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nford@tulane.edu

Niesha Ford is a second-year graduate student at Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

Before starting her graduate education, she studied biochemistry at College of St. Benedict/ St. John’s University in Minnesota. It was there that her passion for service was inspired, where she did numerous philanthropic activities ranging from Big Brothers, Big Sisters to community development, and food security activities in Peru.

Her humanist spirit eventually called her to the United States Peace Corps, where she worked as a maternal & child health volunteer in Rwanda. Despite little access to electricity and a significant language barrier, she was able to work with local health officials to train mothers on best health practices for young children, build dozens of sanitation facilities, dozens of permaculture gardens, distribute dozens of pigs to families with children suffering from malnutrition, and even facilitate the organization of a sustainable mushroom cooperative.

Now in New Orleans, Niesha works with multiple organizations committed to causes such as: providing services for people experiencing homelessness, encouraging positive racial perspectives, and working with historically marginalized groups to combat the current COVID-19 pandemic.

After her time at Tulane, she hopes to once again take her talents abroad to work for USAID in promoting better health outcomes and positive diplomatic relations worldwide. Regardless of her physical location, Niesha will strive to see a world where one’s life circumstances are not a determinant of health access.

In her free time, she loves comedy, eating good food, and playing with her cat, Nola and puppy,Tati.

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