About Us

  • Denese Shervington, MD/MPH

    President & CEO

    Denese Shervington, MD/MPH

    President & CEO

    Dr. Shervington has an intersectional career in psychiatry and public mental health. She is the President and CEO of The Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies (IWES), a community-based public health institute, and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Tulane University. At IWES, Dr. Shervington directs the community-based post-disaster mental health recovery division that she created in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. At Tulane, Dr. Shervington provides psychotherapy supervision for psychiatric residents. Dr. Shervington is a graduate of New York University School of Medicine. She completed her residency in Psychiatry at the University of California San Francisco, and is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Dr. Shervington also received a Masters of Public Health in Population Studies and Family Planning from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. In 2006, she was awarded the Isaac Slaughter Leadership award by the Black Psychiatrists of America. In 2012, she received the Jeanne Spurlock M.D. Minority Fellowship Award from the American Psychiatric Association.

  • Michele M. Moore, J.D.

    Board Chair

    Michele M. Moore, J.D.

    Board Chair

    “Michele M. Moore is a leading corporate and brand communications professional with 25 years managing communications and marketing operations for Fortune 500 corporations, media, government and non-profit entities. Recently, Moore served as the Senior Vice President of Publicity at Lifetime Networks overseeing communications for television series, shows, movies and talent. In 2012, she led the publicity campaign for the network’s rebranding effort, helping to promote Lifetime’s ratings and resurgence as a premiere TV entertainment brand for women. Moore’s extensive experience across multiple industries in strategic and crisis communications, media relations, brand marketing, public affairs and corporate philanthropy stem from her senior roles spearheading communications and/or marketing departments at Nickelodeon, BET Networks, the National Urban League and Temple University respectively. In the early nineties, Moore even served in the public sector, as the Press Secretary and Director of Communications for Mayor Marc Morial and the City of New Orleans. She’s been named among the Top 25 Most Influential Black Women Professionals in New York by Network Journal Magazine and served as a spokesperson for civil rights and women on NBC’s Today Show during the Don Imus controversy in 2007. Moore earned her law degree at Howard University School of Law and B.A in Communications at UCLA. She resides in New York City.

  • Opal Russel


    Opal Russel


    Opal Russel Walker was born in Jamaica and now lives in New Orleans. She holds an MBA degree with a concentration in Health Care Administration. Mrs. Walker works as a Medical Certification Specialist for the state of Louisiana and surveys health care facilities for regulation compliance for the Department of Medicaid and Medicare Services. She is a Registered Nurse by profession and worked as a community mental health nurse in New Orleans from 2003 until 2007. She was a first responder during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and worked to assist local returning residents with coping with depression and stress resulting from the storm. Mrs. Walker worked as a Program Director for the Institute of Women & Ethnic Studies from January until December 2000. In this capacity she worked with Teen Expressions, a teen talk show which allowed underserved teens from the New Orleans metropolitan area to design, produce, and host a teen talk show on a local community access network. She resides in New Orleans, LA.

  • Kandice Doley

    Kandice Doley

    Kandice is a native of New Orleans, LA. She earned her undergraduate business degree in Marketing at the University of Miami in 2006 and worked in public relations and marketing in New York City before returning home to New Orleans. With an interest in her community and women’s rights, Kandice joined the Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies in June of 2008. She served as the IWES Administrative Assistant and as a Program Assistant of the Sexual and Reproductive Health Advocacy Project until enrolling at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law in 2009. While attending law school, Kandice clerked for the firm of Gauthier, Houghtaling, and Williams, where she performed legal research and analysis on a number of issues, ranging from Hurricane Katrina litigation to severe personal injury cases. Kandice also worked as a research assistant for the Loyola University Henry F. Bonura, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Law, Ms. Jeanne M. Woods, on human rights and international law publications. During the summer of 2011, Kandice conducted an independent study on post-apartheid race and law in South Africa, and in her final year of law school, interned at the Louisiana Supreme Court for the Honorable Justice Bernette J. Johnson. Upon graduating from Loyola Law in 2012 with a Certificate in International Law, Kandice joined a private practice law firm and will continue to fight for ways to better the lives of those in her community.

