Jean-Paul Chretien, MD, PhD
Currently a Preventive Medicine resident at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and an active duty Navy officer, Jean-Paul leads a Department of Defense effort to enhance public health surveillance networks in Former Soviet Republics through the Biological Threat Reduction Program. Previously he directed international programs for the DoD Global Emerging Infections Surveillance and Response System (2004-2008).
Jean-Paul graduated from the US Naval Academy (1996), where he was a Truman Scholar; received his MD, PhD (Epidemiology), and MHS (Biostatistics) from Johns Hopkins (2003); and served a Fellowship in Health Sciences Informatics at Johns Hopkins (2009). He is a Member of the Board of Directors, International Society for Disease Surveillance; Member, National Task Force on Global Disease Detection and Collaboration; Chair, Healthcare and Public Health Committee, Federal Knowledge Management Initiative; Term Member, Council on Foreign Relations; and Adjunct Assistant Professor, Uniformed Services University. He has authored 30+ peer-reviewed papers and book chapters and received the Best Publication of the Year Award from the International Society for Disease Surveillance (2008).
Pammie Crawford, M.Phil (Cantab) NLM Fellow, MS Research
After graduating with BA/BA degrees (university/departmental honors), Pammie moved to Padang, West Sumatra, Indonesia and served as a volunteer for a year through Stanford University’s Volunteers In Asia (VIA) Programs. As a university lecturer at the Institut Keguruan dan Ilmu Pendidikan (IKIP Padang) she also served as the senior grant writer for IKIP’s 37th consecutive application to the Indonesian Department of Education to become a full-state university. The grant was then selected and IKIP-Padang became Universitas Negeri Padang (State University of Padang) upgrading their status to full state university (including monies for new libraries, computer/research labs and faculty/student scholarships for continuing education). Besides her time in Indonesia she has also lived in Australia, England, Israel and Mexico.
Upon leaving Indonesia Pammie moved to the U.K. and earned an M.Phil. in International Development (Development Studies) at Cambridge University, England. While there she was awarded the Cambridge Overseas Trust by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. She then served as director of a Californian non-profit organization providing free literacy and job training services. After expanding the program to include health literacy and education, Pammie was selected as a Harvard Presidential Scholar and moved to Boston, Massachusetts where she earned a SM degree in Population & International Health at Harvard University and was named a Graduate Associate of the Center for Population and Development Studies. During her time at Harvard she worked for Mexico’s National Institute of Public Health (Instituto Nacional de Salud Publica) and on Latin American/Caribbean health policy for the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Regional Offices for the Americas of the World Health Organization (WHO). Pammie also traveled to Ghana to advocate for health and human Rights of the poor and marginalized ethnic minorities in Accra.
Currently a PhD Candidate at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Pammie has served as a Johnson & Johnson Community Health Care Scholar providing monitoring and evaluation training to a clinic serving the un/under-insured of Arkansas/Oklahoma. She worked for the World Bank focusing on health and social policies targeted toward the world's poorest populations. Pammie was selected as a J. William Fulbright Fellow for 2007-2008 and lived in northern Canada as a Visiting Scholar at University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) working on aboriginal health. She is very excited to commence training on health science informatics as she is confident this field will help her achieve her goal of serving the poor, marginalized and underserved throughout the world by improving population health.
Kyle Dunn, MHS, NLM Fellow
Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Health Policy and Management
Bloomberg School of Public Health
Kyle Dunn is establishing a career at the intersection of science, technology and health policy. While supporting contracts for the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security, Mr. Dunn studied modern biosurveillance systems, incident response communication tools, and GIS-based infectious disease mapping and modeling programs. In 2008, he joined the Institute for Ethics at the American Medical Association in Chicago, IL, where he investigated physician attitudes towards personal health records and the potential pitfalls for PHR-centered public health reporting. The focus of Mr. Dunn’s doctoral research is environmental health policy—notably the advancement of risk assessment strategies through public health informatics. He is honored to participate in the National Library of Medicine training program, and recognizes NLM’s contributions to environmental health science. (NLM’s 1967 Toxicology Information Program pre-dated even the Environmental Protection Agency!) Mr. Dunn received a B.S. in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology from Yale College and an M.H.S. in Health Policy from Johns Hopkins University.
