Bio (Athena Madan)

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Dr. Athena Madan

Athena Madan


Assistant Professor


Humanitarian Studies


Dr. Athena Madan is interested in social and political forces underpinning health and long-term health outcomes, specifically in instances of protracted conflict and fragile states, and as applied to the implementation of interventions for improved equity and social justice. Her publications, photo-essays, and collaborations have contributed to the following areas: education in emergencies; explanatory models of illness; intergenerational trauma; participatory and arts-based research methods; psychosocial intervention in humanitarian and emergency settings; refugee mental health; rehabilitation of child soldiers; social innovation and theories of change; socio-political contexts of addictions; and therapeutic governance and human rights.


Athena has experience as a clinician, researcher and aid worker across 18 countries and 5 continents. Her countries/contexts of expertise include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, India, South Africa and Vietnam. She has also served as an election observer in the Democratic Republic of Congo and has taught in England, France and the United States.


Athena holds a PhD in Public Health and Social Justice Education from the University of Toronto (2014) and post-doctoral degrees in Global Mental Health and the Social Aetiology of Mental Illness from the University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine (2015).