Meet our expert Steering Committee

Since GHHIN's inception in 2016, the work of the network has been guided by a dedicated international and multi-discplinary team. Consisting of subjects in their respective fields, and representing a varied and dynamic set of interests, the GHHIN Steering Committee has worked tirelessly to develop an agenda for GHHIN which delivers value, and will contribute to a new global agenda for action on heat health.

Joy Shumake-Guillemot

Joy Shumake-Guillemot is Officer in Charge the WHO/WMO Joint Office for Climate and Health in Geneva Switzerland, and is the co-coordinator of the GHHIN. She is an environmental health scientist and public health practitioner who has worked with WHO, WMO, UNICEF and others to develop public health policy and programming for climate adaptation and risk management.

She has extensive field experience in Africa, Asia, and Latin America supporting public health and humanitarian assistance programs. Her current work focuses on enabling WMO and WHO to work together to accelerate the availability, access and use of climate and weather information that can improve public health policy and practice. She plays a leading coordination role for the Health, Environment, and Climate Change Coalition (HECCC) between UN Environment, WHO, and WMO. Joy received her Doctor of Public Health in Environmental Health Sciences from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

Juli Trtanj

Juli Trtanj is the One Health and Integrated Climate and Weather Extremes Research Lead for NOAA. She is responsible for developing and implementing the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Health Strategy across NOAA and with other federal, state, local and international Agencies, academic and private sector partners. She is leading efforts to build the National Integrated Heat Health Information System (NIHHIS) in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control, FEMA, OSHA, NIOSH, ASPR, EPA and other agencies. She coordinates the NOAA One Health Working Group which brings together NOAA data, research, information and actions to inform health decision making. She started the first multidisciplinary and multi-partner research program on Climate Variability and Human Health. She developed and directed NOAA’s Oceans and Human Health Initiative focused on Early Warning Systems, Health Benefits from the Sea, and Graduate Training.

Ms. Trtanj co-chairs the US Global Change Research Program, Climate Change and Human Health Group (CCHHG) and represents NOAA on the Pandemic Prediction and Forecasting Science and Technology Working Group. She is an author on the Fourth National Climate Assessment, served on the Steering Committee of the USGCRP Climate and Health Assessment and was a Convening Lead Author for the Water-Related Illness chapter. She is the Integrated Information System for Health Lead for the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), and is directly involved with the World Health Organization (WHO), and other partners in the development of the Integrated Information Systems for heat, cholera and other water-related illnesses. She has contributed to, reviewed, or edited sections of several IPCC and US National Climate Assessment reports and authored several book chapters and journal articles.

Ms. Trtanj earned her Master in Environmental Science from Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies in 1994, and her Bachelors in 1986 from the University of California Santa Barbara.

Hunter Jones

Hunter Jones is a Climate and Health Projects Manager within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Program Office (CPO) serving as a UCAR CPAESS Affiliate. He is currently leading several local pilots of the National Integrated Heat Health Information System (NIHHIS) along the US Mexico border, and in the Northeast, to improve climate and health information for enhanced heat-health resilience. He is a founding member of the Global Heat Health Information Network (GHHIN), serves on its steering committee, and is working to plan the first GHHIN Global Forum in Southeast Asia.

Shubayu Saha

Shubayu Saha is a health scientist with the Climate and Health program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), USA. He has a broad training in Economics, Epidemiology and Public Policy, and wide-ranging skills in statistical and spatial analysis of big data. Part of his research involves spatiotemporally linking environmental exposures (like heat, precipitation, pollen) with health outcomes to assess the health burden associated with these exposures. He has built partnerships with national (NOAA, IITM in India) and international (WMO) meteorological institutions to produce climate services that inform decision-making in public health preparedness and response.

Shubayu has authored multiple chapters on public health impacts for the last three United States National Climate Assessments. Before joining CDC, he worked on understanding human development and sustainable interaction with the environment. For his Ph.D. in Environmental Economics, he explored how land use change linked to deforestation and iron ore mining impacted wellbeing of communities in India and Brazil. This work was supported through grants from the National Science Foundation and the World Bank. The following link has a selected list of projects and publications I have contributed to:

Kristie Ebi

Kristie L. Ebi is director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment (CHanGE), and Rohm and Haas Endowed Professor in Public Health Sciences at the University of Washington. She has been conducting research and practice on the health risks of climate variability and change for over twenty years, focusing on understanding sources of vulnerability, estimating current and future health risks of climate change, and designing adaptation policies and measures to reduce the risks of climate change in multi-stressor environments.

She has supported multiple countries in Central America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific in assessing their vulnerability and implementing adaptation measures. She has been an author on multiple national and international climate change assessments. She co-chairs the International Committee On New Integrated Climate change assessment Scenarios (ICONICS), facilitating development of new climate change scenarios. Dr. Ebi’s scientific training includes an M.S. in toxicology and a Ph.D. and a Masters of Public Health in epidemiology, and two years of postgraduate research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She has edited fours books on aspects of climate change and has more than 200 publications.

