Elissa is Co-Program Director of Maternal and Child Health, and Co-Head of the Global Adolescent Health group at Burnet Institute. She is a medical doctor and public health researcher with more than a decade of experience in global health, with particular expertise in adolescent sexual and reproductive health research, policy, and programming in low- and middle-income countries.
Elissa has led and contributed to research examining adolescents’ sexual and reproductive health needs in various settings, including Myanmar, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Vanuatu, China and Indonesia. She has also conducted intervention studies and evaluations of programs aiming to improve adolescents’ access to sexual and reproductive health information and services.
Her recent work has focused on prevention of early and unintended pregnancy, menstrual health and hygiene, understanding gender inequality and its impacts on adolescents, and strengthening adolescent-responsive health systems. She was a commissioner and co-author of the Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing published in 2016.
Prior to joining Burnet in 2009, Elissa worked in sub-Saharan Africa as a clinician and health advisor, contributing to primary health care programs related to women’s and children’s health, HIV prevention and care, and sexual and reproductive health.