Senior Advisory Board 

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H.E. Ambassador Prof. Armen Baibourtian

Prof Baibourtian served as the Deputy Foreign Minister of Armenia (1997-2000 and 2004-2008) and Ambassador in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia (2000-2004).

Prof Baibourtian has been a Senior Adviser to the United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia (2008-2013). In this capacity, he coordinated the activities of twelve UN agencies on the country scale. Along with the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary, Prof Baibourtian co-chaired the U.S.-Armenia Security Dialogue. He also co-chaired bilateral Intergovernmental Commissions on Trade, Economic, Technological, Cultural, and Educational Cooperation with India and China. He was the Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN in New York (1993-1995) dealing with international peace and security issues at the UN Headquarters and then served as the Consul General in Los Angeles (1995-1997). Prof Baibourtian has been a Professor of Practice of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and is Consultant to various agencies in international affairs, diplomacy, and international development.

Prof Baibourtian holds two PhDs – in International Studies and Modern World History and is the recipient of several awards, including the Fridtjof Nansen Humanitarian Service Medal.


Prof Sharmila Makhija, MD, FACOG, MBA

Prof Makhija is an international expert on gynecologic cancer, currently serves as Department Chair of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women’s Health, Professor of Gynecologic Oncology, and The Chella and Moise Safra Endowed Chair at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center. 

Dr. Makhija earned her B.A. in Chemistry from Cornell University and her medical degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She completed her obstetrics and gynecology residency at the University of Louisville Hospital and a fellowship in gynecologic oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. She received her executive MBA from Emory’s Goizueta Business School. 

Dr. Makhija has held faculty positions at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where she received the medical education award and the Argus Teaching Award from the medical school. At Emory University, she was division chief of gynecologic oncology, a Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Cancer Scholar, and the Leach Endowed Chair in obstetrics and gynecology. She served as Department Chair of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health, was a tenured professor of gynecologic oncology and the Donald E. Baxter Endowed Chair in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. While there, she also served as the Chief Medical and Operations Officer for the Center for Women and Infants. At the University of Louisville College of Business executive MBA program, she was an instructor for the course “Economics of Health Sector Management.” 

Dr. Makhija has published and lectured nationally and internationally on developmental therapeutics, such as gene therapy and monoclonal antibody therapy for the treatment of ovarian cancer, for which she received NIH funding as a Women’s Reproductive Health Research Scholar. She has been the Primary Investigator or Co-Primary Investigator for 15 translational/clinical grants and protocols for the NIH, NCI and pharmaceutical companies, including the HPV vaccine trials. She has served as a reviewer for the Department of Defense and the NIH Clinical Oncology Study Section. 

Dr. Makhija established a NCI cooperative trial site at Tata Hospital in Mumbai, India to bring cervical cancer trials to patients who most needed access to the latest therapies. She has continued her work in India and served as the Women’s Health Co-Chair for the Global Healthcare Summit in New Delhi, India in 2016, sponsored by the AAPI (American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin) with a focus on Maternal and Infant Mortality. 

Dr. Makhija is presently on the editorial board for the Journal of Oncology Practice and has served on the editorial boards for the Women’s Oncology Review  Journal and International Journal of Gynecological Cancer. She is a reviewer for the journals Gynecologic Oncology, International Journal of Gynecological Cancer, and Clinical Cancer Research. 

Dr. Makhija is a graduate of Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM), serves on their advisory board and was an elected representative for AAMC CFAS (American Association of Medical Colleges, Council of Faculty and Academic Societies) while at the University of Louisville. She has served as a board of director member of numerous local, state and national organizations including the University of Louisville Medical Center, KMRRRG malpractice, KY Medicaid (Passport). She currently serves on Women’s Voices for Change, the Foundation for Women’s Cancers and the Indo-American Cancer Association. Dr. Makhija has been listed as a “Top Doctor in America” since 2008.


Mr Edric Engert, MBA

Mr. Engert is currently the Managing Director of Abraxeolus Consulting where he assists clients in such areas as strategy, its operationalization, business development/in-licensing, private equity sourcing and advisory roles, portfolio strategy, selection, and management, operational improvement programs, turnarounds, corporate development, and M&A. Abraxeolus has advised a broad range of clients, from multi-billion dollar multinationals to family owned businesses in such industries as Biosimilars, Generics, Branded Pharmaceuticals, API, Healthcare Information Exchanges, medical supply companies, distributors, animal health companies, other consulting firms, and not-for-profit agencies.

He was recently the Senior Vice President and Head of Biosimilars for Teva Pharmaceuticals where he was responsible for the business unit. Other prior positions include Global Head of Portfolio Management & In-licensing at Teva; Global Head of Portfolio Management & In-licensing at Sandoz; VP of Strategic Planning, Portfolio, and API Sourcing at Geneva Pharmaceuticals; and consultant at McKinsey & Company’s health care practice.

Mr Engert holds an MBA from Wharton and a BS in Mathematics from MIT.

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Dr Umakanth Khatwa, MD

Dr. Khatwa is a pediatric pulmonologist and sleep specialist at Boston Children’s Hospital with faculty appointment at Harvard Medical School. He completed his pediatric residency at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi and Fellowship in Pediatric Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine at the Harvard. He severed as the Director of the Aerodigestive Center at Boston Children’s Hospital for 7 years and then became the Director of sleep laboratory at the Children’s Hospital. He was recently elected as the President of the Association of American Physicians of Indian Origin – Sleep (AAPIOS), the largest ethnic sleep physician organization in US. His research interests include pediatric sleep disordered breathing and aspiration/reflux related lung disease and has widely published in international journals. Dr. Katwa lectures regularly in national and international conference and is actively involved in training fellows, residents and medical students at Harvard Medical School. He also does educational seminars and teaching regularly in India to increase the awareness of sleep disorders.