UNITE’s Secretariat is comprised of a multidisciplinary team, whose aim is to support the Global Board and UNITE Network in pursuing our collective goal of ending infectious diseases as a global health threat.

The Secretariat’s actions are developed through direct interaction with UNITE’s Members and by fostering partnerships at all levels. These include:

  • Supporting the role of UNITE members of parliament
  • Bridging the gap between policy makers and key global health stakeholders to achieve communicable disease elimination
  • Representing policy makers and promoting the need for political leadership on the global health agenda
  • Connecting policy makers with experts in the field
  • Incorporating and translating scientific research and data driven information for political decision making, leading to policy change

Eléonor Silva


Eléonor is UNITE's Executive Director - previously responsible for UNITE’s Parliamentary engagement and impact. She studied Law, followed by Communications, holding two Master's degree from both Université Paris Dauphine and CELSA Paris Sorbonne. 

After a diplomatic experience at the French Embassy in Brazil, she joined the Global TB Caucus, where she handled advocacy efforts in the Portuguese speaking countries. While she was there, she coordinated the official the launch of a network of parliamentarians aiming to achieve political impact in the fight against TB.

She has found a true vocation in global health advocacy, where she can exercise her passion for politics and external relations while creating a positive impact, working for global wellbeing.

On weekends, Eléonor can be found camera in hand, taking pictures or filming in the streets. Her first documentary premiered in a movie festival last fall.  

Rebeca Marques Rocha

Policy Officer

Rebeca is responsible for delivering the Drug Policy program from UNITE in partnership with international partners. She holds a BA in International Relations by the Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP) and a Master's degree in Public Policy and Administration by the Central European University, specialising in drug policy and global governance.

Over the years, Rebeca has developed extensive international experience working, studying and volunteering in diverse drug policy contexts, such as Portugal, Brazil, Georgia, Spain, Italy and Hungary. She contributed to the work of important civil society organisations focused on human rights and harm reduction, such as the Instituto de Defesa do Direito de Defesa (Brazil), Georgian Harm Reduction Network (Georgia) and Kosmicare (Portugal).

Rebeca likes to believe she has inherited a green thumb from her grandmother - her main goal is to have a small tropical forest inside her apartment in Lisbon. When not talking about drugs (policy) or the last issue from The Economist, Rebeca also enjoys listening to music and discovering new artists.

Mafalda Infante

Parliamentary Engagement Officer

Mafalda works on UNITE’s Parliamentary engagement. She studied Political Science and International Relations at NOVA University of Lisbon, followed by a Master’s in International Studies at ISCTE – IUL.

She was born in Sintra, Lisbon, but spent most of her life in Figueira da Foz, near the ocean. After several years of working as a volunteer, Mafalda joined the European Student Think Tank as an Ambassador to Lisbon. She is also a Young European Ambassador within the EU Neighbours East Project.

A strong believer in equality, Mafalda trusts that everyone can have an impact in making the world a better place and hopes she will be able to continue to pursue that dream at UNITE. She is also a music lover and would never say no to ice cream.



Ankita is currently leading UNITE’s Marketing and Communications department.

She has a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing & Advertising from IADE - Faculty of Design, Technology and Communication, holds a course in Leadership from the Harvard Business School and is currently pursuing a Master's in International Management at Nova School of Business and Economics.

Ankita’s creativity and skills - in Marketing, Communication, Design and Branding have given her the opportunity to work with startups and small business from around the world on giving their first-steps.

When out of the office, you can find Ankita cooking & baking plant-based dishes whilst exploring cuisines from around the world. When not in the kitchen, she loves to spend her time designing portraits or reading about the newest topics on Marketing & Branding.


Legal Advisor

Lawyer and Legal Counsel. Member of Portuguese Bar and Macau SAR Lawyers Association and the Hong Kong Institute of Arbitrators. Currently is head of Macau SAR Law firm Lektou branch in Portugal. Worked in Macau SAR for 11 years 5 of them as Senior Legal Counsel of Melco Resorts & Entertainment. Has strong experience assisting Portuguese and overseas NGO’s with their daily operations and is also a founding member of Portuguese NGO “Mundo a Sorrir”.


UNITE’s Science fellowship program joins together young scientists who are passionate about improving people’s lives. The members are appointed on the basis of their scientific achievement. UNITE Fellows make a significant contribution for recognition of UNITE on the national and international levels. 


PhD student at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa| UNITE Fellow

Artur Queiroz is a Brazilian scientists currently based in Lisbon completing his PhD in Science at the Ribeirão Preto School of Nursing, University of São Paulo, with the double degree of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal. Artur has vast experience in leading nationwide research on the use of dating apps related to HIV transmission & prevention, he also worked on initiatives by the State Health Department in Brazil, such as rapid STI / HIV testing among adolescents and quilombola groups. In his PhD research, Artur is working on imporivng access to Post-Exposure Prophylaxis, using information systems (e-Health). Written and publsihed more than 40 scientific papers for national and international journals. Collaborated with UNAIDS Brasil on designing educational interventions for young people. At UNITE Artur wants to develop concrete actions that can help people, especially in priority countries.


MSc in Medical Microbiology at Universidade Nova de Lisboa|UNITE Fellow

Mafalda is doing MSc in Medical Microbiology at Universidade Nova de Lisboa. Passionate about global health and international cooperation with a strong background in infectious diseases and civil society work in low-income countries with vulnerable communities. Currently working as a consultant at WHO in the Learning and Capacity Development Unit of the World Health Emergencies Program. Travel enthusiast with true passion about discovering new places and cultures, inspired by nature and avid reader.



Jordana John Birck is Brazilian and an aspiring medical anthropologist. She majored in Anthropology at the University of Coimbra and I got her master's degree in Medical Anthropology and Global Health at the same institution. Her current research topics are the epidemiological and social effects of malaria, tropical neglected diseases, and waterborne diseases. Besides her love for Anthropology, she loves to read a good book, drink a nice cup of coffee, and travel to unique places in this wondrous world.