If you would like to learn more about WRAIR/EIDB’s community engagement efforts, partner with us, set up an event or join our mailing list, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also reach out to any of our team members, and we will respond to your inquiry as soon as possible.
Community Engagement Team
Liza Dawson, PhD, MA, has worked at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research since 2019. She has several roles, including Chair of the Institutional Review Board (IRB), Chief of Bioethics, and Research Integrity Officer, as well as working with the WRAIR Community Engagement Team.
Liza’s background is in basic science, human research protections, and bioethics. After completing a PhD at Johns Hopkins University studying HIV virology, she worked in bioethics and science policy for over 20 years. She also completed a Master’s degree in Philosophy and Social Policy at George Washington University (GWU). Her current work at WRAIR is devoted to integrating bioethics and research integrity into all aspects of WRAIR’s research.
Liza is dedicated to promoting and supporting community engagement for WRAIR’s COVID-19 research portfolio, and helping the research community understand the importance of including community voices and partnerships in clinical research.
Beza Gebrehana, BS, is the Community Engagement Lead Coordinator supporting the Emerging Infectious Diseases Branch (EIDB) within the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR). In her current role, she is responsible for leading the new Community Engagement for WRAIR Forest Glen. Her role includes establishing and maintaining a working partnership with community groups and WRAIR researchers, developing and implementing all community outreach activities, and establishing and overseeing a Community Advisory Board (CAB).
Before joining WRAIR, Beza spent over four years managing outreach programming for a nonprofit hospice. Beza holds a bachelor’s degree in sciences in Public Health from the University of Maryland.
Jael Kagai, BS, is the Community Engagement Assistant supporting the Emerging Infectious Disease Branch (EIDB) within the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) in Silver Spring, MD. She contributes to the CE program by providing administrative support for all program areas, including Community Advisory Board (CAB), focus groups, community outreach activities and communications and social media management. Jael completed her undergraduate education at University of Maryland, College Park, where she majored in Public Health Science. Since undergraduate she has supported a variety of Public health projects at HJF and Westat.
Kimberly Acosta, MEd, is the Community Outreach and Education Fellow supporting the Emerging Infectious Disease Branch (EIDB) within the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) in Silver Spring, MD. She contributes to the CE program by providing support for all program areas, including Community Advisory Board (CAB), focus groups, and educational and outreach activities with particular emphasis on reaching minority and at-risk populations in the DMV area, especially LatinX communities. Kimberly completed her Masters at University of Maryland, College Park, where she focused on curriculum and instruction. Kimberly’s passion for science education has given her experience with multiple counties in Maryland, and she spent three years working with the Science Education team at WRAIR.
Jake Earl, PhD, HEC-C, is a Bioethicist at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. He has a background in scholarship, education, and consultation in clinical ethics and research ethics, and he has worked previously at Georgetown University, the National Institutes of Health, and Inova Health System. He is assisting the Community Engagement effort with public outreach and communications, information gathering, CAB education and other activities.