Professor Sharon Friel

PhD, MSc
Director, School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet) and Professor of Health Equity
ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
T: 0261251518

Areas of expertise

  • Public Policy 160510
  • Health Policy 160508
  • Public Health And Health Services 1117
  • Social Change 160805
  • Public Nutrition Intervention 111104
  • Urban And Regional Planning 1205

Research interests

  • Health governance and regulation
  • Social determinants of health equity
  • Political economy of health
  • Global health
  • Food systems
  • Climate change
  • Urbanisation


Sharon Friel is Director of the the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet) and Professor of Health Equity, Australian National University. She is also Director of the Menzies Centre for Health Governance ANU. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences Australia and an ANU Public Policy Fellow. In 2014 she was named by her international peers as one of the world’s most influential female leaders in global health.

She is the Co-Director of the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in the Social Determinants of Health Equity. 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 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. Before moving to Australia, she worked for many years in the Department of Health Promotion, National University of Ireland, Galway.

Her interests are in the role of structural factors in affecting health inequities, including trade and investment, urbanisation, food systems, and climate change; and the analysis of governance, policy and regulatory processes and their effectiveness at addressing health inequities.

Researcher's projects

I am chief investigator on several current major research collaborations in governance, public policy and the determinants of health inequities, including:

NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence Social Determinants of Health Equity (CRESDH). (2015-2019). CIs Baum F, Friel S, Kay A, McDermott D, Labonte R, Ziersch A, Strazdins L, Harris P, Mackean T, Newman L.

NHMRC Partnership Centre (June 2013-May 2018) CIs Andrew Wilson, Sally Redman, Alan Shiell, Adrian Bauman, Lyn Roberts, Sharon Friel, Billie Giles-Corti, Penny Hawe, Sandra Eades, Louise Baur, Shelley Bowen. Systems Approaches to the Prevention of Lifestyle Related Chronic Disease.

ARC Discovery (2013-2015). CIs Friel S, Bammer G, Kay A, Gleeson D, Thow AM, AIs Labonte R, Snowden W, Stuckler D. Trade policy: maximising benefits for nutrition, food security, human health, and the economy.

INFORMAS - the International Network on Food and Obesity/NCDs Research, Monitoring and Action Support (Trade and Investment module leader)

ARC Discovery grant (2013-2015). CIs Friel S, Pearson D, Lawrence M. Shrinking the food-print by creating consumer demand for sustainable and healthy eating.

ARC Linkage grant. CIs Lawrence M, Ryan C, Friel S, Moodie M. Modelling policy interventions to protect Australia’s food security in the face of environmental sustainability challenges.

World Bank, South Asia Food and Nutrition Security Initiative (SAFANSI), September 2013-October 2015. Co-Principal Investigators Dr Kremlin Wickramasinghe (University of Oxford, UK), Professor Sharon Friel (Australian National University).


Available student projects

2015: PhD scholarship associated with the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in the Social Determinants of Health



Return to top

Updated:  18 January 2020 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers