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Assistant Professor, School of International Service, American University School of International Service

Professor Lauren Carruth is a medical anthropologist specializing in humanitarian assistance, global health, food security, refugees, and the Horn of Africa. Most of her continuing ethnographic work focuses on the lasting social and health system effects of episodic humanitarian interventions in the Somali Region of Ethiopia. She focuses on four research areas: (1) the lives and livelihoods of persons who form the local staffs and research subjects of health and humanitarian relief programs, (2) global health diplomacy and the social and political work of clinical care in emergencies (3) the relationship between food insecurity, medical insecurity, and chronic diseases among displaced populations in Ethiopia, and (4) emerging zoonotic diseases in the Horn of Africa. Her research has been published in the journals The Lancet, Social Science & Medicine, Culture Medicine & Psychiatry, The Lancet Infectious Diseases, and Global Public Health. Prior to arriving at American University, Prof. Carruth was a postdoctoral scholar at Princeton University in the Global Health and Health Policy Program, and at George Washington University in the Elliott School of International Affairs. Between 2002 and 2007 she worked for the UN World Food Program in Ethiopia, UNICEF in Ethiopia, and the Feinstein International Center at Tufts University.


  • 2015–present
    Assistant Professor, School of International Service, American University


  • 2017
    Kinship, nomadism, and humanitarian aid among Somalis in Ethiopia,
  • 2017
    Antimicrobial resistance and food safety in Africa,
  • 2016
    Zoonotic tuberculosis in Africa: challenges and ways forward,
  • 2016
    Camels, MERS-CoV, and other emerging infections in east Africa,
  • 2016
    Peace in the Clinic: Rethinking “Global Health Diplomacy” in the Somali Region of Ethiopia,