Our Team


Professor Richard Sullivan King’s College London
Dr Zedoun Alzoubi UOSSM International
Professor Preeti Patel King’s College London

Dr Munzer Alkhalil
Fouad M. Fouad
Salem abdan

Lina Murad
Christopher Rider
James Watt

Munther Bulad
Badr AlDien
Esad Halvani
Kristen Meagher

In Detail

Professor Richard Sullivan

Co-Investigator and Chair

Richard Sullivan is Professor of Cancer and Global Health at King’s College London and Guy’s Comprehensive Cancer Centre. His global cancer research covers cancer systems strengthening, financing, political economy, global radiotherapy, VR enhanced surgical simulation training, social welfare and cancer care in conflict. He also has active research interests in conflict and health with a special focus on the Middle East, including Health Security Intelligence, Global Health Security and health systems strengthening in conflict. Professor Sullivan trained in surgery (urology) gaining his PhD in Biochemistry from University College London. Richard was formally Clinical Director of Cancer Research UK for nearly ten years and a consultant surgeon by background. He has worked with wide range of international organisations around issues of national cancer control planning with a particular interest in conflict zones. He is Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Cancer Policy, Chair of Trustees for eCancer and a national cancer advisor to a number of governments. Richard is a WHO NCD advisor, a member of the National Cancer Grid of India and currently convenor of the COVID-19 & Cancer Global Taskforce and a member of WHO Ukraine Emergency Health Committee.

Dr. Zedoun Alzoubi

Co-Investigator and Chair

Dr. Zedoun Alzoubi is a highly qualified and organized professional with a background in strategic management, governance, peace building, and research. His managerial work in the public, private, and civil society sectors has gained him diverse experience. As a researcher, Dr. Alzoubi took part in many research projects with a focus on governance, civil society, humanitarian, and peace building. As a facilitator/trainer of the Women Advisory Board and Civil Society Support Room in the Office of the Special Envoy to Syria Dr. Alzoubi developed strong practical knowledge in gender, constitution, local governance, political systems, mediation and conflict resolution in the Syrian context and the Arab region. Dr. Alzoubi holds a PhD Degree in Management received from Arab Academy for Finance and Banking Sciences, and his post-doctoral studies in Technical University in Berlin TU

Professor Preeti Patel


Preeti Patel is a Reader in Global Health and Conflict in the Department of War Studies, King’s College London. Dr Patel is currently Co-Principal Co-investigator for the Research for Health System Strengthening in north western Syria. She is a multi-disciplinary global health specialist working on countries and populations affected by armed conflict, with a focus on non-communicable disease issues, health systems and humanitarian health. At King’s she co-directs the CHRG. She convenes modules on complex political emergencies and health in the Department of War Studies, and conflict and health at King’s Centre for Global Health. Dr Patel has led several studies on tracking development aid for health in conflict-affected countries, global health governance and health systems in post-conflict areas.

Dr Abdulkarim Ekzayez


Dr Abdulkarim is a medical doctor and an epidemiologist. Currently his work and his PhD at King’s College focuses on health system strengthening in conflict settings. He is a co-investigator in a large NIHR funded project: Research for Health System Strengthening in northern Syria. He is also an associate fellow with the Global Health Programme at Chatham House. He is involved in several other projects and research with other academic and policy institutes including LSHTM, AUB, Chatham House and others. His research focuses on the public health impacts of conflict, protection of healthcare in conflict, health systems strengthening, and building health research capacity in conflict settings.

In 2013, Karim was training to be a neurosurgeon when his residency was interrupted by the war. He joined Save the Children in North West Syria, where he led the health response until 2017. Also, he was part of supporting the rebuilding of the health system in opposition controlled areas in Syria using a bottom up approach.

Dr Abdulkarim is a trustee member of two NGOs, Shafak and Refugee Trauma Initiative; a steering committee member of the Syria Public Health Network, and a general secretary of the Syrian British Medical Society.

Dr Munzer Alkhalil

Research Associate

Munzer Alkhalil is a researcher at Research for Health System Strengthening in North West of Syria Project / 2021- 2022.

He has worked as General Manager at Idlib Health Directorate from 2013 until 2020.

