Image 2.jpg
Knaul FK UM Headshot 2021.jpg

FELICIA MARIE KNAUL

PhD

Felicia Marie Knaul has dedicated over three decades to academic, advocacy and policy work in global health focused on reducing inequities and improving the condition of vulnerable groups, primarily in low- and middle-income countries and especially in Latin America and the Caribbean.


At the University of Miami, she is a Professor, Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine and Director of the Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas and the Office of Hemispheric and Global Affairs. From 2009 to 2015, she was Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School and directed the Harvard Global Equity Initiative. Dr. Knaul maintains a synergistic, global program of research and advocacy anchored in Mexico, where she is Senior Economist at the Mexican Health Foundation and Honorary Research Professor at the National Institute of Public Health of Mexico.  
Dr. Knaul has over 250 academic and policy publications, including as lead author of the Lancet report, “Alleviating the access abyss in palliative care and pain relief – an imperative of universal health coverage.” She has created several international research and advocacy networks and currently co-chairs the Lancet Commission on Gender-based Violence and Maltreatment of Young People and the Lancet Commission on Cancer And Health Systems. From 2014-2017 she chaired the Lancet Commission on Global Access to Palliative Care and Pain Relief. She established and coordinated the Harvard Global Task Force on Expanded Access to Cancer Care and Control and lead-authored the book “Closing the Cancer Divide” and was later a member of the Global Task Force on Radiotherapy for Cancer Control. 


In 2008, as a result of her breast cancer experience, Dr. Knaul founded Cáncer de Mama: Tómatelo a Pecho, a Mexican non-profit agency that promotes research, advocacy, awareness, and early detection, and trained thousands of primary care nurses, physicians and health promoters using novel techniques that have been applied elsewhere in Latin America. She lectures globally on challenging cancer, both as patient-advocate and health systems researcher, and published the memoir Tómatelo a Pecho (Grupo Santillana) and Beauty without the Breast (Harvard University Press/ Harvard Global Equity Initiative). 


Knaul serves on several philanthropic boards including NCD Child, Esperanza United, Women in Global Health, International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care, and The Lancet Global Health and previously, the Union for International Cancer Control. She is an elected Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, member of the Mexican National Academy of Medicine and is Level III (senior) at the Mexican National System of Researchers. 
Dr. Knaul held senior, federal government positions at the Ministries of Education and Social Development of Mexico, and the Colombian Department of Planning, working on health reform and social development in both. She has also worked as advisor to bilateral and multilateral agencies such as the World Health Organization and the World Bank. 
Dr. Knaul holds a BA in International Development from the University of Toronto) and a MA and PhD in Economics from Harvard University. A Canadian and British citizen, she is resident in Miami, Florida and Cuernavaca, Mexico. She and her husband, Dr. Julio Frenk have two daughters, Hannah Sofia and Mariana Havivah.