Officers (2020-2022)

Diana Farmer, MD

Diana Farmer, MD

Chair, Advisory Group

Dr. Diana Farmer is the Professor and Chair of the UC Davis Department of Surgery, the Surgeon-in-Chief of the UC Davis Children’s Hospital, and Chief of Pediatric Surgery at Shriners Hospital for Children—Northern California. She has been inducted into the Royal College of Surgeons of England and the United States’ Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. Dr. Farmer is a past president of the American Pediatric Surgery Association, and is a stem cell scientist focused on prenatal repair of spina bifida.

Kokila Lakhoo, MBChB

Kokila Lakhoo, MBChB

Past Chair

Professor Lakhoo is a consultant pediatric surgeon at Oxford and an honorary lecturer in pediatric surgery at the University of Oxford. She trained in South Africa and spent a year at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital (UK) as a fellow. She is Chair of the International Forum for the British Association of Paediatric Surgeons and is personally developing paediatric surgery through a link in Tanzania, as well as having collaborative research projects in Malawi and South Africa. She is editor of several books including a joint publication with African colleagues entitled “Paediatric Surgery:  A Comprehensive Text for Africa.”

Emmanuel Ameh, MBBS

Emmanuel Ameh, MBBS


Dr. Ameh is a professor of Pediatric Surgery at the National Hospital in Abuja, Nigeria. Dr. Ameh is a co-editor of the text “Pediatric Surgery:  A Comprehensive Text for Africa,” and is Chair of the National Surgical, Obstetric, and Anaesthesia Plan Committee for Nigeria. He has worked as the lead of the workforce, training, and education working group for the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery. Dr. Ameh was an expert participant of the Fourth Meeting of the WHO Global Initiative for Emergency and Essential Surgical Care, where he served as Vice Chair of the advocacy working group. He is also Vice Chair for the West African College of Surgeons Surgical Plan Committee.

Doruk Ozgediz, MD

Doruk Ozgediz, MD

Chair Elect

Dr. Ozgediz is an Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco, where he is Director of the Center for Global Surgery and Health Equity.  He has maintained a focus throughout his career on global health and surgical capacity building. He was a co-founder and is actively involved with the group Global Partners for Anesthesia and Surgery (GPAS), an organization focused on the improvement of peri-operative services in Kampala, Uganda.

 Zipporah Gathuya, MD

Zipporah Gathuya, MD


Dr. Gathuya is a pediatric anesthesiologist in Nairobi, Kenya.  She was awarded a Head of State Commendation by the President of Kenya for her work in advancing Kenyan pediatric anesthesia practices, and was very instrumental in initiating the Pediatric Anesthesia Fellowship program at the University of Nairobi.  She is also the Principal Surgeon at St. John Ambulance, where she has volunteered for over 20 years.

Marilyn Butler, MD

Marilyn Butler, MD


Dr. Marilyn Butler is a Professor of Pediatric Surgery at Oregon Health Science University.  She has a history of clinical work in Vietnam and China and was the founder of the Global Paediatric Surgery Networks (GPSN), a clearinghouse for resources and collaborations for pediatric surgeons around the world.

At Large Directors

Tahmina Banu (2019-2022):  Pediatric Surgeon, Bangladesh

Professor Banu recently began working as Executive Director of Chittagong Research Institute for Children (CRICS) in Chittagong, Bangladesh. Prior to this, she headed the Department of Pediatric Surgery at Chittagong Medical College Hospital (CMCH) for 23 years, and was instrumental in founding the department. She has been previously awarded the Rowan Nicks Scholarship and the Stephan L. Gans International Traveling Fellowship.  She has been an invited speaker and visiting professor in over 17 countries and continues to serve as a driving force in the expansion of children’s surgical care in Bangladesh.

Dan Poenaru (2019-2022):  Paediatric Surgeon, Canada

Dr. Poenaru is a pediatric surgeon, Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics at McGill University, Montreal, Canada, and director of the Jean-Martin Laberge Fellowship in Global Pediatric Surgery. He has spent over a decade in East Africa, where he has started the first COSECSA pediatric surgical fellowship training program through BethanyKids, a faith-based organization in Kijabe, Kenya. He remains involved with BethanyKids, COSECSA, the Pan-African Academy of Christian Surgeons (PAACS), and KidsOR. He is also the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine of Universite Shalom Bunia (DRC) and educational consultant to the Edna Adan University School of Medicine in Hargeisa, Somaliland.

