Emily Mendenhall, Ph.D., M.P.H

Faculty Affiliate

Professor Emily Mendenhall is a medical anthropologist and a Faculty Affiliate at the Center for Global Health Science & Security. Prof. Mendenhall writes about how social trauma, poverty, and social exclusion become embodied in chronic mental and physical illness. She is the Provost’s Distinguished Associate Professor in the Science, Technology, and International Affairs (STIA) Program (new window) in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service (new window) at Georgetown University.

In 2017, Prof. Mendenhall led a Series of articles on Syndemics in The Lancet.  The Series explores how we think about disease pathologies affects how we design policies and deliver care to those most affected by social and economic inequities. Conventional frameworks in medicine and public health, such as comorbidity and multimorbidity, often overlook the effects of social, political, and ecological factors.

She has also authored several books including Syndemic Suffering: Social Distress, Depression, and Diabetes among Mexican Immigrant Women (new window) (2012), Global Mental Health: Anthropological Perspectives  (new window)(2015), Rethinking Diabetes: Entanglements with Trauma, Poverty, and HIV (new window) (2019), and Unmasked: COVID, Community, and the Case of Okoboji (new window).

Prof. Mendenhall received her Ph.D. from the Department of Anthropology at Northwestern University and M.P.H. from the Hubert Department of Global Health in the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. In 2017, she was awarded the George Foster Award for Practicing Medical Anthropology by the Society for Medical Anthropology.