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Regional Vice President, East Central and Southern Africa Region

Catherine Thompson provides technical management and business development oversight to Abt Associates programs in East, Central and Southern Africa. She is an expert in infectious diseases and HIV and AIDS and has more than 30 years of public health experience, including 18 years living in Eastern and Southern Africa and four years in South Asia.

Since joining Abt in 2013, she has served as the infectious disease segment lead and the HIV strategic lead, directing business development and overseeing all aspects of program implementation for malaria, HIV, TB and global health security. She managed key USAID projects: HIV and family planning in Mozambique, and the Abt subcontractor roles for the global AIDS Free and the regional cross border HIV program. In addition, she served as the portfolio manager for the Health Systems Strengthening Program (HSSP) in South Sudan, the CHASS SMT HIV program in Mozambique, SAFE Male Circumcision project in Namibia, and the Zimbabwe Assistance Program in Malaria (ZAPIM).

Prior to joining Abt, she served as the regional director for FHI 360’s West Africa/MENA and East Africa portfolios, where she was responsible for an annual budget of more than $100 million and was the Zambia country director.

Thompson has been an active proponent of donor and partner coordination and networking to leverage resources and improve implementation within the public health sector in all countries where she has worked. Her experience also includes serving directly with USAID as the deputy director with the USAID PEPFAR program in Namibia and the infectious diseases advisor in Nepal. Thompson has worked in Egypt, Ethiopia, Israel, Germany, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nepal, Namibia, Nigeria, South Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.


  • Infectious disease
  • Family planning
  • Maternal and child health
  • International health
  • Public-private partnerships

Key Projects

  • ECHO, USAID Mozambique
  • ICAN, USAID Uganda
  • PS3+, USAID Tanzania
  • ZAPIM and ZAPIM II, USAID Zimbabwe
  • SAFE, USAID Namibia

Selected Publications

  • Torpey, K, Mwenda L, Thompson, C, Wamuwi E, van Damme, W – “From project aid to sustainable HIV services: a case study from Zambia” accepted for publication at the Journal of International AIDS Society
  • Torpey K, Kabaso, M, Kasonde P, Dirks R, Bweupe M, Thompson C, Muadki Y – “Increasing the uptake of prevention of mother –to-child transmission of HIV services in a resource-limited setting”. BMC Health Services Research 2010, 10:29 January 28
  • Sanjana, P, Torpey K, Schwarzwalder A, Simumba C, Kasonde P, Nyrienda L, Kapanda P, Kakungu-Simpungwe M, Kabaso M, Thompson, C – “Task-shifting HIV counseling and testing services in Zambia:  the role of lay counselors”. Human Resources for Health 2009, 7:44 May 30, 2009
  • Mandala J, Torpey K, Kasonde P, Kabaso M, Dirks R, Suzuki C, Thompson C, Sangiwa G, Mukadi Y – “Prevention of mother-to- child transmission of HIV in Zambia:  implementing efficacious ARV regimens in primary health centers”.  BMC Public Health 2009, 9:314 August 27
  • Torpey K, Kalesha P, Thompson, C, Kasonde P, Mwango A, Mutale, L, Mwale F - “Increasing Uptake in Pediatric HIV Care in Resource Limited Settings: Practical and Programmatic Options”.  Poster session at the HIV Implementers Meeting, Kampala, Uganda June 2008
  • Sanjana P, Simumba C, Schwarzwalder A, Nyirenda L, Thompson C, Kasonde P, Torpey K, Kabaso M, Kanguma D, and Simpungwe M – “Community volunteers conduct HIV counseling and testing at health facilities in Zambia”.  Poster session at the Global Health Council Conference, Washington DC, May 2008
  • Thompson C, Mtonga V, Lamson N, Sanjana P, Kwasi T – “Building Strong Partnerships with the MoH at Project Start Up Leads to a Rapidly Expanding Sustainable ART Program in Zambia”.  Poster session at the HIV Implementers Meeting, Kigali, Rwanda, June 2007
Catherine Thompson