Olivia Biermann, postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Global Public Health. Photo: Stefan Zimmerman

Olivia Biermann

Postdoctoral researcher

About me

I am a health policy and systems researcher with a PhD in Medical Science from Karolinska Institutet and work experience from the World Health Organization. My mission is to do research that is relevant and useful for informing decision-making in health, and to build capacity for research and research use, especially in low- and middle-income countries. I was named an Emerging Voice for Global Health in 2018. 

I am currently a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Department of Global Public Health, Karolinska Institutet, focusing on the political economy of adolescent mental health and well-being. As a Lancet Youth Commissioner, I am also co-leading a workstream on the topic as part of the 2023 Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing. I work as a part-time knowledge translation consultant at the World Health Organization.

Previously, I was a Fellow at the Boston University-Rockefeller Foundation Commission on Health Determinants, Data, and Decision-making. Moreover, I worked for three years as a full-time consultant in knowledge translation at the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe where I provided technical support to the Evidence-informed Policy Network (EVIPNet) Europe. I worked and studied in Ecuador, India, Nepal, Nicaragua, South Africa, Uganda and Vietnam. In addition to my academic activities, I served as President of the non-governmental organization Foundation Human Nature, supporting community-based rural health and development work in Ecuador, Ghana, Nepal and Rwanda. 

    Research description

    Within the field of health policy and systems research, I conduct qualitative and mixed-methods research, as well as reviews. I am particularly interested in the gaps between evidence and policy, and policy and implementation in low- and middle-income countries.

    My PhD thesis was entitled "Global policy to local implementation: experiences from active tuberculosis case-finding in high-burden countries" and is available for download here. The work was part of the Horizon 2020-funded IMPACT TB.

    Teaching portfolio

    I teach health systems and policy in the following programmes: 

    • Master's Programme in Global Health, Karolinska Institutet
    • Master's Programme in Health Economics, Policy and Management, Karolinska Institutet
    • Master's Programme in Public Health, Lund University


    • PhD in Medical Science, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, 2021
    • MSc in Global Health, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, 2012
    • BSc in Health Communication Sciences, Bielefeld, Germany, 2010