Board Member Spotlight
At MPI’s annual meeting, MPI added two new board members. This month, we would like to introduce you to Kate Matos, a longtime Rotarian who recently traveled with MPI to Zambia to learn more about how Rotarians are uniting to end malaria.
Bio: Katherine Matos ’08 is a legal and compliance professional who supports the development of biotechnology and novel therapeutics. She earned a B.E. in biomedical engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology in 2008, and a J.D. with a concentration in health law from Seton Hall University School of Law in 2011. Matos began her career at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, where she worked on healthcare fraud and anti-bribery cases, and was lead author of “Practical Guidance for Health Care Governing Boards on Compliance Oversight.” Since leaving government service, Kate’s practice has expanded to include promotional rules for regulated products, global privacy, and market access work.
Matos has been active in Rotary for over ten years. She attended the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) program in District 7490, served as inaugural President of the e-Rotaract Club of District 7490 (2005-2006), and served as President of the Rotary Club of Kent (2020-2021, D5030). She has been the District 5030 RYLA Chair since 2020. Matos was recognized as Rotarian of the Year by the Rotary Club of Kent in 2020 and Rotarian of the Year by District 5030 in 2021.
What makes Malaria Partners International’s mission (To ignite an International Rotarian Campaign for the Global Eradication of Malaria) meaningful to you?
“Malaria is a complex disease, involving different species of parasites and mosquitoes all over the world. There is no one size fits all solution – it requires ingenuity and different approaches. That makes malaria elimination exactly the kind of challenge for which Rotarians are uniquely equipped!
I love that MPI partners with Rotarian leaders and experts throughout the world to test new strategies and scale up those that work best, based on the data.”
How does your professional background tie into your role as a Malaria Partners International Board Member?
My training is in biomedical engineering and law, and I work in the biotech industry. As a result, I really enjoy learning about the science of malaria and the biotechnologies in development to combat it.
How do you see youth advocacy within Rotary International evolving, particularly in the context of malaria elimination? What strategies do you think are effective in inspiring and empowering young people to take an active role in addressing global health challenges like malaria?
I recently had the opportunity to work with the Rotaract Club of Lusaka on a small grant proposal and meet their members. These young professionals are networking with experts, learning what they can, and traveling throughout Zambia to train community health workers in our first Program of Scale project. Their experiences now will make them natural leaders in malaria elimination work for decades to come.
When it comes to inspiring and empowering young people, we must invite them to join us! The young people that I work with in RYLA and Rotaract are inspired to make a difference in causes that they are passionate about. Rotary provides a platform for empowering young leaders – through training opportunities and active service learning – to make a difference.
Can you share insight on your experience attending the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) program and how it shaped your perspective on youth involvement?
I grew up in a commuter suburb of New York City and attended RYLA a few months after 9/11. As a student attendee, I was inspired by Rotary’s vision of service and its work in peacebuilding and polio eradication. I knew immediately that I would be a Rotarian when I grew up, and have been finding my path of service ever since. As the District 5030 RYLA Chair, I seek to inspire today’s youth in the same way I was inspired to join Rotary. I am also particularly interested in supporting our young leaders in Rotaract as they join the fight against malaria.
On September 8th, 2023, the Rotary International President Gordon McInally announced that Rotary and its partners World Vision and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will be implementing the Rotary Healthy Communities Challenge which will build on the successes of the Partners for a Malaria-Free Zambia project and scale that work to 3 other countries.
Malaria Partners West Africa has been engaging with PATH and The Gambia’s Ministry of Health and National Malaria Control Program (NMCP) to design a new initiative aimed at strengthening community case-based surveillance for malaria in the North Bank Regions of The Gambia.
By Peter Mubanga Ng’andu – Rotaract Club of Lusaka
As a Project Management & M&E professional, I believe in data driven interventions and that’s why when an opportunity to volunteer in Data Quality Audits (DQA) emerged, I gladly took it in the spirit of service above self.