CUNY School of Public Health Dean’s Advisory Council

The Dean’s Advisory Council represents organizations aligned with the school’s mission and goals, as well as individuals with commitment to these shared goals. The members of the council will assist the Dean in his role as the principal liaison with the New York community at large, and, in addition, will help identify and develop opportunities to support the school in fulfilling both its academic and service commitments. Council members will work with students, faculty and staff engaged in areas of public health about which they feel passionate and will have the opportunity to engage in “hands on” activities and impact in their community. Members will also leverage their community connections to raise CUNY School of Public Health awareness and philanthropic support.

Council Chair

Lyndon Haviland, MPH, DrPH

President, Lyndon Haviland & Co LLC

Lyndon Haviland, MPH, DrPH, is an international health consultant with more than 30 years public health experience. Dr. Haviland began her career in the US Refugee Service, working in multiple camps with South East Asia refugees. In 1991, she co-authored the first humanitarian needs assessment of Cambodia for the US Agency for International Development. Since that time, Dr. Haviland has led various public health campaigns, initiatives and organizations. Her consulting clients include UN agencies, international NGOs, and former Heads of State. She has served as a Board member for numerous international and domestic NGOs including the American Public Health Association where she is the recipient of two of its highest honors, Friend of the Student Assembly and the Director’s Citation.

As a consultant, Dr. Haviland has advised global leaders, presidents and agency heads on maternal and child health, access to vaccines, vaccine hesitancy, sexual and reproductive health, tobacco control and health promotion / disease prevention. Her work spans strategy, communications, leadership and partnership development. She was the Senior Project Leader for the UN Secretary-General’s Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health Every Woman, Every Child) , an initiative helped to align all member states of the United Nations around a common strategy for saving more than 16 million lives and raised more than $40 billion in new resources for women and children’s health globally. Every Woman, Every Child is widely acknowledged as a turning point for multi-sectoral partnerships at the United Nations.
Dr. Haviland has worked in a broad range of professional environments spanning domestic, academic, multinational and multilateral organizations including the Earth Echo International, GAVI, UN Women, Policy Wisdom, Rabin Martin, the Aspen Institute, UNAIDS, the United Nations Department of Public Information, the UN Foundation, HRSA/SPNS projects, UNDP, WHO, the International Medical Corps, the American Legacy Foundation, The International Catholic Migration Commission and the International Organization for Migration. She holds a masters and doctorate degrees in public health from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, and has completed Advanced Management & Leadership training at the Harvard Business School.

Council Members

Oxiris Bartbot, MD

First Deputy Commissioner, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Oxiris Barbot, M.D. was appointed First Deputy Commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene on March 14, 2014. In this role, Dr. Barbot is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the programmatic priorities of the Commissioner; as well as the general administrative functioning of the agency. Additionally, she will spearhead the department’s newly established Center for Health Equity. Under her guidance the center will focus on the following key areas: Leveraging policy changes to better integrate primary care and public health, building interagency collaboration to implement a multi sectorial approach and increasing access to health care.

Dr. Barbot returns to DOHMH from the Baltimore City Health Department, where she served as the Commissioner for four years. In this role, Dr. Barbot developed technology initiatives to improve health outcomes and increase operational efficiency, and developed capacity within the Health department and sister agencies to conduct health impact assessments. Dr. Barbot was the architect of the Healthy Baltimore 2015 health policy agenda for the city with a central focus of promoting health equity. She introduced a health-in-all-policies approach to city government and chaired the Mayor’s Cross-Agency Health Task Force. During her tenure, Dr. Barbot championed a number of accomplishments, namely a 25% decrease in the number of HIV cases, a decrease in teen pregnancy by 23.5% as well as a reduction of infant mortality to an all-time low of 9.7 with a 37% reduction in disparities.

Before working in New York, Dr. Barbot was the Chief of Pediatrics and Community Medicine at Unity Health Care, Inc. in Washington, D.C. There, she gained knowledge of the community health clinic model and experience serving vulnerable populations. Dr. Barbot received a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and holds a medical degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She completed her residency at George Washington University’s Children’s National Medical Center. Dr. Barbot has published several articles in major academic journals within the health filed and has presented on topics including H1N1 response, school health, and health coverage for Hispanic Americans.

