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URC's leadership team brings decades of technical and managerial experience
to our company and projects around the world.
With 30 years of experience in government and private industry, Earl Gast is a talented professional with proven expertise in the public and private sector leading strategic, results-driven programming.
Prior to joining URC, Earl served as Executive Vice President for Programs at Creative Associates, leading the implementation of all programs across more than 30 countries. He previously served as Senior International Advisor for the global law firm, Covington & Burling, LLP, where he advised many of the largest U.S. and international companies on their investment strategies.
Before that, Earl spent more than two decades with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Confirmed by the U.S. Senate in April 2012, he was sworn in as the Assistant Administrator (AA) for the Agency’s Africa Bureau overseeing a $7 billion portfolio that provided assistance to more than 40 countries, including USAID’s largest health portfolio.
Chief Administrative Officer
Cornelia Simpson, Chief Administrative Officer for URC-CHS and a key member of the executive team, joined the company in 2011 and has made significant strategic contributions to the company's growth. She currently has the oversight of five operational departments—Compliance, Global Operations and Security, General Services, Global Human Resources, and Media/Graphics.
Cornelia's international development career spans more than 20 years, first in academia and later in business development and human resources, in which she held senior management positions with International Medical Corps and World Vision. She was also a Visiting Professor at Ohio State University in the College of Business, and was an Assistant Professor in Marketing and Accounting at the College of Agriculture and Horticulture in Bucharest, Romania.
She is an active member in several professional groups such as PSC, Humentum, and the Society for International Development. In 2013, Cornelia was named a VIP member of Worldwide Who's Who. This special distinction honors individuals who have shown exceptional commitment to achieving personal and professional success. Cornelia holds a Master's in Marketing in addition to a Bachelor's in Economics from the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest, Romania.
Hala Jassim AlMossawi
Vice President, Program Implementation and Business Development, CIT
Hala joined URC in 2011 and has made major contributions to the company’s growth in technical areas including maternal neonatal and child health, tuberculosis, HIV, malaria, education, and global health security. She helped expand and forge new partnerships with USAID, Department of Defense, Millennium Challenge Corporation, Department of State, Gates Foundation, Centers for Disease Control, and others.
Hala, a public health specialist with over twenty years of experience in project management, business development, capacity building, health system strengthening, digital health, quality improvement, monitoring and evaluation, and private sector engagement, is a tremendous asset to URC. She provides technical leadership, oversees program implementation, and directs business development initiatives to strengthen and expand URC’s footprint.
Hala has a Master of Science in Health Care Administration degree from Oklahoma State University and an MSc and BDS in Oral Medicine and Surgery. She is an American Society for Training and Development designated Master Trainer, holding Master Training Program and Human Performance Improvement certificates.
M. Rashad Massoud
Chief Medical and Quality Officer/Senior Vice President, QPI
M. Rashad Massoud, a physician and public health specialist, is recognized internationally for his leadership in global healthcare improvement. As the Director of the USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) Project and Senior Vice President of the Quality and Performance Institute (QPI), he leads URC's quality improvement efforts in over 40 countries, applying improvement science to deliver better results in global health priority areas.
Prior to joining URC, he served as Senior Vice President at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he worked on innovation, transformation, and large-scale spread. Rashad pioneered the application of collaborative improvement methodology in several middle- and low-income countries. He helped develop the WHO strategy for the design and scale up of antiretroviral therapy to meet the 3x5 target; implemented large-scale improvements in the Russian Federation's health system; improved rehabilitation care in Vietnam; developed the Policy and Regulatory Framework for the Agency for Accreditation and Quality Improvement in the Republic of Srpska; and developed plans for the rationalization of health services in Uzbekistan. He founded and for several years led the Palestinian healthcare quality improvement effort. He was a founding member and Chairman of the Quality Management Program for Health Care Organizations in the Middle East and North Africa, which helped improve healthcare in five participating Middle East countries. Rashad worked on healthcare quality improvement for the Harvard Institute for International Development and the Palestine Council of Health. He also served as a Medical Officer with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, and has consulted for and collaborated with KPMG, UNICEF, the World Bank, WHO, and several NGOs.
Rashad received his MD at the First Moscow State Medical University, in Moscow, Russia, and a Master's in Public Health from Harvard University's T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts.
Chief Innovation Officer/Senior Vice President, CIT
Neeraj Kak has served as Senior Vice President of URC's Center for Innovations and Technology (CIT) since 2011, and for nine years prior to that as the division's Vice President. His visionary leadership and technical and administrative oversight supported the development of original, technology-driven tools and approaches towards advances in public health. CIT's work is currently focused primarily in the Middle East, Central and Southeast Asia, and southern Africa.
