Heather Wipfli, PhD

Professor of Clinical Population & Public Health Sciences and International Relations



Heather Wipfli, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Preventative Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine with a joint appointment in the Department of Political Science and International Relation at the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences at the University of Southern California (USC). Dr. Wipfli holds a Ph.D. in International Studies from the Graduate Institute of International Studies at the University of Geneva. Her research focuses on international cooperation and governance approaches to improve health, specifically in regards to global chronic disease control including tobacco use, obesity, and exposure to air pollution, as well as adolescent-focused community-based interventions. She has conducted research in dozens of countries throughout the world and currently focuses much of her efforts in East Africa, namely Uganda. She is also a member of the California Thirdhand Smoke Research Consortium, in which she serves as the co-Director of the Thirdhand Smoke Research Center (www.thirdhandsmoke.org).

Prior to joining USC, Dr. Wipfli directed research and training for the Institute for Global Tobacco Control at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and worked on the development of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control as a technical officer at the World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva. She has published work on global tobacco control, globalization and health, capacity building in low- and middle-income countries and health security. In 2008, Dr. Wipfli earned the Alumni Laurent Prize of the University of Geneva for her dissertation on the global diffusion of tobacco control policies, which as the basis of her first book, The Global War on Tobacco, published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2015.

Courses Taught

  • Public Health Leadership and Management
  • Global Health Governance and Diplomacy
  • Emerging Trends in Global Health: A Public Health Seminar
  • Case Studies in Global Health
  • Emerging Issues in Tobacco Control and Regulatory Science
  • Foundations of Public Health
  • Culture, Lifestyle, and Health