Mary Bassett, MD, MPH

Commissioner, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Mary Travis Bassett, MD, MPH is the Commissioner of Health, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. With more than 30 years of experience in public health, Dr. Bassett has dedicated her career to advancing health equity. After Dr. Bassett completed her medical training, she moved to Harare, Zimbabwe, where she served on the medical faculty at the University of Zimbabwe for 17 years. In that role, she developed a range of AIDS prevention interventions to address one of the world’s worst AIDS epidemics. She later served as the associate director of Health Equity at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Southern Africa Office, overseeing it Africa AIDS portfolio. In 2002, Dr. Bassett was appointed deputy commissioner of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, where she directed key initiatives, including bans on smoking and trans fats in restaurants and the requirement at chain restaurants to post calorie counts. She also established the department’s District Public Health Offices (DPHOs). Most recently, since 2009, Dr. Bassett served at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation as program director for the African Health Initiative and more recently has led the Child Well-being Program. Both portfolios have focused on strengthening systems to support health improvement.

Wellington Chen

Executive Director, Chinatown Partnership

As Executive Director of Chinatown Partnership, Wellington Chen is responsible for guiding the overall direction of the Chinatown Partnership, including strategic planning, setting policy, and serving as the public representative of the organization.

Wellington is a highly respected public servant and long-time community advocate, urban planner and urban affairs specialist. As senior consultant/advisor of the Planning Advocacy Group for over a decade, Mr. Chen–a long-time Flushing resident–was deeply involved in numerous community projects, including the downtown Flushing revitalization plans. Wellington was also the first Asian American to serve as a Commissioner on the New York City Board of Standards and Appeals. Mr. Chen co-founded Tri Plus Construction Corporation in 1989, a company dedicated to creating affordable housing in New York City.

An architect by training, Wellington worked for renowned architect I.M. Pei from 1980 to 1985. He was a member of Community Board 7Q for over 13 years and a vice chair of Queens County Traffic Safety Board, and currently sits on a number of boards, including the Bowne House Historical Society, the City University of New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Healthcare Chaplaincy, NYC Economic Development Council etc. Wellington was born in Taiwan and grew up in Singapore, Hong Kong and Brazil.

Andrea G. Cohen, JD

Senior Vice President, United Hospital Fund

Andrea G. Cohen is the Fund’s Senior Vice President for Program, responsible for shaping and directing the Fund’s program activities and leading Fund staff in their work on Medicaid and other health insurance, quality improvement, innovation strategies, aging in place, and family caregiving. She also oversees the Fund’s grantmaking and conference programs.

An attorney with extensive legal and policy experience in the health care world, Ms. Cohen was Director of Health Services in the Office of the New York City Mayor from 2009 to 2014, serving as lead health policy advisor to the Mayor and Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services, and liaison to the city’s public hospital system and Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

From 2005 to 2009 Ms. Cohen served as counsel at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, advising health care clients on legal and policy issues related to public health insurance programs. Previous experience included positions with the Medicare Rights Center, the United States Senate’s Committee on Finance, and the United States Department of Justice.

Ms. Cohen is a member of the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission, which advises Congress and reviews and makes recommendations on Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program policies and programs. She was appointed to that position, when the Commission was formed, by the Comptroller General.
A graduate of Harvard College, Ms. Cohen earned her law degree at Columbia University.

Dr. Max Gomez

Dr. Maximo Gomez

One of TV’s most respected medical journalists, Dr. Max Gomez has produced award-winning health and science segments for network stations in New York and Philadelphia. Dr. Max has reported for Dateline, Today Show and 48 Hours.

Over more than three decades, he has earned nine Emmy Awards, three New York State Broadcaster’s Association awards and UPI’s “Best Documentary” award. In addition to NYC’s ‘Excellence in Time of Crisis’ for his September 11 coverage, Dr. Max has been singled out nationally for special award recognition by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and The National Marfan Foundation. He was also named the American Health Foundation’s “Man of the Year.” A noted moderator and speaker, Dr. Max is the regular moderator for Memorial Sloan-Kettering’s Cancer Smart public education series. He was also an organizer and moderator for two international conferences on adult stem cells hosted by and held at the Vatican.

