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Co-Founder & Executive Director
Nationality: Japanese
Residence: Chicago, United States
Language: English and Japanese
Education: B.Sc. in Health & Hygiene from Azabu University, M.Sc. in Environmental Health & Safety from the University of Miami, Ph.D. in Civil (Environmental emphasis) Engineering

Dr. Shibata has been passionate about making a difference locally and internationally ever since 1986 when he visited the infamous landfill slum, called "Smokey Mountain," in Manila, Philippines. With his multidisciplinary knowledge (e.g., from Health Sciences to Environmental Engineering) and practical research skills including field work, the wet lab (e.g. chemical and microbial analyses), health evaluation (e.g., epidemiologic approach and quantitative risk assessment), and modeling (e.g., empirical and stochastic) skills, he has conducted many interdisciplinary research projects and hosted workshops in the U.S., Japan, Indonesia, and Myanmar. Dr. Shibata and Heidi West have co-founded the GEH LAB in order to provide engaged learning and research opportunities for students and junior professionals from the world, especially those who don't belong to universities with Global Environmental Health Programs.  As an Executive Director, he will work to create safe, healthy, and sustainable environment together with communities, governments, NGOs, and private sectors. Currently, he also works for Northern Illinois University as Associate Professor.

Tomoyuki Shibata, Ph.D., M.Sc.

Heidi West, M.A. 

Co-Founder & Director of Programs and Operations

Nationality: American
Residence: New York, United States

Language: English
Education: Bachelor's in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley, Master's in Ethics, Peace, and Global Affairs from American University, Graduate Certificate in Global Health from Drexel.  

As a passionate and resourceful international program director with over 10 years of experience, Ms. West has dedicated her life to the realization of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to building an informed global community in support of multifaceted development issues. The foundations of her programmatic and policy expertise are based in her research, which focuses on the complex challenges of conflict-induced migration and how refugees and displaced persons utilize dialogue, narrative, and community building to reconstruct home and identity. She has examined these issues through multiple different lenses and translated the research into concrete

tools and direct work with refugees, immigrants, and survivors of trauma.  Currently, she is a consultant for Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB) and prior to that she served as the Director of the Office of International Programs at Drexel University. 

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