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Leah Everist

Class of 2018-2019

About Leah

(updated 2/2019) Leah Everist, a 2018-2019 Luce Scholar, is currently leading disaster risk management and emergency planning initiatives at PHASE Nepal, an organization dedicated to supporting health, agriculture, and education in rural Nepal. Based in the Kathmandu Valley, Leah’s work involves creating emergency operations tools for organizations and communities as well as collecting and analyzing data related to social inclusion in disaster response. She holds a public health degree with concentrations in health policy and management as well as community preparedness and disaster response from the University of North Carolina, where she graduated summa cum laude as a Morehead-Cain Scholar. In her final year at UNC, Leah’s interest in emotions, health behavior, and decision-making led her to develop and teach a course on emotional science and behavioral economics, fields she continues to pursue. In the broader realm of public health, Leah’s passion for women’s and maternal and child health led her to the labor and delivery unit as a doula as well as to the business development team of a health tech company that uses telemedicine to bridge gaps in perinatal care. She has also worked for a Doctor’s Without Borders team that directed operations in Chad, South Sudan, and Ethiopia, and served as co-director of Get Covered Carolina, an organization that trains Certified Application Counselors to help people in North Carolina sign up for health insurance through the federal exchange. Her research focuses include sustainable rebuilding and community empowerment processes in the aftermath Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, vaccine hesitancy in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and community-managed water systems in Northern Ghana. She has studied Nepali, French, Hindi, and Chinese. A tree hugger at heart, Leah has worked for conservation and wildlife organizations in Montana, the Grand Canyon, and the Georgian Caucasus, and tries to go hiking and camping as often as she can.

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