Meet the Team


Tan Sri Dr Jemilah Mahmood
Executive Director

Dr. Mahmood is a Professor of Planetary Health at Sunway University. A medical professional with more than two decades of experience managing health crises in disasters and conflict settings, her previous appointments include: Under Secretary General for Partnerships at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC); Chief of the World Humanitarian Summit secretariat at the United Nations; and Chief of the Humanitarian Response Branch at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

In 2020, she was appointed a Senior Fellow of the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Centre to help reach the goal of making one billion people more resilient to climate change, migration, and human security challenges by 2030. She was also the Special Advisor to the Prime Minister of Malaysia on Public Health, a member of the Government of Malaysia’s Economic Action Council and Climate Action Council, and most notably the founder of MERCY Malaysia, a Southern-based international humanitarian organisation.

Dr. Mahmood has received numerous international and national awards including the ASEAN Award in 2019 and the Merdeka Award in 2015 for excellent contribution to community development in Malaysia and the region. Her international awards include the prestigious Isa Award for Services to Humanity in 2013 from the Kingdom of Bahrain, often referred to as the “Nobel peace prize equivalent in the Gulf”. For her contributions in disaster risk reduction, poverty alleviation and peace advocacy, Dr Mahmood was also awarded the Gandhi, King, Ikeda Award by Morehouse College USA (Martin Luther King Chapel) in 2006.



Dr. Renzo Guinto
Chief Planetary Health Scientist

Dr. Guinto is an Associate Professor of Public and Planetary Health at Sunway University. He is concurrently an Associate Professor and Inaugural Director of the Planetary and Global Health Program in St. Luke’s Medical Center College of Medicine in the Philippines. An Obama Asia-Pacific Leader and Aspen Institute New Voices Fellow, Dr. Guinto sits in several international boards including The Lancet Planetary Health, Global Health 50/50 (based in University College London) and Climate Cares (based in Imperial College London), as well as in two Lancet Commissions on One Health (based in University of Oslo) and Population Health Post-COVID-19 (led by the Chatham House and University of Cambridge). He has served as consultant for numerous organizations including WHO, World Bank, ASEAN, WHO Foundation, USAID, and IOM. He obtained his MD from the University of the Philippines and DrPH from Harvard University. In 2020, he was included by Tatler Magazine in its Gen. T List of 400 leaders of tomorrow who are shaping Asia’s future.



Oliver Lacey-Hall
Senior Adviser for Communications & Partnerships

Oliver Lacey-Hall is a senior humanitarian and development professional. He was most recently Director of the UK’s Humanitarian and Stabilisation Operations Team (HSOT), leading provision of humanitarian and stabilisation services to the UK Government by the Palladium Group. He previously served with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) heading its regional office for Asia and the Pacific and subsequently as Senior Liaison Officer with the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) between 2011 and 2018. He has 30 years’ experience in humanitarian work, with an initial focus on refugee issues followed by coordination and communications work, mixed with project and programme management.



Maisarah Faiesall
Special Assistant to the Executive Director

Maisarah Faiesall is the Special Assistant to the Centre’s Executive Director. She has a background in research and communications. Her previous involvements include research roles on public health with the Malaysian government, as well as migration studies, gender issues and digital rights with private firms and non-profit organisations. She is a First Class graduate of International Relations with Mandarin from The University of Nottingham, Malaysia.




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