Photo of Lee Pyne-Mercier

Health Systems Researcher & Strategist


Contexts of work

Congo [DRC]









South Africa

Areas of Specialisation

Strategy development and execution
Innovative problem-solving
Design thinking
Coalition building


Global health
Infectious disease
Maternal, newborn, and child health
Quality of care
Community engagement
Social accountability
Gender equity
Service delivery innovation

Photo of Lee Pyne-Mercier

Lee Pyne-Mercier

Our health challenges today require deep understanding of context, optimism, and creativity to identify durable solutions.

Lee is a public health professional dedicated to equity, with a track record of identifying solutions and bringing them to scale. He draws on experience in governance, health systems, evidence-based practice, and root cause analysis to support governments and civil society to deliver interventions for health and well-being. He grew up in the United States, and has deep ties to South Africa.

Lee started his career working with communities in KwaZulu-Natal to prepare for the first democratic elections in South Africa, and he understands that health disparities are most often rooted in societal power structures.

Transitioning to public health, he worked on large scale HIV prevention programs in East and southern Africa assisting communities of sex workers and vulnerable young women to protect themselves and their health. He worked in Nigeria and Ghana to establish some of the first HIV treatment programs at scale in Africa. He subsequently supported programs to institutionalise HIV services and improve quality.

Lee has worked in partnership with civil society to empower communities including work on women’s self help groups, community health worker programs, and community engagement in clinical research. He worked with governments and industry to ensure that patients with XDR TB had early access and compassionate use for newly developed TB drug regimens.

He joined Sonder because he believes that design has a role in decolonizing global health by ensuring that communities are at the table from the start in designing solutions that meet their needs. He has a master’s degree in political science from the University of Cape Town and an MPH from the University of Washington. He is currently a doctoral student at the University of Washington focusing on how design can effectively integrate with (and transform) existing systems to accelerate equity.

Interested in working with us for a better future?