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Assistant Scientist

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. He applies these concepts to research 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 "narrative" 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's research focuses on Health Taxes - Globally (WHO, Bloomberg Philanthropies), Opioid Politics - USA/CO (State Settlements), and Systems of Childcare - Uganda (GHR and Oak Foundations).

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.

Honors & Awards
  • Honorary Senior Researcher, Center for Health Policy (SPH), University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa): 2023-
  • BSPH, Lipitz Public Health Policy Faculty Award (2022)
  • BSPH, Bloomberg American Health Initiative Course Development Award (2022)
  • BSPH, Excellence in Teaching (9x), BSPH: 2020-2023
  • LSHTM, Research Traveling Award Recipient (2014)
  • RSPH, Outstanding Practicum Award winner (2007)
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