Jordan Duval-Arnould, MPH, NLM Fellow
Dr Duval-Arnould now holds a DrPh from Bloomberg SPH and is an Assistant Professor in the department of Ane Research in the SOM.
Jordan Duval-Arnould holds an MPH from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHBSPH) where he concentrated his studies in Epidemiology/Biostatistics and Health Finance and Management. Jordan’s academic interests include- resuscitation science, use of medical simulation technologies, patient safety and quality, and health IT. These interests have been formalized during his time at Johns Hopkins through mentorship and several research projects carried out at the Johns Hopkins Medical Simulation Center. After completion of his MPH he worked with the Quality and Safety Research Group involved with the implementation of a large national collaborative effort to eliminate central-line associated bloodstream infections as well several data processing, analysis and display research efforts. He is currently a NLM fellow pursuing a DrPh in Leadership and Management within the Department of Health Policy and Management at the JHBSPH. Prior to coming to Johns Hopkins, Mr. Duval-Arnould worked designing and developing performance measurement and accounting software, as well as working and being involved with research activities at a major academic medical center in Chicago.
Elyse Lasser, MS Applied
Elyse Lasser graduated with a BA in biology from Smith College in 2006, where she worked in a molecular evolution lab for three years. Her career began at IBM’s Global Healthcare and Life Sciences department. There she helped organize the Global Pandemic Initiative Steering Committee and worked with numerous clients in the healthcare field to set up more efficient datacenters. It was her work at IBM that sparked Ms. Lasser’s interest in the public health field. She is interested in creating sustainable health information systems in developing countries to be used for education and disease prevention programs.
Henry Li, MS in Health Sciences Informatics Research
As a recent biomedical engineering graduate from Georgia Tech, most of my experience with informatics has been on the biological and chemical side, in academic labs. However, I have had extensive experience designing and developing web sites and web applications, with emphasis on usability, accessibility, and standards compliance. I am particularly interested in how we can leverage the latest web technologies and practices to directly empower and benefit patients and clinicians. I aim to one day work with (or create) a health and patient focused company with the attitude of an internet startup. Henry will begin his training as a physician at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in the fall of 2011.
Olusesan Makinde, MD, MS, MS in Applied Health Sciences Informatics
Olusesan Makinde is a Nigerian medical graduate with a master in epidemiology and medical statistics, earning both degrees at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria. He is a certified Oracle 10g database administrator (OCP) as well as a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). Dr Makinde has worked over the years as a Clinician, Quality Assurance Manager in a leading Nigerian Health Maintenance Organization and a Non-Governmental Organization which implemented a US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) sponsored program.
Dr Makinde’s interest in health informatics followed challenges of non-availability of data which almost stalled his research during his post-graduate training in epidemiology. He traced this problem to poor data archiving and lack of a proper electronic information system to store routine hospital information. This prompted him to pursue further training in Oracle database management upon completing his master degree.
In December 2018, Dr. Makinde was promoted to Solutions Architect-Research Ethics Application System (REAPS) at Viable Knowledge Masters.
Mano Ntayingi MS in Applied Health Sciences Informatics
With a major in Agriculture Engineering and Natural Resources Management and a concern in public health and livelihood issues threatening rural communities D.R .Congo, Mano Ntayingi has been engaged in the fields of Public Health, community empowerment and Environmental Management with an interest in focusing, later, on these issues into a PhD, after gaining proficiency and skills in data and information management system critical to build a strong M&E system. The last eight years, he has been involved in project design, proposal development and project implementation including not only monitoring project management and logistics, but also in designing and evaluating exercises on data management tools, improving water and sanitation systems in rural communities and computerizing project data and mapping program activities. He has provided technical support and training to government offices, worked as a consultant with national and international Non-profit Organizations, trained post-doctorate students working on Land, Territory and Forest Management in Remote Sensing and GIS. He is planning on developing capacity in networking and in building reliable and efficient data management system essential to support the development effort in Congo by providing accurate and timely information critical to build up an evidence-based decision environment required in the prevailing context of limited resources.
