Our Team


Who We Are

We are a group of committed global public health and communication professionals who have spent years working to solve some of the world’s toughest health and development challenges. We are proud of our achievements that have supported some of the planet’s most vulnerable people to lead healthier, safer lives.  Our knowledge and experience in social and behaviour change communication has helped bring the world to the edge of polio eradication, end the West African Ebola Outbreak and protect fragile communities from natural disasters and climate change.
Together we have lived and worked in more than 20 countries including Afghanistan, Angola, Canada, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Maldives, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Switzerland, Ukraine, the United States and Viet Nam.






MICHAEL COLEMAN                                                             

Mike blends creative acumen with an applied and practical approach to behaviour and social change. He is Common Thread’s resident storyteller constantly looking for ways to amplify community voices and better understand the impact of policy and strategy on real people and their lives. Before co-founding Common Thread, Mike held senior Communications posts with UN Agencies in Angola, Pakistan, the U.S. and Viet Nam. He spent the last six years of his career working to eradicate Polio and was part of the team that managed the unprecedented attacks on healthworkers in Pakistan. Mike has also worked in social development, documentary production and journalism in Honduras, Sri Lanka, Canada, and Poland. He speaks some French and Spanish and holds a journalism degree, a graduate certificate in Communication for Behavioural Impact from NYU, and a Masters in Political Science and Communication from the University of London. Michael is currently based in Da Nang, Vietnam.

Contact Mike


SHERINE GUIRGUIS                                                       

Sherine is Common Thread’s lead strategist. She can often be found sifting through reams of data and stacks of photographs with the same amount of energy. Her passion lies in putting the two together to tell compelling stories about people and why they do the things they do. Before co-founding Common Thread, Sherine held senior Communications positions with UNICEF in the US, India, and the Maldives. She led large-scale behavior change strategies to rid the world of polio, both at global and local levels. She was part of UNICEF’s senior team defining the behavior change strategy to respond to the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa, and was part of the local team in India that contributed to the last polio case in 2011. Sherine is widely published in the realm of public health and C4D. She speaks fluent Arabic, and holds a MSc from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and a MA from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Sherine is currently based in Bucharest, Romania.

Contact Sherine 


Our Associates

Nada keeps us inline.

Nada keeps us inline.


Nada has over 10 years of experience as a project manager in the non-profit and private sector. She is passionate about the role private sector development plays in emerging economies. She has worked extensively to catalyze and connect entrepreneurial communities across Africa and has delivered region wide programming to support the growth of early stage enterprises.

Nada has managed programs for organizations including Oxfam, Save the Children, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Impact Hub in Africa and in South East Asia. She has worked, studied and lived across six continents. She holds a Master’s degree in International Affairs from The New School (New York). She is currently based in Nairobi, Kenya.

Jay knows public health

Jay knows public health

Jayshree Bagaria

Jay is a medical doctor with a background in infectious diseases and public health. She has worked in international public health for more than 15 years in a wide range of health systems and contexts across the world. She has worked for the Department for International Development, the World Health Organization, Save the Children and the Indian Institute of Public Health. She has worked in a number of fragile and complex environments such as South Sudan, Cote d’Ivoire and Sierra Leone where she was the technical lead for the UK Government district response. She has also worked on public private health systems including in large urban megacities in India where she supported the design of an in depth evaluation of one of the world’s largest social health insurance schemes.

Jay is fluent in Hindi, has working knowledge of French and in addition to her M.D., holds a MSc from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She is currently based in the UK.

Gemma unearths community voices.

Gemma unearths community voices.


Gemma’s passion is combining media with community mobilisation, enabling people to tell their own stories in ways that empower and inspire others. She has over 14 years combined professional experience in radio production and Social Behaviour Change Communication programming. Using the skills and knowledge she gained as a Radio Producer for the BBC World Service, Gemma has spent the last decade designing, managing, implementing and assessing multifaceted social and behavior change communication projects in a range of settings and on a variety of topics.

She has successfully launched a range of projects that were inclusive, informative and able to bring about positive changes in societies across Asia and Africa including Tanzania, Rwanda, Nigeria, Niger, Yemen, Chad, Cambodia, Nepal and Afghanistan. She has also written a number of SBCC manuals and most recently completed the development of a 9 month curriculum aimed at shifting social norms related to interpersonal violence among couples in Nepal. She is currently based in Ottawa, Canada.

Amaya puts people first.

Amaya puts people first.

Amaya Gillespie

Amaya has worked with the United Nations for more than 20 years. She has extensive experience as a public health researcher, educator and senior leader in the United Nations system, and as an executive and career coach.

It is her grounding in health-related behavioural science that has been the common thread throughout her career, working across disciplines on health and social justice issues such as HIV and reproductive health, children’s rights, violence against women and children, and public health outbreaks like Ebola and ZIKA. She is currently based in Australia.

Tom is a bridge-builder.

Tom is a bridge-builder.

Thomas Moran

Tom has 15 years’ experience working in complex development and emergency settings. Tom brings an appreciation for both the complexity of working at community level, while serving as a bridge to the biomedical and epidemiological realities of public health. He has worked as a technical and communication specialist for the World Health Organization and supported polio outbreak response activities in more than a dozen countries. He also led WHO’s Community Engagement Pillar during the West African Ebola Outbreak response from mid to end 2014. He holds a Masters of Communication from the Queensland University of Technology. He is currently based in Indonesia.

Jim makes us look good.

Jim makes us look good.

Jim O’NeilL

Jim is an experienced visual communicator with an extensive history of working with and NGOs, and international development & environmental agencies. Creative, adaptable & approachable, Jim has nearly 15 years experience in a wide cross section of visual communication disciplines, from graphic design for print, UX & UI visual design, to 2d animations, illustration and photography. He has a Diploma of Arts (Graphic Arts) from RMIT University and a Bachelor of Arts (Public Relations) from Deakin University. He is currently based in Vancouver, Canada.

Elizabeth makes behaviours effortless.

Elizabeth makes behaviours effortless.


Elizabeth is a behavioural designer with a focus in global health and development. Her areas of expertise are in international health, gender based violence, impact evaluation, education, and economic development. She uses behavioural science, participatory/human-centred design, and data analysis to co-design and improve products and programs based on how people really think and act. She empowers organizations and individuals to use insights from both data and behavioural science to improve their programs and in building local capacity to do so on a sustainable basis.

She has lived or worked on six continents and holds degrees from Johns Hopkins University, University of San Francisco, and University of California, Davis. She has worked with UNICEF, WHO, Busara Center for Behavioral Economics, Abt Associates, ideas42, Harvard University School of Public Health, and USAID. She is the Founder and a Behavioural Designer of DTA Innovation.

Ali keeps us honest.

Ali keeps us honest.

ali sohail

Ali specializes in research, monitoring, project management and private sector development. With over 10 years of development experience, Ali has led over 30 formative, baseline and evaluation studies and designed a number of monitoring systems, with work in the health, agriculture, skills development, energy and financial services sectors.

Ali has worked in the non profit and commercial sector, with organizations such as UNICEF, UNDP, Jhpiego, MSI and Cardno, on projects funded by development agencies including USAID, DFAT, JICA, WB and BMGF amongst others. Ali is based in Pakistan and has a Masters Degree in Local Economic Development from the London School of Economics to complement his training in results measurement, making markets work for the poor, gender inclusiveness and leadership. He is currently based in Islamabad, Pakistan.


Our Partners


We believe in designing social and behaviour change strategies that draw on diverse sectors to deliver results. That’s why we have established relationships with world-class organizations to help you implement all parts of your strategy: quantitative, qualitative and anthropological research, facilitation, strategic communication, multi-media production, social marketing, capacity building, and evaluation. 



Anthrologica is a leading research-based organization specializing in applied anthropology in global health. Established in 2008, they conduct formative and operational research across health sectors, focusing on the interface between the provision and uptake of health services, particularly in resource-scarce settings and emergencies.


Yummy Colours

YummyColours is all about creative direction. Through purposeful branding, content and creative experience, they help tell a story the best way it can be told. YummyColours is a design studio founded by Denize Sofia Maaløe and Diego Marini. They define objectives and approach them strategically, then target the best idea and identify the right medium to tell each story creatively.


Mccann Global Health

McCann Global Health is part of McCann Health, an integrated global network of communications professionals. They have decades of experience driving behaviour change and creating demand for healthy behaviours, products and services worldwide. The McCann Health family houses the world’s most expansive expertise in health communications, spanning 20 countries and 60 offices, with extensive reach and presence in both sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Our partnership includes access to McCann Health offices worldwide.


GRID Impact

GRID Impact is a global research, innovation and design collective that specializes in behavioral and  human centered design (HCD) approaches to policy, program, and product challenges. They combine the  evidence-based insights and diagnostic approach of behavioral science with the creative problem-solving  and iterative, collaborative processes of human-centered design for more predictable, longer lasting results.


Harvard Opinion Research Project (HORP) 

The Harvard Opinion Research Program has played a key role in over 300 public opinion surveys on health and social policy in the U.S. and nearly 30 other countries. The Program is unique in its effort to assess people’s attitudes in relationship to their knowledge, values, and experiences. The Program’s researchers have published more than 200 articles in five major areas of research, including health care policy, health and safety emergencies, economic and social policy, international public health and health policy and election studies.


The Value Web

ValueWeb is a global network of facilitators who are passionate about changing the way people make decisions that impact the world. They partner with organizations and networks to design systems and structures that enable individuals and groups to learn, collaborate, engage in deep dialogue, and take informed collective action. Their expertise lies in combined design thinking, visual communication, network science, interactive technology, group facilitation, and collaborative decision-making tools and techniques.


We create content

We Create Content is a content marketing agency based in Hanoi, serving clients across Asia. With bespoke content concepts, production, distribution and analytics, WCC helps brands tell stories to meet their business objectives. They bring the perfect mix of international communications expertise, design excellence and local knowledge.


Georgetown University's Center for Global Health and security

The Center for Global Health Science and Security at Georgetown University conducts original research to help decision makers worldwide build sustainable capacities to prevent, detect, and respond to public health emergencies. The Center explores the growing demands on the world’s public health infrastructure, from policies intended to contain transnational disease threats to the economic benefits of promoting health in the world’s poorest nations, and the changing roles for health in domestic and international security and diplomacy.