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Dr Onalenna Seitio-Kgokwe was the first doctoral student to graduate from the centre, which was set up at the university in 2008 to contribute to the development of health in under-resourced countries. Since then the university had had about 30 postgraduate students come through its doors, some of whom were co-supervised by other institutions.
Centre co-director Prof Philip Hill said it was "very exciting" to hear of her success.
"We are starting to enjoy seeing our graduates develop and take up roles all over the world. This was especially exciting to see and no surprise, given how she has done since leaving the [centre]."
Dr Seitio-Kgokwe, who graduated in 2012, has taken up a national position at the Institute of Development Management, a organisation which encompasses Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland. The institute aims to improve the managerial knowledge and skills of people charged with senior responsibilities for development in the public, state organisations and private sectors. Prof Hill said that Dr Seitio-Kgokwe had been "outstanding in all respects".
"She had the maturity to adapt well to being at Otago and really showed leadership over her work right from the start’."
PhD students are based in Dunedin, but do one year’s field work back in their home countries.
"We have had students from Africa, Asia and the Pacific. Our priority countries are Indonesia, Myanmar, Fiji, Samoa, but have supervised students from several other countries.
"Master’s students are also based in Dunedin, except when they do their three months field work overseas."
Dr Seitio-Kgokwe’s thesis examined the organisational structure of the Botswana Ministry of Health.