Skip to main content


Assistant Scientist
Adam Koon

Departmental Affiliations

Health Systems

Adam Koon, PhD, MPH, explores how policy can transform the messy exchange of ideas, words, and values into agreeable plans for a healthier and fairer world.

Contact Info

615 N Wolfe Street, E8143

Research Interests

Framing; Health Policy; Health Politics; Health Financing; Critical Policy Studies; Human Resources for Health; Low- and Middle-Income Countries
Experiences & Accomplishments
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University
Carroll College
Dr. Koon's work focuses on understanding the forces that structure human behavior in the health policy process. He approaches policy as a contest of ideas, shaped by language and deeper value conflicts and applies these concepts to work on health financing, health workforce development, and the regulation of harmful consumer products. Dr. Koon has published widely on “framing” and overlapping phenomena such as "sensemaking" and "storytelling" in the health policy process. His work has been published in Social Science and Medicine, Health Policy and Planning, Bulletin of the World Health Organization, the Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law, as well as other health policy journals. Currently, Dr. Koon is collaborating on research in Kenya (UNICEF), Uganda (GHR Foundation), Bangladesh (Gates Ventures), and the Philippines (Bloomberg Philanthropies).

Prior to joining the Health Systems Program Dr. Koon worked in public health programming in low- and middle-income countries. In 2010-2011, he served as a technical advisor for the Southern Sudan Guinea Worm Eradication Programme in Awerial County in Lakes State, South Sudan. He has worked on evaluations of polio eradication and nurse mentoring programs in Bihar, India. In addition to this focus on human resources for health, Dr. Koon spent three years as a Health Policy Specialist on Abt Associates' Health Finance and Governance Project funded by USAID after conducting his PhD research on the politics of health financing in Kenya.
Honors & Awards
BSPH, Lipitz Public Health Policy Faculty Award (2022)
BSPH, Bloomberg American Health Initiative Course Development Award (2022)
BSPH, Excellence in Teaching (5x), BSPH:
-Health Systems Seminar (2020, 2022)
-Financing Health Systems for UHC (2020)
LSHTM, Research Traveling Award Recipient (2014)
RSPH, Outstanding Practicum Award winner (2007)
Select Publications
Select publications (last two years):
  • Maritim B, Koon AD, Kimaina A, Goudge J. 2022. “Acceptability of Prepayment, Social Solidarity, and Cross-subsidies in National Health Insurance: A mixed methods study in Western Kenya.” Frontiers in Public Health. Pages 1-14.
  • Koon AD, Lopez-Hernadez A, Hoe C, Vecino-Ortiz A, Bachani AB. 2022. “Multisectoral Action Coalitions for Road Safety in Brazil: An Organizational Social Network Analysis in Sao Paulo and Fortaleza.” Traffic and Injury Prevention. Volume 23, Issue 2, pages 67-72.
  • Koon AD, Mendenhall E, Eich L, Adams A, Borus ZA. 2021. “A Spectrum of (Dis)Belief: Coronavirus Frames in a Rural Midwestern Tourist Town.” Social Science and Medicine. Volume 272, 113743, pages 1-8.
  • Koon AD. 2021. "When Doctors strike: Making Sense of Professional Organizing in Kenya." Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law. Volume 46, Issue 4, pages 653-676.
  • Carriedo A, Koon AD, Encarnacion LM, Lee K, Smith R, Walls H. 2021. “The political economy of sugar-sweetened beverage taxation in Latin America: lessons from Mexico, Chile, and Colombia.” Globalization and Health. Volume 17, Issue 5, January, pages 1-14.
Political economy analysis of sub-national health management in Eastern and Southern Africa