Governance and Secretariat

Steering committee

Clare Cutland, Chair

Clare CutlandDr. Clare L. Cutland

Qualifications: BSc, MBBCH, DCH, PhD (Wits)
Scientific coordinator, African Leadership in Vaccinology Expertise (ALIVE), University of the Witwatersrand
Room 10M08, Faculty of Health Sciences, York Road, Parktown, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
Cell +27-82-809-6032


Dr Clare Cutland is the Scientific Coordinator of the African Leadership in Vaccinology Expertise (Wits-Alive) consortium. She coordinates the Masters of Science (Med) in the field of vaccinology degree and a biennial 8-day long short course in vaccinology (Afro-ADVAC) at The University of the Witwatersrand. She recently coordinated a multi-country hospital-based sentinel active COVID-19 vaccine surveillance study across eight African countries, and is the project lead on a large multi-country maternal immunisation trial readiness project. 

Previously, she spent 18 years as a clinical researcher in vaccinology at the Respiratory and Meningeal Pathogens Research Unit (RMPRU, now Wits-VIDA), based at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital (CHBAH), Soweto, South Africa. She was an investigator on numerous phase I, II and III paediatric, maternal and COVID-19 clinical vaccine trials, and was the clinical lead for several large grant-funded neonatal sepsis prevention studies, maternal-neonatal sepsis surveillance studies and maternal immunization trials (Influenza, GBS, RSV).  She was involved in the GAIA Brighton collaboration definition working groups (2014-2020), and has led field-testing of the definitions and updated the stillbirth GAIA definition. She served as a member of the scientific board of the Brighton collaboration (2018-2023), and is on the executive committee of IMPRINT. She is a member of the Wits Institutional biosafety committee and working group for maternal COVID-19 vaccines.

She is author or co-author on over 130 peer-reviewed journal articles.

Naveen Thacker, Vice-Chair

Naveen ThackerDr. Naveenkumar Hariram Thacker [MD (Ped); FIAP]

Director of Deep Children Hospital & Research Centre at Gandhidham-Kutch, Gujarat, India

Dr. Naveen Thacker is the Director of Deep Children Hospital & Research Centre at Gandhidham-Kutch, Gujarat, India. He is the President of the International Pediatric Association (IPA) for the year 2023-2025.

He is a member of the External Advisory Board (EAB) of the ImmuHubs Projects and he also serves as a member of the RIVER-EU Advisory Board. He is an active member of the Scientific Committee member of the Advanced Course of Vaccinology (ADVAC), France.

He is also currently serving as a member of the PMNCH and is also nominated to serve on the Executive Committee for the PMNCH. He has served as a former CSO representative for the GAVI Alliance Board. He is currently an active member of the Indian Expert Advisory Group on Measles and Rubella. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.

He has served as the president of the Asia Pacific Pediatric Association (APPA) for the year 2016-2018 and the National President of the Indian Academy of Pediatrics for the year 2007.

He has served as a course director for CHF INCLEN ADVAC 2011, 2016, and EVAC 2017.

He is listed amongst the top influencers for the fight against Polio released by UNICEF on World Polio Day 2017 and has been awarded some prestigious awards i.e., Outstanding Asian Pediatrician Award 2012, Rotary International Regional Award for Polio-free World 2010.

His area of interest is in Global Health, Vaccine Hesitancy, and Vaccinology. He has over 50 publications on vaccines and immunization in peer-reviewed journals.

Ombeva Malande

Clare CutlandDr. Ombeva Malande

Director of East Africa Centre for Vaccines and Immunization (ECAVI)

Ombeva Malande is a Vaccinologist & a Paediatric infectious Diseases specialist. A certified fellow of the College of Paediatricians of South Africa, he is a Senior Lecturer at Moi University Kenya, an Honorary Senior Lecturer at Makerere University, and a research associate at the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, South Africa. He holds a PhD in Vaccinology.

He has consulted for WHO, UNICEF, MSD, Pfizer, GSK, Medscape, Sanofi Pasteur, Facebook, Merc, GIZ, Old Mutual, Minet, AON, Jubilee, Liberty Blue, Equity Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Bank of Africa, USAID, Britam among others.