  • Stephani L. Hatch, PhD

    Stephani L. Hatch, PhD

    Stephani combines her training in sociology and psychiatric epidemiology as a social epidemiologist in the Department of Psychological Medicine at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London (KCL). She was awarded her PhD by the University of Maryland, College Park in Sociology. She is a former American Sociological Association/National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) pre-doctoral minority fellow in the sociology of mental health and a NIMH postdoctoral training fellow in Psychiatric Epidemiology at Columbia University. She was a former faculty member in the Department of Epidemiology at Columbia University. Dr Hatch is a principal and co-investigator on several community research projects, including comparative US-UK studies. Her primary research interests include projects using qualitative and quantitative methods to study disparities in mental health and service use and social determinants and consequences of mental ill health over the life course, particularly the influences of social stress, intersecting social identities, social context, and the urban environment. Dr. Hatch is the PI of the social inequalities strand of the UK National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funded Mental Health Biomedical Research Centre, South East London Community Health study and Director of the NIHR-funded Integrated Academic Training Research Methods program. She supervises graduate students, clinicians, and researchers on projects focusing on mental health and wellbeing in the community. Dr Hatch is also the co-founder of the Health Inequalities Research Network, which promotes integrated approaches to participatory research and public engagement in the community.

  • Erica Gollub, DrPH

    Erica Gollub, DrPH

    Dr. Gollub is Associate Professor in the Department of Health Studies at Pace University, New York. She is an internationally recognized researcher in the area of women-initiated HIV/STI prevention. She received her undergraduate degree in Biology from Stanford University and her MPH in Population/Family Health and DrPH in Epidemiology from Columbia University. Her research and publications over 25+ years focus on the sexual and reproductive health of vulnerable populations. She is also recognized for her active advocacy aimed at expanding health education and choices for women and girls to reduce infection and plan pregnancies. She was Principal Investigator of several NIH-funded and CDC-funded studies of woman-focused interventions among STI clinic patients, and drug using-women. She served as co-investigator and consultant on numerous other grants targeting diverse populations of women at high HIV risk. Dr. Gollub was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for research among immigrant women in southern France. She was Visiting Professor of Epidemiology in Bordeaux from 2007-2008 and joined the Epidemiology graduate teaching faculty at Florida International University thereafter. Dr. Gollub has served on both national and international health and regulatory advisory boards and has published and presented widely on her work. She has served in multiple advisory capacities globally, including: Expert Group on Prevention of HIV in Women at the French Health Ministry, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Advisory Meeting on Improving Acceptability Research, and the World AIDS Congress in Durban, South Africa, to name a few.

  • Ava Rogers

    Ava Rogers

    Ava Rogers has worked in international affairs, specializing in conflict and emergency settings for 20 years. Her previous assignments with the U.S. State Department and the United Nations include the Republic of Congo, Israel and the Palestinian territories, Nigeria, and Sudan. She has an undergraduate degree in international relations from Georgetown University and a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. Ava was raised in New Orleans, Louisiana.

  • Dorothy Peprah, PhD, MPH

    Dorothy Peprah, PhD, MPH

    Dr. Peprah is widely regarded as an expert in global health, infectious disease, community participatory action research and qualitative methodology. She completed her PhD in Epidemiology and Population Health at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and her MPH in International Health at Boston University School of Public Health. She is currently a Global Health Security Advisor with USAID, responsible for ensuring well-coordinated and effective delivery of technical and program support across the Agency’s Global Health Security Agenda portfolio. The portfolio includes programming to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease outbreaks, and pre-empt or combat newly emerging diseases of animal origin that could threaten human health. Dr. Peprah has also worked as a global consultant on various projects, including sanitation and hygiene programs in refugee camps, and providing technical support to research teams in Ethiopia, Sierra Leone and South Sudan.

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