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White, Ph.D.

Senior Health Specialist

Dr. James White, a registered nurse and Collaborative Specialist in Global Health (CSGH), is a senior health specialist with a focus on infectious disease and global health security (GHS). He has over 20 years of experience that includes delivery of emergency response programs in emergency and fragile settings, pandemic preparedness and response, health systems strengthening, and public-private collaboration for GHS. White has worked in more than 20 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America assisting in both acute outbreak response and preparation for health emergencies. He also represents Abt as a technical expert on external GHS and pandemic preparedness working groups. His clients have included the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the United Kingdom’s Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), and the Canadian International Development Association (CIDA) (now Global Affairs Canada).

White supports Abt Global’s efforts to develop and deliver globally aligned infectious disease and GHS projects. He helps position our staff and partners for the broad range of prevention, detection, and response activities required for effective GHS programming. He provided technical leadership during the COVID-19 response under USAID’s Local Health System Sustainability (LHSS) project. White now supports projects in Colombia, Jamaica, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and other global locations, advancing strong pandemic preparedness, One Health, and diagnostic systems for emergency response. His work emphasizes breaking down operational siloes in global health, aligning activities and approaches with international efforts, and localizing approaches through direct engagement with a broad range of partners.

White’s interest in global public health began in the late 1990s as a volunteer for Médecins Sans Frontières Canada’s access to essential medications campaigns. As a newly graduated registered nurse, he worked in street health programs in downtown Toronto for the City of Toronto. He also worked for the University of Calgary, treating and counseling people living without homes in migrant camps in Mexico. In the early 2000s, in response to the surging global HIV pandemic, White worked for the CIDA-funded Ontario Hospital Association’s Africa Program as a frontline antiretroviral therapy provider as part of Southern Africa’s response. He saw how systems determine the success or failure of emergency response and sustained disease management, so he joined Abt Global in 2011 to focus on harmonizing the realities of frontline clinical service delivery with strong health system management. Over the course of his career at Abt Global, he has led and supported efforts to expand multi-sectoral disease management programs and led multi-country COVID-19 emergency response programs.


  • Program and technical solution design
  • Infectious disease and GHS clinical approaches
  • Pandemic preparedness and emergency response
  • Public-private partnerships
  • One Health: linking human, animal, and environmental health

Key Projects:

  • USAID Local Health Systems Strengthening Project
  • USAID TB Free Uzbekistan
  • USAID Mozambique Efficiencies for Clinical HIV/AIDS Outcomes
James White, Ph.D.