Gupta-Klinsky India Institute appoints new faculty co-chair and executive director

Sara Bennett and Melody McCoy are filling key leadership positions at a time of strategic and operational growth

Sara Bennett, a professor in the Department of International Health at the Bloomberg School of Public Health who focuses on health policy and systems in low and middle-income countries, has been appointed as the new faculty co-chair. Melody McCoy, former vice president of global engagement and communications for Jhpiego has been appointed as the institute's inaugural executive director. Both Bennett and McCoy bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to GKII.

Sara Bennett and Melody McCoy

Image caption: Sara Bennett and Melody McCoy

Bennett examines health policy and systems in low- and middle-income countries with a focus on institutional capacity, sustainability, and systems governance. She joined the JHU faculty in 2009. She became associate director of the Health Systems Program at the Bloomberg School of Public Health and rose to the role of director in 2018. Bennett succeeds outgoing faculty co-chair David Peters, who recently left JHU to become dean of the faculty of health at York University in Toronto.

McCoy, a strategic communications professional, built one of the top global NGO-communications teams, receiving numerous communications and branding awards. She has extensive experience in global public health engagement and has worked for the United States Congress in government and community affairs as well as with state and local executives.

Filling these essential roles signals development at the institute from strategic investment to operational growth. The mission of GKII is enhancing the long-standing partnership of JHU and India by bringing together faculty, staff, students, alumni, and partners to tackle the world's most challenging issues. The institute's faculty are experts in medicine, public health, education, arts and humanities, business, economics, public policy, engineering, data science, and artificial intelligence and work closely with their counter points throughout India.

Amita Gupta, the director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and a founder of GKII, said, "Both Sara and Melody are highly accomplished and well regarded, and we would have been tremendously fortunate to have had either one of them join the institute. The arrival of both of them at this foundational time heralds a very bright future for GKII. We are positively thrilled."

"We are delighted with the strong trajectory of GKII to further develop strategic plans and key investments in coordination with our Indian partners," says Sunil Kumar, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. "Sara and Melody are outstanding leaders whose contributions will significantly add to GKII's momentum. I look forward to seeing their success in the years ahead."