CEO of The MENTOR Initiative

Richard Allan, CEO

Richard Allan is a qualified tropical parasitologist and has 29 years’ experience as a public health manager. Following four years in primary health care development for Zaire through the mid-1980s he then spent four years in malaria treatment research with Oxford University and the Medical Research Council with programmes in Gambia and Sierra Leone. Since the start of the Rwanda crisis in 1994 Richard has dedicated his efforts to developing disease control initiatives in conflict-based emergencies and natural disasters working with OXFAM, Tearfund and MERLIN. He established and developed emergency disease control programmes in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, DR Congo, Brazzaville Congo, Kenya (two malaria epidemics), Angola, Southern Sudan, Burundi, Afghanistan and East Timor.

Richard was the Roll Back Malaria coordinator for complex emergencies, with the Global Secretariat (early 2000 to late 2002) at the World Health Organisation. He established and managed the cross-sectoral partnerships that resulted in the development of important new disease control new tools and strategies for malaria control, ranging from the “Malaria Control in Humanitarian Emergencies: An Inter-agency Field Handbook” and the “Integrated Vector Management in Humanitarian Emergencies Toolkit” to insecticidal durable wall lining and non-mesh mosquito nets purpose designed for outdoor sleeping nomadic communities.

In recent years, Richard has presented at numerous international tropical disease and health related conferences, elucidating on the state of vector control tools and standards today, the current hurdles to prevention and elimination, and the intersection of complex emergencies (both natural and manmade) and tropical disease epidemiology. His most recent speaking events include:

  • ISNTD Bites June 2019 (Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine)
  • Partnership for Quality Medical Donations (PQMD) April 2019 (Geneva)
  • ISNTD Water November 2018 (London NHM)
  • ISNTD D3 (Drug Discovery, Development, & Diagnostics) June 2018 (Institute of Child Health)
  • Dengue Action Group

About The MENTOR Initiative

Richard established The MENTOR Initiative in late 2002, and has directed this innovative technical and operational support group since then, to ensure that countries in emergency receive the technical and operation support they need in order to scale up best practice for malaria, dengue fever, leishmaniasis and other vector-borne and neglected tropical diseases.

Richard and his team provide technical support to the UNHCR, UNICEF, IFRC, WHO, RBM partners, World Bank Malaria Booster programme, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and UNDP in addition to providing full time support to key emergency countries.

Apart from the wide scale support emergency humanitarian agencies have already received through this initiative’s capacity building activities, programme planning and implementation advice, The MENTOR Initiative has now developed significant country level support experience through intensive operations in Africa, Asia, the Americas and The Middle East, and is uniquely placed towards helping partner agencies scale up life-saving action in these, and similar settings.