He has worked as an orthopedist and manager of many Hospitals in Idlib province between 2011-2015.

Dr Munzer was a member of the Medical Board of Idlib province in 2012. Also, he was the head of the Medical Office in Idlib province in 2011.

In 2008 and 2009, he was the head of the voluntary medical camps in Syria.

From 2006 to 2007, Alkhalil was the head of the administrative body of the faculty of medicine at Aleppo University.

Dr Munzer is a co-founder of the first field hospital in Syria in 2011, Alamal hospital for orthopaedic surgery, Idlib Health Directorate, and many central health projects such as forensic medicine, drugs control, referral system, health information system and the health coordination body.

He holds a university degree in human medicine from Aleppo University in 2007. And he had a certificate of specialization in orthopaedics from the Syrian Board of Medical Specialties in 2017. He also holds an MSc Health Policy, Planning and Financing certificate from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and London School of Economics and Political Science.

Dr Munzer had many diplomas in hospital management, health governance, health systems through crisis and recovery, and strategic planning from many universities.

He was granted many trophies from the presidency of the Syrian Arab Republic in 2009 for active participation in the voluntary actions in Syria. And from Aleppo University – Faculty of Medicine in 2007 and from the Political body in Idlib province and many health organizations.

Dr Munzer had several activities on society empowerment, building the local councils, documenting the use of chemical weapons in Syria, advocacy campaigns to stop attacking health facilities and personnel, and working with the Arab Observer Delegation to Syria to implement the plan of resolving the Syrian crisis and providing protection for civilians in 2011.

Munther Bulad

Programme Management

Munther Bulad is an innovative humanitarian practitioner with over eight years’ experience.  He has strong experience in management and performance management as demonstrated through his Master’s degree at Marmara University. He has significant experience with donor compliance, project management, organizational development, and reporting. In addition, he has a deep understanding of the Syrian context. Munther led the design of R4HSSS from UOSSM. He continues to support R4HSSS implementation activities at all levels and through stakeholder engagement.

Badr AlDien

Programme Management

Badr AlDien Tiriaki is an Information management / GIS Specialist who has an academic background of civil engineering from Damascus university 2015, and a diploma from the higher institute of dentist 2009. He has 10 years of experience in data management, analysis, Monitoring and Evaluation.

  • He has worked as GIS analyst and GIS project manager for three years and participated in many projects
  • He worked for many NGOs in MEAL departments as MEAL Coordinator and Team Leader
  • He provided consultation for MEAL department and support development of policies and methods for NGO’s
  • Provided many training in GIS and data analytics

Badr AlDien is in charge of providing technical support regarding data management within R4HSSS project to support researchers and workers in data collections, analysis and Archive information.

Esad Halvani

Programme Management

Esad Halvani is an Program coordinator who has an academic background of civil engineering from Gaziantep university 2018, and a Master degree in civil engineering /Mechanical division from Gaziantep university 2021 . He has a 5 year of experience in humanitarian field.

  • He has worked as Arabic Program Coordinator at Gaziantep university for 4 years.
  • He worked for many NGOs in programs departments as program officer and program coordinator.

Esad is responsible for the overall project implementation, also, he provides guidance to mitigate identified problems and coordinates with project staff and other relevant stakeholders. He is in charge of overall reporting to partners, facilitate all program requirements for both IHD and UOSSM in front of partners and organize meetings with different stockholders to share information on project activities to ensure that all planned activities are implemented on time, according to quality standards and as per the monthly plan.

Dr Nassim El Achi

Research Asssociate

Dr El Achi joined King’s in January 2022, where she is part of the NIHR-funded R4HSSS project that focuses on the capacity strengthening of health systems in North Syria. Prior to joining King’s, Nassim worked as a postdoctoral researcher in health, water and climate at the University of Oxford on the SafePani Project, and as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Global Health Institute-American University of Beirut, Lebanon on the R4HC-MENA research partnership.

She has been invited to give lectures & seminars as part of postgraduate modules at multiple universities including KCL, LSHTM, UCL, University of Bath, and at The Worshipful Society of Apothecaries.

Her research interests include improving health systems & water security in complex environments & emerging economies

Nassim holds a PhD from Université de Lille & won multiple prizes including the 2nd prize for the best PhD in Chemical Sciences.