Dr. Max also trains physicians nationally in public speaking and presentation, speaking to groups as diverse as the National Cancer Institute and the College of American Pathologists. Max is the co-author of “Our Stem Cells – The Mysteries of Life and Secrets of Healing”, a layman’s guide to the medicine of the future, showcasing a wide array of emerging adult stem cell breakthroughs, including their ability to repair damaged hearts and organs, restore sight, kill cancer, cure diabetes, heal burns and stop the march of degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis and Lou Gehrig’s disease. Covering stem cell applications in everything from orthopedics to heart disease, cancer and HIV, it includes a special address by Pope Benedict XVI, urging increased support and awareness for advancements in adult stem cell research in order to alleviate human suffering.

Dr Max is also the co-author of “The Prostate Health Program: A Guide to Preventing and Controlling Prostate Cancer.” The 384-page book explains how an innovative program consisting of diet, exercise and lifestyle changes may help prevent prostate cancer. He has also served on numerous boards, including the American Heart Association, Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America – Long Island Chapter, and The Partnership for After School Education, a city-wide group of 1,600 community-based programs that tutor and mentor students.

Dr. Max also mentors undergraduate journalism students, as well as medical students and physicians who are interested in medical journalism. He is an honors graduate of Princeton University and the Wake Forest University School of Medicine (PhD in Neuroscience) and was an NIH postdoctoral fellow at Rockefeller University.

Khary Lazarre-White, Esq

Executive Director & Co-Founder, The Brotherhood/Sister Sol

Born and raised in New York City, Khary is a social entrepreneur, educator, non-profit executive, writer and attorney. Khary received his Bachelors in Arts, with honors, in Africana Studies from Brown University, and his Juris Doctorate from the Yale Law School where his focus was international human rights law and constitutional law.

In 1995, at the age of 21, Khary co-founded The Brotherhood/Sister Sol (BHSS), a now nationally renowned non-profit youth organization based in Harlem, New York. BHSS is a comprehensive youth development and educational organization that provides rites of passage programming, after school care, counseling, summer camps, job training, college preparation and scholarship, employment opportunities, community organizing training, legal representation, and month long international study programs to Africa and Latin America. It recently was awarded two grants from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for being among the best programs in the nation serving young men “at risk” via a lens of positive health outcomes – decreasing teenage pregnancy, breaking cycles of poverty, increasing graduation rates and ensuring no members of BHSS are incarcerated. BHSS was recognized with one of 10 grants out of over 1,000 applicants from throughout the nation.

Over the last 19 years Khary has been recognized for his leadership in providing some of the most innovative and highly successful practices in the nation. He was featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show and awarded Oprah Winfrey’s Angel Network Use Your Life Award. He has also received awards from: Ford Foundation, Brown University, Fund for the City of New York, Abyssinian Development Corporation, Union Square Awards, Oracle, Black Girls Rock, Community Works, Ruth Philanthropic Arts Foundation, New York Women’s Foundation, New York State Department of Education, Andrew Goodman Foundation, and others. Khary also was selected to receive the national NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund/Shearman & Sterling Law Scholarship Award that supported his legal studies.

Chika Onyejiukwa

Chairperson for the City University of New York (CUNY) University Student Senate (USS)

Chika Onyejiukwa is the Chairperson for the City University of New York (CUNY) University Student Senate (USS) and the only student member of the Board of Trustees of The City University of New York. She serves as the Vice Chair for Legislative Affairs for the CUNY University Student Senate, which is the leading student governance body of the university, charged with representing the interest of the nearly 500,000 students at CUNY.

In her capacity as USS Vice Chair for Legislative Affairs, Ms. Onyejiukwa fostered effective working relationships between students, faculty, and elected officials. She has testified and organized student leaders to testify before legislative bodies at the city and state level on a myriad of student issues. Ms. Onyejiukwa chaired a student committee aimed at freezing tuition for CUNY students and restoring proposed budget cuts to CUNY. Her efforts led to concrete victories, including the extension of $17 million dollars in funding to the New York City Council Merit Scholarship, the freezing of tuition for the 2016-2017 academic year, and the restoration of $485 million dollars in state aid to the university.

