Heather Wipfli, PhD

Professor of Clinical Population and Public Health Sciences and International Relations; Director of the Health Promotions Undergraduate Program



Heather Wipfli, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Population and Public Health Sciences 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). She is also the Director of the Undergraduate Degree programs in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention and Global Health. The recipient of several NIH-funded grants, Dr. Wipfli's research focuses on international cooperation and governance approaches to improve health, specifically regarding 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 and carried out capacity building programs in dozens of countries throughout the world. Dr. Wipfli trains several undergraduate and graduate students each year in global health research and practice through her Global Research, Implementation, and Training (GRIT) Lab.  In 2022, she was recognized for her outstanding mentorship of USC undergraduate students. 

Dr. Wipfli holds a Ph.D. in International Studies from the Graduate Institute of International Studies at the University of Geneva. 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