Peace Corps Cameroon Gets New Director

March 17th, 2010 by admin


LaHoma Smith Romocki has over 25 years of experience managing programs to advance public health objectives. Her extensive experience includes supervising > 20 administrative and technical staff members, creating strategic communication plans, developing corporate marketing and educational materials, and designing and implementing complex statewide, national and international public health programs. Romocki has held administrative and technical positions, working with senior level administrators of international and domestic organizations, U.S. legislators, White House and other federal officials.

Romocki also has extensive field experience in sub-Saharan Africa and speaks French. She served as a Peace Corps Volunteer (80-82) and later returned to the Central African Republic (CAR) as the Associate Director for Health Programs (84-87), serving as the Acting Director in the absence of the Country Director. Romocki lived in Cameroon (87-89) and consulted for a number of non-governmental agencies as well as the National AIDS Control Programme. She worked at Family Health International from August 1990 to September 1997 as a Senior Associate and Associate Director of HIV/AIDS programs, and again in 2001 to 2002 as Director of Corporate Communications. Under Romocki’s leadership, a professional team developed and provided technical assistance in fifteen (15) countries to develop prototype training curricula and educational materials, low-literacy materials for community-based programs, audio-visual materials including videos, slides, audiocassettes, training manuals, checklists and reference guides. .

Romocki received her undergraduate degree from Duke University. From 1999 to 2002, she worked as a Research Associate while earning a doctorate in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with a concentration in Health Communication. She also holds the Master of Public Health degree (MPH) in Health Education, also from UNC-CH.

Dr. Romocki is currently an Assistant Professor at North Carolina Central University (NCCU) in Durham, N.C., where she teaches courses on health communication and global health. She holds an adjunct faculty appointment and is a member of the UNC-Chapel Hill Interdisciplinary Health Communication team. Committed to increasing awareness of global health problems, she launched a program to lead a team of public health students to Ghana, West Africa every summer. In November 2007, she received the President’s Award and in June 2008, she was awarded the Franklin H. Williams Award for outstanding service from Peace Corps in a ceremony at the agency’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. Since March 2008, Dr. Romocki has served as a consultant on USAID’s AIDSTAR-One project, led by John Snow International (JSI). She recently returned from a trip to Kenya, East Africa where she assessed combination HIV prevention programming activities.

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