Stephen Bickler (2019-2022):  Pediatric Surgeon, USA

Prior to joining the University of California, San Diego, Dr. Bickler was the consultant pediatric surgeon at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Banjul, The Gambia. He has served as a consultant for the World Health Organization on surgery in low-income countries and has published extensively on strategies for improving the surgical care in settings of limited resources. Dr. Bickler has edited two pediatric surgery textbooks for sub-Saharan Africa, and was a contributor to Third Edition of Disease Control Priorities (DCP3) and the Lancet Commission Global Surgery.  He is also a co-investigator on a recently awarded 5-year NIH Health Professional Education Partnership Initiative grant for Mozambique.  His research interests include surgical epidemiology and the role of surgical care in primary health care systems.   Dr. Bickler received his medical degree from the University of California Irvine.  He completed his surgical residency at Oregon Health & Science University and his pediatric fellowship at Children’s Mercy in Kansas City, Missouri.

Sabina Siddiqui (2019-2022):  Pediatric Surgeon, USA

Dr. Siddiqui is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatric Surgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin.  Her research interests include the development of surgical technologies and the expansion of surgical technologies in resource limited settings.  She has worked to expand access to laparoscopic surgery in Nicaragua and on capacity and service projects in Iraq, Palestine, Peru and Kenya.

Michael Cooper (2019-2022):  Paediatric Anaesthetist, Australia

Dr. Cooper is Senior Anaesthetist at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead and St George Hospital Kogarah, Sydney, Australia. He is also Adjunct Professor of Anaesthesiology, at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Papua New Guinea.  He currently serves as Chair of the Paediatric Anaesthesia Committee of the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists.

Richard Stewart (2020-2023):  Pediatric Surgeon, United Kingdom

Richard was a Consultant Paediatric Surgeon and Assistant Medical Director at the University Hospital, Nottingham, UK prior to retiring from clinical practice. He is President of the British Association of Paediatric Surgeons (2018-20) and has been an active member of its International Affairs committee delivering training in Malawi, Ethiopia and Nigeria. Currently in conjunction with colleagues in Oxford and CMC, Vellore he is editing a training manual for “Children’s Surgical Teams at District Hospitals” supported by the Global Affairs department of the Royal College of Surgeons of England.

William Harkness (2020-2023):  Pediatric Neurosurgeon, United Kingdom

We are sad to report the passing in March 2021 of our dear friend, William. He was a retired Paediatric Neurosurgeon who worked at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London UK where he was Clinical Chair of the Neurosciences Department for over ten years and headed the epilepsy surgery programme. He was a past president of the International Society for Paediatric Neurosurgery and during his Presidential year he made Global Neurosurgery for Children an ISPN mission, continuing the impetus with the creation of InterSurgeon, a website created to bring people together in the field of global surgery.

Hafeez Abdelhafeez (2020-2023):  Pediatric Surgeon, USA and Sudan

Dr. Abdelhafeez is a pediatric oncology surgeon currently serves as the director of global onco-surgery transversal program, the department of pediatric global medicine, St. Jude Children’s Research. He is leading the efforts of onco-surgical education and training in limited-resources setting. He currently serves as the oncology group lead for the Global Initiative of Children’s Surgery (GICS) and a member of the education committee of the International Society of Pediatric Surgical Oncology (IPSO). 

Sarah Greenberg (2020-2023):  Pediatric Surgeon, USA

Sarah Greenberg, MD, MPH, is an Assistant Professor of Surgery in the Division of Pediatric General and Thoracic Surgery at the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s Hospital. She serves as the liaison between the Global Initiative for Children’s Surgery and the Program for Global Surgery and Social Change, where she completed a global surgery fellowship in 2015. She served as a Commissioner and a Bellagio Commissioner for The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery. Her primary area of focus is on improving equity in pediatric surgical care delivery in the United States and globally.

Abdelbasit Elsayed Ali (2020-2023):  Pediatric Surgeon, Sudan

Dr Ali is an Associate Professor of Paediatric Surgery at the University of Khartoum and a Consultant Paediatric Surgeon at Soba University Hospital in Khartoum, Sudan. Currently, he is a Consultant and Chairman of Pediatric Surgery Department at King Saud Medical City in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He is a founding member and Ex convener of the Paediatric Surgery Specialty Council, Sudan Medical Specialization Board (SMSB) and a founding member and Academic Secretary of the Sudanese Association of Paediatric Surgeons (SAPS). He is a member of the Executive Council of Pan African Paediatric Surgical Association (PAPSA), and a member of the International Pediatric Endosurgery Group (IPEG).


