What I do

Willkommen. I am an international journalist, strategist and innovator with 30+ years of experience in global media and higher education, and an Associate Professor of the Practice in Health Services, Policy and Practice, and Senior Director of Strategy and Innovation at the Brown University School of Public Health.

My current research and policy projects include pandemic problem solving and data initiatives, crisis communications research and guidance, and designing and evaluating interventions to combat misinformation and meet the information needs of diverse communities. Focusing on the intersections of research and practice, my portfolio spans a range of interacting public health challenges:

I am a Design and Research Partner in the Rockefeller Foundation’s Equity-First Vaccination Initiative and I lead the secretariat for the Rockefeller Foundation’s Equity Advisory Council. I am on the leadership teams of the State and Territory Alliance for Testing, the Justice, Health and Democracy Impact Initiative, and Brown SPH’s Long Covid Initiative. I am also the editor of Global Epidemics and the Covid Testing Communications Toolkit, a co-creator of the Preprint Sifter, and I lead key media partnerships to translate Covid-19 evidence into practical information for decision-makers and the public. I serve as an expert advisor to the Pew Research Center, an expert contributor to the Covid Collaborative, and a trustee to the Trust for Trauma Journalism. 

Working closely with Ashish K. Jha, dean of the Brown School of Public Health, and Danielle Allen, director of Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, and a network of researchers, political scientists, economists and other experts, our pandemic response efforts have included a framework for COVID-19 Suppression, including our COVID-19 Risk Levels Map, key metrics and policy documents; policy briefs to provide guidance for K-12 schools during the pandemic; policy work to secure federal funding for testing, tracing and supported isolation; and working with media partners at NPR, ProPublica, the New York Times and other outlets, for example to put in context the nation’s failure to adequately test for the virus and bring the pandemic under control.

Throughout my career, I have worked as a foreign correspondent, feature writer, editor, photographer, newsroom leader and occasional hiking tour guide on three continents. My stories have been published in TIME, The Boston Globe, Geo, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Frankfurter Allgemeine, and many other publications. I was a 2001 Nieman Fellow at Harvard. On Twitter, you can find me @Stef_Friedhoff