Olawande Ogunsanya, MBBS, MS in Applied Health Sciences Informatics
Olawande Ogunsanya received his MBBS degree from the College Of Medicine, University Of Ibadan in 2005. He has worked as a physician in the last 4 years. He is a also a co-facilitator of the Youth Empowerment Program (Yep!) where he speaks on youth-centered public health issues. His love for Information Technology and experience with rural medical practice spurred him to explore the application of IT to improve healthcare delivery. As an aspiring programmer, he aims to develop and implement solutions that ensure confidentiality, security and integrity while maximizing availability of information for public health. He is also desires to manage health IT operations for agencies and to conduct education and training in health informatics for developing and low resource nations.
Yair Rajwan, D.Sc., NLM Post Doctoral Fellow (2009-2011)
With more than 20 years of broad business experience, Dr. Rajwan (D.Sc.) has been engaged in sale, marketing, business development, market research, proposal response, consulting services, strategic planning, product life cycle, business case, enterprise architecture, research and development (R&D), systems engineering, training, customer support, and operation and maintenance. Dr. Rajwan interest is in a patient-centric healthcare evaluation and optimization. His objective is to enable patients to have open-access to consumer-oriented health informatics, via Medicine 2.0, “Cybermedicine” and e-Health, to make an informed decision with respect to their Personal Health Record (PHR), health plan insurance records, prescribed drug interactions, as well as personalized and effective treatments producing optimized outcomes.
Amer Saati, MD, MS
Amer Saati is a physician informaticist who earned his medical degree from Damascus University, Syria. Upon graduation, Amer started his medical training in internal medicine and while being in the patient side, he started thinking about ways to improve healthcare by using new technologies, improving clinical workflow by inventing decision support systems which was the motive for him to pursue his masters in applied health science informatics at Johns Hopkins University. His capstone project was a systematic review of diagnostic decision support systems in ER. Upon his graduation, Dr. Saati worked as a post doctoral fellow in Geriatrics medicine with a specialty of informatics at Johns Hopkins Hospital focusing on transition of care and improve communication between hospital side and primary care physicians. Moreover, Dr.Saati decided to advance his career and enrolled in an applied informatics fellowship where he actively engaged in EHR/EMR implementations, CPOE improvement, evaluating health information exchange and finally serve as an assistant CMIO in New York area. He is currently holding a position of physician informaticist at North Shore LIJ Health System.
Terry Tsai, PhD, NLM Post Doctoral Fellow (2009-2011)
Terry received her bachelor’s degree in Information Technology, with a minor in Biology, from the College of William and Mary. She completed her MSPH in Public Health Informatics from Emory University and her PhD in Biomedical Informatics from the University of Washington. Her previous work dealt with combining epidemiologic and genetic data, which was the subject of her master’s thesis. Her PhD dissertation dealt with the creation of an analytical system for the purposes of functional SNP annotation. She has collaborated with the CDC, Emory’s Public Health Preparedness department, as well as the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center on various projects. Terry’s current research interest continues to be exploring new intersections between Public Health Informatics and Bioinformatics.
Jacob Aaronson, DO, MAJ, MC
Dr. Jacob Aaronson graduated from NOVA Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1999 and completed his residency in Family Medicine at University of Texas Southwestern, Parkland where he was chief resident in 1999. He is board certified in Family Medicine. Upon completion of his residency Dr. Aaronson resumed active duty in the United States Army, stationed at Fort Belvoir Virginia where he served as a staff physician for three years, full time Family Medicine residency faculty for one year – receiving the Family Medicine faculty of the year award, and one year as chief of clinical informatics. Next assigned to the Office of the AMEDD Surgeon General, he served as the principal clinical and functional advisor to the CIO as the lead for clinical systems integration and requirements during the world-wide deployment and sustainment of AHLTA, the DoD global electronic health record. He was awarded the Mercury Award for recognition as the AMEDD IM/IT Officer of the year in 2006. He has gained significant experience in systems integration, functional requirements definition and iterative development a global EHR, and process automation. His areas of interest include service oriented architecture approach to managing distributed systems and databases, EHR optimization to improve point of care data visualization, decision support tools and clinical workflow, automation of clinical practice guidelines, applying the principals of informatics to understand and fully automate processes that potentially span multiple systems and domains, and improving the gap between clinical practice and public health needs for useful, accurate and timely data. He has continued to maintain a clinical practice and lives locally with his wife and children.
