The Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Global Health Governance held by Faculty of Health Sciences professor Kelley Lee has been renewed for a second seven-year term. Background image: pikisuperstar

Kelley Lee’s Canada Research Chair in Global Health Governance renewed for another term

August 29, 2023

by Sharon Mah 

Simon Fraser University is pleased to announced that the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Global Health Governance, held by Faculty of Health Sciences professor Kelley Lee, has been renewed for another seven-year term.

Lee is a leading expert on global health governance who has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed publications and 15 books. Her interdisciplinary research focuses on the intersections between international political economy and public health, examining the shared health risks arising from economic globalization, and the collective action needed across countries to address and/or mitigate those risks. 

Lee’s conceptual thinking and empirical research has been foundational to global health governance (GHG) scholarship with much of her early- and mid-career work shaping the current GHG research landscape. During her first Tier 1 Canada Research Chair term, Lee led the Global Tobacco Control Research Program which generated new evidence of the industry’s globalization strategies worldwide including in Canada, China, Paraguay, South Korea, Taiwan and Zimbabwe.

She was also a much sought-after advisor, contributing to numerous national and global pandemic response initiatives, and participating in more than 350 media engagements across 35 countries during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the onset of the COVID-19 global pandemic, she initiated and led the Pandemics and Borders Project, an international collaboration that analyzed the use of cross-border measures (such as testing, quarantine and vaccination requirements) during the pandemic. In recognition of her accomplishments, Lee has been named as one of the leading Canadian Women in Global Health, and was inducted as a fellow into the prestigious Royal Society of Canada in 2020.

For her second term, Lee will continue to contribute to research on how “commercial determinants of health” shape health determinants and outcomes. This includes serving on the Editorial Board of the WHO Global Report on the Commercial Determinants of Health.

However, her main focus will be on strengthening collective action to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from future pandemic events. “The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed major weaknesses in the existing institutional architecture for global health cooperation including agreed rules, operational systems, and financing. More fundamentally, many societies are now more fractured yet need to work together when faced with public health emergencies,” warns Lee.“These are fundamentally governance challenges. We all face vulnerabilities from a market-driven globalized world but have neglected the public institutions we need to prevent or manage them.”

Lee’s work with the Pandemics and Borders Project will continue, focusing on advancing risk-based approaches to border management during public health emergencies of international concern. She will also contribute innovative thinking, empirical evidence and leadership to key provincial, national and global policy initiatives on pandemic preparedness and response, both in Canada and globally. This includes co-chairing a joint Royal Society of Canada and Canadian Academy of Health Sciences expert panel, and serving on the National University of Singapore-Lancet Pandemic Readiness, Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation (PRIME) Commission.

A summary of Professor Lee’s career to date was recently profiled in The Lancet