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Gregory Pirio

Gregory Pirio founded and directs EC Associates “Empowering Communications. Dr. Pirio has been a global leader in the use of the media for constructive social change. He has focused his professional activities on an array of health advocacy, public relations, branding, media, media development, behavior change communications, youth empowerment, strategic communications and distance education issues with a strong emphasis in the areas of health, governance and conflict resolution issues.

Dr. Pirio has also published extensively on public health and political issues including jihadism and peacebuilding. He also has extensive experience in journalism, media production and broadcasting as well as in business development, having led teams of broadcast journalists in producing daily radio shows and video productions. Dr. Pirio has appeared on many BBC World Service and CNN International programs to discuss topics in which he is considered a leading international expert.

Dr. Pirio has worked professionally in English, Portuguese, French and Spanish. He has a Ph.D. in African History and a M.A. in African Studies (Both achieved from UCLA).

Annette Sheckler

Annette Sheckler is a seasoned professional in international development. She has worked across technical sectors including: democracy and governance, global public health, agriculture, nutrition, gender and communications.

She has worked at some of the leading international development organizations, such as CARE, the Carter Center of Emory University, the Refugee Policy Group, the Africa-America Institute, Management Sciences for Health, and the International Institute for Food Policy Research. Early in her career, she worked for the AFL-CIO’s International Affairs Department.

In addition to her non-profit work, Annette Sheckler served as a Senior Advisor to the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington, DC as well as Special Advisor to the organization of African First Ladies (OAFLA) against HIV/AIDS in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Annette Sheckler did her doctoral work at the University of Illinois in Political Science with a specialization in African Politics.

Mario Marrengula

Mario Marrengula has had a distinguished career dedicated to reducing the impact of yellow fever, Ebola, HIV/AIDS, malaria, cholera and other infectious diseases in diverse African countries, including Mozambique, Lesotho, Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and Cote D’Ivoire. These public health activities have taken place in collaboration with John Snow, Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs, USAID Washington, the World Health Organization, UNFPA Mozambique, UNICEF Mozambique, CARE International, Crown Agents and the World Bank.

Marrengula has collaborated with EC Associates to improve the performance of Mozambican radio stations to broadcast on health issues. For EC Associates, he played a key role in the development of a proposal for a youth empowerment intervention in Mozambique designed to address the alienation of youth and reduce the vulnerability of youth to recruitment into violence behaviors.

He has also served as a lecturer at the Schools of Medicine at Catholic University and at Eduardo University in Maputo, as well as an Adjunct Professor at Mozambique’s Polytechnic University.

Lynn Fredriksson

Lynn Fredriksson, PhD, is a recognized international expert in the areas of global human rights, humanitarian aid and development, and U.S. foreign policy, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa.
At Freedom House, she directed the Southern Africa Programs, as well as the Emergency Assistance Program (including the Human Rights Defenders Fund, Lifeline: Embattled CSO Assistance Fund, Dignity for All: the LGBTI Assistance Program, and the Religious Freedom Fund).
Prior to that, Dr. Fredriksson served as Humanitarian Expert with the UN Somalia Eritrea Monitoring Group based in Nairobi, Kenya. She was earlier the Researcher on the Horn of Africa with Amnesty International’s London-based International Secretariat, and AIUSA’s Advocacy Director for Africa. She has traveled and worked extensively in East, Central and Southern Africa, and has also worked in and on the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Eurasia and Latin America.

Lynn holds an MA and a PhD in Political Science and a Certificate in African Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a BA in Political Science and Russian from Williams College.

Mariam Nabukenya

Mariam Nabukenya specializes in Social and Behavioral Change (SBC) for public health and youth empowerment. For EC Associates, she has played a pivotal role in developing robust Standard Operating Procedures and training guides for effective malaria risk and social behavior change communication strategies including the training of SBC professionals in Zambia for the JC Flowers Foundation.

Mariam is also the Founder and Executive Director of Jolt Youth Initiative, a nonprofit NGO dedicated to empowering youth through the application of social behavior change methodologies, particularly focusing on enhancing the self-efficacy of youth.

Since 2019, Ms. Nabukenya has also served the Co-Chair of SBC Working Group of the RBM Partnership to End Malaria. In this capacity, she has actively advocated for Malaria SBC initiatives during RMB Partnership meetings in Tanzania, Senegal, Nairobi, Central Africa Republic, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana. Her efforts have contributed to increased funding for SBC portfolios to amplify the impact of Malaria control strategies. Ms. Nabukenya also introduced a linguistic ambassadorial platform that successfully broadened participation of French and Portuguese-speaking stakeholders in Malaria SBC efforts.

As an SBC Technical Advisor and SBC Specialist at the National Malaria Control Program in Uganda for over 10 years, Ms. Nabukenya led the creation of impactful SBC strategic plan, anchored in evidence-backed SBC approaches. Her role involved developing a sophisticated SBC reporting tool and contributing substantially to the formulation of the Malaria SBC implementation plan for 2022.

Jonathan Ssekitondo

Jonathan Ssekitondo is a seasoned digital media specialist with experience spanning over 13 years.

His experience includes five years managing new age media providing Value Added Services (VAS) for a wide range of clients and partners in the United States and in East and Central Africa, eight years managing digital media communications in Uganda for USAID-funded projects Social Marketing Activity, Health Initiative in Workplaces Activity, Rotary Malaria Partners Uganda, the Global Fund Uganda Country Office, Ministry of Health in Uganda, the International Rescue Committee, and the World Health Organization.

He has acquired credentials from Makerere University, the John Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (JHCCP), Online Marketing Institute, Google, Twitter, and Squared+, enhancing his skills and knowledge in communications specializing in website design and management, digital and social media communication and strategy, short message service (SMS), digital product development and project management, content, analytics, performance marketing, and customer value management.

Joyce Kramer

Joyce Kramer has consulted for UNICEF and has served as Director of Public Relations and Development for the National Association of People with AIDS and of the Maryland-based Health Education Research Organization.

Internationally, she has been architect of a communications and media strategy for a global consortium of HIV/AIDS organizations (The CORE Initiative) and has led international radio and TV campaigns around issues of HIV/AIDS and Polio Eradication.

Ms. Kramer has directed all aspects of public relations campaigns, including television, radio, World Wide Web, print media relationships, and in-house publications, and she has led a multitude of fundraising activities, including direct mailing, major events and solicitation of foundation, major donor and corporate support.

Ms. Kramer recently published Invisible No More: The Secret Lives of Women Over 50 with two co-authors. In marketing the book, she has generated and participated in over 50 television and radio appearances, as well as in many print media interviews.

Ms. Kramer holds a BS (magna cum laude) in English and Psychology and a Master’s Degree with post graduate courses in education, English, psychology, and computer science.