Neeraj is a creative and innovative health management specialist with extensive technical experience in HIV/AIDS and TB programs. He has more than 25 years of experience guiding health managers in Africa and Asia to develop national and operational strategies to improve access to and demand for health programs addressing HIV/AIDS and family planning and reproductive health. His background includes valuable senior technical and management long-term service in India, Egypt, and Indonesia. His skills in managing complex, large-scale international projects while maintaining excellent relations with USAID field offices, counterparts, other donors, and his field teams are highly regarded. Among many other accomplishments, Neeraj has done highly visible work in South Africa, Swaziland, and Lesotho on improving the quality of PEPFAR interventions, and he has helped in the design of interventions to strengthen infection control and reduce medical transmission of HIV/AIDS and other blood borne pathogens. He has conducted regional training workshops in health planning and management at the ASEAN Institute of Health and Development in Thailand, Emory University and the CDC in Atlanta, the George Washington University in Washington, DC, and the Tropical Institute of Hygiene and Medicine, in Portugal.
Neeraj has completed a course of postdoctoral study at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. He earned a PhD in Population from the State University of New York in Stony Brook, New York.
Vice President, IDG
Patricia O’Connor, Vice President International Development Group, has spent the past 30 years living and working in ten African and Latin American countries with a focus on ensuring access to services by all, especially for the most vulnerable and at-risk populations. By working with public, private, and civil society actors at the national and local levels, she is committed to delivering clear, tangible, and transformative results.
Patricia joined URC in 2014 to manage the USAID Community Health and Nutrition Project in Guatemala. She then managed two Centers for Disease Control-funded Central American regional projects to improve surveillance of TB-HIV coinfection and strengthen clinical services for people living with HIV and served as a senior technical advisor on HIV, nutrition, maternal and child health, and health systems strengthening activities in Uganda.
Previously, Patricia held leadership positions with USAID, the United Nations, and international NGOs. As a foreign service officer, she directed USAID’s health and education programs in Guatemala, including the design and launch of the first regional HIV-AIDS project in Central America, a social sector response to advance the commitments contained in the Guatemalan Peace Accords, and a relief and reconstruction program following Hurricane Mitch. She later managed the health, education, and program offices for USAID in Bolivia and assisted the USAID Haiti Mission develop a relief and reconstruction response after the 2010 earthquake. UN assignments focused on advancing peace-building processes in Guatemala, Colombia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). She served as the Country Representative for Save the Children in Guatemala and for the Carter Center in DRC.
Vice President, Southern Africa
Refiloe joined URC in 2004 as Director for the Southern Africa Region, successfully balancing the needs of three regional projects as the chief liaison between USAID, the local governments, and other stakeholders. In 2010, Refiloe became URC's first Vice President selected from the company's field operations. During her time at URC, she has led some of our largest field projects as well as proactively contributed to new business throughout Southern Africa.
Refiloe has always been deeply committed to fighting the global threat posed by tuberculosis, and is a widely recognized authority on TB surveillance, care, and control. She is a leader in raising awareness of TB/HIV co-infection as well as Multi-Drug Resistant TB, internationally and in Southern Africa.
Chief Financial Officer
Wendy Hsing, Chief Financial Officer, is responsible for all financial and IT operations at URC-CHS. She joined the company in December 2014, bringing with her 16 years of prior experience as a CFO and more than 30 years of work in government contracting.
Her areas of expertise are in finance, treasury, accounting, contracts, computer network services, facility management, and general administration. As an executive at The QED Group, Danya International, NKF Engineering, and KOBA Associates, she employed and maintained operational policies, procedures, and internal controls for staying in compliance with governments' rules and regulations. She has experience creating shareholder value by developing and employing a negative cash gap strategy (as used by Amazon and Dell) and tax strategies. She successfully established a non-profit sister company, a joint venture, and completed a contract novation. She established and expanded the computer network infrastructure, including virtual LAN and gigabits wireless communication between buildings, to support company growth. She has also overseen IT software lifecycle development, including for flight simulation and machinery control systems for the Navy. Wendy was Officer-in-Charge of the $40 million per year National Head Start Monitoring Project for six years.
Wendy holds a Doctor of Management from the University of Maryland; an MBA in Economics, Accounting and Finance from New Mexico Highlands University, an MS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from George Washington University, and a BA in Languages and Literature, National Central University, Taiwan. She is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Financial Planner.
Vice President, Contracts, Grants Administration, and Cost and Pricing
Yousri joined URC in 2017. He has more than 25 years of experience working in contracts and assistance with USAID-, U.S. State Department-, and U.S. Department of Defense-funded development programs.
Before joining URC, he served as Director of Contracts for the Middle East, North Africa and Afghanistan region in DAI’s U.S. Government Business Unit. Prior to that, he was DAI’s Country Director for Contracts and Procurement in Afghanistan. Before that, Yousri worked with Deloitte Consulting as a Contracts Manager supporting its program in Afghanistan. He retired from USAID as a Senior Acquisition and Assistance Specialist after serving in Iraq’s and Egypt’s Missions.