Dr Kristina Wallengren
Meet Dr. Kristina Wallengren, the passionate founder and Director of THINK. She is an accomplished scientist and public health expert who has dedicated her career to making a difference in the lives of those affected by Tuberculosis (TB) and HIV. With a PhD in Cellular & Molecular Biology from Karolinska Institutet and an MPH in International Health from Harvard University, Dr. Wallengren brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her work as the founder and executive director of THINK.
Dr. Wallengren’s technical expertise lies in TB and HIV. She has conducted epidemiological assessments of TB and HIV in various countries in Africa and Asia; served as the TB Focal Point on the Technical Review Panel of the Global Fund; and was Technical Advisor with the World Health Organisation to the Department of Health in South Africa.
As the leader of THINK, Dr. Wallengren has a proven track record of success in implementing research and TB and HIV programs and leading to the development of the first new TB drugs in over 50 years and contributed to shortening the treatment duration for drug-resistant TB. Dr. Wallengren has contributed in leading roles such as Chief of Party, Principal Investigator, and Technical Advisor on projects and programs implemented by THINK and continues to head THINK’s visionary and strategic work.
In line with the growing impact of THINK, she now also heads THINK International in Denmark to serve as the international platform from which to expand the work conducted by THINK in South Africa. The aim is to provide technical leadership and capacity building and work with local implementing partner organizations.
Dr. Wallengren’s passion for making a difference in the world is also the driving force behind THINK. Her inspirational leadership and ability to deliver results, coupled with the organization’s commitment to improving the lives of those affected by TB and HIV, make THINK a trusted partner for funders and collaborators.
Mats Famer is a Director of THINK International, a dynamic leader with a wealth of experience in finance and entrepreneurship. He has a passion for creating positive change and a strong belief that by working together, people can make an enormous difference in the lives of others.
Mats holds a degree in Economics and Business Administration from the Swedish University Umeå Business School and he has spent over 25 years in the business world. As a Director, he brings his skills and expertise to the organization, working to ensure its long-term financial sustainability and expanding its reach, so that it can make an even greater impact in the fight against tuberculosis and HIV.
Throughout his career, he has been a trailblazer in the digital industry, co-founding successful online services and cloud-based solutions. He has a proven track record of success in business development, with a deep understanding of financing, M&A and investor relations.
Based in Stockholm, Sweden, Mats is excited to be a part of THINK International and its mission to make a real impact in the world. He brings his extensive experience in business development and financing to the organization, and is committed to working closely with the THINK team to achieve their goals.
Dr Annie Sparrow
Annie Sparrow is an Australian-born paediatric intensivist and global health specialist accredited in Australia, the UK and the US. She combines her clinical skills with public health expertise acquired from working in some of the world’s most marginalised places. After going from Flying Doctor in the Australian outback to Master of Public Health Student at Harvard, she joined Human Rights Watch in 2004 as its first clinical doctor. Between 2006-2009 she was based in Nairobi with Catholic Relief Services, responding to complex emergencies in various war-torn countries, and a further year in Somalia running UNICEF’s malaria program and administering Global Fund’s $27M grant.
In 2011 she joined the faculty at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, where she teaches humanitarian aid in complex emergencies, researches the impact of human rights violations on public health and outbreaks As a result of her work in conflict zones, which includes training doctors in trauma, chemical attacks and management of infectious threats, she is considered an expert witness at the international level. Her current research includes trained immunity and the off-target effects of live vaccines.
An experienced practitioner familiar with providing direct clinical care and managing large-scale epidemics, she has worked on the ground in many outbreaks, training other physicians on the job, including cholera in Zimbabwe, polio in Syria, Ebola in eastern Congo, and most recently, Covid-19. Less visible is her work in remote parts of sub-Saharan Africa, such as on Idjwi island in eastern Congo where the life expectancy is just 25 years. Each year she works with Idjwi International Education Fund facilitating local healthcare workers to treat hundreds of children for malaria and neglected tropical diseases.
She has published widely on polio, Ebola, coronavirus, anti-microbial resistance and other pandemic threats, chemical warfare and the weaponization of healthcare. In addition to publications in prestigious medical journals such as the Lancet, BMJ and NEJM and occasional op-eds for the NYT, Washington Post and Irish Times, she writes regularly for Foreign Policy and the New York Review of Books.
In 2020 she joined the Centre for Sport & Human Rights as Special Advisor. The CSHR brings together an unprecedented alliance of organisations to align sport with the principles of human rights; and drove a collaborative risk-management approach for the Olympics and other Mega-Sporting events.