Gradian Health Systems is a nonprofit medical technology company that develops, distributes,
and sustains world-class medical equipment in low-resource hospitals around the world. With service and training operations across the African continent and other regions, we have built the distribution network, business model, and clinical partnerships to revolutionize how life-saving innovations are introduced and supported and empower health providers to better serve their patients.

Gradian has established distribution and service hubs in 10+ countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Working hand-in-hand with national governments, professional societies, international donors, NGOs, and local companies, we serve a total of 500+ health facilities in 25+ countries of operation.

About Us

Our Team

Gradian has teams and offices in New York, USA; Nairobi, Kenya; and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Ibrahim Bakari

Operations Manager

Ibrahim manages Gradian’s broad portfolio of activities in Tanzania, including customer service, training, and monitoring and evaluation. As Gradian’s lead in-country staff member, he works closely to cultivate relationships with Gradian’s key stakeholders.

Ibrahim brings nearly a decade of experience working in multi-stakeholder engagement and operations. Before joining Gradian he worked on project development with the UN Global Program office in Tanzania and Geneva, Switzerland. Through his earlier work with the International Development Consultancy, Ibrahim worked with policymakers, community leaders and federal ministries to implement various development programs in Tanzania.

In 2016 Ibrahim was selected to be a member of the “Next Generation of Global Leaders” by Japan’s Cabinet Office (Ministry of Foreign Affairs).

Ibrahim holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Dodoma and a Postgraduate diploma in Management of Foreign Relations and Diplomacy from the Centre for Foreign Relations in Dar es Salaam.

David Ettl

Vice President, Operations

David leads Gradian’s after-sales operations across our markets, overseeing maintenance, service, and evaluation of our products in the field. Drawing on insights from this work, he also supports business development and distributor management in Gradian’s more mature markets.

Prior to Gradian, David spent 10 years in global public health, with a focus on research design, program management, and monitoring and evaluation. Most recently, he consulted for multinational pharmaceutical companies to support maternal health and non-communicable disease initiatives in Asia, Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, and the Middle East.

David has lived and worked in both India and Tanzania. He holds an MPH from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and a BA in Global Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Derick Kamina

Senior Biomedical Engineer

Riti Karnad

Director of Distribution

As part of Gradian's Market Strategy team, Riti oversees distributor management in existing and new markets, for which she leads growth, training, and after-sales customer service in markets across East and West Africa.

Riti's prior experience spans strategy consulting, impact investing, and social enterprise. She spent several years with the Monitor Group in India and was a member of the Monitor Inclusive Markets practice during her stint there. While in business school, she worked on sourcing, due diligence, and deal execution as part of the healthcare portfolio team at Acumen. Most recently, she worked with the Emerging Markets team at BioLite, where her responsibilities included market strategy and scaling operations in East Africa.

Riti holds an MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, an M.A. in Economics from the University of Cambridge, and a B.A. in Economics from Delhi University.

Nishitha Kulshreshtha

Director of Sales

Adam Lewis

Vice President

Adam leads programs and communications for Gradian. Across various markets, Adam manages our partnerships with local governments, NGOs, hospitals, universities, businesses, and our network of clinical and technical colleagues to scale our technology and training throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Adam also directs the company's external communications and advocacy efforts.

Adam joined Gradian after five years in global health consulting, working with organizations such as USAID, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Merck for Mothers, along with several social enterprises. His work has focused primarily on developing communications strategies, advocacy campaigns, and thought leadership platforms in the area of maternal health.

Adam is also a freelance writer and researcher covering global health and social justice. His work has been featured in the Washington Post, Guardian, VICE and other news outlets. He holds a BA in English from Washington & Lee University.

Magdalena Mwalimo

Finance & Service Associate

Hannah Nelson

Training & Evaluation Manager

As Gradian’s Training and Evaluation Manager, Hannah ensures that Gradian’s work is responsive to feedback from the field—and that both our operations and impact are measured effectively. By figuring out the most appropriate questions to ask our trainers, technicians, and users, and then what’s needed to get the answers, Hannah helps Gradian continually learn from what we’ve done in the past and adapt to the needs of the populations we serve.

