4 August 2023

Research Portfolio Manager Provides Programmatic Oversight and Vast Experience in Project Management: Q&A With Kaleigh Presgraves, MHA, ACHE

The Geneva Foundation’s research portfolio managers provide programmatic oversight of all research activities within their research portfolios. Specifically, they are responsible for the overall performance and execution of multi-site grants and contracts supporting military-relevant medical research and other services.

Geneva’s portfolio managers are integral to the success of our research programs. We spoke to Geneva Research Portfolio Manager Kaleigh Presgraves, MHA, ACHE, about her role and its impact on military medicine.

Describe your role with Geneva and your impact on the program you work on. 

As the Research Portfolio Manager for North Carolina, I oversee various research projects and collaborate with stakeholders such as scientists, healthcare professionals, and policymakers. I bridge the gap between research findings and practical applications by:


  • Identifying funding opportunities and allocating resources to support innovative research initiatives
  • Collaborating to enhance the accessibility and quality of healthcare services available to service members and their families
  • Leveraging cutting-edge technologies and fostering interdisciplinary collaborations to develop tailored healthcare solutions that cater to the specific needs of this community
  • Cultivating partnerships and exchanging information to advance military healthcare to benefit current and future generations of service members


What kind of experience do you need to become a research portfolio manager?

Research portfolio managers typically require a combination of education, relevant work experience, and specialized abilities. A bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as science, engineering, business, or a particular study area, is necessary. Prior management or research project-related experience is also very beneficial. They must thoroughly understand the research process, methodologies, and challenges to manage and support research initiatives effectively. Research portfolio managers must also have practical project management skills because they oversee several initiatives simultaneously.

It is also necessary to have experience with budgeting and financial management because they must be able to allocate resources and manage project budgets.

Working in research management or project management positions, or taking on leadership responsibilities within research teams, are a few ways to gain experience in these fields.

What excites you about the work that you do?

I genuinely enjoy helping bring such innovative research to our service members. Observing its positive impact on their lives and the efficacy of their missions is immensely rewarding. When I left the military, my most significant concern was that I could not find the same sense of purpose that I had in uniform. Having the opportunity to work in a profession that directly supports and enhances the lives of service members has given me a renewed sense of purpose and fulfillment. It is a constant reminder of the significance of our work and its effect on those who serve our country.

What recent work can you share that you are most proud of?

I want to highlight two of Dr. Cristóbal Berry-Cabán’s studies that aim to prevent violence against military personnel. Dr. Berry-Cabán will present these research studies this year during the 2023 Military Health Service Research Symposium (MHSRS).

Preventing Sexual Violence through Targeting Hazing Behavior aims to adapt the Hazing Prevention Framework (HPF) created by Dr. Elizabeth Allan at the University of Main to a military population (HPF-M) and address the intersection of hazing and sexual victimization among service members. By disseminating questionnaires to Fort Liberty service members, this study contributes to a more significant effort to comprehend how sexual assault occurs in the form of hazing. The survey results will provide quantitative information about the environment, experiences, and behaviors of service members concerning hazing and sexual assault. The compiled data will be one of three components used to develop a framework for military-specific prevention programming. This study aims to create the HPF-M, a framework for preventing harassment in the military.

ProHealth’s mission is to evaluate and adapt the Sexual Assault and Alcohol Feedback and Education (SAFE) program Dr. Lindsay Orchowski of Brown University created for use with high-risk male service members who consume alcohol. This study aims to collect information on soldiers’ sexual activity, courtship, and alcohol consumption to pilot a sexual assault prevention program and provide feedback on what can be adapted to a military population.

How does Geneva contribute to the success of these research programs?

Geneva brings together individuals from various backgrounds, including clinical research, public health, administration, and academia. This broad spectrum of experience enables a thorough approach to problem-solving and stimulates creativity in the search for new solutions. With the collective knowledge and shared goal of advancing medical research, Geneva is well-equipped to tackle even the most complex health issues. Collaborating with some of the nation’s leading researchers has been an honor. Their expertise and commitment have nurtured a collaborative environment where inventive ideas thrive. In addressing the multifaceted challenges of medical research, diverse perspectives, and inter-disciplinary collaboration have proven invaluable.

I am honored to be a member of #TeamGeneva and contribute to the revolutionary work conducted here. The devotion and passion of Geneva’s whole team are highly motivating as we work together to create a long-term effect on medical research. We are pushing boundaries and developing novel solutions that will define the future of healthcare for future generations.

 Disclaimer: The views expressed do not reflect the official policy of the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.