Ms. Onyejiukwa is a senior at Hunter College pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Community Health Education. Ms. Onyejiukwa plans to pursue her doctorate degree after graduating in May of 2017.

Fred Rich, JD

Partner, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

Fred Rich is a partner of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, a global law firm based in New York, where he formerly headed the firm’s corporate practice and currently heads its Global Project Development and Finance practice. A graduate of Princeton University, he studied moral philosophy as a Keasbey Scholar at King’s College Cambridge, and received his JD from the University of Virginia. A prominent environmentalist, Rich heads the New York State Environmental Leaders Group, and serves on the boards of many environmental, conservation, parks and urban agriculture organizations. He is keenly interested in the intersection between environment, ethics and public health, and is just completing a book on environmental politics. His dystopian political novel, Christian Nation, was published last year by W. W. Norton.

Mitchell J. Silver

Commissioner, NYC Parks

Mitchell J. Silver became Commissioner of the New York City Department of Parks in May 2014. Commissioner Silver is also the immediate past president of the American Planning Association (APA) and an internationally recognized planner. As Parks Commissioner, Mitchell Silver oversees management, planning and operations of nearly 30,000 acres of parkland, which includes parks, playgrounds, beaches, marinas, recreation centers, wilderness areas and other assets.

In its search for a Parks Commissioner, the de Blasio administration sought Silver for more than his passion for community equity and thoughtful planning. Silver’s unique brand recognizes the link between space-making and how neighborhood access to parks and open space favorably impact health and community well-being. Silver authored Planners and Public Health Professionals Need to Partner Again, an article published in 2012 by the North Carolina Medical Journal.
Mitchell Silver received a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from Hunter College in NYC.

Dennis Walcott

Dennis M. Walcott was the Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education from 2011 to 2013.

Although Walcott lacks training as a schools administrator and requires a waiver from the New York State Education Department under Education Commissioner David M. Steiner, he is a former employee at Amistad Day Care Center, holds a master’s degrees in the education field and is a former member of the New York City Board of Education. He also served nine years as New York City Deputy Mayor for Education.

Prior to joining Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2002 as Deputy Mayor for Education, he headed the New York chapter of the Urban League.

In 1975, Walcott founded the Frederick Douglass Brother-to-Brother mentoring program. He went on to become President and Chief Executive of the New York Urban League for 12 years, where he expanded educational and youth service programs. He also served as Executive Director of the Harlem Dowling Westside Center, expanding services to children and families in need. In 1993 Mayor David Dinkins appointed him to the predecessor agency to the Department of Education, the New York City Board of Education. His term extended into the mayoral term of previous mayor Rudy Giuliani. He also taught as an adjunct professor of Social Work at York College, and was a talk show radio host on community issues.

Pat Wang, JD

Chief Executive Officer, Health First NY

Pat Wang is the CEO of Healthfirst, a one million member, not-for-profit health insurance plan serving the New York City metropolitan area. Healthfirst is a 4-Star Medicare Advantage plan and the top ranked Medicaid managed care plan for quality in New York State. The company also coordinates the long term care of frail elderly and disabled individuals through a variety of programs, including Senior Health Partners and CompleteCare, and offers its Leaf plans on the New York State of Health (Health Exchange). Healthfirst specializes in the needs of the region’s multi-cultural populations. As a provider-sponsored health plan, it relies on a partnership model with its healthcare system sponsors, primary care providers, and community-based organizations to support and help build population health management capability at the delivery system level.

Prior to joining Healthfirst in 2008, Ms. Wang clerked for the Honorable Whitman Knapp in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and practiced health law at Kalkines, Arky, Zall and Bernstein. She worked at the Greater New York Hospital Association for 17 years where she served as Senior Vice President, Health Finance and Managed Care and where her first major project was to create Healthfirst. She is a graduate of Princeton University and New York University School of Law, where she received her J.D. degree, cum laude. She has lived in China and Yugoslavia and is a longtime resident of New York City.

