LHSS Leadership and Consortium



Senior Leadership

Maria Francisco, MHSc
LHSS Project Director

Maria Francisco has over three decades of professional experience focusing on global health issues and health care delivery systems in low- and middle-income country contexts. She has held positions in the public and non-profit sectors, serving in in senior advisory, management and leadership roles for a wide range of initiatives with the aim of advancing universal health coverage goals for ensuring equitable access and financial protection. She brings leadership in the areas of public health program and policy development, having worked extensively in maternal and child health, infectious disease and health systems strengthening programs throughout Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

She has led multi-country, multi-million-dollar flagship programs for USAID as a senior advisor for child health and immunization, serving on strategic multilateral fora for the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH), GAVI Health System Strengthening, and Community Integrated Management of Childhood Illness. She has also served in senior technical roles with USAID in Kenya and Vietnam, and as an implementing partner provided technical direction in health systems strengthening and equity-focused programming under USAID’s Health Systems Strengthening Accelerator (HSSA), Quality Assurance Project (QAP), MOMENTUM Routine Immunization Transformation and Equity (M-RITE), Acting to End Neglected Tropical Diseases | East (Act East), and the Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP). Maria holds a master's degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

Marianne El-Khoury, MA, MPA
LHSS Deputy Project Director

Marianne El-Khoury brings more than 14 years of professional experience managing global health programs. At Abt, she has held senior management and technical roles on USAID-funded projects in health systems strengthening and private sector health. She has also led research and evaluation studies in family planning and reproductive health, maternal and child health, and health financing.

As LHSS Deputy Project Director, Marianne supports the LHSS Project Director in the overall management of the task order and oversees project activities across 19 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America. Marianne holds a Master of Public Affairs from Princeton University and a Master of Economics from the American University of Beirut.

Midori de Habich, PH.D.
LHSS Technical Director

Midori de Habich brings 25 years of experience leading and implementing development activities in low- and middle-income countries, including two years serving as Minister of Health, and 10 years as a Chief of Party of USAID-funded projects in her native country of Peru.

As LHSS Technical Director, Midori helps country teams to think creatively about new solutions and approaches. She ensures that the project’s collaborative approach to working with local government partners is applied wherever LHSS works. She also oversees the global technical expert pool, coordinates cross-project learning, and is responsible for the quality assurance of technical approaches and major project deliverables. 


LHSS Consortium


LHSS is managed by the international consulting and research firm Abt Associates, headquartered in the United States in Rockville, Maryland. Nine partner organizations contribute targeted support for project activities under the LHSS consortium umbrella.

Abt Global (Project Lead)

Abt Global brings data-driven, solutions-oriented technical assistance to our partnerships with governments, organizations, and communities. Using our proven collaborative methods and tools, we co-create capacity to achieve sustainable outcomes and advance equity. 

We address the world’s most pressing problems–from infectious disease and environmental factors to educational outcomes and economic security–using sound technical assistance and evidence-based implementation strategies. Spanning diverse cultures, geographies and sectors, we enable local stakeholders to drive their own solutions. In this way, we help find pathways to change through a focused approach on capacity building and evidence-based practices.

Avenir Health

Avenir Health, formerly Futures Institute, was founded in 2006 as a global health organization that works to enhance social and economic development by providing tools and technical assistance in policy, planning, resource allocation and evaluation. In particular, it focuses on developing and implementing demographic, epidemiological and costing models for long-range planning to assist with setting goals, strategies, and objectives. We assist in both developing and implementing programs in HIV/AIDS, reproductive health, maternal health and other programming areas. It works with government agencies, foundations, corporations, and nongovernmental organizations around the world.

Banyan Global

Banyan Global is a development consulting firm, founded on the principle that integrating expertise and experience from the development community and private sector will achieve a broad and lasting impact. Its unique team comprises seasoned private sector and international development professionals. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., Banyan Global maintains staff around the world. Banyan Global is a women-owned small business.

Health Information Systems Program (HISP)

Health Information Systems Program provides a wide range of digital health solutions including clinical decision support, laboratory systems, mobile health and data management. HISP'S comprehensive suite of healthcare IT solutions improves many lives, with a focus on digital transformation.

Institute for Healthcare Improvement

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) is an independent not-for-profit organization helping to lead the improvement of health and health care throughout the world. ​For more than 30 years, IHI has used improvement science to advance and sustain better outcomes in health and health care across the world. IHI is a recognized innovator, convener, and generous leader, a trustworthy partner, and the first place to turn for expertise, help, and encouragement for anyone, anywhere who wants to profoundly change health and health care for the better.

McKinsey & Company

McKinsey & Company is designed to operate as one—a single global partnership united by a strong set of values. McKinsey is equally committed to both sides of its mission: attracting and developing a talented and diverse group of colleagues and helping our clients create meaningful and lasting change.

Results for Development

Results for Development was established in 2008 in response to a need for an organization that could work at the nexus between thinking and doing, with skill not just in developing promising, evidence-based ideas but also in the arduous art of applying them in practice. R4D is working to achieve large-scale, lasting impact in health, education and nutrition, the work must be driven by country leaders. R4D is also a globally recognized leader for designing initiatives that connect implementers, experts and funders across countries to build knowledge and get that knowledge into practice.

Save the Children

Save the Children is a leading humanitarian organization for children. Their charity has changed the lives of over 1 billion children in the U.S. and around the world. The organization helps to raise money to improve children's lives by creating better educational opportunities, better health care, and improved economic opportunities.

Training for Health Equity Network

THEnet envisions a world of healthy vibrant communities where all people attain the highest level of health. THEnet and its partners contribute to health equity through health workforce education, research, and service, based on the principles of social accountability and community engagement.

Training Resources Group

Training Resources Group, Inc. (TRG) is an employee-owned management consulting and training firm. TRG has worked in over one hundred countries providing training and organizational development services to clients in large and small corporations, international organizations, federal and state government agencies and non-profit organizations.

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