HEAL / Planetary Health Alliance Science Policy Core Team

  • Montira Pongsiri, MES, MPH, PhD

    Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) HEAL Director and 
    Planetary Health Alliance Science Policy Advisor

    Dr. Montira Pongsiri was the first Science Advisor at the U.S. Mission to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), based in Jakarta, where she led the Mission’s efforts to apply science and technology to support ASEAN’s sustainability goals and to improve the capacity and quality of science-based policy making. She developed science programming including a sustainable cities partnership to support climate adaptation and resilience planning, as well as the U.S.-ASEAN Science and Technology Fellows Program aimed at improving science capacity in ASEAN member countries.

    She was on assignment at the U.S. Mission to ASEAN from her base at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Research and Development in Washington, D.C. As an Environmental Health Scientist at the EPA, Dr. Pongsiri developed an interdisciplinary research initiative on biodiversity and human health.  She was also the agency’s lead on partnerships with the Smithsonian Institution focused on biodiversity-health research and education / outreach activities. Dr. Pongsiri also led EPA’s partnership with The Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities Initiative to apply science-based tools to support community resilience. 

    As a long-time contributor to HEAL's development and as a member of The Rockefeller Foundation-Lancet Commission on Planetary Health, Dr. Pongsiri brings expertise on the links between environmental change and human health. Montira earned her Masters of Environmental Studies (MES) at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, her Masters of Public Health (MPH) from Yale's Department of Public Health, and a PhD at Yale's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. She majored in neuroscience as an undergraduate at Oberlin College.

  • Steven A. Osofsky, DVM

    Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Executive Director, Wildlife Health & Health Policy

    Steve Osofsky, who launched and leads the Health & Ecosystems: Analysis of Linkages (HEAL) Program, joined the WCS Field Veterinary Program in December 2002 as the Society's first Senior Policy Advisor for Wildlife Health, subsequently becoming Director, Health Policy. In 2013, he became Executive Director, Wildlife Health and Health Policy, overseeing all of the WCS Global Conservation Program's work in the health realm. Previously, Steve served as WWF's Director, Field Support for species programs in Asia and Africa. In the early 1990s, he was the first Wildlife Veterinary Officer for the Botswana Department of Wildlife and National Parks. Dr. Osofsky has also worked in the zoological community and was Director of Animal Health Services at the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Texas for several years. As an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Diplomacy Fellow, he served as a Biodiversity Program Specialist at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Steve received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University, and a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from Cornell University. Dr. Osofsky also developed and now manages the Animal & Human Health for the Environment And Development (AHEAD) Program, one of the foundational components of the WCS 'One World, One Health' initiative. Steve is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park. As the only veterinarian serving on The Rockefeller Foundation-Lancet Commission on Planetary Health, Dr. Osofsky was able to bring his range of practical experiences (from both health and environmental conservation perspectives) to the task of shaping the highly interdisciplinary conceptual approach underpinning the field of Planetary Health.

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