Regional Team

Azhar Ali, BSc(Hons), MBChB, MRCGP(UK), MBA, Head of Middle East and Asia-Pacific, Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), is also a Consultant in Family Medicine and has more than 15 years of clinical experience. Prior to joining IHI, he spent five years at the Abu Dhabi Health Services Co. (SEHA) in Abu Dhabi (UAE), initially as the Director of Clinical Affairs and Quality, Ambulatory Healthcare Services, and then as the Group Quality and Physician Services Director. Previously, Dr. Ali served as a Clinical Director of Primary Care in Lanarkshire, Scotland, and was a GP Principal and partner at Strathaven Health Centre in Lanarkshire. He was also National Clinical Lead for the Royal College of General Practitioners Scotland’s flagship program, Living Better, and served as Co-Chair/Primary Care Lead for the Respiratory Managed Clinical Network in NHS Lanarkshire. Dr. Ali is a graduate of the University of Glasgow and Imperial College, London, and he holds an MBA (with distinction) from the University of Strathclyde. Dr. Ali is a member of distinguished medical societies, including the Royal College of General Practitioners (UK). He is a member of the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management (UK) and an alumnus of the INSEAD Middle East Health Leadership Programme.


Minara ChowdhuryMinara Chowdhury, MA, APM, is the Country Director for IHI’s work in Bangladesh. Working with the Government of Bangladesh and Development Partners, she leads a team of local resources and international faculty with an aim to reduce maternal and newborn mortality in 10 participating districts. Prior to joining IHI, Ms. Chowdhury worked for Hamad Medical Corporation in Doha, Qatar, for 10 years in several improvement-focused roles, including Executive Director for Business Development at Hamad General Hospital and Executive Director for special projects, where she initiated the first value improvement program in Qatar. She was also appointed Acting Executive Director for Hamad Healthcare Quality Institute and prior to that role established and managed the Center for Healthcare Improvement for about six years. Previously, she worked with the National Health Service in the UK in different roles, including operational lead for the Turnaround program at Worthing and Southlands NHS Trust. During this time Ms. Chowdhury completed her Masters in Management of Change from the University of Sussex, UK. She commenced her career in project management within the banking sector, where she qualified as a Company Secretary, having completed the Institute for Chartered Secretaries and Administrators qualification and securing a world prize in Managing Information Systems. She also completed her qualifications through the Association of Project Management.


Coulombre_Stephanie_thumb.jpg Stephanie Coulombre, MA, is a Project and Regional Operations Manager for IHI’s work in the Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions. She manages results-oriented work and partnerships in Qatar, India, and Australia and supports operations across the region. Previously, Ms. Coulombre coordinated safety and quality improvement initiatives at Boston Children’s Hospital. She received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Mount Holyoke College and her Master of Arts in Health Communication from Emerson College.


Gudapakkam_Smitha_thumb.jpg Smitha Gudapakkam, MEng, MBA, New Business Manager for IHI's work in the Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions, works closely with the regional lead and staff to support the evolution of the regional strategy, meet business goals, develop new business opportunities, and contributes to financial sustainability across the organization. Prior to joining IHI, she worked for Massachusetts General Hospital’s Global Health Department and helped grow the Consortium for Affordable Medical Technologies (CAMTech) Program globally across India and Uganda. Ms. Gudapakkam has worked for large medical device companies and contributed to the research and development of new products, as well as setting and executing strategy for division growth. Her expertise also includes project management and implementation of electronic medical records (EMR) software in several outpatient health networks across the country. Ms. Gudapakkam has a Masters in Biomedical Engineering from Syracuse University and a Masters in Business Administration from Babson College, with Global Management as her concentration.


McCall_Jesse_thumb.jpgJesse McCall, MBA, Director of Regional Operations for IHI's work in the Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions, manages a variety of IHI programs and projects throughout the world, including IHI’s Strategic Partnership with the Hamad Medical Corporation in Qatar. Mr. McCall has expertise in program and product development, the integration of adult learning principles, marketing and communications, customer relationship management and large-scale initiative operations. He received his undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Northeastern University in Boston and an MBA at the UMASS Amherst Isenberg School of Management.


Lisa McKenzieLisa McKenzie, BPhysio(Hons), MHA, Country Director, Australia and New Zealand, Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), is responsible for supporting organizations in the region to accelerate the pace of improvement. She advises on quality strategies and the application of improvement science to achieve measurable results. Ms. McKenzie leads IHI’s strategic partnership activities with Safer Care Victoria, the state’s health care quality improvement agency. She also delivers programs internationally to build improvement capability and coaches teams to sustain value-based improvements. She undertook IHI’s onsite Fellowship Program in Boston, USA (2016-2017). Prior to joining IHI, she worked in a range of leadership roles with a focus on overseeing large-scale change initiatives, service redesigns, and quality improvements. Ms. McKenzie was previously Chief of Staff at Melbourne Health, one of Australia’s major tertiary health services, and Director of Operations, Precinct Collaboration, across co-located hospitals. In her former role as Melbourne Health’s Director of Transformation and Quality, she led the organization’s innovation and improvement program. Ms. McKenzie has a clinical background in physiotherapy, a Masters of Health Administration from La Trobe University, and has completed the Australian College of Health Services Executives Management Residency Program.


Nunnelly_Laura_thumb.jpg Laura Nunnelly is a Project Coordinator for IHI's work in the Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions. Based in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, she supports quality improvement projects in Bangladesh, India, and Qatar. She came to IHI from Boston Children’s Hospital, where she was a Clinical Assistant in the Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Department. She graduated from Smith College with a degree in Biology and East Asian Languages and Literature.


Stanzler_Morgan_thumb.jpg Morgen Stanzler, MPH, is a Project and Regional Operations Manager for IHI's Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions. She manages the facilitation of local capacity building and faculty development in both region, and also supports the technical analysis and execution of projects that co-design National Quality Strategies across the globe. She came to IHI after working for Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Partners Healthcare IRB, where she developed an interest in improving the safety and quality of health care. She graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in Political Science and from the Gillings School of Global Public Health with a Masters of Public Health and a focus on Health Behavior and Health Education. When working as a Research Assistant at Gillings, Ms. Stanzler supported the SCALE Evaluation Team, which won the American Evaluation Award in 2017. She also partnered with an international organization to design and administer a comprehensive needs assessment in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti, in 2016.