2022 Leadership Journey Project: Diversified Leadership in Health Systems: A Key Pillar to Effective Behavior-led Systems Thinking
Debora B. Freitas López is a development executive with more than 20 years of experience leading health and non-health programs worldwide, particularly in Africa, Latin America and Caribbean (LAC), and Asia. Her experiences include working with government, civil society, and private sector actors along with international organizations and donors/funders to design and implement evidence-based initiatives that effectively address complex health and non-health challenges and achieve key outcomes. She has a demonstrated record of successfully achieving and outperforming organizational targets with respect to program design and implementation, strategic planning, business development, partner engagement, and communications. Her expanded scope of expertise includes social and behavior change (SBC), gender equity and social inclusion (GESI), maternal, newborn, and child health, family planning/sexual reproductive health (FP/RH), and infectious diseases particularly, malaria, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis. Currently, she serves as the Sr. Director and Lead of the URC’s Global, LAC, and West Africa Regional Programs. She also is the technical point person for SBC and GESI, providing leadership and technical expertise and support to current and future projects to ensure technical integrity.
Her recent work includes co-authoring a FP High Impact Practice (HIP) Brief – ‘Knowledge, Beliefs, Attitudes, and Self-efficacy: strengthening an individual’s ability to achieve their reproductive intentions’, a four-page brief in partnership with Population Council/Breakthrough Research, ‘Gender Integration in Social and Behavior Change: what does it take?’, and a published manuscript, ‘Developing a patient-centered community-based model for management of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis in Uganda: a discrete choice experiment’. She also has lead/co-lead several global virtual and in-person sessions focused on different areas in SBC, including codes of ethics for SBC. She currently serves as the Chair for the Global Alliance for Social and Behavior Change and is a member of the FP HIPs Technical Expert Group – SBC for FP. She also was a Steering Committee Member of the SBC Working Group for RBM Partnership to End Malaria. She holds a MS in Health Evaluation Sciences/Epidemiology from the University of Virginia. She is the spouse of a disabled US Army Veteran and has two school-aged children.