At the center of the Ebola outbreak

Lee P. Gary, Jr. and colleagues in West Africa

Tulane alumnus Lee P. Gary Jr., lower left, oversees all
sanitary operations for the Makeni Ebola Treatment Center
in Sierra Leone, West Africa.

Lee P. Gary Jr., an adjunct assistant professor in the Payson Center for International Development at Tulane University, has one of the most critical jobs in the ongoing Ebola crisis in West Africa.

As the WASH coordinator for the Makeni Ebola Treatment Center in Sierra Leone, he oversees all sanitary operations from moderating infection control systems to incinerating protective gear. He also supervises burial procedures, ensuring that infected bodies are ceremoniously mourned and disposed of in the safest way possible.

Though he calls it the single-most challenging mission of his career, Gary, a 1963 graduate of Tulane, couldn’t be better prepared for the job.

Gary is founder and chief executive officer of Strategic Management Services-USA, which specializes in designing, managing and analyzing strategic initiatives for mitigating human and medical wastes to safeguard public health, especially in post-disaster situations. He is founding CEO of Sanitary Consortium Inc., which was formed to treat human waste in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.

In addition to his bachelor of science degree from Tulane, Gary holds a master’s degree in public health with a concentration in disaster management as well as a certificate in global health from the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. He also has a certificate in emergency management from FEMA’s National Emergency Management Executive Academy.

“Everything I ever learned from my colleagues, mentors and teachers are in play with keeping operations on track at Makeni,” he said. “Right now, Makeni is the epicenter of the Ebola surge in Sierra Leone, and I am delighted to be a part of the action.”

This summer, Gary and environmental engineer Robert Reimers, a Tulane public health professor, will teach an international development graduate course called Sustainable Environmental Management of Ubiquitous Waste, which addresses best practices for balancing economic development with environmental stewardship.


April 20, 2015
Barri Bronston


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