Prof Sharon Friel


Research activity per year

Personal profile


Sharon Friel is Professor of Health Equity and Director of the Menzies Centre for Health Governance at the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet), Australian National University. She was Director of RegNet from 2014-2019.

She was the Head of the Scientific Secretariat (University College London) of the World Health Organisation Commission on the Social Determinants of Health between 2005 and 2008. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences Australia and co-Director of the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in the Social Determinants of Health Equity. In 2014, her international peers voted her one of the world’s most influential female leaders in global health.

Her interests are in the political economy of health; governance, policy and regulatory processes related to the social determinants of health inequities, including trade and investment, food systems, urbanisation, climate change.

Research interests

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


PhD, MSc

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


Expertise Areas

  • Public Policy
  • Ecological Impacts of Climate Change
  • Public Nutrition Intervention
  • Health Policy
  • Social Policy
  • Social Change


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Network (past 5 years)

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