Emad A. Zikry, Ph.D.

Chairman, Institutional Business
Pioneer Investments –
President of Vanderbilt Capital Advisors

Pioneer Investments has more than $300 Billion in assets under management. The parent of Pioneer, UniCredit S.p.A., recently merged with Capitalia S.p.A. making UniCredit the largest bank in Italy and the second largest bank In Europe. Vanderbilt’s client base includes Central Banks, Commercial Banks, Multi-national Corporations, Public Funds, Foundations/Endowments, and Taft Hartley accounts.

Emad has had numerous articles published in professional and academic journals such as The Journal of Forecasting, The American Economist and The Journal of Fixed Income. He is a Board member of The National Investment Company, and an Associate of The ForeignPolicy Association. Emad was a member of the Board of Advisors of the Pacific Institute and The Advisory Committee of Fulcrum Global Partners. He also served on the Board of Directors of Quality Systems Inc., The Park Avenue Bank and The New Providence Fund and Associates LP. He currently is on the Board of Directors of the University of Albany Foundation.

Emad is an FINRA Arbitrator. He is also a member of the Fixed Income Analysts Society, the National Association of Business Economists, the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, The Economic Club of New York.

Emad holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Albany, and a M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Kansas.

Council Ex-Officio Members

Duffie Cohen

Executive Director, Invest in CUNY Campaign

Duffie Cohen is Executive Director of the Invest in CUNY Campaign. In collaboration with the Dean for Advancement, Duffie provides leadership for the University’s $3 billion campaign and supports CUNY’s colleges, graduate and professional schools and programs in their fundraising efforts. In addition to working with the colleges individually to build fundraising capacity, Duffie oversees the Campaign Office’s professional development efforts, creating programs and conferences for academic and advancement leaders and professionals. Before joining CUNY in 2005, Duffie worked for 15 years in the non-profit sector, primarily with educational and social service organizations. Earlier in her career, Duffie worked as a journalist in New York City.

Andrea Shapiro Davis

Associate Vice Chancellor for Corporate, Foundation and Major Gifts Development, CUNY

Andrea Shapiro Davis is the Associate Vice Chancellor for Corporate, Foundation and Major Gift Development at the City University of New York (CUNY). She has had a long and distinguished career in public service, including 11 years working for Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, where she served as Special Advisor to the Mayor, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of Appointments and Executive Director of the NYC Commission on Women’s Issues. Prior to joining the Bloomberg administration she was the Director of Development and External Relations at the CUNY School of Law. She also spent four years as an Assistant District Attorney in Queens County and was an attorney in private practice. Ms. Davis is also the founder of the Women’s City Network. She is a graduate of Queens College and Hofstra University School of Law, and is the proud mother of twin boys.

Chris Paladino

Principal, NCP Equity, LLC

A native of New York City, Chris spent the first 12 years of his career with the American Red Cross. His work took him across the country and around the world as a spokesperson during major disasters. He left the Red Cross in early 2005 to go into private business, joining Marjack Company, Inc. as a vice president of corporate development and becoming a partner in the company.

In 2008 Chris helped manage the sale of Marjack to PFG, a top-3 national food distributor, and in 2009 he and his partners sold a spinoff of Marjack, the nation’s third largest popcorn manufacturer. He followed up these sales with the launch of NCP Equity, LLC as a vehicle to invest in local businesses. In 2010 Chris led a group of investors in the acquisition and restructuring of the Annapolis area coffee roaster Chesapeake Bay Roasting Company and served as the turnaround CEO for the first two years.
Since leaving the Red Cross is 2005, Chris has been a consultant to various non-profits including the American Public Health Association, where he honed his interest in public health. He is pleased to have been recruited by Dr. El-Mohandes to assist with the development of the School of Public Health.

A 1990 graduate of Rutgers University with a B.A. in Communication, Chris also volunteers with several non-profit organizations to improve their management and fund raising capacity. He and his family recently relocated to Austin, Texas after a year in Panama City, Panama where they explored business opportunities in a booming Latin American culture.