Project Leadership

Dr. Bob Fryatt, Project Director, has 25 years of experience in public health and social policy in low, middle, and high income countries and in NGO, government, and multilateral settings in Asia, Africa, and Europe. He worked with the World Bank as a public health specialist in southern Africa on TB/HIV/Silicosis in the mining sector, globally on Civil Registration and Vital Statistics and, together with USAID and WHO, on the Roadmap for Measurement and Accountability for Health Results in the post-2015 era and the operational plan of the Collaborative Data Hub. He worked with MEASURE Evaluation for a strategic review of their South Africa project and with the Government of South Africa on health financing and primary care reforms. He also worked for WHO, the Global Fund, and the Government of Australia on partnerships with Papua New Guinea and Indonesia. In South Africa, Dr. Fryatt coordinated technical support for health reforms covering management, finance, regulation, and service delivery. He led a DFID regional multi-disciplinary team in Southern Africa working on access to medicines, gender based violence, HIV prevention, and governance projects. At WHO he set up the International Health Partnership and managed a high level international taskforce on innovative financing for health systems strengthening (Abt).

Catherine ConnorCatherine Connor, Deputy Director. Ms. Connor sets HFG’s strategic direction, establishes the technical vision and implementation priorities, provides technical and managerial support, maintains an effective partnership with USAID, and holds ultimate responsibility for project performance, compliance, and results. She provides technical guidance on the project’s overall strategic direction, oversees the project’s quality assurance system, and promotes synergies between HFG’s global and country programs. Ms. Connor also oversees HFG’s core-funded programs and spearheads the project’s Technical Management Team. Ms. Connor has spent 29 years as a thought leader, manager, and implementer of global, regional, and country-level health programs, including 13 years delivering technical assistance in health sector reform and system strengthening. She was previously Deputy Director of the Health Systems 20/20 project, where she was a key member of the Senior Management Team and oversaw field and core-funded activities (Abt).

Carlos AvilaDr. Carlos Avila brings 15 years of experience identifying and implementing programs in health financing, social protection, health insurance, resource tracking, and cost-effectiveness analysis that increase access to health services among low-income groups in developing countries. In addition to ensuring technical quality for HFG’s health financing initiatives, he also oversees all field activities in India and Bolivia. Prior to joining HFG, he served as the Health Financing Specialist for Health Systems 20/20. At Mexico’s Ministry of Health, Dr. Avila and his colleagues designed and launched Seguro Popular, the national health insurance program for low-income populations. Within a two-year period, Seguro Popular accelerated the enrollment of five million families across 10 Mexican states (Abt).

Nicole BarcikowskiNicole Barcikowski
is the Director of Country Programs for HFG. She advocates for HFG’s goals at the national and international levels and promotes the project’s tools and approaches for health financing, governance, country ownership and sustainability. Ms. Barcikowski has 20 years of experience developing, implementing and managing public health teams, organizations and programs in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the USA. Between 2008 and 2012, she served as the Director of Country Programs for the Health Systems 20/20 Project. Prior to that, she worked in Kenya and then Zimbabwe on global health projects, served as Senior Technical Advisor for HIV and OVC programs at World Vision and for USAID’s Child Survival and Health Grants Programs (Abt).
Sara BennettDr. Sara Bennett is HFG’s Health Systems Research (HSR) Lead, and directs the development of the global HSR agenda in collaboration with USAID as well as builds the capacity of local and regional organizations to conduct HSR. Dr. Bennett is the Vice-Chair of Health Systems Global, an international professional association that aims to advance HSR initiatives worldwide. With a background in politics and economics, Dr. Bennett has studied a wide range of health system issues, including health financing, health markets, human resources for health, and the impact of global health initiatives on health systems. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Health Systems Program at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Chief Executive Officer of Future Health Systems, and co-editor of the journal Health Policy and Planning (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health).

Rena EichlerDr. Rena Eichler, the team’s Performance-Based Incentives Advisor, works across the project to design and implement payment systems that link provider and consumer financing schemes to health. An economist by training, Dr. Eichler has more than 25 years of experience in global health, working on national- and local-level policy development, execution, and evaluation. She has previously partnered with global projects such as Health Systems 20/20 and Partners for Health Reformplus, providing global leadership and technical assistance, and is a co-author of Performance Incentives for Health—Potential and Pitfalls. She has also led a GAVI Alliance performance-based financing task team (Broad Branch Associates).


