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Mehret Mandefro, M.D., MSc

Assistant Secretary

Dr. Mehret Mandefro is a physician and anthropologist that produces visual ethnographies about health and social issues. Her first documentary film All of Us, about HIV/AIDS in African American women, premiered on Showtime Networks from 2008-2010. Her next film Outside the Box, about race in America, will premiere on PBS next year and her third film Oblivion, about child marriage in Ethiopia, will be in production in the Fall of 2012.  Dr. Mandefro has worked extensively with HIV infected and affected communities in Botswana, Ethiopia, New York and Philadelphia both as a physician and public health practitioner.   She completed her Primary Care medicine residency at Montefiore Hospital, in the South Bronx, and subsequently joined the research faculty of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine as a Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholar in the Division of General Internal Medicine where she founded the nonprofit education film production company Truth Aid.

Dr. Mandefro was a White House Fellowship in the Obama Administration where she worked on behavioral health policy for returning soldiers of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and continues to provide support to the Strategy Group in the Office of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. She is also on faculty in the Department of Health Policy at the George Washington School of Public Health and Health Services where she teaches the course History of Public Health.  Dr. Mandefro received her BA and medical degree from Harvard University and her Masters of Science in the Public Health of Developing Countries from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine as a Fulbright Scholar.

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