About Our Team
University Research Co, LLC
University Research Co., LLC (URC) works to improve the quality of health care, social services, and education worldwide. With our non-profit affiliate, the Center for Human Services, we manage projects in 30 countries and throughout the United States. URC provides technical assistance and field research to strengthen health systems and service quality by empowering health workers to identify and expand proven and locally appropriate solutions to critical public health problems.
URC will direct the TRAction Project and provide support to USAID in soliciting, reviewing, awarding, and monitoring sub-awards to regional and host country research organizations in developing countries. URC will also provide technical assistance to research organizations for the development, implementation, financial management, and results review of studies and will carry out activities to build the capacity, both technical and managerial, of new researchers and research institutions.
Jim Sherry, MD, Ph.D., Project Director, is responsible for the overall leadership and management of the TRAction Project. Dr. Sherry previously served as the Director of the Center for Global Health at the George Washington School of Public Health, and Chair of the Department of Global Health. He has extensive experience in implementing, evaluating, and providing technical assistance for health programs and policies in more than 25 countries. Dr. Sherry has held many high-level executive positions with UNAIDS, UNICEF, and the World Food Program. He has also been a U.S. Foreign Service Officer in India, where he directed the Office of Biomedical Research and Technology Development, and Chief of Staff for Congressman Sander M. Levin.
David Nicholas, MD, MPH, Senior Technical Advisor, provides technical leadership and management to the TRAction Project. He is the former director of the TRAction Project, and former director of Quality Assurance Projects I, II, and III, the USAID Health Care Improvement Project, and the Primary Health Care Operations Research Project, a ten-year research effort funded by USAID to help developing country decision-makers and health program managers strengthen the delivery of primary health care services through applied research.
Kendra Williams, MPH, Research Analyst, provides technical support for TRAction's research activities, projects, and reports. She completed her MPH at Tulane University, with a focus on global maternal and child health. Kendra has spent time volunteering at rural health clinics in both India and Ghana. She has previously worked with grant-funded projects at Tulane University, as a Teaching Assistant for master's-level maternal and child health classes, and on nutrition and obesity initiatives at the Health Resources and Services Administration's Maternal and Child Health Bureau.
Emily Peca, MPH, MA, Research Associate, oversees the technical support teams for various TRAction projects. Before joining TRAction, Emily worked for The George Washington University as Global Public Health Education Coordinator-East Africa, coordinating the Community-Oriented Learning Program in Kenya. Emily has also worked with various NGOs on issues such as child labor and education, sustainable agricultural development, and maternal and child health, and has lived in Peru and in Guatemala conducting family planning research. Emily has a Masters in International Affairs and an MPH in Global Health from The George Washington University.
Julia Adams Naula, MA, PMP, Senior Project Coordinator, provides administrative, financial, and overall program support to the TRAction project. Previously, Julia has worked for CAMRIS International, Inc., Management Systems International, and Vital Voices Global Partnership. She also led the Goshen College Study Service Term program in Perú. Julia received an MA from the University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business.
Krishnapada (Kishan) Chakraborty, Bangladesh Program Associate, provides overall program management and support to the TRAction Bangladesh project. Mr. Chakraborty also supervises the Bangladesh-based Project Team Leader, Dr. Sk. Asiruddin, in planning and implementing project activities.
Harvard University School of Public Health
The Harvard School of Public Health advances public health through learning, discovery, and communication. Harvard will support the TRAction project by providing expertise in study design, reviewing study applications, and providing technical assistance to researchers carrying out TRAction studies.