Felicia Marie Knaul is Director of the University of Miami Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas and Professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine.


She holds secondary appointments in the Departments of Anthropology and International Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences; the Division of Population Health and Computational Medicine at the Miller School of Medicine; and the Department of Health Sector Management and Policy at the School of Business Administration. She is also a Full Member of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

A health and social sector economist who has worked extensively in Latin America and the Caribbean, Dr. Knaul maintains a strong program of research and advocacy in the region, especially in Mexico, where she is the Senior Economist at the Mexican Health Foundation. She is also the Founding President of Tómatelo a Pecho, a Mexican NGO that undertakes and promotes research, advocacy, awareness, and early detection initiatives for breast cancer in Latin America.

She has over 20 years of experience in government, academic, think-tank and civil society organizations. She has held senior positions in the governments of Mexico and Colombia, and has worked for several international agencies including the World Health Organization. Until August 2015, she served as Associate Professor at the Harvard Medical School and Director of the Harvard Global Equity Initiative.

Her research focuses on global health, global cancer and especially breast cancer, female labor force participation, women and health, health systems, and reform, health financing, and access to pain control and palliative care. She has over 190 publications and has participated in several Lancet publications and commissions (in 2006, she led a Lancet series on health reform in Mexico; in 2012, she led a Lancet publication that reviewed Mexico’s health system reform, and she was a member of the Lancet Commission on Women and Health and a leading co-author of the report published in June 2015).

Dr. Knaul currently serves as Chair of the Lancet Commission on Global Access to Palliative Care and Pain Control. She is also a member of various academic journals including the Lancet Global Health. Dr. Knaul was inducted into the National Academy of Medicine of Mexico in 2017. She received her B.A. in international development from the University of Toronto and M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University.