UNITE’s Secretariat, which is lead by the organization’s Executive Director, Cristina Bernardo, is a highly qualified and multidisciplinary team of specialists whose aim is to support the Global Board and the remaining Network, in pursuing UNITE’s collective goal of ending infectious diseases as a global health threat.

These actions are developed through direct interaction with UNITE’s Members and by fostering partnerships at all levels.

CRISTINA BERNARDO

Executive Director

Cristina Bernardo is a Life Sciences Executive with a solid experience in the Healthcare Industry and a broad understanding of the healthcare system and policy environment. Cristina has a track record of delivering a 2-year National Value-based Agreement, considered a best practice/EU benchmark with the Portuguese MoH that allowed more than 20.000 HCV treated patients the possibility to be cured of Hepatitis C.

SUSANA SANTOS

Finance & Grant Manager

Over 15 years of experience in non-governmental organizations and the private sector in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Main functions developed: Country Coordinator, Financial, Administrative and Human Resources Coordinator. Strong management skills through objectives, team management, leadership, motivation and communication developed in multicultural contexts. Great ability to create and establish bridges between people and departments.

AMISH LAXMIDAS

Partnerships, Policy and Communications Director

Holds a degree in International Relations from the Higher Institute of Social and Political Sciences of the University of Lisbon and plays an active role in different organizations such as NATO, the Portuguese Atlantic Commission and the Portuguese High Commission for Migration. He was President of the Association of Portuguese Youth of the Atlantic and serves as secretary general in the House of India. He worked in the area of internationalization of Portuguese companies in Africa and was part of the Organization of the 5th Edition of the Conferences of Estoril, where he was Coordinator of the Youth Summit.

VICTORIA GRANDSOULT

Community & Advocacy Engagement and Resource Mobilisation Director

Victoria holds a degree in Psychology from the University of Kansas and a master’s in Human Rights and Democratization from the Global Campus of Human Rights (EIUC).  She is experienced in clinical research, business development, and community outreach. Previously, Victoria was the senior physician liaison at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where she successfully managed community partnerships in support of institutional growth and facilitated the launch and implementation of the hospital’s pediatric health network.

GEFRA FULANE

Scientific and Research Director

Public health researcher, Gefra is currently a PhD candidate in Health Sciences at Nova University of Lisbon, holds a master’s degree in development and Global Health and a B.Sc. degree in Anthropology. With about 10 years of experience in research in academic institutions and organizations based in Mozambique and Portugal, Gefra has likewise worked with the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research at the World Health Organization in Geneva. Additional experiences include refereeing the Revista de Estudos Africanos journal and lecturing in subjects such as women’s health in Africa, M&A of health interventions and qualitative research methods at Eduardo Mondlane University, ISCTE-Lisbon University Institute, and Management Development Institute.

JOANA MENDES

Executive Assistant and Human Rights Officer

International Relations specialist with more than six years of professional experience in Research and Reporting in the field of the United Nations. Strong organizational skills developed and deepened through the organization of numerous public and private meetings and events. Holds a degree in International Relations from the University of Coimbra and a Post-Graduation in Human Rights from the same University. She also has a Master in Political Science and International Relations from NOVA University of Lisbon. Comfortable working in a fast-paced, hands-on, growth-oriented environment.

ÓSCAR MADUREIRA

Legal Advisor

Lawyer and Legal Counsel. Member of Portuguese Bar and Macau SAR Lawyers Association and the Hong Kong Institute of Arbitrators. Currently is head of Macau SAR Law firm Lektou branch in Portugal.  Worked in Macau SAR for 11 years 5 of them as Senior Legal Counsel of Melco Resorts & Entertainment. Has strong experience assisting Portuguese and overseas NGO’s with their daily operations and is also a founding member of Portuguese NGO “Mundo a Sorrir”.