Charley Barber graduated in 2020 with a Master's degree in International Public Health, specialising in Sexual and Reproductive Health, Charley currently works at the International Rescue Committee, a global humanitarian aid organisation, in the Awards Management Unit. They support project teams managing funding from institutional donors such as FCDO, UNICEF, and Gavi. Charley's focus lies in research on sexual and reproductive health and rights, maternal and neonatal and child health in conflict settings, education in protracted crises, prevention of violence against women and girls, and implementing childhood vaccination programs in humanitarian zones.
One notable aspect of Charley's professional journey is their unwavering dedication to diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI). As an active member of Pride Europe and the global Pride network, Charley works tirelessly to foster awareness and develop social connections within the International Rescue Committee (IRC). Their aim is to create a safe and inclusive space for staff of all sexual orientations and gender identities, ensuring that DEI is championed across the organisation.
When reflecting on their decision to pursue studies at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Charley emphasises the importance of finding an institution renowned for its international public health program. LSTM, the oldest institutions of its kind in the world, provided an ideal platform for Charley's career aspirations. The institution's history of pioneering work in global health, combined with a multidisciplinary approach involving experts from various fields, offered an unparalleled opportunity for Charley to tackle complex health challenges.
The journey to LSTM was also influenced by Charley's personal connection to Liverpool. Hailing from the north of England, Liverpool felt like a natural choice—a city that could be both a vibrant home for a year and a place where friendships could flourish. The warm and inclusive atmosphere in Liverpool, coupled with the exceptional teaching staff at LSTM, created an enriching educational experience for Charley.
Undoubtedly, Charley's education at LSTM has had a profound impact on their skills, confidence, and personal goals. Equipped with technical expertise gained from their master's program, Charley now provides valuable inputs into project design discussions and work-planning activities. Their LSTM education has elevated their role from an operational manager to someone capable of pursuing more technical responsibilities in the humanitarian aid sector. Additionally, Charley actively contributes to the Pride employee resource group, ensuring the needs of individuals with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities, and expressions are met in humanitarian programming.
When asked about advice for prospective students, Charley highlights the importance of making the most of LSTM's abundant resources. The specialised courses, research facilities, expansive library, and connections to global health organizations are invaluable assets that can enhance students' education and skill development. Engaging with peers and faculty members is equally crucial, as the interdisciplinary nature of LSTM fosters collaboration and diverse perspectives.
Charley emphasises the significance of the dissertation project, which offers a chance to contribute to LSTM's renowned research excellence. Students are encouraged to explore areas of interest early on and discuss potential projects with faculty members. By embracing the larger global health community, attending conferences, reading academic journals, and connecting with professionals, students can stay abreast of the latest research and trends in the field.