Olayinka Ajayi, MBBS, MMed, MPH
Olayinka Ajayi has taken on the position of Veterinary Medical Officer/Interdisciplinary Scientist by the USDA.
Dr. Olayinka Ajayi completed his basic medical training at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and also earned a Master of Medicine degree from the National University of Singapore in General Public Health with a focus on the Evaluation of Malaria Control Programs. He has significant experience in Primary Health Care, Occupational Health, and OBGYN in Nigeria and in Vanuatu, S.W. Pacific. In the United States, he worked extensively with community mental health agencies at the intersection of health administration, public mental health, and information systems.
Dr. Ajayi is passionate about sustainable initiatives in low resource settings. During his Nigerian National Youth Service, he successfully managed various health projects that mobilized community leaders and stakeholders to utilize local resources and manpower in solving their health problems, for which he received a State Honorary Award for outstanding performance and meritorious services. He held various leadership positions in Vanuatu including Directorship of Vila Central Hospital which is the country’s main tertiary hospital, and worked with donor agencies, missions and NGOs to setup sustainable competency/technology transfer projects such as the Vanuatu Ear Nose and Throat (VENT) program.
To further his career goals, he completed the Hopkins Tropical Medicine Certificate in 2005, and recently, the Hopkins MPH degree. As part of his response to challenges in sharing health information, he has acquired LAN and WAN networking competences including MCSE and CCNA certifications. Also, he is about to complete a Master of Science in Information Assurance at the Capitol College, Laurel, Maryland which is a National Center of Excellence in Information Assurance Education. He has a strong commitment to International Health, and Maternal and Child Health. His informatics research interests are Infectious Diseases Surveillance; Emergency Preparedness Response and Recovery, particularly Disaster Mental Health; and Clinical-Public Health Information Exchange and Integration.
Robert Borotkanics, MPH
Robert J. Borotkanics is a doctoral student at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and is also a Health Sciences Informatics Research Fellow at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He received his MPH from Johns Hopkins in 2006.
Robert’s research to date has focused on the use of inpatient administrative data to derive information on severe lead poisoning in the United States, which he has given numerous presentations on. His interests are to expand this work by better using existing risk, exposure and health systems data to better characterize the epidemiology of select neurotoxins. Present environmental health surveillance programs lack a consistent and systematic framework to coordinate health effects, exposure, risk and geographic information in a reliable, repeatable manner. The intent is to improve environmental health surveillance capabilities by better coordinating and systematizing existing systems where possible.
Professionally, Robert has worked in numerous professional capacities over the past 17 years, including health services research and chemical-biological defense. Robert is a former US Marine.
Recreationally, he is an avid outdoors person. Robert enjoys the mountains: climbing skiing and biking. Robert works intermittently with numerous federal agencies and related stakeholder groups to better balance recreational use of lands with the need to protect natural resources and historical assets.
Octavis received her MA from George Washington University in Health Services Administration and her BA from Tougaloo College where her major was Psychology. In her position as the Assistant Director of Information Technology for the National Naval Medical Center (NNMC), her goal was to bring seamless system integration and support the clinical staff in identifying their needs to improve healthcare instead of forcing another complicated technology on her staff. Her most significant accomplishment was the Single Sign On (SSO) project which was designed to meet two of the common deficiencies identified in a survey given to the clinical staff at the (NNMC).
