Gradian Health Systems is a nonprofit medical technology company that works to transform the impact of medical equipment in low-resource hospitals around the world. We combine world-class medical devices with local training and customer service to unleash human potential in delivering care and improving lives. Our products are designed to thrive in settings with unreliable infrastructure, and our global distribution network spans more than 20 countries to ensure that health providers can operate our products with confidence no matter what.

At Gradian, we believe medical equipment can be a catalyst for positive change in global health – but only if it’s developed for the environment in which it is used and adequately supported once there. We manufacture and distribute technology that can withstand challenging clinical settings – such as those with unreliable power and oxygen access – and we build local teams in each market to train new users and keep the equipment working throughout its lifespan. Our product portfolio currently includes devices to support anesthesia and critical care, with more than 250 installations throughout sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America/Caribbean.

About Us

Our Team

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 200 hospitals across 22 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.

Erica Frenkel

Chief Operating Officer

Erica helped launch Gradian and directs its growth strategy, key partnerships, and overall communications. As COO, she has built Gradian’s distribution, service, and training networks in more than two-dozen countries. Erica brings deep global health expertise to the company’s operations and market development.

Prior to Gradian, Erica worked on global health initiatives in the public and private sectors. She held positions with the Clinton Health Access Initiative in Liberia, consulted to Merck and the Wellcome Trust on vaccine-related public-private partnerships, and managed the Global Media AIDS Initiative for the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Erica is a founding board member of the Global Alliance for Surgery, Obstetrics, Trauma and Anaesthesia Care (the G4 Alliance). She holds an MPA from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania.

Lina Sayed

Chief Commercial Officer

As Chief Commercial 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.

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).

Adam Lewis

Director of Programs

Adam manages Gradian’s global program and partnership development. He also leads the company’s advocacy work around safe surgery, anesthesia and medical equipment.

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 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.

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.

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 Marketing Engineer

Cullen serves as Gradian’s in-house technical lead, supporting our products from manufacturing and installation through in-country training and service.

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.

Hannah Nelson

Data & Evaluation Manager

As Gradian’s Data 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.

Luz del Alba Sanchez

Finance and 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.

Kerubo Wall

Shipping & Logistics Associate

Kerubo handles all of Gradian’s shipping and procurement. In her role, she ensures that our products, spare parts, training materials and more get to where they’re going quickly and safely.

Kerubo comes to Gradian from a background in logistics and international development. Most recently, she worked as the logistics associate at Global Address Me, where she revamped inventory reporting and provided customer service. Prior to that, she consulted to the Office of the President of Botswana on their Poverty Eradication Program and proposed amendments for future iterations of the program. Kerubo holds a BA in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania.

German Castaneda

Director, Supply Chain & Logistics

German is responsible for Gradian’s global supply chain for products, accessories and spare parts and manages the logistics of our extensive service and training organization. In this position, he is the architect for a complex flow of products and people between hundreds of locations around the world.

German comes to Gradian with over 30 years’ experience in the supply chain and logistics industry. Prior to Gradian, he was head of global supply chain and regional operations at Baxter International, a global medical devices and hospital products company. He has also held senior supply chain roles at Pfizer, Wyeth, Sandoz, and CIBA- GEIGY. German holds a university degree in Industrial Engineering from Javeriana University, Bogotá Colombia.

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.


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.

View Openings

Media Hub

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

Learn More

Sign up for our newsletter