Hannah has been working in global health for nearly a decade, pursuing a lifelong desire to close the gap in access to healthcare. Before coming to Gradian, she spent eight years living in Tanzania implementing data-driven programs related to sustainable development and displacement. She helped run several community health awareness projects, and led a team at Civicus to develop on online capacity building program for data collection.

Hannah received a B.A. in Public Health and African Studies from NYU. She graduated with her Master’s in Public Health from Tulane, where she studied program design and implementation specializing in HIV/AIDS.

Kenneth Otieno

Technical Services Manager

As Technical Services Manager based in Nairobi, Kenya, Kenneth manages Gradian’s field service needs across the African continent. In this role, he works closely with Gradian’s network of biomedical technicians and engineers to support them with product training, service responses, and the technical understanding of Gradian’s products.

Prior to joining Gradian, Kenneth spent 11 years at Joint Medical Stores (JMS), a medical device distribution company in Kampala, Uganda, as their senior biomedical service engineer. Through JMS’s work distributing Gradian’s UAM, Kenneth became one of the world’s experts on the installation, maintenance, and servicing of the UAM and now brings that expertise to all of Gradian’s customers.

Kenneth holds a higher diploma in biomedical engineering and a certificate in anesthesia and x-ray equipment from the Mombasa Polytechnic University College in Kenya.

Cullen Ross

Product Manager

Cullen serves as Gradian’s in-house technical lead, overseeing our products' development, marketing, and technical support from factory to facility.

Before joining the Gradian team, Cullen worked to develop a number of novel medical devices and procedures, both in academia and in industry. He also has experience in international development, having helped start a hardware company in Ghana that creates food-processing tools for female entrepreneurs.

Cullen holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Olin College of Engineering.

Stephen Rudy

Chief Executive Officer

As CEO, Steve directs Gradian’s business and strategic development, applying years of industry experience in medical technology to the field of global surgery. He has grown Gradian from a private research project to an international presence in safe surgery and leads a team expanding operations in more than 25 countries worldwide.

Steve has worked in medical technology since 1984, including CEO and executive positions in marketing, sales, and business development. He has founded and led start-ups from conception through venture financing, acquisition, and IPO. He is also a co-inventor on 10 US and international patents.

Steve holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a BA from the Johns Hopkins University.

Luz del Alba Sanchez

Finance & Administration Manager

Luz works with Gradian’s finance team, responsible for timely payments, invoicing and reconciliations. As office manager, she also keeps our office running smoothly and stocked to make sure the team can keep working effectively.

Luz has over 10 years’ experience in finance and operations. Most recently, she served as the Finance Operations Manager for Housing Works in NYC, where she managed AP and AR. She has also consulted on organizational management for the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, the Coro New York Leadership Center, and others. Luz holds a Master’s degree in Nonprofit Management from the New School’s Milano School for International Affairs, Management, & Urban Policy and a BA in Film Studies & English from Queens College.

Lina Sayed

Chief Operating Officer

As Chief Operating Officer, Lina drives Gradian’s work in existing and new country markets, building local distribution networks, managing product sales, and overseeing training activities.

Lina’s career spans the global health and financial sectors. She spent several years working in JP Morgan Chase’s nonprofit/healthcare group and more recently consulted for several companies in the fields of diagnostics and maternal health, specifically focused on products designed for low-resource settings.

Lina has an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management and a BA in Journalism and Mass Communications from New York University.

Sofia Stafford

Market Strategy Associate

As a member of the Market Strategy team, Sofia focuses on Gradian’s growth in existing markets and expansion into new markets, building and managing relationships with distributors, customers and end-users and assisting with the development and implementation of its product and training offerings.

Prior to Gradian, Sofia worked at USAID’s Center for Innovation and Impact, where she managed the Saving Lives at Birth Grand Challenge and supported the development, introduction, and scale up of a portfolio of 100+ tools and approaches to address maternal and newborn health challenges. She has also worked on youth programs and communications at Rise Up at the Public Health Institute and Girl Up at the UN Foundation.

