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PEOPLE

Everyone says it, but in our case it’s true: our team is the secret to our success. Each member of our team is amazing in their own right, but together they are what makes AO Alliance such strong.

Board of Directors

Rolf Jeker
Chair

Rolf Jeker is Chair of AO Alliance’s Board. In December 2018, he retired from the AO Foundation, where he had served as CEO and Vice-Chair of the AO Foundation Board.

He previously served as Senior Executive Vice-President of Société Générale de Surveillance. He had also been an Ambassador and Under-Secretary of the Swiss Government for Foreign Economic Relations. For a considerable time, he headed the Swiss Foreign Economic Development Assistance Program and served as an Executive Director in the African Development Bank and Alternate Governor to the Asian, Inter-American and African Development. He has successfully headed economic missions to over 90 countries, particularly in LMICs, and countries in transition.

Dr Jeker holds a PhD in economics and business management from the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, and an honorary doctorate from the International University in Geneva (IUG).

Nikolaus Renner
Member

Nikolaus Renner heads the Trauma Department at Kantonsspital Aarau in Switzerland and is the former President of the AO Foundation (2016-2018).

Cyril Muller
Member

Cyril Muller joined the AO Alliance Board on July 1, 2021.

He spent 25 years at the World Bank, working in operations, finance, and corporate functions. He was a World Bank Vice President from November 2011 to October 2020. His last assignment was Regional Vice President for Europe and Central Asia where he led World Bank programs in more than 30 countries.

He also held positions with the Swiss federal office for foreign economic relations and SGS Société Générale de Surveillance. He has worked on economic development issues, with a focus on human development (health, education, social protection) and growth & jobs in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America.

He holds economics degrees from Neuchâtel University and New York University.

Florian Gebhard
Member

Dr Florian Gebhard, President of the AO since 2021, joined the AO Alliance Board of Directors in July 2023.

Urs Ruetschi
Member

Urs Ruetschi, formerly the head of AO Publishing/Educational Products and former Director of the AO Education Institute, now serves as Head of Educational Special Projects at the AO. He joined the AO Alliance Board of Directors in July 2023.

Abdoulie Janneh
Member

Abdoulie Janneh is a former United Nations Under-Secretary General and Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). Based in Dakar, Senegal, he has served as Executive Director/Board Member at the Mo Ibrahim Foundation since 2012.

Abdoulie successfully completed a seven-year tenure at the helm of the UNECA, an institution with the dual role of being the regional arm of the United Nations in Africa, as well as a key Pan-African institution. During his leadership of the UNECA, Abdoulie took steps to strategically re-position the organization to better support Africa’s development agenda. He also serves on the Boards/Advisory Panels of several organizations involved in Africa’s development, including the Africa Forum of Former Heads of State and Government, and the African Governance Institute (AGI), among others. Abdoulie is the recipient of several awards and honors.

Shanmuganathan Rajasekaran
Member

Prof Shanmuganathan Rajasekaran is the chairman of the Department of Orthopaedics, Trauma & Spine Surgery at Ganga Hospital, Coimbatore, India which is currently one of the largest orthopedic specialty hospitals in South Asia.

He is President of the Asia Pacific Spine Society, the immediate Past Chair of AO Spine International, and Past President of the International Society of Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology (SICOT), the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine (ISSLS) and Cervical Spine Research Society Asia Pacific Section (CSRS-AP). He is the Deputy Editor of The Bone & Joint Surgery Journal, USA; Journal of SPINE, USA; Global Spine Journal, USA and the Past Deputy Editor of European Spine Journal.

Prof Rajasekaran devised the Low Cost-High Quality Health Care Model that has been adopted by many across India and has benefitted thousands of disadvantaged patients in his region.

He is a strong activist for road safety and has brought important changes to Indian legislation promoting road safety. He also formed a charitable trust, UYIR (Life), to create a ‘People’s Movement for Road Safety’ in his region.

His interests also include research on outcomes of major trauma, disc degeneration and spinal infections. He was the recipient of the prestigious ISSLS Award for four years, the NASS Outstanding paper award for three consecutive years, the EuroSpine Open Paper Award, and the Asia-Pacific Spine society research award.

Prof Rajasekaran has 331 publications in international journals, 75 national publications, 503 international and 555 national presentations.

