Felicia Marie Knaul (MA, PhD, Harvard University) has dedicated more than three decades to research, advocacy, and policy work in global health and social development to reduce inequities, focusing on low-and middle-income countries, particularly in Latin America and the Caribbean. She serves as the Director of both the Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas and of Hemispheric and Global Affairs at the University of Miami. She is also a full professor at the Miller School of Medicine, with secondary appointments at the College of Arts & Sciences, Miami Herbert Business, and School of Nursing and Health Studies, and a Full Member of the Cancer Control Program at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. From 2009 to 2015, Knaul was Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Harvard Global Equity Initiative, an inter-faculty program chaired by Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen. She has held senior, federal government positions at the Ministries of Education and of Social Development of Mexico, and the Colombian Department of Planning and worked on health reform and social development in both countries.
Dr. Knaul has also worked as a consultant and advisor for bilateral and multilateral agencies such as the World Health Organization and the World Bank. Knaul has produced over 275 academic and policy publications, most recently focusing on the comparative efficacy of health policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in Latin America and has written extensively on health system reform and financing, particularly in Mexico. She is Co-Chair of the Lancet Commission on Cancer And Health Systems and of the Lancet Commission on Gender-based Violence and Maltreatment of Young People. She previously chaired the Lancet Commission on Global Access to Palliative Care and Pain Relief and was a lead author on the report of the Lancet Commission on Women and Health. As a health and social sector economist, she dedicates herself to resiliency and strengthening health systems around Universal Health Coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals, closing the global cancer and pain divides and guaranteeing access to palliative care, promoting gender equity and eliminating gender-based violence and reducing the impact of child maltreatment.
To address these complex global challenges, Knaul maintains a synergistic program of research and advocacy, including as Founding President of Tómatelo a Pecho, AC Mexico, dedicated to promoting women’s health and equity. She serves on national and global philanthropic boards including the International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care, NCD Child, Esperanza United, and Women in Global Health and on the Advisory Boards of Lancet Regional Health Americas and Lancet Global Health, and leads research on health systems with the Mexican Health Foundation.