Following this training program, Octavis will be a full-time DrPh student in Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Melonie recently finished her residency in Otolaryngology at University of Pittsburgh. She comes to the DHSI at the same time as starting a fellowship in Head and Neck Oncologic Surgery here at Hopkins. During residency she became interested in informatics while investigating the electronic health record and its role in medical error. She was also involved in the development of data visualization software for clinical cancer outcomes. Melonie is excited to learn more about informatics in a a formal way through the DHSI program. She is interested in continuing to optimize cancer treament through better management and analysis of cancer information with data visualization and other methodologies.
Paula Soper, MPH
Paula Soper is now a Research Scientist in Health Care Research NORC at the University of Chicago in Bethesda, Maryland.
Paula Soper received her MPH from the George Washington University in Maternal and Child Health and a Biology and Human Relations from Trinity College. Paula joined the National Association of County and City Health Officials in January 2005, where she serves as the Senior Analyst for Public Health Informatics. Paula is focused primarily on ensuring public health involvement in national health information technology efforts. She serves as a Senior Advisor to the American Health Information Community’s (AHIC) Population Health and Clinical Connections Workgroup. Paula is also involved in research to identify model practices for public health involvement with Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIOs) and Health Information Exchanges (HIEs), and evaluation programs concerning biosurveillance systems.
Prior to joining NACCHO, Paula was the Senior Manager of the Health Consulting Group at Scientific Technologies Corporation (STC), a technology firm specializing in public health informatics. While at STC, she managed projects ranging from local community health assessments to statewide planning for disease surveillance systems and immunization registries. She was responsible for monitoring policies and standards issues such as the National Health Information Network initiative and the Public Health Information Network. Prior to joining STC Paula also worked as an epidemiologist and Director of the statewide immunization registry for Maryland, and served as the founding President of the American Immunization Registry Association.
Patricia Abbott, PhD
525 North Wolfe Street, Room 432
Dr. Patricia Abbott is Associate Professor and the Co-Director of the PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center for Nursing Knowledge, Information Management and Sharing at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing in Baltimore, MD. Dr. Abbott is a member of the Board of Directors for the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) and also serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA). Patricia is a Fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics and the American Academy of Nursing. Dr. Abbott’s primary area of research is in connectionist machine learning techniques/data mining. Additionally, Dr. Abbott serves as the Secretariat for the Global Alliance of Nurses and Midwives Communities of Practice effort; a WHO initiative to address the crisis in the global health workforce.
Katherine Ball, MD, MS
Dr. Katherine L. Ball attended the Six-Year combined BA/MD program at Lehigh University, earning a BA in Medical Sciences and an MD from The Medical College of Pennsylvania. She performed her residency in the combined five-year EM/IM program at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh where she served as Chief Resident, and is board-certified by the ABEM and ABIM. She has held positions of progressive clinical and administrative responsibility in clinical medicine on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast and then on Maryland’s Eastern Shore for more than ten years. She has significant experience in collaborative healthcare information initiatives, working with her medical centers’ senior executive teams and IT personnel in capacity planning, quality assurance, and performance improvement measures. Regional facility Informatics projects she has participated in have included expert clinical liaison support for Emergency Department Patient Tracking Systems, EMR and CPOE, clinical content development and QA, corporate compliance policy development, quality metric query, and disaster planning for newly developed health IT applications. She is also CEO of a Maryland company she founded providing applied informatics consulting to national medical organizations in process redesign, implementation and training for EMR and integrated applications to improve health care delivery in hospital and outpatient clinical settings. Her areas of interest include informatics initiatives that facilitate data-driven redesign of clinical processes and workflow, process improvements to advance healthcare quality, affordability and accessibility, and support clinical operations and efficient practice management. She plans to enhance her informatics knowledge as well as research skills, looking towards future cross-disciplinary roles in healthcare IT in the governmental, academic and private sectors. She resides on the Maryland section of the Delmarva Peninsula with her family. Dr. Ball currently serves as Chief Medical Information Officer (CMIO) for Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, MD.