Virginia Murray

Virginia is currently Head of Global Disaster Risk Reduction at Public Health England. Prior to this she has been a Coordinating Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation, published in March 2012. In 2011, she was appointed as Head of Extreme Events and Health Protection which since April 1 2013 this was transferred to Public Health England).

She has taken forward work on evidence-based information and advice on flooding, heat, cold, volcanic ash, and other extreme weather and natural hazards events. She has been a member and vice-chair of the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) Scientific and Technical Advisory Group from 2008-2017 and has been actively engaged with many science and technology partners to support the UN member states in their agreement of the Sendia Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 and now is engaged in facilitating its implementation

Kim Knowlton

Kim Knowlton is Senior Scientist and Deputy Director of the NRDC's Science Center, which focuses on the public-health impacts of climate, change and advocates for strategies to prepare for—and prevent—these impacts, especially in vulnerable communities. As a result of her research into the links between climate change and health, NRDC has partnered with a number of city and state governments to strengthen health preparedness in their climate adaptation planning.

She has also studied heat- and ozone-related mortality and illness as well as the connections among climate change, infectious illnesses, flooding, aeroallergens, and respiratory ailments such as allergies and asthma. Knowlton was a co-convening lead author on the Human Health chapter of the Third U.S. National Climate Assessment report, and among the researchers who participated in the second New York City Panel on Climate Change.

She holds a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, a master’s in environmental and occupational health sciences from Hunter College, and a doctorate in public health from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health—where she now serves as an assistant professor in the Climate and Health Program of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences. She is based in New York City.

Emer O'Connell

Emer OConnell is head of Extreme Events and Health Protection at Public Health England. Emer is a Consultant in Public Health with an interest in environmental public health. Her role is based in London, within the Health Protection and Medical Directorate of Public Health England.

Emer has a Masters in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and a PhD in Public Health and Population Science from University College Dublin. She focused her public health speciality training on health protection, spending most of the 5 year programme working within different teams across PHE. More recently, she spent a year working with Transport for London where she focused on the public health impacts of air quality.

Patrick Kinney

Dr. Kinney is a Professor of Environmental Health at the Boston University School of Public Health. He joined the School of Public Health faculty in January 2017 as the inaugural Beverly Brown Professor of Urban Health. He was trained as an air pollution epidemiologist at Harvard School of Public Health, and came to BU after two decades at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. In his time at Columbia, he showed how warming temperatures make air pollution like urban smog worse, and more harmful to populations.

He led the development of an integrated modelling system to predict the air pollution health effects of climate change into the future. Working at the intersection of climate change, health, and policy, Kinney has conducted research from the South Bronx to China to rapidly growing cities throughout Africa. At Columbia, he also created an interdisciplinary research and teaching program examining the potential impacts of climate change on health. At BU, Kinney is developing a new program that focuses on assessing the health benefits of urban climate action plans, via strategies to promote active transport, green infrastructure, and clean vehicles.

Hannah Nissan

Hannah Nissan is an Associate Research Scientist at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society at Columbia University. She joined in 2015, as an Earth Institute Fellow and a Fulbright Scholar working in partnership with the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre. She specializes in the production, tailoring and use of climate information for public health, and in identifying how climate change information can be incorporated into decision-making and policy. Her work on heat has focused on the development of seasonal and sub-seasonal climate services in the Caribbean, and on understanding the characteristics and changing risks of heat waves in Bangladesh and their health impacts.

Dr. Nissan serves on the Board of Environment and Health at the American Meteorological Society and on the Steering Committee of the Global Heat Health Information Network. She holds a PhD in Atmospheric Physics from Imperial College London, a Postgraduate Diploma in Economics from the University of Cambridge and a bachelor’s degree in Physics from the University of Bristol in the UK. She has held previous posts at Imperial College London, the International Energy Agency and the Scottish Government.

Yolanda Clewlow

Yolanda Clewlow is the United Kingdom Met Office’s strategic lead for all health-related research and services. Working in partnership with key organizations nationally and internationally to ensure the U.K. Met Office plays a world leading role in health, weather and climate science to deliver science with impact. Helping to save lives and livelihoods and protect critical infrastructure, contributing to a more resilient nation.

Andreas Matzarakis

Andreas Matzarakis is a Professor of Environmental Meteorology at the University of Freiburg, Germany. He studied meteorology at the Ludwigs-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) Munich. He completed his dissertation on the bioclimate of Greece in 1995 at the Aristoteles University in Thessaloniki. Between 1995 and 2001 he was post-doctoral research assistant at the Institute of Meteorology of the University of Freiburg. He wrote his thesis on the 'thermal component of the urban climate'. Between October 2001 and July 2015 he was senior research associate at the University of Freiburg, where he was appointed Adjunct Professor in October 2006. Since August 2015 he is head of the Research Centre Human Biometeorology of the German Meteorological Service.

