About Us

Founded in 2010 by Dr. Robert Malkin from Duke University, Global Public Service Academy (GPSA) was created with an understanding that youth and young adults can make a difference in the world.

We are a socially responsible organization whose mission is to improve community health services in low resource areas of Guatemala, Belize, Thailand and the USA and provide hands-on experiential learning programs to young adults who have a passion for health occupations.

We achieve our mission by:

  1. Working in partnership with local health authorities, clinics, healthcare workers and community stakeholders to identify community needs, support health programming, design and implement community health projects.
  2. Working in educational collaboration with experts in the field of global health to offer high quality health curriculums, online programming and travel programs to Guatemala, Belize, Thailand and West Virginia, USA for young adults. Our participants receive healthcare training, work alongside local health workers and support the health system of low resource communities in a cross-cultural engagement.

Our core values are:


A concern for others’ wellbeing in central to all we do; from nurturing our participants, to providing services to low resource communities, to supporting the professional and personal development our staff.



Our work is built around community. We create projects and programs with the participation of the community to ensure that their needs are addressed. We establish long-term relationships with partners which are built on trust and respect; they are the reason we exist.

Personal Growth

Our programs are hands-on, transformational experiences that challenge our participants to stretch beyond their comfort zone, make a tangible difference and become a better global citizen.

Vanessa Brombosz, Director

Vanessa is from Montreal, Canada. After completing degrees at McGill University in Canada in the fields of behavioral psychology and occupational therapy, she worked for more than five years as an occupational therapist specializing in orthopedic rehabilitation and dementia care. In 2016, she completed and MSc in Public Health at McGill University where she completed an internship with the World Bank Peru in the National HIV Allocation Efficiency Analysis program. Vanessa joined the GPSA team in 2016. She has a passion for managing teams/volunteers and working with local health authorities to evaluate the community health needs, design and implement health projects that address health disparities to improve the quality of life of people living in low resource communities. Vanessa lives in Xela, Guatemala.

Lennert Rohde, Director

Lennert graduated from the University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, the Netherlands in 2001 with a degree in Communications Management. After college, Lennert worked in the Netherlands for six years as a recruiter and consultant for an engineering staffing agency. He moved to Guatemala in 2007, first working as the coordinator of an NGO until 2009, afterwards teaching English to college and high school students. Lennert joined GPSA in 2014 as the Recruiter, and since 2017 as the Recruiting Manager. He sees his current position as a perfect opportunity to grow professionally, combining with his passion for different cultures and languages. lennert.rohde@gpsa.org

Samantha Ruth, Senior Medical Fellow

Samantha graduated with a Masters in Public Health and Global Environmental Health from George Washington University in Washington, DC. Her undergraduate degree is from The University of Arizona in Microbiology and Biochemistry. Sam was a secondary science teacher for the Peace Corps in Cameroon, and then a teacher for a local high school in Tucson before deciding to pursue Master of Public Health. She has a research background in antibiotic resistance. She attended Catalina Foothills High School in Tucson Arizona. Sam loves playing tennis, cooking (especially baking), reading, spending time with friends/family and watching movies.

Amit Perlin, Senior Medical Fellow

Amit was a double major in Neuroscience and Philosophy at Tulane University. He worked at Tulane University’s School of Medicine Otolaryngology. He also organized mindfulness classes at Sophie B. Wright Charter School while at Tulane. While conducting research at The University of Washington, Amit focused on gene amplification, identification, and the usage of CRISPR. Amit graduated from the Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences. During his year with GPSA, Amit is hoping to expand his knowledge of different cultures and enhance his medical skills. In addition, he wants to improve his ability to communicate with future Latin-American patients. He is planning on going on to medical school after his GPSA experience with a focus on practice and research. Amit enjoys lifting weights and running, playing and watching sports, hiking, camping, traveling, music, new foods, movies and spending time with friends and family

Annie Seaman , Teaching Assistant

Annie Seaman attended New York University, New York University Shanghai and Duke University.  She majored in Global Health and Global China Studies.  While in Shanghai, she worked with a group of migrant children, teaching English.  She has travelled extensively for work (China, Indonesia and Taiwan) and pleasure (Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Macao, Thailand, Laos and Singapore).  Her research has taken her to Jakarta, Indonesia where she interviewed midwives, pregnant women and postpartum mothers to better understand the quality of maternal care at the community health centers.  Seaman will soon begin work with the US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA).  She enjoys hot yoga vegan cooking and reading.

Sara Bare, Teaching Assistant

Sara Bare attended Duke University for Graduate school and Appalachian State University for undergraduate.  She has majored in biological anthropology and Global Health.  She has worked in Uganda and The Republic of South Africa and has visited Germany, Austria and Switzerland.  Bare is a student at Duke attending the ABSN (accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing) program in and will then continue for a DNP in nurse-midwifery.  She likes to go to coffee shops, make art and music, and go hiking.

Coralei Neighbors, Teaching Assistant

Ms. Neighbors graduated from Baylor University and is currently studying at Duke University.  Her current research focuses on infectious diseases, including COVID-19, influenza and other respiratory illnesses.  She helps to collect and organize data form patients in the US and Sri Lanka.   She has won numerous awards as including the Community Engagement and Service Peer Leader of the Year Award and the Virginia Crump Award for Outstanding Female in Community Service. After GPSA, she plans on applying for epidemiology PhD programs.  Neighbors enjoys hiking and kayaking with her two dogs