Administrative Staff

Administration and Staff



Absera Melaku, MA, MPH 
Program Manager 
Absera Melaku is the Program Manager for the University of Chicago Center for Global Health. She provides overall direction for the Center by managing its long-term strategy, developing and managing education programs and initiatives, and overseeing the operational infrastructure.  Absera develops interdisciplinary, collaborative relationships with non-University partners and University faculty, students, and staff to further the Center’s mission to broaden global health education, training, research, advocacy, and engagement. Before coming to the Center, Absera served as Research and Grants Manager for the Institute for Policy Research Two-Generation Research Initiative at Northwestern University. In collaboration with investigators from Columbia and Harvard Universities, she contributed to multiple mixed-methods antipoverty studies examining the implementation and effectiveness of two-generation education interventions and the intersection of policy and practice for economically disadvantaged families and their children. Absera received her Master of Medical Anthropology and Master of Public Health from Case Western Reserve University and her interests lie in global health education and promotion, adolescent health and youth development, and community-based public health programming, implementation, and evaluation. 


Michelle Tagle, MPH                                                                          Clinical Research Program Coordinator
Michelle Tagle is a Cinical Research Program Coordinator involved in managing research studies and research-related projects in West Africa, most of which center around breast cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. Working alongside interdisciplinary teams at the University of Chicago as well as colleagues abroad, she helps ensure at international sites the conduct of high quality research and coordinates training opportunities to build local research capacity. She is also involved in grant writing and grants management and provides programmatic support at the Center, helping to advance global health research and education on campus and beyond. Michelle graduated from the University of Illinois with an MPH in Community Health Sciences and Global Health, and has conducted mixed-methods research on the roles of climate change and the transportation sector in the rural health of developing countries.


Monica Palese, MPH                                                                            Clinical Research Associate         
Monica Palese, MPH, is a Clinical Research Associate at the Center for Global Health and Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics at the University of Chicago, where she facilitates local-global clinical breast cancer research. Monica is responsible for the coordination of translational breast cancer research collaborations between interdisciplinary research teams at the University of Chicago, its domestic partner institutions, and international partner sites as well as the management of clinical research projects and communications at the Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics.   Monica graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and earned her Master of Public Health in Public Health Administration and Policy from the University of Minnesota Twin-Cities. Her research interests and prior experience center around chronic disease prevention, health disparities, health communication, and education.  She is particularly interested in fostering global cooperation to translate emerging research and findings into action. Monica is currently a member of the American Public Health Association and the Illinois Public Health Association.