Sofia holds a BA in Cultural Anthropology and Global Health with a concentration in adolescent health from Duke University.

Our Board

James H. Simons, Ph.D.

James H. Simons, Ph.D., is chairman of the board of the Simons Foundation. Dr. Simons is also board chair and founder of Renaissance Technologies. Prior to his financial career, Dr. Simons served as chairman of the mathematics department at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, taught mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University, and was a cryptanalyst at the Institute for Defense Analyses in Princeton, New Jersey. Dr. Simons’ scientific work was in geometry and topology; his most influential work involved the discovery and application of certain measurements, now called Chern-Simons invariants, which have had wide use, particularly in theoretical physics. Dr. Simons holds a B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley and won the American Mathematical Society’s Veblen Prize for his work in geometry in 1975. He is a trustee of the Stony Brook Foundation, Rockefeller University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Brookhaven National Laboratory, the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute and the Institute for Advanced Study, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.

Marilyn H. Simons, Ph.D.

Marilyn Hawrys Simons is the President of the Simons Foundation, an organization whose primary mission is to support advanced research in mathematics and science. In addition to her work at the Foundation, Ms. Simons actively supports numerous not-for-profit organizations.  She is currently President of the Board of the LearningSpring School, a New York City based school for children diagnosed on the autism spectrum. Ms. Simons also leads the Committee on Trustees at the East Harlem Tutorial Program, an after school program in East Harlem and is serving as the Vice President of the Board of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, an outstanding research facility specializing in molecular biology and genetics. She received a B.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from S.U.N.Y. at Stony Brook.

David Ellis Acker

David founded several medical device companies including Biosense, which was acquired by Johnson & Johnson in 1997. He was also the inventor of the core miniature location sensing technology around which the company’s three cardiology and image-guided surgery product lines were based. David is the recipient of 32 US Patents for medical devices in the fields of Cardiac and Neurosurgical minimally invasive surgery. He Vice Chairs the Stony Brook Foundation, serves on the Stony Brook University Medical Center Quality Assessment Review Board, serves on the board of the Long Island High Technology Incubator and is the owner of Harmony Vineyards. David holds a B.S. from Stony Brook University and an honorary doctorate from the same institution.

Dr. Nils Daulaire

Dr. Daulaire has an accomplished career as a global health practitioner and policy maker with over three decades of primary health and health policy experience in Africa, Nepal, Asia and Latin America where he directed multiple pioneering maternal and child heath research projects.  He was Deputy Assistant Administrator for Policy and Senior International Health Advisor for USAID, President and CEO of the Global Health Council, and served in the Obama administration as Assistant Secretary of Health for Global Affairs and as the US representative to the Executive Board of the World Health Organization.  Dr. Daulaire has been elected as a member of the U.S. National Academy of Medicine and the Council on Foreign Relations.  He has been Professor of Global Health at the University of Washington and Professor of Community and Family Medicine at Dartmouth.  Nils earned his BA and MD degrees from Harvard University and an MPH from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and is Board certified in Preventive Medicine and Public Health.

Stephen Rudy

Chief Executive Officer

As CEO, Steve directs Gradian’s business and strategic development, applying years of industry experience in medical technology to the field of global surgery. He has grown Gradian from a private research project to an international presence in safe surgery and leads a team expanding operations in more than 25 countries and hundreds of hospitals worldwide.

Steve has worked in medical technology since 1984, including CEO and executive positions in marketing, sales, and business development. He has founded and led start-ups from conception through venture financing, acquisition, and IPO. He is also a co-inventor on 10 US and international patents.

Steve holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a BA from the Johns Hopkins University.

Careers

We’re always interested in hearing from talented applicants passionate about global health and medical technology. Let us know if you’re one of them.

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Media Hub

Over the years, Gradian has been highlighted in a range of news stories and journal articles. We’ve also amassed a library of video footage and photography showcasing our work in action.

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