Meet the Core Team behind the planning of the inaugural PHTT Conference!

Sarah Batbold

Conference Co-Chair, Community Outreach

Sarah is a junior at NYUAD majoring in Biology and minoring in Social Research and Public Policy. Since the eye-opening experience of her first public health course in her freshman year, Sarah has followed her love of global public health from a classroom in Abu Dhabi to the hospitals, non-profits, and research laboratories of Al Ain, Addis Ababa, Accra, and New York City. Through her various travels and studies, Sarah has cultivated a deep appreciation for the diversity of healthcare experiences that exist across socioeconomically disparate regions of the world.  This fall, Sarah is thrilled to be working with all of the PHTT’s contributors and participants as we engage with local public health issues.

Emma McGee

Conference Co-Chair, Marketing and Social Media

Emma is a senior at NYUAD majoring in Social Research and Public Policy. She first became interested in public health during her semester abroad in Accra, Ghana where she conducted research on water access and community health. Since then, Emma has gone on to develop and teach interactive nutrition classes for women in Abu Dhabi and spent last summer as an epidemiological research assistant on a WHO sponsored cancer study in northern Chile. Emma is honored to be part of the inaugural PHTT Conference and is looking forward to working with this year’s select participants to come up with innovative intervention strategies.

Kharisa Rachmasari

Community Outreach

Kharisa is an NYUAD graduate who is very passionate about public health. During her undergraduate career, she conducted research on malaria in India and completed her Capstone on diabetes complications in the UAE. Through these experiences, she realized that while some countries are still facing the burden of communicable diseases, many other countries such as the UAE are making efforts to tackle various non-communicable diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Kharisa’s current aspiration is to make public health efforts more innovative by involving people from various backgrounds. In this year’s PHTT Conference, she is excited to work with the diverse group of participants in generating new ideas and turning those ideas into reality.

Alyssa Ferreira

Logistics and Outreach

Alyssa is a sophomore at NYUAD majoring in Political Science and Economics. Her interest in joining the core team stems from a desire to learn more about the workings of the health care system in the UAE and to have the opportunity to be a part of a conference facilitating dialogue focusing on public health. Alyssa hopes to help foster an environment of cooperation at the event and looks forward to hearing the creative solutions that the participants develop during the 2014 PHTT Conference.

Kelly Dougherty

Finance and Logistics

Kelly is a 2014 New York University Abu Dhabi graduate and 2014-2015 Global Academic Fellow. At NYUAD, Kelly studied Biology and Arabic, and is looking forward to further exploring and engaging the Abu Dhabi community through the Think Tank. During her undergraduate career, Kelly explored a variety of research topics, from cancer microbiology to behavioral neuroscience. She also spent time observing at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City in Abu Dhabi and worked in home care for the physically handicapped in Norway. She looks forward to applying these varied experiences and perspectives at the 2014 Conference, where she will assist participants in generating effective new ideas.


Alexandra Dimitri


Alexandra Dimitri is the Pre-Health and STEM advisor at NYUAD. She has a very diverse academic background with a BS and MS in Chemistry and a PhD in Biology from NYU. Her research focuses on the impact of changes in the structure of DNA on the process of gene expression. At NYUAD, Alexandra served various roles starting as the science curriculum developer then becoming a biology faculty and now acting as the Pre-Health, Science and Engineering advisor at the CDC. Her current role involves advising pre-health students in planning their careers and assisting them with their applications to health professional schools.  Additionally, she mentors science and engineering students and works with them to secure internship/research opportunities that fit their career goals as well as providing guidance with post-graduate career plans.  Recently, she has become interested in the field of public health and has since been involved with various programs such as the Public Health Program that travels from Al Ain, UAE to Addis Adaba, Ethiopia. She is now working on making this year’s PHTT event a successful learning experience for its participants as well as the organizers and is excited to be leading the PHTT Core Team.

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