Our Team

Karen Austrian


Karen leads the Population Council’s GIRL Center. She designs projects designed to empower African girls. She develops and evaluates programs that build girls’ protective assets, such as financial literacy and education access. She leads two longitudinal, randomized trials evaluating the impact of multi-sectoral programs for adolescent girls.

Judith Bruce

esteemed advisor and former director

Judith leads the Community of Practice. Through policy analysis, evidence-based design, capacity building, and advocacy she has changed the way the world thinks about quality of care from the client’s perspective and about the power and potential of the poorest, most excluded girls.

Miriam Temin


Miriam leads the Population Council’s project to support the World Bank’s Sahel Women’s Empowerment and Demographic Dividend (SWEDD) Initiative with implementation support and MEL. Miriam is an expert on adolescent girls, sexual and reproductive health, HIV, and social protection.

Angel del Valle


Angel leads the Population Council’s Guatemala office. Angel specializes in anthropological approaches to social research and has led experimental and qualitative evaluations of programs designed to empower girls in Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, El Salvador and Mexico.

Craig Savel


Craig is the Community of Practice’s IT leader and web developer. The development of the Girl Roster was guided by Craig’s technical expertise and programmatic experience in geographic web-based platforms, such as data mapping, web development, and database design.

Annabel Erulkar

Senior Associate and Ethiopia Country Director

Annabel implements research and programs related to adolescents, with emphasis on child marriage and labor. She directs the Council’s Ethiopia work and is principal investigator for several projects including the Berhane Hewan program, named best UNFPA “good practice” for adolescents and youth.

Eva Roca


Eva is a consultant of the Community of Practice,  using research to help enhance girls’ programs around the world. She has trained community-based organizations to use innovative participatory methods to refine the scope of their programs and help evaluate their reach and effectiveness.

Grace Saul


GSaul_headshot copy

Grace conducts mixed methods research and supports programs focusing on girls’ empowerment, child marriage prevention, and adolescent health.  She provides technical assistance, strategic planning, and partnership management support to the Community of Practice, particularly in Francophone countries.  

Rima Mourtada


Rima is a consultant of the Community of Practice, supporting its work in the Syrian diaspora, using her research  expertise in child marriage and health among this populations. She supports local organizations in implementing programs that are capable of meeting the needs of the hardest-to-reach refugee girls.

Our Alumni

Sophie Soares

FORMER SENIOR project manager

Sophie co-leads the Community of Practice. She responds to technical assistance needs, lays foundations for new partnerships, leads knowledge management of the work, and builds foundations for regional learning circles throughout Africa, the Middle East and the Caribbean. 

Martha Brady

Martha has designed health and development programs for adolescent girls, with emphasis on early adolescence, sports, and health literacy. She currently serves as Director of Sexual and Reproductive Health at PATH and chairs the Coalition for Adolescent Girls Program Working Group.

Samantha Berg

Samantha is a project coordinator for the Community of Practice, as well as other projects at Population Council. She provides technical assistance to select partners, helps to manage the website and newsletter, and provides additional administrative support as needed.

Sarah Engebretsen

Sarah is a consultant of the Community of Practice, specializing in building capacity for the implementation of girls’ programs, research, and strategic planning, particularly in francophone Africa. Sarah guides partners in formulating learning questions and turning findings into actionable program information.

Ann Wahinya

Ann is a consultant of the Community of Practice, providing technical assistance to partners throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Ann supports partners’ use of evidence and practical tools to improve girls’ programs in order to improve their sexual reproductive health outcomes and reduce HIV risk.

Arnold Williams

Arnold is a consultant for the Community of Practice, working on behalf of The Sierra Leone portfolio. Arnold co-leads girls’ programming trainings for the Sierra Leone Adolescent GIrls Network members and supervises the collection and analysis of field data.

Nadia Salma Assad

Nadia is a consultant for the Community of Practice, serving as a green technology specialist for girl-centered programs in Sierra Leone. Nadia provides leadership to the Sierra Leone Adolescent Girls Network and its partners in the ongoing efforts to deliver evidence-based programs for adolescent girls.

Mercy Nzioki

Mercy is an expert in HIV, sexual and reproductive health, and social protection. She builds capacity of organizations engaged in multi-sectoral girls’ programs locally and internationally, including designing programs and curriculum. She works with an array of in-need populations, including girls with disabilities.

Lisa Polen

Lisa is the project manager for Indigenous Girls Empowerment Network (IMAGEN). For IMAGEN, Lisa administers the small grant program, helps facilitate workshops, and provides technical assistance to on-the-ground partners through the midwest United States.

Sarah Blake

Sarah supports the development, adaptation of strategies and tools for community-based, girl-centered programming across multiple contexts; and in qualitative and mixed-methods research on various topics related to adolescent health and well-being in Sierra Leone.

Kelly Hallman

Kelly is the founding director of the Indigenous Girls Empowerment Network (IMAGEN). She is a health policy researcher focused on indigenous empowerment, sexual violence prevention, adolescent well-being, and equity. She has done similar work in Latin America and Africa.