Board of Directors

Jeremy Grimshaw, Co-Chair

Jeremy Grimshaw a Senior Scientist, Clinical Epidemiology Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, a Full Professor in the Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa and a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Health Knowledge Transfer and Uptake. He trained as a family physician in the United Kingdom prior to undertaking a PhD in health services research at the University of Aberdeen.  He moved to Canada in 2002.  His research focuses on the evaluation of interventions to disseminate and implement evidence-based practice.  He has been engaged in a variety of evidence synthesis related-activities for over 25 years including: Co-ordinating Editor of the Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care Group (1997-2015), Director of Cochrane Canada (2005-2016), Co-Chair of the Cochrane Steering Group (2010-2014) and President of the Board of the Campbell Collaboration (2015-ongoing). He Co-leads the Secretariat for the COVID-END initiative an international network of 30+ international and national evidence synthesis organisations actively engaged in COVID-related synthesis activities.

David Gough, Co-Chair & EPPI Centre

The EPPI-Centre is a specialist centre based at University College London for the development of: (i) methods of systematic review; (ii)  EPPI-Reviewer software for managing data through all stages of a systematic review; and  (iii) the study of research use. It works across all areas of social policy including international development and stakeholder involvement in research.

David Gough serves as the EPPI Centre’s representative to the ESI BOD. David Gough is Professor of Evidence Informed Policy and Practice and Director of the EPPI-Centre at University College London.

Ruth Stewart, Africa Evidence Network

The Africa Evidence Network is a growing community of practice of nearly 3000 people across Africa committed to increasing the usefulness and use of evidence for decision-making to reduce poverty and inequality in the region. Prof. Ruth Stewart serves as the Africa Evidence Network’s representative to the ESI BOD. Prof. Ruth Stewart is Director of the University of Johannesburg’s Africa Centre for Evidence and chairperson of the Africa Evidence Network. Having grown up in Malawi, Ruth studied in the UK and has worked in South Africa since 1998, as well as with University College London’s EPPI-Centre. Her work includes the production of evidence for decision-makers, as well as supporting public servants to access and make sense of research. She has worked for over twenty years on the production of synthesized evidence to inform decision-making, including systematic reviews, rapid evidence assessments and evidence maps. She is committed to making a difference through her work by ensuring that research evidence is useful and used

Howard White, The Campbell Collaboration

The Campbell Collaboration promotes positive social and economic change through the production and use of systematic reviews and other evidence synthesis for evidence-based policy and practiceHoward White serves as the Campbell Collaboration’s representative to the ESI BOD. Howard White is the Chief Executive Officer of Campbell. He was previously the founding Executive Director of the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) and has led the impact evaluation program of the World Bank’s Independent Evaluation Group. Howard started his career as an academic researcher at the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, and the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex. As an academic, he leans towards work with policy relevance and working in the policy field believes in academic rigor as the basis for policy and practice.

Karla Soares-Weiser, Cochrane

Cochrane is an international community whose mission is to promote evidence informed health decision making by producing relevant, accessible systematic reviews and other synthesised research evidence. Karla Soares-Weiser, MD, PhD, MSc, is the editor-in-chief of the Cochrane Library, one of the most reputable sources of best evidence worldwide. A board-certified clinician, she also has a doctorate in evidence-based health care and has been working in this field since 1997. She is the author of over 60 Systematic Reviews, including 33 Cochrane Reviews. She has held numerous positions in Cochrane Groups, including the Iberoamerican and UK Cochrane Centres, where she provided training in systematic review production. Outside Cochrane, Dr. Soares-Weiser has held academic faculty positions in Brazil and Israel and established her own consultancy business providing evidence synthesis services to government agencies and not-for-profit organizations. As editor-in-chief, Dr. Soares-Weiser is responsible for ensuring that the Cochrane Library meets its strategic goals of supporting health care decision-making by consistently publishing timely, high-priority, high-quality reviews and responding to the needs of its many users.

Andrew Pullin, Collaboration for Environmental Evidence

The Collaboration for Environmental Evidence is a charity promoting and supporting the conduct of evidence syntheses on issues of greatest concern to environmental policy and practice. CEE works as an open network providing a free service to facilitate evidence-informed decision making.Andrew Pullin serves as the CEE’s representative to the ESI BOD. Andrew Pullin is Chief Executive of CEE. He was previously Chair of the CEE Board from 2008-2018. He also holds the positions of Professor and Director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Conservation at Bangor University, UK and is Editor-in-Chief of the CEE Journal ‘Environmental Evidence’.

Tamara Lofti, Global Evidence Synthesis Initiative

The Global Evidence Synthesis Initiative (GESI) aims to enhance the capacity in Low & Middle Income Countries to produce and use cross-sectoral Evidence Synthesis to inform practice and policy. The GESI Secretariat is hosted by the American University of Beirut and leads on the all projects aimed towards achieving the goals of GESI. The Secretariat implements its work within the GESI Network which consists of 47 centres from 25 LMICs.Tamara Lofti serves as the GESI’s representative to the ESI BOD. Tamara Lofti is the Coordinator of the GESI Secretariat. She has a Medical and Public Health background and has worked for more than six years in Evidence Synthesis. Outside the office you can find her in a meeting with actors from the non-profit sector in Lebanon and advocating for equity and justice.

Merel Ritskes-Hoitinga, SYstematic Review Center for Laboratory animal Experimentation

SYRCLE is the SYstematic Review Center for Laboratory (animal) Experimentation at the Department for Health Evidence at Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. SYRCLE promotes the use of systematic reviews of preclinical studies by developing methodology, providing education and doing research in this field. Preclinical studies encompass both animal studies as well as alternatives to animal studies, such as in vitro and in silico experiments and human-based models.Merel Ritskes-Hoitinga serves as the SYRCLE’s representative to the ESI BOD. Merel Ritskes-Hoitinga is Professor in Evidence-Based Laboratory Animal Science at the Department for Health Evidence at Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands (full cv: She founded SYRCLE ( in 2012. The SYRCLE team is focusing on research and education in preclinical systematic reviews. Merel was also appointed Honorary Skou Professor at Aarhus University, Denmark, in 2018. In 2017 SYRCLE was awarded a Cochrane REWARD prize. SYRCLE has established a global ambassador network, with 30 ambassadors in 15 countries.