HIV/AIDS Research - Drew CARES
International HIV Programs
CDU is dedicated to not only improving the health of the underserved locally, but around the world. Our work is done in such a way that empowers communities and provides the resources and information necessary for healthier lives.
We work to identify the specific needs, resources and challenges within the local environment. This approach ensures long-term success that is self-sustaining and relevant to the community.
Currently, we offer four project opportunities in Angola, Belize, Jamaica, and Rwanda. We invite you to explore and hope you can join us in our endeavors abroad.
IPO Faculty and Staff
Dr. Kwa Ekow Sey, Ph.D., MPH - Director of International Programs and Principal Investigator (Angola, Belize, Jamaica)
Dr. Sey is an epidemiologist with the Los Angeles County department of Public Health and Director of the International Health Program at Charles Drew University, where he holds a faculty appointment. Dr. Sey was born and raised in Ghana. At the age of 15, he won a Prince of Wales Scholarship to study at the United World College of the Atlantic in Wales, UK. After completing his studies in Wales, Dr. Sey attended college at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut where he majored in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. Dr. Sey spent the year immediately after college teaching Science in a Preparatory school in Connecticut. He then enrolled in the UCLA School of Public Health where he completed an MPH in epidemiology and a PhD in Public Health. Dr. Sey has over 15 years of experience working in Public Health. His research interests include behavioral and serologic surveillance, variant, atypical and resistant HIV strains and economic evaluations of Health programs. He currently directs CDC funded HIV Behavioral Surveillance in Los Angeles and DHAPP funded HIV prevention programs in Angola, Belize, and Jamaica.
Dr. Charles L. Hilliard, Ph.D. - Principal Investigator/Program Director (Rwanda)
Charles L. Hilliard has extensive clinical, research and administrative experience that includes both domestic and international HIV/AIDS programs and services. Prior to serving as the Program Director of the HIV Treatment and Care with the Rwandan Defense Forces (DoD/PEPFAR) in Rwanda, Dr. Hilliard has implemented a substance abuse prevention and treatment program for high risk Black and Hispanic MSM and Transgenders (SAMHSA) and served as the Clinical Director of a mental health center serving both infected and affected individuals in South Los Angeles (SPECTRUM Community Services and Research). Dr. Hilliard also has experience conducting research with and providing services for recently paroled individuals living with HIV/AIDS--he is currently Co-PI for Research to Better Engage HIV+ Former Prisoners in Retention in Care Services, a UCLA-CTSI Community Engagement and Research Program (CERP) funded grant. His research and treatment projects have consistently addressed both the physical and psychosocial needs of individuals living with HIV/AIDS, including underserved populations in the U.S. and Rwanda.
Dr. Lejeune Y. Lockett, DM, MSPH - Operations Manager & Program Manager
Dr. Lockett received a BA degree in Psychobiology from the University of California at Davis. She earned a Masters of Science in Public Health degree, in Health Services Planning & Policy Analysis, from the UCLA School of Public Health. She also holds a Doctorate in Management & Organizational Leadership, from the University of Phoenix in Arizona. Dr. Lockett has extensive international experience and has travelled to nearly 40 countries within the Americas, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, and Europe. She lived in Mexico for 10 years as well as the southern African country of Namibia for 6 years. Her international development leadership commenced as an International Population Fellow assigned to the National Institute of Public Health/School of Public Health of Mexico where she instructed master’s students and conducted research on health care access. She has held academic positions such as Adjunct Faculty &Program Coordinator at the Augsburg College Center for Global Education (CGE) in Mexico. She later served as Adjunct Faculty & Interim Director at CGE and in Namibia. In addition, Dr. Lockett worked as an Associate Director for the US Peace Corps in Namibia where she managed the national Community Health & HIV/AIDS Project. Upon her return to the US, Dr. Lockett joined CDU in 2010 as the Operations & Program Manager for International Programs to manage and lead three US Department of Defense projects concerning HIV/AIDS prevention for militaries located in the countries of Angola, Belize, and Jamaica.
Azeb Teshome, Grant Accountant
Ms. Teshome assists the management team with the oversight of the financial and regulatory accounting aspects within each International Project. Ms. Teshome has been at CDU International Programs Department for over 8 years assisting in the oversight of fiscal reports submission, billing, revenue collection, audit, monitoring, certification compliance and other key administrative tasks within the department.
Cora Ortile, MBA, CPA
Program Finance/Budget Director (Rwanda) Ms. Ortile has extensive experience in managing the financial and administrative components of HIV/AIDS grants and has trained financial managers in low resource settings to manage financial accounts in accordance with federal regulations and generally acceptable accounting principles (GAAP). Ms. Ortile oversees the financial aspects of the project, including maintaining the financial records and program related expenses, monitoring the program budget, and ensuring the timely submission of invoices and quarterly fiscal reports to DoD from CDU. Also, Ms. Ortile serves as liaison between the Office of Sponsored Programs and Finance at CDU and DoD, and ensures compliance with organizational and DoD financial regulations and procedures.
Wilfredo Lopez - Program Administrative/Finance Assistant (Rwanda)
Mr. Lopez assists in the day-to-day accounting, financial and administrative activities of the project, including the preparation of PAFs, check requests, payroll, bank transfers, purchase requisitions and operations management support, and other administrative projects for the program. Mr. Lopez also assists in updating the monthly financial status reports to be submitted to the PI.