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Dr Brittney S. Mengistu is a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer in Global Health and Transdisciplinary Research at the Athena Institute, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Her research interests include participatory methodologies, humanitarian health, and the anthropology of mental health and migration. Brittney advocates reflexive and inclusive practice in global health by incorporating a decolonial feminist lens into her work. Brittney is currently the project coordinator for the Integration of GBV Care in Ethiopia Consortium funded by R2HC’s ELRHA Health Systems Strengthening in Humanitarian Settings. She is also a co-investigator on several research projects in East Africa, the United States and Indonesia. She also supervises one PhD student and has supervised more than 19 MSc students conducting research in the Netherlands and abroad.

Brittney holds an MPH from Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, where she created a girls empowerment intervention called “Girls Learning to Rise Above Hypersexuality in Media (GLAM Girls)’. She worked for the U.S. Army from 2013-2015 as a program evaluator, where she led monitoring and evaluation activities for several U.S. Army battalions across the U.S. In 2017, she received the Fulbright-King’s College London Award, a fully funded PhD scholarship offered by the US-UK Fulbright Commission. She completed her dissertation in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine under the joint supervision of Dr Ann H. Kelly and Dr Leonie Ansems de Vries. In 2022, she successfully defended her thesis and was awarded a PhD in Anthropology from King’s College London.

Brittney is also a passionate educator. She coordinates a Global Health MSc course, ‘Academic Writing in Global Health’, a pre-master Health Science course, ‘Volksgezondheid in Internationale Context’ and a BSc course, ‘International Public Health’. She also delivers guest lectures on global mental health and international cooperation in global health. Brittney is also an invited speaker and has delivered numerous workshops on positionality and reflexivity in global health. She has presented her experience with reflexive praxis at conference presentations and lectures.

Brittney volunteers for the G4 Alliance as the Vice-Chair of the Conflicts and Disasters Working Group. She brings an anthropological perspective to the working group activities related to research, advocacy, capacity building and resource mobilization to explore delays in care and increase access to emergency surgical, obstetric, trauma and anaesthetic care in humanitarian settings. She is passionate about researching and advocating timely, accessible and affordable whole person healthcare for neglected communities.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Academic qualification

Anthropology, PhD, ‘Silence is like our mother tongue’: An ethnography of distress and care amongst Eritrean diasporic women in the UK , King's College London

Sept 2017May 2022

Award Date: 1 May 2022

MPH, Master, Girls Learning to Rise Above Hypersexuality in Media (GLAM Girls) Intervention, Emory University

Aug 2013May 2015

Award Date: 1 May 2015

Psychology, Bachelor, Science Preparatory Class and its Effect on Academic Achievement in Pre-Health Professional Students

Aug 2009May 2013

Award Date: 3 May 2013

User created Keywords

  • Mental Health
  • Migration
  • Humanitarian Health
  • Ethnography
  • Global Health
  • Grounded Theory
  • Qualitative Research


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