About Amy

About Amy

Headshot of Amy Callis
Amy Callis Principal
001 650 262 6204
Amy has 30 years’ senior strategic and communication experience.  She’s worked in dozens of countries on issues ranging from outbreaks to gender violence.  Most recently Amy led communications for an Ebola vaccine clinical trial and led the a Zika health promotions transition team for the Virgin Islands. Amy’s led two international NGOs, deployed as a strategy, planning and communications lead for humanitarian emergencies, and served as a human rights facilitator at the Clinton Global Initiative University.
Why I do this work

In my late 20s I moved to India to backpack, do some volunteering, and see the world. While living in Calcutta, I volunteered for Mother Theresa.  Every morning on my way to work I passed a mom with 3 young children and a very sick, very premature baby.  Every day that baby got sicker.  Mom was unable to feed her children and herself so she went without most days. As a result, her milked dried up.  I started bringing her baby formula but found out she sold it to feed her other children. 

Think about that for a moment:  she had to choose which children to keep alive. The sad but inevitable outcome was that the baby died.   

It was pivotal moment in my life and I walked away with two thoughts. NO human being should live in abject poverty and NO mother should be forced to make a decision like this.  

That moment started my journey.  It’s taken me to places I never imagined, doing things I never thought possible.  But it’s always been about social justice.  Everything I do is about helping those on the lowest rungs get access to basic rights the rest of us take for granted.  

This isn’t a job for me. This is woven into who I am.  It’s my passion and my vocation.

Subject Matter Expertise
Preparedness & Emergency Response 15 yearsCrisis communication, health promotions, community engagement, partnership developmentCommunication and strategy advisor for humanitarian emergencies including: Darfur Genocide, Haiti Earthquake, H7N9 Influenza, West Africa Ebola Outbreak, Polio Eradication, Zika Outbreak. Trained on SPHERE guidelines and Incident Command structure.
Health Promotions14 yearsProgram & campaign strategy/development/implementation, behavior change, capacity development, evaluationDeveloped and led health promotions and behavior change campaigns ranging from immunization to health in emergencies.  Trained field staff and partner organizations on health promotions, developed indicators and evaluation for health promotions/communication efforts.
Infectious & Vaccine Preventable Disease10 yearsInformed decision making, behavior change communication, strategic & preparedness planningCDC communication lead for polio eradication efforts in Horn of Africa and South Asia. Communication lead for Ebola vaccine clinical trial in Sierra Leone.  Co-lead for CDC Adult Immunization Campaign. CDC communication lead for H7N9 Preparedness Plan.
Gender Empowerment & Violence Prevention10 yearsProgram development and evaluation, training / workshopsDeveloped and managed programs including Art in Action (women’s microenterprise) and Thriving Scholars (girls education and support).  Founded and led NGO working to reduce risk of exposure to rape for women in Darfur.
Masters of Public Health (MPH)Emory University | Rollins School of Public Health | Atlanta, GA
  • Concentration:  Global Health and Infectious Disease
  • Graduate Certificates: Human Rights and Complex Humanitarian Emergencies
  • Thesis: Community Participatory Programming in Developing Countries
  • Award:  Eugene Gangorosa Award for Outstanding Service in the International Arena (Non Profit development & management)
  • Research:  American Attitudes and Giving Trends for International Issues
Bachelors of Arts (BA)University of California | Berkeley, CA
  • Major: Interdisciplinary Studies (International Development / Public Health / Gender Studies)
  • Minor: Global Poverty and Practice
  • Honors Thesis: Structural Adjustment Policies, Gender and Poverty
  • Awards: Phi Beta Kappa, Highest Honors, Department Distinction, University of California alumni Association Leadership Fellow
  • Research: Berkeley Undergraduate Research Associate (Diabetes in Hmong Population)
  • Graduate Certificate in Human Rights | Emory University Rollins School of Public Health
  • Graduate Certificate in Complex Humanitarian Emergencies | Emory University Rollins School of Public Health
  • Certificate in Organizational Change & Knowledge Management | Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Certificate in Instructional Methods in Health Professions Education | University of Michigan
Selected Awards & Achievements
  • Polio Eradication:  CDC Award for Excellence in International Program Delivery (2017)
  • Zika Response: CDC Preparedness & Response Award for Excellence in Communication (2016)
  • Ebola Response: US Department of State Meritorious Honor Award(2016)
  • Vaccines for Children: CDC Director’s Award for Excellence in Immunization Services (2013)
  • International, Foreign Affairs, National Security: Nonprofit Tagline Award (2012)
  • Nonprofit Management: Emory University Award for Outstanding Service in International Arena (2010)
  • Haiti Earthquake Response: CDC Award for Service (2010)
  • Fuel Efficient Stoves: White House Project Women Rule Leader (2008)
  • Gender Violence Prevention: Oprah Winfrey “Women with Vision” Leader (2008)
  • Best Educational Website: Web Marketing Award for Freddie Mac Homeownership Education (2002)
  • Community Engagement / Literacy:  Points of Light Award from President George H. W. Bush (2000)
Strategic Communication25 years experience including leading campaigns, programs and projects. Coalition, partnership building and community engagement expertise.
Strategic Planning20 years experience including management of two NGOs, providing program needs assessment / advisement to universities, programmatic planning (modeling, microplans, implementation, etc. )
Branding & Reputation 25 years experience. Winner of 2012 Nonprofit Tagline Award Winner (International, Foreign Affairs, National Security).
Capacity Development / Training22 years experience. Develop and deliver skills based and empowerment training to dozens of organizations, reaching hundreds of learners. Topics include: interpersonal communication, human rights, nonprofit management, advocacy communication, train-the-trainer, clinical skills.
Advocacy & Policy15 years domestic and international experience. Experience working with bi and multilateral organizations, and government agencies ranging from Ministries of Health and UN organizations to USAID and CDC.
Monitoring & Evaluation 14 years project evaluation experience ranging from child mortality intervention in Sierra Leone to polio communication efforts in Horn of Africa. Experienced in both Qualitative and Quantitative methodologies. Expert in translating findings into practical, impactful recommendations.

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