Kristen Meagher

Programme Management
Programme Manager and Research Associate

Kristen Meagher is the R4HSSS Programme Manager at King’s College London and is also a PhD student as part of R4HSSS in which she is exploring the role of women’s leadership in health systems in north west Syria.  Kristen also co-leads the Women Leaders in Health and Conflict initiative, and previously managed Research for Health in Conflict in the Middle East and North Africa. @kristenjmeagher– Twitter Kristen Meagher – LinkedIn

Benazir Rashid

Programme Coordinator

Benazir Rashid is the R4HSSS Programme Coordinator at King’s College London. Benazir graduated from SOAS, University of London (2019) with a Bachelor of Science in Economics and has been working in King’s College London since September 2019. Benazir joined the R4HSSS team in February 2023 and has a keen interested in Gender and International Development.

@benazirrashid – Twitter, Benazir Rashid – LinkedIn

James Watt

International Advisory Board

James Watt CVO joined the R4HC-MENA programme in April 2018 as Chairman of the International Advisory Board. He is furthermore currently chairman of the Council for British Research in the Levant (cbrl.org), a body funded through the British Academy supporting post-doctoral research in the social sciences and humanities in Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon and Syria, and with institutes in Jerusalem and Amman. He is also a trustee of the London Middle East Institute, at the School of Oriental and African Studies (soas.ac.uk/lmei). In addition, he is a trustee of the British Lebanese Association (britishlebanese.org) responsible for the masters-level scholarship programme. Separately he works in London as a political risk consultant on the Middle East as a partner in the Ambassador Partnership (ambassadorllp.com) and is a commentator on the politics of the region. His earlier career was in the British Diplomatic Service from 1977-2014, specialising in the Middle East and serving as ambassador to Lebanon (2003-6), Jordan (2006-11) and Egypt (2011-14). He and his wife, Amal, have homes and children in London and Beirut.

Lina Murad

International Advisory Board

Lina Murad, MD
Interventional Nephrologist in DC area for the last 16 years .
Prior to that was worked  in Nephrology and Internal Medicine since 1992
Board certified in Internal Medicine and Nephrology
BS degree from Mission Laique Francaise 1979
MD degree from Damascus University Medical school 1985
Internal Medicine Degree from Georgetown University and Fellowship in Nephrology and HTN from George Washington University both in DC/ USA

Volunteering experience
Secretary of the Syrian American Medical Society 2014
Chair of the Syrian National Kidney Foundation
Chair Nephrology Board of the Syrian Board of Medical Specialties in NW Syria
Consultant WHO/ Hopkins : Expert In hemodialysis programs in NW Syria
Coordinator of the group. National Health services post conflict in Syria
Long history of teaching in NW Syria past 11 years / IM/ ICU / Nephrology

Publications relevant to R4HSSS:
Care and outcomes of end stage kidney disease patient in time of armed conflict: recommendations for action. Isreb, MA, et al. Clinical Nephrology 2016
Revival of basic health services in Styria . Sekkarie MA, et al. Lancet Global Health 2015
The Syrian conflict : assessment of the ESRD system and response of hemodialysis needs during humanitarian and medical crisis . Sekkarie MA, et al. Kidney Int 2015
Continuous Veno venous hemofiltration using a stand-alone blood pump for acute kidney injury in field hospital in Syria . Rifai AO, et al. Kidney Int. 2015
The Syrian National Kidney Foundation: Response for the need of kidney patients during the crisis . AL-Makki A, et al. Avicenna J Med.2014
Challenges of providing healthcare worker education and training in protracted conflict: a focus on non – government controlled areas in north west Syria . Conflict and Health 2020

Language skills: English, Arabic, French and intermediate proficiency in written Spanish

Christopher Rider CBE

International Advisory Board

Christopher is an independent consultant with experience in the design and delivery of programmes to prevent and counter violent extremism, with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa. During over 30 years in the British Army, he has served on numerous peace-keeping and peace-building missions. His specializations include defence diplomacy, security-sector reform, training and education, leadership and programme design and management. He holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Durham University and a master’s degree in defence administration from Cranfield University.