The 2019 class of Data Fellows included Ghadeer Abuoda, Gagan Narula, Blair Palmer and Dani Poole. The Fellows each had a unique focus on one of the following areas: data science (education), statistics (disability), business strategy and predictive analytics. They were based at the Centre in The Hague in June and July 2019.

The Centre’s 2019 Class of Data Fellows was supported through a partnership with, inter alia, the Education Above All Foundation that is a global foundation working to improve access to quality education for​ disadvantaged people.


Programme Leadership

The Fellows were guided in their work by Stuart Campo, who led the overall programme. Professor Kirsten Gelsdorf  provided mentorship to the Fellows throughout the summer in her capacity as a Senior Fellow.


Stuart Campo, Programme Lead and Senior Data Fellow

Stuart manages the Data Fellows Programme and is the Team Lead for Data Policy at the Centre for Humanitarian Data. He has over ten years of experience working in the humanitarian and development sectors, with a focus on the safe, effective, and ethical use of technology, data, and social innovation methods. Stuart has worked in over 35 countries, including extended field postings in Kenya, Madagascar, South Sudan, and Uganda. Prior to joining OCHA, Stuart served as a Researcher on Standards and Ethics with the Signal Program on Human Security and Technology at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and in a variety of global and country-level roles related to technology and innovation management with UNICEF.


Kirsten Gelsdorf, Senior Fellow

Kirsten is a Professor of Practice of Public Policy, and Director of Global Humanitarian Policy at the University of Virginia. Kirsten has 20 years of experience working in the humanitarian sector; most recently as the Chief of the Policy Analysis and Innovation at the United Nations Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Her career includes supporting operational humanitarian responses in Ethiopia, South Africa, Liberia, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Timor-Leste.  She also served as a humanitarian advisor to President Clinton in his role as the UN Special Envoy for Haiti and as a policy advisor to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the global food crisis in 2008. She is the co-author, with Daniel Maxwell of Understanding the Humanitarian World (Routledge Press, 2019).


2019 Data Fellows

Ghadeer Abuoda, Data Science Fellow (Education)

Ghadeer is a PhD candidate at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) in Qatar. The focus of her research is graph analytics and machine learning. She is also an intern at the Data Analytics group at Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) working on research projects in machine learning and graph databases. Before this, she was a teaching assistant at the Islamic University of Gaza (IUG), Palestine, where she earned her Master’s degree in the domain of text mining and topic modeling. She worked as a software engineer for three years after completing her B.S. degree in Information Technology. Ghadeer is a Palestinian national.


Gagan Narula, Statistics Fellow (Disability)

Gagan is a post-doctoral researcher working at the Neurocritical Care Unit at the University Hospital Zurich. His current research focus is on time series forecasting and unsupervised learning in physiological signals. Gagan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering and a PhD in Neuroscience from the Institute of Neuroinformatics, ETH Zurich. He has over five years of experience in statistical analysis, cognitive science and machine learning. Gagan is an Indian national.


Blair Palmer, Business Strategy Fellow

For over 17 years, Blair Palmer has leveraged her knowledge of technological innovations, project implementation, corporate responsibility, stakeholder engagement, and social enterprises to empower global health programs. She currently helps facilitate partnerships and programs for UNICEF’s Office of Innovation, and is tasked with identifying, prototyping, and scaling technologies and practices that strengthen UNICEF’s work.  She is responsible for sourcing new projects and ideas to connect Silicon Valley with the international development and humanitarian landscape. Blair holds a Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from Vanderbilt University and a Master’s in Public Health from Yale University with a concentration in epidemiology and infectious diseases where she was nominated for a Fulbright Scholarship to Zimbabwe. Blair is an American national.


Dani Poole, Predictive Analytics Fellow

Dani is a Researcher with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, where she applies quantitative methods with a social justice approach to measure and address health disparities among forced migrant populations. She has over a decade of experience leading research programs in Greece, Kenya, Lesotho, Mali, South Africa, and Turkey, as well as the United States. Dani has a Doctor of Science degree from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and a Master of Public Health degree from Brown University. Dani is an American national.

Learn more about the 2018 Class of Fellows and the Data Fellows Programme here.