Dr. Rachael Thomson is the CEO of the LIGHT Consortium.LIGHT is a six-year cross-disciplinary global health research programme funded by UK aid, led by LSTM working with partners in Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Uganda and the UK which aims to provide new evidence on the effectiveness of different gender-sensitive pathways and approaches to health for those with TB in urban, HIV-prevalent settings. Rachael is responsible for the strategic direction, vision and leadership of the LIGHT Consortium, ensuring that the prompt delivery of outputs lead to sustainable impact.
She also works as a technical adviser to the ReDress programme in Liberia and continues to support the health system components of NTD research at LSTM.
Prior to joining LIGHT, she was the Director of the CouNTDown research consortium in the Department of Tropical Disease Biology at LSTM. CouNTDown was dedicated to investigating cost-effective, scale-up and sustainable solutions, necessary to control and eliminate the most common Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).
Previously, Rachael worked for DFID, focusing on communicable diseases, and for an NGO focusing on primary health service provision in fragile states (including Yemen and Somalia). Whilst at LSTM, she worked for over 10 years on projects focusing on extending TB and lung health services to primary health care level and to informal providers. This work had a strong equity focus and resonates with the key aims of Universal Healthcare Coverage around ‘Leaving No-one Behind’. Her PhD explored pluralistic health systems in a fragile state (Sudan), mapping the plethora of public interactions with health services. Given her extensive background in health systems strengthening and health policy research across many LMIC’s, Rachael is motivated by ensuring the voices of the most vulnerable populations are heard, through evidence based findings.