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PhD candidate, University of Edinburgh, University of Edinburgh

Katie Hirono is a PhD candidate in the Global Public Health Unit at the University of Edinburgh. Her research focuses on health impact assessment (HIA), health equity, policymaking and community engagement, power, and the social determinants of health.

She is also President of the Society of Practitioners of Health Impact Assessment.

She is a former research associate at the Centre for Health Equity Training, Research and Evaluation at UNSW Sydney where she specialised in conducting, training and teaching HIA. Before joining UNSW, Katie worked with the Health Impact Project, a collaboration of the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to increase the use of health impact assessment in the U.S. Katie has also worked as a consultant to the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization in the department of Gender, Diversity and Human Rights, where she researched Indigenous health disparities in Latin America. During her master’s program at the University of Michigan School of Public Health she conducted qualitative research in Honduras using the Photovoice methodology. Her research assessed perceived barriers to healthcare and helped to inform the development of a community health system.

Katie also worked as the center coordinator for the Jay Weiss Center for Social Medicine and Health Equity at the University of Miami, and served as an eligibility specialist for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

She received a bachelor of arts in Social Relations and Spanish from Michigan State University and her master’s in public health from the University of Michigan School of Public Health. She is the recipient of the University of Edinburgh Principal's Career Development Scholarship, U.S. Department of State Foreign Language Acquisition Studies Fellowship, and the School of Public Health Dean’s Award.


  • 2017–present
    PhD Candidate, University of Ediburgh
  • 2013–2017
    Research associate, UNSW Sydney


  • 2011 
    University of Michigan, MPH
  • 2006 
    Michigan State University, BA

Professional Memberships

  • Society of Practitioners of Health Impact Assessment