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Principal Associate, International Development

Lisa Tarantino has 25 years of experience designing, managing, and evaluating complex global health and development programs. She has managed global, regional, and national initiatives for health finance, system strengthening, and private sector financing in 20+ countries. Lisa is a thought leader in sustainable approaches that enable transition from development partner support. Lisa has been a professor and advisor to the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs’ Economic and Political Development program and the Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies’ International Development program.

As Director for Transition and Sustainability of the USAID Local Health System Sustainability Project (LHSS), Lisa leads global efforts to strengthen and measure the capacity and sustainability of health systems and to facilitate transition from external support. As LHSS Regional Manager for Latin America and the Caribbean, she manages a program supporting Colombia’s integration of migrants into the health system. She also is home office project director for USAID’s Sustainable Finance for HIV project in Vietnam and provides technical leadership for access to finance activities for the Benin Private Health Sector Activity.

Tarantino served in several roles for the USAID flagship Health Finance and Governance (HFG) Project. As regional program manager for the Eastern and Southern Caribbean, she oversaw a $4 million, 11-country program to strengthen the sustainability of the region’s HIV response. She was technical lead and provided managerial oversight for the first regional assessment of health security and development of the Caribbean Region Global Health Security Agenda Roadmap for the Caribbean Community. Tarantino also served as HFG’s senior health governance specialist and the Ukraine country program manager for a program supporting health finance reform, HIV integration, and introducing strategic purchasing.


  • Designing, managing, and evaluating global health and development programs
  • Development and health finance
  • Health governance and security
  • Sustainability and transition from donor support

Key Projects:

  • Local Health System Sustainability (LHSS) Project (Global)
  • USAID Sustainable Financing for HIV (Vietnam)
  • Hawassa Industrial Park Health Needs Assessment, Ethiopia Private Health Sector Project
  • Private Health Sector Project Activity (Benin)
  • USAID’s Health Finance and Governance Project (Global, Eastern & Southern Caribbean, Ukraine, the Caucuses)


  • “System strengthening for sustainable development & lasting impact,” Lisa Tarantino, September 20, 2019. Lecture, Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, New York, NY.
  • Cico, Altea, Kelley Laird, Lisa Tarantino and Sharon Nakhimovsky. September 2018. Governing for better quality health care in low and middle income countries: Promising practices. Bethesda, MD: Health Finance & Governance Project, Abt Global Inc.
  •  “Strengthening the Sustainability of the HIV Response in the Caribbean,” Webinar. Lisa Tarantino & Sarah Insanally, HFG Project, July 2018.
  • C. James Hospedales & Lisa Tarantino (2018) Fighting Health Security Threats Requires a Cross-Border Approach, Health Systems & Reform, 4:2, 72-76, DOI: 10.1080/23288604.2018.1446698
  • Johns, B., Doroshenko, O., Tarantino, L. et al. “The Cost-Effectiveness of Integrating HIV Counseling and Testing into Primary Health Care in the Ukraine,” AIDS and Behavior (September 2016). doi:10.1007/s10461-016-1554-z
lisa tarantino