Jessica Cohen

Bruce A. Beal, Robert L. Beal, and Alexander S. Beal Associate Professor of Global Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Dr. Cohen’s research applies the methods of program design, randomized trials, and impact evaluation to maternal and child health programs and policies in sub-Saharan Africa and in the United States. She has worked on a number of randomized controlled trials in Africa related to prevention, treatment and diagnosis of malaria, technology adoption, messaging and behavior change and pharmaceutical supply chains. Ongoing work in malaria explores how perceptions of malaria risk influence malaria treatment seeking and prevention. She has led a number of studies in maternal and newborn health, including field work in Kenya using behavioral economic insights to explore new approaches to increasing demand for high quality maternal care. She has other ongoing field work applying behavioral economic findings to improve program design in the areas of postpartum contraception (in Kenya and in Kansas) and nutrition (in Ethiopia).

Dr. Cohen is co-editor (with William Easterly) of the book What Works in Development?: Thinking Big and Thinking Small. She is also the co-founder of TAMTAM Africa, Inc. (Together Against Malaria), an NGO operating in East Africa since 2003 working on malaria prevention among pregnant women.

Dr. Cohen’s work has been been published widely in top economics and public health journals and has been referenced in major national and international publications, including the The Economist, the Boston Globe, New York Times and Nature. She was a member of the WHO Global Malaria Program’s Technical Expert Group on Surveillance, Monitoring and Evaluation, has advised the government of Zanzibar on its malaria control program and the Canadian International Development Agency on its child survival programs.

Recent work by Jessica Cohen