Felicia M. Knaul

Director, Harvard Global Equity Initiative

Felicia M. Knaul is associate professor at Harvard Medical School and director of the Harvard Global Equity Initiative, where she serves as Secretariat Co-Chair of the Global Task Force on Expanded Access to Cancer Care and Control in Developing Countries, an initiative she helped to found in 2009 and for which she is lead author on the report and book entitled Closing the Cancer Divide. She is a senior economist at the Mexican Health Foundation where she leads a research group on health financing and health system reform in Latin America and the Caribbean region. She is a board member of numerous organizations including the Union for International Cancer Control. Dr. Knaul has held senior government posts in Mexico and Colombia and has worked for bilateral and multilateral agencies including WHO, the World Bank and UNICEF. After being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007, Dr. Knaul founded the Mexican non-profit Cáncer de Mama: Tómatelo a Pecho which promotes research and advocacy initiatives in Latin America. She published a book on her personal experience - available in Spanish and English as Beauty without the Breast - and lectures extensively on breast cancer in the developing world as both patient-advocate and health systems researcher. She has more than 130 academic and policy publications spanning topics including cancer care and control in developing countries, financial protection in health, health system reform, women and health, and children in poverty. Most recently she lead-authored an overview of the Mexican Health Reform published in The Lancet. Dr. Knaul is Canadian, and resides in Boston and Mexico City. She and her husband, Dr. Julio Frenk, have two children, Hannah and Mariana Havivah. Starting in 2013, she is writing a regular, monthly blog at the Huffington Post about the challenges of inequity in global health and about innovative approaches to improving quality and access to health care for poor countries and populations.