Stella Kirkendale, site development and research specialist

Ms. Kirkendale is a public health practitioner and trainer with leadership and gender-focused experience in the following:

  • Global health technical assistance
  • Community capacity-strengthening
  • Training design and facilitation
  • Advocacy
  • Project management
  • Research support

She has over 25 years of experience in managing global and US stakeholder engagement, education and capacity-building projects in HIV/AIDS, TB infection control and Ebola funded by USAID, NIH, and CDC. Ms. Kirkendale advised Partners in Health on their community health and social protection programs in Sierra Leone during the transition from the Ebola crisis to health systems strengthening.

During her 15-year tenure with FHI 360 (formerly Family Health International), she worked as a Senior Technical Officer to develop and expand TB infection control, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) initiatives for Community Health Workers and managers in Cambodia, Mozambique, Zambia, and with The International Union Against Lung Disease in Zimbabwe. She also developed a mentoring and technical training program to build the capacity of civil society organizations (CSO) in TB control in Indonesia.

Climate Leadership Training

Climate Leadership Training

Ms. Kirkendale managed community engagement in the Strategies to Combine PrEP with Prevention Efforts (SCOPE) demonstration study among female sex workers in Kenya; and in FEM-PrEP, an oral pre-exposure prophylaxis HIV prevention clinical trial among African women. Prior to that Ms. Kirkendale was Community Program Manager for the NIH sponsored HIV Prevention Trials- and Microbicide Trials Networks. Her background includes successful development and monitoring of stakeholder engagement, partnerships and community programs at 26 global clinical research sites. Key populations included women at higher risk for HIV acquisition, MSM, transgender, adolescents, injecting drug users and PLWHA.

Ms. Kirkendale spent three years as an Agricultural Extension Agent in Sierra Leone in the 1980s. She organized and maintained a rural agricultural extension service that promoted irrigated rice (swamp development), vegetable and cash crop production. She directed the successful construction of a USAID-funded agricultural primary school, still functioning well 33 years later!

Ms. Kirkendale received her MPH in Health Behavior and Health Education from UNC at Chapel Hill. She is fluent in German, Italian, Sierra Leone Krio and American Sign Language. Ms. Kirkendale is also a passionate local social justice activist with the NC NAACP-led Moral Monday movement. She also is involved with  Repairers of the Breach-led Poor People’s Campaign in North Carolina. Also volunteers with Democracy NC. She has extensive experience in modern and African dance, including performance and choreography.


Brazil, Cambodia, China, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Sierra Leone (PCV 1983-85, 2015), South Africa, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, United States, Vietnam, Zambia, Zimbabwe


GHliaisons provided Stella Kirkendale with a scholarship to attend the Climate Reality Leadership Training in Atlanta in March 2019.

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