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Principal Associate, PMI Evolve Project, Ethiopia

Dereje Dengela is an epidemiologist and entomologist with more than 25 years of experience in planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of malaria control programs. He has extensive managerial experience, having supervised as many as 94 professionals. He has held senior positions with the government of Ethiopia, worked on projects for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and worked for the World Health Organization (WHO) as national malaria program officer in Ethiopia. While at the WHO, he supported the Ministry of Health of Ethiopia in mobilization of financial resources from donors, particularly the Global Fund. Dengela has authored or co-authored more than 30 publications in peer-reviewed journals.

Dengela currently spearheads the planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) Evolve Project in Ethiopia. He oversees the work of 56 staff conducting vector control and entomological monitoring activities, including indoor residual spraying (IRS), distribution of insecticide-treated nets, and larval source management (LSM).

Before his current role, Dengela led the PMI VectorLink Project in Ethiopia, where he and his team piloted an LSM intervention in eight municipalities in 2022. Under his leadership, the team supported the full transition of these activities in four of these locations to local governments in July 2023. PMI VectorLink Ethiopia also produced an insecticide-resistance management plan for a newly launched IRS insecticide, clothianidin, which informed Ethiopia’s national IRS insecticide policy. Dengela joined Abt Global in October 2011 as technical director for the PMI Africa Indoor Residual Spraying (AIRS) project and later transitioned into the same role on the follow-on PMI VectorLink project. In that role, he designed entomological monitoring protocols and processes and developed standardized data collection tools. He led the development of several PMI VectorLink entomology standard operating procedures and a community based-entomology training curriculum. He led entomological monitoring capacity building efforts in 24 PMI VectorLink African countries. Prior to joining Abt, Dengela served as chief of party for a Research Triangle Institute-led IRS project in Ethiopia, as national malaria program officer with the WHO, and as the PMI senior malaria advisor in Ethiopia.


  • Entomology
  • Malaria epidemiology
  • Malaria and Zika vector control
  • USAID contract management
  • Statistical data analysis

Key Projects:

  • PMI Evolve
  • PMI VectorLink
  • Africa Indoor Residual Spraying
  • Indoor Residual Spraying (RTI International)
  • President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI)


  • Hamlet, A, Dengela, D, Tongren, JE et al. The potential impact of Anopheles stephensi establishment on the transmission of Plasmodium falciparum in Ethiopia and prospective control measures. BMC Med20, 135 (2022). 
  • Carter, TE, Yared, Getachew, D, … Dengela, D, et al. Genetic diversity of Anopheles stephensi in Ethiopia provides insight into patterns of spread. Parasites Vectors 14, 602 (2021).
  • Balkew, M, Mumba, P, Yohannes, G… Dengela, D, et al. An update on the distribution, bionomics, and insecticide susceptibility of Anopheles stephensi in Ethiopia, 2018–2020. Malaria Journal 20, 263 (2021). 
  • Balkew, M., Mumba, P., Dengela, D. et al. Geographical distribution of Anopheles stephensi in eastern Ethiopia. Parasites Vectors 13, 35 (2020).
  • Dengela D, Seyoum A, Lucas B, Johns B., et al. Multi-country assessment of residual bio-efficacy of insecticides used for indoor residual spraying in malaria control on different surface types: results from program monitoring in 17 PMI/USAID-supported IRS countries. Parasites and Vectors 2018;11:71
Dereje Dengela