Olfa Sakesli is an international resident researcher at the Kettering Foundation. Born and raised in Tunisia, where she also attended medical school, she has always been interested in the problems of her community and has been active in many social organizations. She completed an intensive five-week program on civic engagement at Bard College that included participants from diverse communities (e.g., survivors of Hurricane Katrina) as well as US and international officials.
Sakesli is interested in community health problems such as adolescent pregnancy, access to clean drinking water, domestic violence, drug use, environmental contamination, health disparities, and inadequate emergency services. She believes getting people engaged with these problems will help lower their incidence. She would like to study how, historically, democracy and community health have gone hand-in-hand. She is also keen to introduce the basics of how professionals might alter their routines to work in complementary ways with the public.
Sakesli has attended the Faculty of Medicine of Tunis and has completed the specialty exam. She will begin her thesis, on autoimmune diseases, soon.