He has participated as a technical advisor and consultant on several National and International Taskforces and technical working groups and developed guidelines and SOPs on Ebola, HIV, Malaria, Rota Virus Diarrhoea, influenza, Pneumonia, TB, and COVID-19.

He is the Director of East Africa Centre for Vaccines and Immunization (ECAVI) and a convener of the widely acclaimed ECAVI vaccinology course for health professionals, and ECAVI Resource Mobilization Courses.

He has authored two books, has over 40 peer-reviewed scientific papers, over 100 presentations in local and international scientific meetings, and is an editorial board member and reviewer for various scientific journals. He is a respected poet, who for over 20 years has written award-winning poems for drama and music festivals for primary and high school children in Kenya. He is a weekly Columnist and Advocate on Child Health with the Standard Media Group in Kenya.

Denise Naniche

Denise NadicheDenise Naniche MPH PhD

Director at ISGlobal

Denise Naniche is Scientific Director at ISGlobal, Research professor and coordinator of the annual accredited Masters course “Development and Applications of Vaccines in Global Health” given as an independent course or in the Masters of Global Health. She earned her PhD in Immunology at the University of Lyon I, France and a Master in Public Health at San Diego State University in California.

She is an internationally recognized researcher in clinical immunology and epidemiology of viral infections, particularly in Measles and HIV. Over the past 20 years, her broad background in applied immunology and clinical epidemiology have led her to conduct multidisciplinary research focused on improving access to HIV diagnosis, treatment and control in Sub-Saharan Africa. She developed the Vaccinology course at ISGlobal in 2014 and has coordinated it ever since. She has mentored PhD and master’s students and her team has worked closely with the Mozambican National HIV program to foster translation of results into policy Since 2020, she has been an active member of the Lancet Commission for Covid-19 in the Vaccines and Therapeutics task force.

Rodolfo Villena

Rodolfo VillenaRodolfo Villena

Pediatric Infectious Diseases Specialist and Associate Professor

Faculty of Medicine
University of Chile
Santiago, Chile

Rodolfo Villena is a Pediatric Infectious Diseases Specialist and Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Chile. Dr Villena’s research focus includes pediatric vaccines, epidemiology and invasive diseases. He has participated as Principal Investigator and/or Sub-Investigator in various phase I, II, III and IV studies. He has also published in indexed journals and book chapters on topics including pediatric vaccines, epidemiology, invasive diseases, and antimicrobial PK/PD in pediatric.

Dr Villena is an active member of the Chilean Society of Infectious Diseases and the Latinoamerican Society of Pediatric Infectious Diseases. He is also a Director of the International Advanced Course of Vaccines in the University of Chile. In addition, he has actively served as part of the Advisory Committee of Immunization for the Chilean Society of Infectious Diseases and the Advisory Committee of Pharmacovigilance of Vaccines in the Public Health Institute for the Chilean Ministry of Health.


The Secretariat of the collaboration is ensured by the Advanced Course of Vaccinology.
The Director of ADVAC, Kamel Senouci, serves as Secretary.

Philippe Duclos, SecretaryKamel Senouci

Director ADVAC
University of Geneva

Kamel Senouci is the Director of the ADVAC course at the University of Geneva. He has more than 20 years of work in public health, with a strong experience in vaccines and infectious diseases in low and middle-income countries.

Most recently Kamel was a Deputy Director at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in the Polio Program, the Regional Immunization Advisor at UNICEF for the Middle East and North Africa and the coordinator of the Decade of Vaccines secretariat at the WHO. He was also the director of the SIVAC Initiative at AMP which provided direct technical assistance to strengthen and establish NITAGs in countries. He also worked at PAHO as a medical officer for IHR and outbreak response and as a medical officer at the French MoH.

Kamel is a Medical Doctor with a Public Health Specialty from Paris University. He also earned a Master of Science in Epidemiology from Paris University and a Master of Science, Health policy, planning and financing from London School of Economics and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.