Dr. Laurel Hatt is HFG’s Health Financing Lead. She provides strategic technical guidance and quality oversight on the project’s health financing activities, helping to achieve the project’s vision of mobilizing domestic resources for health, improving financial protection, and increasing efficiency in resource allocation. Dr. Hatt brings more than 12 years of experience in evaluating and implementing health financing reforms that increase access to health services, including insurance (Ghana, Nicaragua), voucher programs (Bangladesh), and user fee exemptions (Mali). She is also leading efforts to monitor country progress towards Universal Health Coverage and providing leadership for the Maternal and Child Health portfolio. Dr. Hatt and co-authors were awarded USAID’s “Excellence in Evaluation” award in 2012 for their randomized health insurance evaluation in Nicaragua. (Abt).

Jeanine HublerJeanine Hubler serves as HFG’s Senior Director of Compliance, Finance, Administration, and Operations. She is an experienced professional in contracts management/grants management, administration and international operations, with in-depth and comprehensive knowledge of USAID, Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), National Science Foundation (NSF), and U.S. Government procurement policies. Ms. Hubler is fluent in three languages and has broad experience in program, contracts and financial management and grant systems development and monitoring. She provides strategic advice to senior management on issues of contract compliance, minimization of financial risk, profitability and financial forecasting. Ms. Hubler is experienced in field operations, both as a Deputy Chief of Party and Chief of Party on past projects. Countries experience includes: El Salvador, Jordan, Peru, Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United States, Vietnam and Venezuela. (Abt).

Jeremy KanthorJeremy Kanthor is the Governance Lead for HFG.  He provides technical direction and ensures the technical quality of all governance activities under HFG, and he also directs HFG’s Angola team.  Jeremy has 15 years of experience working on governance issues, including work on parliamentary capacity, accountability and transparency, and service delivery enhancements.  Earlier in his career, Jeremy served as the Deputy Chief of Party on the USAID-funded Promoting Governance, Accountability, Transparency and Integrity (PROGATI) project in Bangladesh where he designed activities to engage public oversight institutions, civil society and media to monitor local level health service delivery. He holds an MPhil in Development Studies from the Institute of Development Studies at Sussex University in the UK and a BA in Political Science from Haverford College. (DAI).

Chris LovelaceChristopher Lovelace provides technical direction and ensures the superior technical quality of all governance activities under HFG, and he also directs the Bangladesh and Asia Bureau teams. Mr. Lovelace has over 35 years of experience in public service, nationally and internationally, focusing primarily on public policy, health financing, and governance. Earlier in his career, he worked as the World Bank’s Director of Human Development for Europe and Central Asia, and focused on governance and financing reforms in the post-Soviet transitional period when the existing structures were collapsing. Subsequently, he was the World Bank’s Director of Health, Nutrition and Population. He has overseen major health sector reforms leading to the improved effectiveness of health systems in Kyrgyzstan, Canada, New Zealand, and several countries in Africa (Abt).
Marty MakinenDr. Marty Makinen serves as the project’s Public Health Management Lead. A health economist with more than 35 years of experience in over 40 countries, Dr. Makinen has extensive knowledge of financial, organizational, and management policies and systems, cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analyses of interventions, public financial management systems, and policy management. He currently serves on the Monitoring Independent Review Committee for the GAVI Alliance and leads the Joint Learning Network’s Expanding Coverage technical track for universal health coverage. Previously, Dr. Makinen was the technical director of the Ministerial Leadership Initiative and chaired the Supply-Side Evidence Review Team for USAID’s Summit on Maternal Health and Financial Incentives (Results For Development).
Stephen MusauStephen Musau enhances the HFG team as the Public Financial Management Advisor. He has over 25 years of experience in health financing, financial management systems design, cost analysis, and training, and has formerly worked as a Health Financing Advisor on several USAID-funded projects, including Health Systems 20/20. He has worked extensively with NGOs in Eastern Africa, providing technical assistance in financial management systems design and performance improvement. Concurrently with HFG, Mr. Musau serves as the Health Financing Advisor on USAID’s Wajibika Project in Tanzania, the Health Systems Strengthening Project in South Sudan, and the Health Systems 20/20 Associate Awards in Namibia and Tanzania (Abt).
Fred RosenweigFred Rosensweig is HFG’s Capacity Building Advisor. As a senior consultant with over 35 years of experience, Mr. Rosensweig specializes in improving health-focused programs in developing countries through organizational assessments, institutional capacity-building programs, training systems development, and increased involvement and commitment of key stakeholders. He previously served as the Capacity Building Team Leader under Health Systems 20/20 for six years and as the Technical Director for Human Resources and Institutional Development under the Environmental Health Project and the Water & Sanitation for Health Project. Mr. Rosensweig has significant experience working in Africa, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America (Training Resources Group).

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