Between 1996 and 2014 he chaired the commission for climate, tourism and recreation of the International Society of Biometeorology and he was vice-president of the International Society of Biometeorology between 2006 and 2007. Since 2016 he has been the chairman or the German Society for the advancement of medical-meteorological research.

Rupa Kumar Kolli

Rupa Kumar Kolli is the Executive Director of the International CLIVAR Monsoon Project Office (ICMPO), located at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, India. In this position, he coordinates research on global and regional monsoons, under the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP).

Prior to his current position, Dr Kolli had served as the Chief of World Climate Applications and Services Division at World Meteorological Organization, Geneva, Switzerland. While at WMO, he supported the implementation of the World Climate Services Programme (WCSP), enhancing national capacities, coordinating regional and global networks of climate service providers, user liaison in climate-sensitive sectors, and research-operations linkages. He had made significant contributions to the development of Regional Climate Centres (RCCs) and Regional and National Climate Outlook Forums (RCOFs/NCOFs), which are recognized to be key operational elements of the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS). He had led the development of the Climate Services Information System (CSIS) pillar of the GFCS, including through the implementation of externally funded projects focusing on climate services at the regional and national scales.

Dr Kolli has earlier worked at IITM from 1982 to 2006, and was the Head of its Climatology and Hydrometeorology Division before moving to join WMO. He co-authored a book on “Climates of South Asia” published by John Wiley in 1997, published several research papers on climate prediction, climate change and climate services. He had contributed as one of the Lead Authors on regional climate projections for the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released in 2007. Rupa Kumar received his Ph.D. (1981) and M.Sc. (1976) degrees in Meteorology from Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, India.

Glenn McGregor

Glenn McGregor is a Professor of Climatology and Principal of Ustinov College at Durham University, in the United Kingdom. Glenn’s research explores the relationship between atmospheric circulation and surface environmental processes and the extent to which weather patterns, air mass types and modes of atmospheric circulation (e.g. ENSO, NAO) might influence the intra-seasonal to inter-annual variability of health outcomes. This interest manifests itself most strongly in the field of Biometeorology, the discipline concerned with understanding the relationship between atmospheric processes and living organisms. Within this field Glenn is particularly interested in the impacts of extreme heat and cold events on human health (mortality and morbidity) and the extent to which short to medium term weather/climate forecasts can be used in heat and cold event risk management.

Glenn is actively involved in climate and health research and has recently published a number of useful overviews on ‘heat and health’, ‘humidity a primer for public health researchers’ and ‘El Nino Southern Oscillation and Health: an overview for climate and health researchers’. Glenn is former WMO Lead Expert of Climate and Health, previous Chief Editor of the International Journal of Climatology and President of the International Society of Biometeorology and a past and current (6AR) IPCC Working Group II lead author. Glenn was also lead editor for the widely consulted WMO/WHO publication ‘Heatwaves and Health: Guidance on Warning-System Development’.

Chao REN

Dr. Chao REN is an Associate Professor in The Faculty of Architecture at The University of Hong Kong. Her research interest is Sustainable Urban and Environmental Design and Urban Climatic Application in Urban Planning. She has published widely in highly ranked journals and peer-reviewed conferences, focusing primarily on examining the relationship between urban climate and urban morphological characteristics, developing an urban climatic mapping system, and analysing urbanization-induced human thermal comfort and public health risk impacts for high-density/compact cities. She has edited and co-edited 4 books. One is The Urban Climatic Map: A Methodology for Sustainable Urban Planning(Routledge, 2015). Dr. Ren has been involved in several governmental research projects in China (Hong Kong, Macau, Wuhan, Foshan, Changchun and Beijing), Taiwan (Kaohsiung), The Netherlands (Arhem) and France (Toulouse). She has been invited by international organizations including WMO and UNEP to develop urban climate related guides, reports and training materials. She serves as editorial advisor for Cities & Health and an associate editor for Urban Climate (2018-2020). She is an elected board member of the International Association for Urban Climate (2017-2021).

Dileep Mavalankar

Prof. Dileep Mavlankar has been heading the Indian Institute of Public Health Gandhinagar as its Director since 2012. Dr. Mavalankar received an MBBS and MD in Preventive and Social Medicine from Gujarat University in Ahmedabad, and MPH and Dr. P.H from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, USA. His work experience includes faculty and research positions in NHL Municipal Medical College, Ahmedabad, National Institute of Health in Bethesda, USA, Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad, India and Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, NY, USA. He has worked as consultant to many agencies including Columbia University, Mother Care Project (USA), the WHO (Geneva, Western Pacific Regional Office), UNICEF (New Delhi), DANIDA, UNDP/World Bank (India), the Aga Khan Foundation, CEDPA etc. Dr. Mavalankar has authored several publications. He has been adviser to key academic and government organizations and NGOs.