Milind Chitnis (2020-2023):  Pediatric Surgeon, South Africa

Dr Milind Chitnis is an Associate Professor and head of the department of Paediatric Surgery at the Frere and Cecilia Makiwane Hospitals, affiliated to the Walter Sisulu University in East London in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. He did his undergraduate and postgraduate training in General Surgery from the University of Pune and Paediatric Surgery training from the University of Mumbai in India. In 1994, he trained at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow, Scotland. In Glasgow, Dr Chitnis worked with Dr Colin Lazarus, a South African Paediatric Surgeon, and accepted his invitation to join him in East London. From February 1995, Dr Chitnis helped Dr Lazarus to start and establish the department of Paediatric Surgery in East London. Over the past 25 years, this department has become one of the four major training departments in the country. It caters for the surgical needs of children from the central region of the Eastern Cape Province. He is a founder Trustee of a not for profit organisation (The Eyabantwana for the Children Trust) that was established in 2009 to assist the department for the purchase of equipment, upgrade of the facilities and training. Dr Chitnis was instrumental in establishing a separate operation theatre suite dedicated for the use of surgery in children at the Frere Hospital. He has presented at national and international congresses and published scientific articles in peer reviewed journals.  He has been an examiner for the Fellowship in Paediatric Surgery examination and is a member of the council of the College of Paediatric Surgeons of South Africa.

Vrishna Madhuri (2018-2021):  Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery, India

Dr. Madhuri is a Senior Professor and Head of Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery at the Christian Medical College and Hospital in Vellore. She is also the Immediate Past President of the Paediatric Orthopaedic Society of India and editor in chief of the Paediatric Orthopaedics and Related Sciences.

John Sekabira (2018-2021):  Paediatric Surgeon, Uganda

Dr. Sekabira is the Consultant Paediatric Surgeon and Head of Paediatric Surgery at Mulago, National Referral and Makerere University Teaching Hospital, the only centre for paediatric Surgery in Uganda. He is a founding member of COSECSA (College of Surgeons of Eastern, Central and Southern Africa) and a member of the Association of Surgeons of Uganda. He has been a Hugh Greenwood Lecturer at BAPS in Edinburgh, UK 2015, and also a Stephen L. Gans Lecturer at the American Academy of Paediatrics, San Francisco, USA 2016, and an awardee of an Honorary Fellowship of the American Academy of Paediatrics. He was also the guest lecturer of the Swedish Association of Pediatric Surgeons, and has experience with pediatric surgical camps in the region as part of Global Surgical partnerships.

Benjamin Yapo (2018-2021):  Pediatric Surgeon, Papua New Guinea

Dr. Yapo is the Deputy Chief Surgeon of the Highlands Region and is based in the Mt Hagen Referral Hospital in Papua New Guinea. He was the third fully qualified pediatric surgeon in PNG, and is the President of the Papua New Guinea Association of Surgeons. He completed his pediatric surgery training at the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG), including time at Westmead Children’s Hospital in NSW, Australia.

Keith Oldham (2018-2021):  Pediatric Surgeon, USA

Dr. Oldham currently serves as the Surgeon-in-Chief of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. He has been a leader in studying quality improvement in Children’s surgery in the United States. He currently serves as the medical director of the American College of Surgeons Children’s Surgery Verification Program, and Chair of the Verification Committee. He is also a past president of the American Pediatric Surgery Association.

Associate Members (Core Operations and Logistics)


  • Naomi Wright

  • Roba Khundkar

  • Sarah Cairo

  • Jacques Fadhili Bake

  • Lawal-Aiyedun Olabunmi

  • Marcia Matias

  • Isaac Ndayishimiye

  • Maame Tekyiwa Botchway

  • Arjun Visa

  • Katie Larusso

  • Intisar Hisham

  • Andrew Trecartin

  • Hetal Gohil

Many thanks to our previous COL members, for their many contributions to GICS:

  • Sarah Greenberg

  • Laura Goodman

  • Guy Jensen

  • Jamie Anderson

  • Etienne St. Louis