV-1 entry. Currently, she is the principal investigator on a study which is optimizing the application of a CD4-mimetic small-molecule inhibitor of HIV-1 infection as topical microbicides.

View a video describing Madani's HIV research

Madani has applied a deep knowledge of research and scientific-based approaches to public health projects in the areas of cancer and infectious diseases in the MENA region. The SHE Center was born out of her past decade of work in the region — bringing together crucial stakeholders within key populations.

Navid Madani, PhD, leads health education and training symposia and workshops throughout the MENA region. Photo courtesy of Matthew Gush/Cal State Fullerton.

International Support and Action

Madani has conducted workshops and seminars in Iran, Qatar, Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia, and Morocco. In 2006, she was a co-chair of GNR-MENA's satellite session at the International AIDS Conference in Toronto, where she brought Israeli, Egyptian, Iranian, Lebanese, and Palestinian scientists and providers together to discuss common critical health care topics — despite the ongoing conflicts between countries. In 2010, Madani was the organizer of an NIH-funded session at the AIDS International Meeting in Vienna. In 2012, with UNAIDS-Iran and Teheran University Medical Sciences, she co-organized the pioneering First International HIV/AIDS Conference in Tehran, Iran.

Madani's initiatives have garnered support from a broad variety of governmental and private agencies — including the NIH, OAR, AAAS, the Moroccan Ministry of Health, Qatar Foundation, ViiV Healthcare, and UNAIDS-Iran. She has engaged the Ministries of Health of several MENA countries, senior members of UNAIDS, advisors to the King of Morocco, and university presidents in the U.S. and the MENA region. Despite the inherent challenges of conservative settings and geo-political tensions, Madani successfully engages stakeholders across international boundaries as partners on scientific and health-related projects, and has received three U.S. Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) licenses to conduct her work in sanctioned countries.

Our External Advisory Committee

SHE External Advisory Committee meets annually to review and provide constructive feedback on how best to meet the Center’s goals, and future plans. The Advisory Committee members are based in the United States and have extensive international expertise in science, health, ethics, and human rights.

Our current External Advisory Committee members are:

  • Jacqueline Bhabha, MSc, JD, Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health. She is Director of Research at the Harvard FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, the Jeremiah Smith Jr. Lecturer in Law at Harvard Law School, and an Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School.
  • Eric Goosby, MD, Obama Administration Ambassador-at-Large and U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Professor of Medicine and Director of Global Health Delivery and Diplomacy, Institute for Global Health Sciences, at the University of California, San Francisco. In January 2015, Goosby was appointed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to be the UN Special Envoy on Tuberculosis (TB).
  • Norman P. Neureiter, PhD, American scientist, technology advisor and expert on science cooperation. In 2000, he became the first Science and Technology Advisor to the U.S. Secretary of State. In May 2004, he joined the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) as the first Director of the new AAAS Center for Science, Technology, and Security Policy.
  • Lawrence N. Shulman, MD, Deputy Director for Clinical Services of the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania, and Director of the Center for Global Cancer Medicine. Dr. Shulman serves as Senior Oncology Advisor to the non-profit organization Partners In Health (PIH).

Our Global Advisory Board

The SHE Center's Global Advisory Board advises on the identification and prioritization of projects, and provides feedback regarding the program's direction — ensuring regional ownership and responsibilities for agreed-upon activities.

The Advisory Board comprises members from the U.S. and MENA countries, including experts in clinical trials, maternal health, pediatrics, infectious diseases, basic sciences, anthropology, and MENA policy.

Our current Global Advisory Board members are:

  • Andre Azoulay, Counselor to H.M. King Mohammed VI of Morocco
  • Nesreen Barakat, Founding Partner, Excel Consulting Associates; former Minister of Social Development, Jordan
  • Edward J. Benz, Jr., MD, President and CEO Emeritus, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
  • Renu Chahil-Graf, Specialist in poverty, health, and social issues; former Regional Representative, UNDP; former MENA Regional Director, UNAIDS
  • Judy Levin, Former Program Officer for the MENA Division of International Relations, Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Shayan R. Mashatian, Founder, Silverberry Genomix
  • Robert Picard, Economist, Reuters Institute, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford