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PATH today announced that Katharine Kreis has been named director of strategic initiatives for International Development. Kreis’ extensive background in global health and international development at the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and US Agency for International Development (USAID) will position her to lead the strategic component of PATH’s international portfolio.

In this newly created role, Kreis will work in close collaboration with PATH’s vice president of International Development and its chief strategy officer to develop new country programs, oversee and strengthen PATH’s focus in countries with the greatest health needs, and support new cross-country program initiatives as part of PATH’s strategic plan. Through leading strategic engagement across PATH’s global presence in over 70 countries, this role will support the integral work of PATH’s country programs to bring health within reach for everyone.

“I am pleased to welcome Katharine Kreis to the core team managing PATH’s expanding global presence,” said Ayo Ajayi, vice president of International Development at PATH. “I am confident that she will lead PATH to adopt strategies that maximize changes in the dynamic global health landscape and further our mission of reducing health inequities.”

At GAIN, Kreis most recently served as director, Strategic Programs. In this position, she collaborated with GAIN country offices, research institutions, NGOs, and private sector entities to develop new partnership opportunities, expand successful programs, and build new sources of funding to advance GAIN’s mission of improving health and nutrition worldwide. In addition, Kreis served on GAIN’s Executive Management and Portfolio Management Committees, representing the organization at high-level meetings with governments, think tanks, and corporate, civil society, and multilateral partners. Previously, she was GAIN’s director of policy and advocacy, ensuring alignment of advocacy and public policy priorities across the organization and overseeing the Policy and Advocacy division, including managing the day-to-day operations of the program and guiding the implementation of a robust strategy globally.

Prior to her time at GAIN, Kreis held positions across the Family Health Division at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, including strategic program team leader, nutrition. She led the development of the US$500 million Gates Foundation Nutrition Strategic Plan from discovery research to solutions delivery and scale. She also drove strategy to foster cross-programmatic collaboration among their global health and development programs.

Kreis also has worked for USAID as health, population, and nutrition officer, Global Center for Population Health and Nutrition, Office of Population in Washington, DC, and as deputy chief, Office of Health, Population, and Nutrition in Bolivia. During her tenure, she provided technical assistance to USAID missions in Cambodia, the Dominican Republic, Namibia, and Ghana, among other countries. In addition to positions at Catholic Relief Services and International Medical Corps in Somalia, Kreis was a Peace Corps volunteer in the Marshall Islands, where she worked on health programs with the Ministries of Health and Education. She holds a Master of Public Health dual degree in international health and epidemiology from the University of Michigan School of Public Health. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and physiology from Dickinson College.

Posted January 17, 2014.