Dr. Gaya Gamhewage to be Keynote Speaker at the 2019 DCHC Conference in Fairfax Virginia

The Department of Communication at George Mason University is pleased to announce that Dr. Gaya Gamhewage will be the keynote speaker at the 2019 D.C. Health Communication Conference (DCHC) as part of the “International and Global Health Communication Research” conference theme. The conference will take place on April 26–27th, 2019 (with a preconference on April 25th) at the Hyatt Regency Fairfax at Fair Lakes in Fairfax, Virginia.

Dr. Gaya Gamhewage Biography

Gaya Gamhewage, a medical doctor by training, currently leads Learning and Capacity Building for WHO’s Health Emergencies program. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, she is responsible supporting governments and other stakeholders across the world to create a ready, willing and able workforce to manage health emergencies. From 2009-2018 she was WHO’s global lead for risk communications and led national capacity building under the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework and as required by the International Health Regulations (2005). She has trained thousands of personnel in risk communication face-to-face and tens of thousands more on the on-line platform.

For the international response to the Ebola Virus disease (EVD) outbreak in West Africa, Dr Gamhewage was assigned to Coordinate all Ebola-related trainings. She was a member of WHO’s Guideline Review Committee for the past three years, and spearheaded the first-ever WHO evidence-based Guideline on Emergency Risk communications.

In addition to her public health expertise and experience, Gaya has experience working as a journalist, a medical doctor, university lecturer in public health, community health director, child rights expert, in humanitarian emergency response, and as a trainer and facilitator. She was recently awarded an Executive Master in International Negotiation and Policy-Making by the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies of Geneva and is completing a second Masters in International health with the University of Heidelberg, Germany.

Born in Sri Lanka, Gaya spent most her childhood in England. She spent 8 years in China studying and practicing medicine, and she has carried out assignments in over 40 countries.