Gregary Butchy, DO, MS
Greg completed his undergraduate education at Carnegie Mellon University where he earned a B.S. in Computer Science with a minor in Psychology. During his undergraduate years he developed interests in cognitive psychology and human-computer interaction. At the time of his graduation, he earned a commission as a Communications Computer Systems Officer in the United States Air Force. He served as the Executive Officer of a Communications Flight in the New Jersey National Guard for eight years. Concomitantly, he accepted a position in the Information Technology division of an investment bank where he worked as an Associate Programmer Analyst before his interest in a humanitarian career lead him to pursue medical education. Over the next year, he completed his pre-medical coursework at the University of Pittsburgh and then started an information technology consulting business. He chose to attend the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey - School of Osteopathic Medicine for his medical education and earned his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. In medical school, Greg's interest in medical informatics deepened, and although his first thought was to make a career in family medicine, his excitement at the possibility of uniting his two domains of knowledge drew him to the Health Sciences Informatics program at Johns Hopkins.
Greg found DHSI to be an excellent interdisciplinary learning environment. While establishing the requisite broad foundation of informatics knowledge, he developed specific skills in decision modeling, health economic evaluation, and data analysis. He earned his Master of Science in Health Sciences Informatics at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine with a thesis entitled "Decision and Cost-Effectiveness Analyses to Determine the Performance Requirements for a Potential Diagnostic Decision Support System." In addition, he earned Certificates from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in both Health Finance and Management and Public Health Economics. After completing his fellowship with DHSI, Greg joined the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School where he is completing his post-graduate medical education..
Naima Carter-Monroe, MD
Dr. Naima Carter-Monroe, native Baltimorean, recieved her BSE in chemical engineering from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and her MD from the Howard University College of Medicine. As of June 2006, she has completed her residency in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology at the University of Maryland Medical Center. During her residency and tenure as Chief Resident, Dr. Carter-Monroe has developed interests including the improvement and implementation of telepathology as an adjuvant to standard Pathology practice, improvement of Anatomic Pathology workflow through optimization of LIS infrastructure and its integration into day to day Pathology practices, and training residents in Pathology Informatics. She is currently completing a Cardiovascular Fellowship at CVPath Institute Inc, in Gaithersburg, MD, and will then take up a position as a Cardiovascular Pathologist.
Yakubu Owolabi, DVM
Dr. Owolabi received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. He practiced as a Public Health Veterinarian prior to coming to the United States. Recognizing the need for Information Technology as platform for effective management of public health data, he took a degree in Information Technology, among other things.
His research was focused on the utility of tree-based probabilistic method to predict and classify various clinical populations of HIV-infected patients into risk categories such that rule-based therapeutic strategies are justified particularly in resource-constrained settings.
Currently, Dr. Owolabi works as a Health Scientist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in support of Global AIDS Program initiatives involving application of public health informatics and scientific information systems to clinical and population-based surveillance and program implementation of HIV/AIDS.
Paulina Sockolow, MBA
Paulina Sockolow earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Pennsylvania, where she combined an M.B.A. in Health Care Systems and Decision Sciences from The Wharton School with Masters of Science in Engineering coursework at Penn's Engineering School. She has been responsible for information system design and implementation in over a dozen hospital information system implementations in her 20 years of direct line experience in a variety of health care settings. For the past three years she has developed and taught informatics courses for graduate students in the Health Informatics Minor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. She is also a member of the Rand/Harford Interdisciplinary Geriatric Research Center and the Transitions In Health Interest Group. As a Robert Wood Johnson Public Health Informatics fellow, Paulina's area of interest is health services research and health IT, specifically assessing the impact on health outcomes of patient access to their electronic health record for patients with specific chronic conditions. She plans to integrate informatics post doctoral study in the Division of Health Sciences Informatics with study towards a DrPH in Health Policy and Management in the School of Public Health.
Guy Amir, MD, MPH
Dr. Guy J. Amir is a graduate of FMSFI (Fatima College of Medicine), University of Southern California, and Nova Southeastern University. His interests include Bioimaging Informatics, AIM (Artificial Intelligence in Medicine), and related engineering topics. He was born in Petach-Tikva, Israel, and went to high school in Kfar-Saba. His hobbies include languages, Korean and Japanese martial arts, and skiing.