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Principal Associate, International Development

Lisa Nichols has special expertise in managing and evaluating international public health programs that address maternal and child health, malaria, reproductive health and family planning in complex cultural environments. With more than 25 years of experience, she is highly regarded for her talent in forging and working with international partner organizations, partnership alliances and networks to foster international development, improve policy environments and monitor and evaluate performance.
Nichols supports a $50-million portfolio of projects that advance capacity building of service delivery, health systems strengthening, health financing, and governance projects in Côte d’Ivoire, Malawi, Mali and Senegal. She also serves as country manager and cluster lead on the Health Finance and Governance Project.
Before joining Abt, Nichols worked for more than 14 years as a field-based program manager of relief and development programs, primarily in Africa. From 2003 to 2012, she served as Abt’s deputy chief of party and then chief of party in Mali, managing a project to increase mothers’ and children’s access to and use of health services.


  • Project management
  • Maternal, newborn and child health
  • Malaria program design and implementation
  • Monitoring and evaluation

Key Projects

  • Senegal Health Systems Strengthening (HSS), USAID
  • Health Finance & Governance Project (Côte d’Ivoire, Mali), USAID
  • Malawi Systems Support for Service Delivery Integration – Systems (SSDI-Systems), USAID

Selected Publications/Presentations

  • American Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Conference, Annual Meeting, November 2013, “Evaluation of Malaria Case Management and Prenatal Care in Health Facilities in Mali.” Co-authored poster presentation on quality of malaria care and malaria in pregnancy, Washington, DC, 2013.
  • Marianne El-Khoury, Timothee Gandaho, Aneesa Arur, Binta Keita, and Lisa Nichols. April 2011. “Improving Access to Life-saving Maternal Health Services: The Effects of Removing User Fees for Caesareans in Mali.” Bethesda, MD: Health Systems 20/20, Abt Associates Inc.
  • “International Family Planning Conference,” Kampala, Uganda, November 2009. Co-authored two presentations on the use of radio for addressing Family Planning rumors and misconceptions and the organization of a National family planning working group in Mali.
  • Global Health Council, Annual Conference, Washington, DC, 2007. Co-authored panel presentation on Reaching Every District: a health systems approach to improving routine immunization (Guindo et al). Co-authored round table presentation on Family Planning Partnerships: Mali example of Family Planning working group. (Doucoure et al).
  • Mohamed Ag Ayoya, Mohamed Ag Bendech, Shawn K Baker, Fatimata Ouattara, Konaké Alima Diané, Lina Mahy, Lisa Nichols, Aménatou Touré, Ciro Franco. “Determinants of high vitamin A supplementation coverage among pre-school children in Mali: the National Nutrition Weeks experience.” Public Health Nutr. 2007 Feb 27; 1-6.
  • Eckhard Kleinau, Dr. PH, M.D.; Gene Brantly, LLD, M.Sc.; Pandukar Wijeyaratne, Ph.D.; Mark Weeks, MPH; Lisa Nichols, MPH. "The role of sentinel-site surveillance in improving the evidence-base for infectious disease control," American Public Health Association Meeting, 2001.