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Alumni Feature: Katherine Theiss-Nyland ’02
Katherine Theiss-Nyland

Katherine Theiss-Nyland ’02 personifies the values of San Domenico School through her work as a global public health expert and infectious disease epidemiologist. Since graduating from San Domenico, Katherine has devoted her professional focus to infectious, vaccine-preventable diseases and to operationalizing real-world solutions. Katherine is a true embodiment of what it means to be human in a global community and she possesses an unfailing commitment to improving public health. 

After graduating from San Domenico School, Katherine attended the University of British Columbia where she earned her Bachelors in Microbiology and Sociology, before spending two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Malawi. Katherine moved on to earn not only a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Global Health from the University of California - Berkeley, but also a Ph.D. in Infectious Disease Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. For the last five years, Katherine worked as a Senior Epidemiologist and Program Coordinator at the Oxford Vaccine Group where she served as program lead on several vaccine trials and studies globally. Recently, Katherine accepted a new role at the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson as Vaccines Partnership Lead for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa Real-World Evidence. 

San Domenico strives to graduate individuals who recognize learning as a lifelong process and encourages them to go out into the world and use their gifts to make the world a better, fairer, and more peaceful place. As an alumna, Katherine demonstrates the mission and core values of San Domenico through her professional work by bringing awareness to global issues and exploring and researching new, collaborative ways in which she and others can inspire real change. When asked how her experience as a student of San Domenico prepared her for both life after graduation and as a global public health expert, she illustrated how she and her former classmates were taught to be “conscious participants.” She said, “Our education was wrapped in this socially responsible framework. We were taught to consider things like the environment, those less fortunate than us, etc. We were taught to be conscious participants.” Additionally, Katherine went on to say, “There was certainly an expectation that we were all going to achieve great things one day. Not if. Our teachers had no doubt that we would achieve them.” 

At San Domenico, we are extremely proud of Katherine and all of the good work she is doing. Katherine, her husband, Issam Badri, and their children, Nayla and Layth, live in London, U.K.