Dr. Felicia Marie Knaul

Director, University of Miami Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas
Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences at the Miller School of Medicine

Felicia Marie Knaul is a Professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. She is also the Director of the University of Miami Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas, which focuses on research on social and economic development, the humanities and the arts. She maintains a strong program of research and advocacy in Latin America, especially in Mexico, where she is the Senior Economist at the Mexican Health Foundation; Founding President of Tómatelo a Pecho, A.C.; and Honorary Research Professor of Medical Sciences at the National Institute of Public Health of Mexico. Before joining the University of Miami faculty in 2015, she was Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Harvard Global Equity Initiative.

Dr. Knaul received M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in economics from Harvard University and a B.A. in international development from the University of Toronto.

She has produced more than 190 academic and policy publications, authored and lead-edited academic books, and serves on the advisory board or editorial board of several medical and health care publishers, including The Lancet Global Health and the Journal of Global Oncology, among others. From 2012-2015, she was a member of the Lancet Commission on Women and Health and a leading co-author of its June 2015 report. In 2013-2014 she participated in the Lancet Series Universal Health Coverage in Latin America and co-authored Health-system reform and universal health coverage and Overcoming social segregation in health care in Latin America as part of the series. Dr. Knaul is also the co-editor of Closing the Cancer Divide: An Equity Imperative (Harvard University Press/ Harvard Global Equity Initiative, 2012) and Financing Health in Latin America: Household Spending and Impoverishment (Harvard University Press/ Harvard Global Equity Initiative, 2013). Recent publications include “Rethinking Maternal Health” (The Lancet Global Health, March 2016); “The Economics of Women’s Health and Healthcare: From Conception to Grave” The Economics of Social Capital and Health. World Scientific Series in Global Handbook for Health Economics and Public Policy;Achieving Effective Universal Health Coverage and Diagonal Approaches to Care for Chronicle Illnesses” (Health Affairs, September 2015); “Seizing the opportunity to close the cancer divide” (Commentary, The Lancet, 2013); “The quest for universal health coverage: Achieving social protection for all in Mexico” (The Lancet, 2012).

Dr. Knaul has designed, created and coordinated several research and advocacy networks. Since 2014, she is the Chair of the Lancet Commission on Global Access to Palliative Care and Pain Control with the report expected to be published in 2017. She founded and directed the Global Task Force on Expanded Access to Cancer Care and Control, and was a member of the Global Task Force on Radiotherapy for Cancer Control. She also chaired the Pan American Health Organization Task Force on Universal Health Coverage and coordinated the Global Network for Health Equity, an initiative that brings together researchers from Latin America, in association with the Asia EQUITAP network and the Africa SHIELD network.

Her areas of research are focused on global health and include cancer and especially breast cancer in low- and middle-income countries, women and health, health system strengthening and reform, health financing, access to pain control and palliative care, poverty and inequity, gender equity and particularly female labor force participation, and children in especially difficult circumstances.

As a result of her breast cancer experience, in 2008 Dr. Knaul founded Tómatelo a Pecho, a Mexico-based non-profit agency that promotes research, advocacy, awareness, and early detection in Latin America. She has lectured globally on the challenge of breast cancer in low and middle-income countries, both as patient-advocate and health systems researcher. She recounts her personal experience in Tómatelo a Pecho (Grupo Santillana, 2009) and Beauty without the Breast (Harvard University Press/ Harvard Global Equity Initiative, 2013). Her story and her work have been featured in Reforma, The Miami Herald, The Lancet, Science, WHO Bulletin, Newsweek en Español, and Cancer Today.