Research Fellows

Amena El-Harakeh

CIRGH Research Fellow

Amena El-Harakeh


Amena is a public health researcher and a Community Health and Health Policy PhD student at CUNY SPH. She works as a research assistant with Dr. Sean Haley on several health systems related projects with a focus on migrant health and alcohol prevention policy. Amena received her BSc in Environmental Health and her Master’s in Public Health with a concentration in Health Management and Policy from the American University of Beirut (AUB). She is the recipient of the Penrose Award that recognizes a graduating public health student who demonstrates excellence in scholarship, character, leadership, and contribution to university life. She was also inducted into the Delta Omega Honorary Society of Public Health.

Amena previously worked as a research assistant at the Center for Systematic Reviews on Health Policy and Systems Research (SPARK) at AUB. She led and was involved in multiple systematic reviews commissioned by the World Health Organization on topics related to human resources for health, menthol and addictiveness to tobacco products, and treatments of visceral leishmaniasis in HIV-coinfected patients. She was a member of the “COVID-19 Systematic Urgent Reviews Group Effort (SURGE)”, which was co-led by researchers from AUB and McMaster University. The group was commissioned by WHO to conduct rapid systematic reviews on the following topics: ventilation techniques; physical distancing, face masks, and eye protection; and safe management of bodies of deceased persons with COVID-19. The studies were published in top ranked medical journals including the Lancet and the Annals of Internal Medicine. Amena was also the lead researcher on a collaborative study between AUB and McMaster University evaluating how evidence synthesis and guideline development groups responded to the pandemic. Amena has diverse research interests including global health, health policy and systems research, migrant health, health equity, evidence synthesis methodology, and priority setting for health research.

Summary CV

CIRGH Focus Areas

Access to Care

Urban Health & Migration

Key Organizational Relationships

  • Member, American Public Health Association
  • Member, New York State Public Health Association
  • Member at large, Gamma Delta Chapter of the Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health


  • MPH, Health Management and Policy. American University of Beirut (AUB).
  • BSc, Environmental Health. American University of Beirut (AUB).

Select Publications

El-Harakeh, A., & Haley, S. J. (2022). Improving the availability of prescription drugs in Lebanon: a critical analysis of alternative policy options. Health Research Policy and Systems, 20(1), 1-6.

Weinberg, J. L., El-Harakeh, A., Kiplagat, S., Abubakar, A. A., Iyengar, S., Marconi, A. M., . . . Harrison, M. (2022). We Aren’t Just ‘Slack’ing Off: Utilizing a Digital Tool to Connect Emerging Women Leaders in Global Health. Annals of global health, 88(1).

Khabsa, J., Jain, S., El-Harakeh, A., Rizkallah, C., Pandey, D. K., Manaye, N., . . . Akl, E. A. (2022). Stakeholders’ views and perspectives on treatments of visceral leishmaniasis and their outcomes in HIV-coinfected patients in East Africa and South-East Asia: A mixed methods study. PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 16(8), e0010624.

Fadlallah, R., Daher, N., El-Harakeh, A., Hammam, R., Brax, H., Karroum, L. B., . . . Baltayan, S. (2022). Approaches to prioritising primary health research: a scoping review. BMJ global health, 7(5), e007465.

Hernandez, A. L., Weinberg, J. L., El-Harakeh, A., Adeyemi, L., Potharaj, N., Oomman, N., & Kalbarczyk, A. (2022). Connectedness Is Critical: A Social Network Analysis to Support Emerging Women Leaders in Global Health. Annals of global health, 88(1).

Yaacoub, S., Khabsa, J., El-Khoury, R., El-Harakeh, A., Lotfi, T., Saad, Z., . . . Cuello-Garcia, C. A. (2021). COVID-19 transmission during swimming-related activities: a rapid systematic review. BMC infectious diseases, 21(1), 1-10.

Abdul-Khalek, R. A., Kayyal, W., Akkawi, A. R., Almalla, M., Arif, K., Bou-Karroum, L., El-Harakeh, A., . . . Ghaddar, F. (2020). Health-related articles on Syria before and after the start of armed conflict: a scoping review for The Lancet-American University of Beirut Commission on Syria. Conflict and health, 14(1), 1-10.

Stewart, R., El-Harakeh, A., & Cherian, S. A. (2020). Evidence synthesis communities in low-income and middle-income countries and the COVID-19 response. The Lancet, 396(10262), 1539-1541.