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The Couffo Collaborative

About the Collaborative


Our Team


James Kennell, Ph.D.

James is a Medical Anthropologist and has conducted public health and infectious disease research in the Couffo Region of Benin since 2006. James speaks the local language of the Couffo Region and over the years has developed relationships and contacts with people of all walks of life throughout the Couffo Region. Over the past 20 years, James has spent over six years living and working in Benin with various development and research programs.

The Couffo Collaborative

Shauna Claiborne, M.A.

Shauna has degrees in Statistics and Medical Anthropology and has 10 years of research experience in health care systems research and strategic planning. Shauna first visited Benin in 2011, and since 2013, both Shauna and James have worked with our partners to help develop and fund the programs that the local community wants to create.

Bruce Moseley, J.D.

Bruce has worked as a non-profit attorney and an educator for 10 years. He is the Executive Director of The Turn Center ( ), a non-profit organization which provides physical, occupational and speech therapy to children. Bruce is certified in non-profit management and is a certified fundraising executive. Bruce provides legal, logistical, and fundraising expertise for The Couffo Collaborative.

The Couffo Collaborative


Carolyn Sargent, Ph.D.

Carolyn is Professor of Anthropology, and Affiliated Professor in the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department at Washington University in St. Louis. She is also Research Fellow at IRIS- an interdisciplinary research institute at EHESS in Paris, addressing social, political, and economic issues including public health and legal medicine. Carolyn lived and worked in Benin for six years conducting research on women’s health and reproduction and has returned many times over the past 30 years.  For the past ten years, she has been engaged in research on gender and health issues among West African immigrants in France. Her fieldwork has been primarily in West Africa, France, and Jamaica in the areas of reproduction, immigrant health, gender relations, and bioethics.

Josephine Caldwell-Ryan, MPH, Ph.D.

Joci is the Director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at Southern Methodist University.  With degrees in anthropology and public health, she teaches a wide variety of courses that reflect her interests, including medical anthropology, food and culture, gender and sexuality, human rights, and African studies. She conducted dissertation research on the political economy of food in Benin from 1982-1983. She has received numerous teaching awards, including the prestigious Regents Outstanding Teaching Award in 2013 for her work at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Roch A. Houngnihin, Ph.D.

Roch is Professor of Medical Anthropology at the University of Abomey-Calavi (Benin). He is also the director of the National Program of Traditional Medicine at the Ministry of Health (Benin). Roch has worked in the field of health systems research for 20 years and has international experience conducting multi-disciplinary research with institutions such as the Institute for Development Research, the WHO, EDCTP (European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership). Roch is from the city of Savalou in central Benin, and now lives in Calavi, Benin. 

All The Couffo Collaborative Directors, Advisors, and those working in Benin are volunteers and do not receive compensation from The Collaborative. Those working in Benin are reimbursed for expenses related to the work of The Collaborative.

The Couffo Collaborative
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