Roy Ahn

Roy Ahn, MPH, ScD, is a Principal Research Scientist in the Health Care Department at NORC. An experienced public health specialist, he has worked for 20 years at the intersection of program leadership and research in the areas of health policy, nonprofit/civil society organization management and strategy, and public health innovation. Prior to NORC, he served as the founding Associate Director of the Division of Global Health and Human Rights in the Massachusetts General Hospital’s Department of Emergency Medicine, where he designed, implemented, and evaluated health programs in nearly a dozen countries (e.g., South Sudan, Kenya, Zambia, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ghana, the U.S.). Funders of this work included USAID, UK Aid, Humanity United, and others.

Ahn also served as a full-time faculty member at Harvard Medical School between 2009 and 2015, most recently as Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine. Additionally, for three years, he co-led a Harvard University course in Kenya called Innovating for Health Transformation in Africa. He holds deep expertise in the field of human rights and health, having served as a planning meeting member of the Institute of Medicine’s Multi-Sectoral Group on Child Exploitation in Tourism; the Administration for Children and Families’ (ACF’s) Office on Trafficking in Persons SOAR National Technical Working Group; and the UK government-funded Humanitarian Innovation Fund Global Advisory Board on Gender-Based Violence. He previously served as a Research Fellow at the university-wide Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations at Harvard, where he authored teaching cases and teaching notes on nonprofit management and strategy, global civil society organization accountability and legitimacy, and private foundation governance.

Earlier in his career, Ahn worked on federal government-funded task order contracts as well as grants on a range of public health topics at Research Triangle Institute and the Lewin Group. He also worked for the CDC's Business Responds to AIDS/Labor Responds to AIDS (BRTA/LRTA) program, a public/private partnership designed to increase business and labor participation in the development of workplace HIV/AIDS policies and programs. Versed in qualitative as well as mixed-methods research, he is widely published in journals, such as Health Affairs, JAMA Pediatrics, Pediatrics, BJOG, BMJ Open, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Stanford Social Innovation Review, and the American Medical Association Journal of Ethics. He is also editorial board member of the Essential Clinical Global Health textbook (Wiley-Blackwell) as well as lead co-editor of the Innovating for Healthy Urbanization textbook (Springer).