Sharon Friel is Director and Professor of Health Equity at the Regulatory Institutions Network (RegNet), Australian National University. She is also the Director of the Menzies Centre for Health Policy ANU and an ANU Public Policy Fellow. Prior to this she was Head of the Health Equity group in the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health ANU.
Between 2005 and 2008 she was the Head of the Scientific Secretariat (University College London) of the World Health Organisation Commission on Social Determinants of Health. Between 2008-2010 she chaired the Rockefeller Foundation global research network on urban health equity (GRNUHE).
In 2010 she was awarded an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship to investigate the interface between health equity, social determinants and climate change, based at the ANU. Before moving to Australia, she worked for many years in the Department of Health Promotion, National University of Ireland, Galway.
Prof Friel has a PhD in social and nutritional epidemiology and an MSc in health promotion. Her research is policy and governance focused and in areas of social determinants of health; global health; climate change; food systems; urbanisation and non-communicable disease prevention.
She is chief investigator on several current major research collaborations in the determinants of health inequities, including trade policy (ARC Discovery grant Trade policy: maximising benefits for nutrition, food security, human health, and the economy).
She is co-founder of the Global Action for Health Equity Network (HealthGAEN), a global alliance concerned with research, training, policy and advocacy related to action in the social and environmental determinants of health equity, and chairs Asia Pacific HealthGAEN.