Board of Advisors


John Gakau is a seasoned user experience (UX) professional with 15+ years of experience under his belt helping commercial, non-profit, and public sector organizations conceive, create, and deliver people-centered products, services, and technology solutions within the enterprise and to market.

John is Founder and Director, UX Architecture and Strategy at Experience by Design, a Washington, DC-based UX strategy and design consultancy he started in 2001. Prior to founding Experience by Design, John was Lead Information Architect at Euro RSCG Circle, where he created the company’s Information Architecture methodology and helped champion its adoption throughout offices in the U.S. and Europe.

John holds a M.A. in History from University of Michigan and a B.A. in History from the University of Virginia.

Cynthia Waszak Geary PhD is a social psychologist who has conducted research on the behavioral aspects of health – especially reproductive health and HIV prevention — for over three decades. She has a particular interest in the influence of gender on health behaviors, intimate partner violence, special needs of youth and the adoption of and adherence to new technologies for disease prevention.

For much of her career Dr. Geary worked at FHI 360, most recently as the Director of Social and Behavioral Health Sciences and the Director of the Prevention Technologies Agreement, a cooperative agreement with USAID supporting HIV prevention research. Dr. Geary has conducted research and worked in the following countries: Bangladesh, Brazil, Cameroon, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Nepal, Russia, Senegal, Thailand, Ukraine, Vietnam, Zambia and Zimbabwe. She received her PhD at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she also was a pre-doctoral trainee at the Carolina Population Center.

Dr. Geary left FHI 360 in 2014 and is now working part-time as a consultant. Her recent assignments have included co-facilitation of a series of research training workshops in Thailand and Vietnam and editing and review of end-of-project reports and research papers. In addition, Dr. Geary recently published, Going to School in Black and White: A Dual Memoir of Desegregation, co-authored with Dr. LaHoma Smith Romocki. In this book, she and Dr. Romocki consider the influence of racial integration on their schooling and the further trajectory of their lives. More information on this book can be found at

David McGuire is an executive-level development practitioner with mission-driven business rigor, integrity, strategic vision, exceptional cross-cultural ability and 26 years of delivering results in over 40 countries. Throughout his career McGuire has demonstrated exceptional skill in producing results in complex and challenging environments. A global thought leader in Public-Private Partnerships, he has been at the cutting edge of development programs that effectively engage the commercial sector to amplify and sustain impact, particularly in malaria prevention, HIV/AIDS, Maternal & Child Health, Health Systems Strengthening and social marketing. McGuire is currently providing senior consulting support to non-profit and commercial firms in strategy, public-private partnerships, portfolio diversification and market growth.

McGuire has served in a variety of management and leadership positions in the US, Asia and Africa. As President and CEO at The QED Group he led the restructuring of a company in transition from small business status to full-and-open, setting a new and successful strategic direction. Prior to joining QED, he served as Division Vice President for International Health at Abt Associates, where he oversaw a large portfolio of projects in Health Systems Strengthening, Private Sector Health and Malaria Prevention. As Vice President and Director of the Center for Private Sector Health Initiatives at AED, he directed the USAID-funded NetMark Africa Regional Malaria program for nine years.

McGuire has been called upon regularly to present congressional testimony and as a panelist, presenter, co-author and advisor by international organizations, private companies and academia to share his knowledge and experiences in public-private partnerships. He serves on the Board of Oxford Epidemiology, is a special advisor to the President of ALCO Alternative Consulting in Morocco and was a founding member of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership’s Vector Control Working Group.