An important aspect of the PHTT Conference is to bring together top talent from the field of interest and to create a space for dialogue between students and distinguished researchers and professionals. At the 2014 Conference, the following people spoke and lead workshops.



Cheryl Healton

In her capacity as Director of the NYU Global Institute of Public Health (GIPH), Healton is responsible for building the GIPH’s academic, service and research programs in collaboration with partners at NYU and throughout the public health community. Dr. Healton‘s career in the field of public health has earned her national recognition and praise. The recipient of numerous prestigious awards, she has been honored with the Secretary of HHS award for Innovation in Public Health for her work to reduce prenatal transmission of HIV through rapid dissemination of culturally tailored education to increase use of medical therapy in pregnancy and the Public Health Award from NYC Department of health for her work in advancing public health practice. She has also received the American Lung Association’s Life and Breath Award, was named the Donald A. Berreth Lecturer by the National Public Health Information Coalition and received the public communications award from the Public Health Association of New York City. She is the recipient of the Troy R. Westmeyer Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna Award from New York University’s Wagner School. She is also an active member of the broader public health community, serving on several boards including currently the National Board of Public Health Examiners (treasurer), the Betty Ford Institute, Lung Cancer Alliance, and Phoenix House. Dr. Healton gave a key note speech at the inaugural PHTT Conference.


Scott Sherman

Dr. Scott Sherman is an associate professor of medicine at New York University’s School of Medicine and Principal Investigator at NYU Abu Dhabi’s Public Health Research Center where he focusses on smoking cessation in the UAE.  He is also a distinguished physician and has researched and published extensively in areas such as smoking and public health.  His most recent research focuses specifically on the smoking of alternative tobacco products and he has also supervised several Capstone research projects exploring smoking habits among adolescents and young adults in the UAE.  Dr. Sherman also sits on the Local Organizing Committee for the 16th World Conference on Tobacco or Health, which will be held in Abu Dhabi next spring.  He will gave a key note speech on smoking as a public health problem in the UAE at the inaugural conference.


Saba Brelvi

Saba Brelvi’s 20-year career in public health, nonprofit management and philanthropy has focused on the intersection of public health and social justice.  She recently founded a program at NYU Abu Dhabi to promote the ethical employment of domestic workers among NYUAD faculty and staff. Prior to that, she spent nine years as a program director at The California Wellness Foundation, one of the largest private foundations in California, where she oversaw an $8 million annual funding portfolio to improve health care access for low-income women and to increase the racial and ethnic diversity of the state’s health workforce.  Before working in philanthropy, she directed a medical and mental health clinic for homeless and runaway teens in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood and, as part of her role, served on the executive management team of a $4.4 million nationally-recognized nonprofit serving high-risk youth. She has served on numerous commissions and boards, including two health policy advisory councils to the California Governor’s office, and was president of the board of directors at Narika, a domestic violence agency in Northern California serving South Asian immigrants. In 2001, Saba was selected as one of 12 emerging leaders in health philanthropy across the United States.  She holds a bachelors degree from Brown University and an MPH from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. At the PHTT Conference, Brelvi lead a workshop on problem-solving in public health based on the very same model used at John Hopkins.


Goffredo Puccetti

Goffredo Puccetti is a professor and lecturer of design and visual communication at NYU Abu Dhabi. His areas of expertise are corporate identity and branding while his main interests are in the interactions of visual communications with policy and decision making processes. Prior to joining NYUAD in 2011, he worked in Italy, the UK and France. Currently he is a partner of the design consultancy firms Graines d’Octets, based in Fontainebleau, France, and Humus Design, based in Rome, Italy. He loves science and art especially when mixed together. In 2007 he published the reference book on the Italian motorcycle company Moto Guzzi; he loves to practice his electric guitar but he definitely sounds better in pictures. At the inaugural conference, Professor Puccetti held a session on presentation skills that prepared delegates to present their final solutions to the panel of distinguished judges.  Puccetti also contributed to the design of the Public Health Think Tank logo and branding materials.

Copyright © 2014 Public Health Think Tank at NYUAD