Steering Committees

ASIA
Ramesh Prasad Singh
Chair
Nepal
Fazlul H. Qasem, MD
Course Coordinator
Bangladesh
Nguyen Trung Hieu
Faculty Development Coordinator
Vietnam
Tourphot Sin
Fellowship Coordinator
Cambodia
Channoeun Gnan
ORP Education Coordinator
Cambodia
ENGLISH-SPEAKING AFRICA
Joseph Mwanga
Chair
Tanzania
Jonathan Sitali
Operative Education Coordinator
Zambia
Naomi Amuron
Nonoperative Education Coordinator
Uganda
Emmanuel Bukara
Fellowship Coordinator
Rwanda
Forster Amponsah
Faculty Development Coordinator
Ghana
Moses Kabonge
ORP Education Coordinator
Uganda
FRENCH-SPEAKING AFRICA
Florent Anicet Lekina
Chair
Cameroon
Songahir Christophe Da
Nonoperative Course Coordinator
Burkina Faso
Jean Claude Niyondiko
Operative Course Coordinator
Burundi
Amidou Sénani
ORP Course Coordinator
Ivory Coast
Léandre Nguiabanda
Fellowship Coordinator
Gabon

Teams

SWITZERLAND/HQ
Claude Martin jr.
Managing Director
Switzerland
Cinzia Muggiasca
Operations & Finance Manager
Switzerland
Carla O’Donnell
Communications Manager
Switzerland
Polly Buehler
Education Senior Manager
Switzerland
Angela Weber
Project Coordinator
Switzerland
Vanessa Banerjee
Project Assistant
Switzerland
ENGLISH-SPEAKING AFRICA
Jim Harrison
Africa Medical Director
United Kingdom
Reuben Mark Addo
Consultant
Ghana
Bernard Akueteh
Consultant
Ghana
Isaac Owusu
Consultant
Ghana
Precious C Kamange
Consultant
Malawi
Peace Mireku
Consultant
Malawi
Shalom Mdala
Consultant
Malawi
Lewam Mebrahtu
Consultant
Ethiopia
Fatima Fanta Kurang
Consultant
The Gambia
FRENCH-SPEAKING AFRICA
Florent Anicet Lekina
French-speaking Africa Coordinator
Cameroon
Dominique Nkoa
Consultant
Cameroon
Martial Amougou
Consultant
Cameroon
Arthur Essimi
Consultant
Cameroon
Feliciano Obama
Consultant
Cameroon
Grace Honga
Consultant
Cameroon
Drissa Fofana
Consultant
Burkina Faso
Edem Agbitor
Consultant
Togo
ASIA
Laxman Yadav
Consultant
Nepal
Sanjeev Shrestha
Consultant
Nepal

Clinical Researchers

Linda Chokotho

Linda Chokotho, MBBS, FCS(ECSA)ORTH, MPH, PhD is the first female Orthopaedic Surgeon in Malawi and a researcher. She was the founding president of the Women in Surgery Association of Malawi (WinSAM).  She is currently working at the Malawi University of Science and Technology. She previously worked with Beit Cure International Hospital and the Department of Surgery, Kamuzu University of Health Sciences in Malawi. As a researcher, she has been involved in violence and injury and musculoskeletal research since 2011. She has worked as a research consultant with the COSECSA Oxford Orthopaedic Link (COOL) project, The World Bank, the Ministry of Health in Malawi, and the AO Alliance in projects aiming at improving trauma data quality, trauma and fracture care delivery and pre-hospital trauma care. She has also collaborated with international institutions such as the Harvard Global Orthopaedics Collaborative and Institute of Global Orthopaedics and Traumatology (IGOT). She has had several successful grant applications as a co-applicant with the University of Stirling, Scotland, and a PhD research grant from Norhed project. She is a member of the Core Group for the World Health Organisation (WHO) Mentor-VIP, a global violence and injury prevention mentoring program. She has published widely in international and peer-reviewed journals, with 42 publications to date, and one book chapter publication.

Simon Matthew Graham

Simon Matthew Graham, MBChB, MRCS, MSc (Res), FRCS (Tr&Orth), PhD is an Associate Professor at the University of Oxford, and his research focuses on advancing higher standards of care in musculoskeletal trauma in low- and middle-income countries. He is also Major Trauma and Limb Reconstruction Surgeon at Liverpool University Hospital Foundation Trust. Simon has completed a PhD investigating fracture healing in HIV positive patients and he is actively involved with research across sub-Saharan Africa. He has also completed a master’s degree in mechanical engineering and published widely in the literature, presented his research internationally and leads a team developing global orthopedic research in low-income countries.