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Our Team

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Brandon Kohrt, MD, PhD, 
Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences,  GWU
Director, Department of Global Mental Health, GWU


Brandon Kohrt, MD, PhD, an anthropologist and psychiatrist, holds the Charles and Sonia Akman Professorship in Global Psychiatry at George Washington University, where he is Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Global Health, and Anthropology. He is Director of the Division of Global Mental Health. Dr. Kohrt has worked with children and families affected by war and political violence, disasters, and other forms of adversity in Nepal, Haiti, Liberia, Nigeria, Uganda, Ethiopia, South Africa, Brazil, and Mongolia. Since 2006, he has served as technical advisor to Transcultural Psychosocial Organization (TPO) Nepal where he worked to develop and implement mental health and psychosocial support programs for former child soldiers and earthquake survivors. Since 2010, Dr. Kohrt has worked with The Carter Center Mental Health Program in Liberia, where he designed anti-stigma programs to increase utilization of mental health services. In Liberia, he helped establish the first Crisis Intervention Team training program for the Liberian National Police—this was the first CIT program in a low-income country. Dr Kohrt has received funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, the Fulbright Program, the United Kingdom Medical Research Council, the World Health Organization, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Dr. Kohrt serves as the Scientific Co-Chair of the Health Research in Humanitarian Crises initiative at the Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health. He is also the scientific advisor for the World Health Organization’s EQUIP program which is establishing global competency standards for non-specialists delivering psychological interventions. Dr. Kohrt has more than 140 peer reviewed publications including in JAMA, Lancet, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the British Journal of Psychiatry, and Psychiatric Services. With Emily Mendenhall, a professor at Georgetown University, he co-edited the book, Global Mental Health: Anthropological Perspectives.

Anubhuti Poudyal, MPH, is a Research Associate at the GMH EQUITY Lab. She has worked extensively in Nepal, Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania, and the US on health communication projects, particularly in chronic diseases management. She is interested in identifying the social and behavioral factors that influence health in a community. As a lead researcher, she has worked among patients with chronic diseases, particularly cancer and tuberculosis, to identify support systems that facilitate treatment and rehabilitation. Within health communication, her interest lies in understanding the potential of using mobile technology in improving health, especially in a low-income setting. In her current position, she oversees multiple projects based in Ethiopia and Nepal. Her major role involves leading Gates STANDSTRONG project that determines the feasibility of using sensing data collected using mobile technology to identify the risks of postpartum depression among adolescent mothers in Nepal.

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Anu Poudyal, MPH

Research Associate

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Gloria received her MSc in Global Mental Health in 2017 from King’s College London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and currently works as a research associate in the Global Mental Health Division at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

She is currently leading two projects at the GMH lab: Identifying Depression Early in Adolescence and EQUIP: Ensuring Quality in Psychological Support, A WHO workforce development package for psychological interventions

Previously, Gloria worked in developmental psychobiology at Weill Cornell Medical College, supporting research on healthy adolescent brain development and risk-taking behaviours. Prior to joining the GMH Division at GWU, Gloria worked in London at the Centre for Global Mental Health (IoPPN) and with War Child Holland on various research topics including depression and HIV-treatment adherence in Zimbabwean adults, comorbid anxiety and depression in adolescents, and family-based psychosocial interventions for youth outcomes in low-and middle-income countries.

Research interests broadly include child and adolescent mental health, service delivery and implementation, and service-user and family involvement.

Gloria Pedersen, MSc

Research Associate

Anvita received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is currently pursuing her Masters of Science in Public Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Anvita is primarily interested in the intersection of reproductive health, gender-based violence and mental health and using mobile health technologies to study this intersection. Along with research, Anvita is passionate about promoting gender equity in the field of global health.

Anvita first joined the GMH Equity lab in 2015 as an undergrad research assistant and worked full time for the lab for the past two years as a research associate focusing on the program management for the mCIDT project and qualitative data analysis for RESHAPE, OPAL, FAITH. During her masters program, Anvita will continue to support the lab through working with the team on the Gender and Global Health Project and helping with qualitative analysis for Gates and OPAL. 

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Anvita Bhardwaj, BS,

Visting Researcher


Katherine is a public health professional with several years of clinical and administrative healthcare experience.

 With a background in Anthropology, she has a passion for looking at the big picture—approaching healthcare issues with both creative tools and a sociocultural lens to find innovative solutions.  She has particular enthusiasm for projects dedicated to mental health, women’s health, family planning, and vulnerable populations.

 She holds a B.A. in Anthropology from the College of William and Mary and an MSc in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where she completed her dissertation on the implementation processes of mental and psycho-social health interventions in conflict-affected populations."

Katherine Ottman, MPH

Consultant Researcher

Syed Shabab Wahid (Shabab) is a researcher at the Global Mental Health Lab at George Washington University (GWU), where he is involved with the Identification of Depression in Early Adolescence (IDEA) project. He is currently a doctoral candidate at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at GWU. His thesis is focused on understanding the mental health of young men living in urban slums of Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Shabab has expertise in mixed-methods research in public health. His most recent work was focused on developing methodologies using realist evaluation principles to study pathways of performance in complex health interventions in Mesoamerica and in Bihar, India. Previously, he consulted for the World Bank for a systematic review on conditional cash transfers for maternal health outcomes and worked as a Research Advisor for USAID’s Translating Research into Action project, for implementation research in global health priority areas. Before transitioning to health research, Shabab worked at the non-government organization, BRAC, in the management of large-scale maternal, neonatal and child health programs in poor rural districts and urban slums of Bangladesh. Shabab spends his (very limited) free time watching too many cat videos on the internet.


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Syed Shabab Wahid, MPH

 Research Associate 


Sauharda Rai, MA

Visiting Researcher

Sauharda Rai, MA led the GMH Equity Lab from 2015-18 as a Research Coordinator and is currently a PhD student at Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington (UW) – Seattle. At UW, he is studying global mental health, conflict and migration with focus in South Asia. He is still involved with the lab as a “Adjunct Researcher” and supports the lab’s work in Nepal, Ethiopia and South Africa.



Sauharda’s interest lies is in understanding the mental health impact of direct and structural violence. He is also passionate about working with mental health service users in reducing mental health stigma and improving health systems. He worked with service users, caregivers and primary health workers in Nepal and Ethiopia designing and testing noble ways of service user’s involvement in health systems.

During his time at the lab he coordinated the RESHAPE, OPAL, Jacobs, mCIDT and Jumla studies and was involved in the study design; program, data and budget management and writing and dissemination of the studies. He also built and managed the lab’s research partnerships in Nepal, Ethiopia, South Africa, UK and US. Based on the global mental health training program and with focus on culture and language, he also developed and ran programs for undergraduate, graduate, PhD and medical students going to Nepal for their field-work studies.




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