Laura Lee

Associate faculty

Humanitarian Studies

Dr. Laura Lee is an experienced researcher and practitioner in health, participation and protection of children, youth, families and communities. Her approach to research and teaching is complemented by over 15 years of experience in planning, implementing and evaluating child and youth programs globally. She places particular emphasis on conducting collaborative research with families, community, national and global-level partners to impact programs and policy, including youth-led approaches. Dr. Lee has been recognized as a leader in Global Health (List of Canadian Women Leaders in Global Health, 2018) among Canadian Women.


Dr. Laura Lee is the Director of Research and Innovation with the Institute for International Child Rights and Development and is an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia. Her research and teaching interests include:

  • Child and Youth Health
  • Global health
  • Child and youth participation and protection
  • Youth sexual health and HIV/AIDS
  • Gender and health inequities
  • Psychosocial wellbeing of children
  • Community-based and participatory action research methodologies
  • Social suffering and Structural Violence
  • Participatory Planning and Evaluation


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Interdisciplinary Studies

University of British Columbia

Master of Science (M.Sc.) in International Health (with Distinction)

Institute for International Health and Development, Queen Margaret University

Bachelor of Medical Sciences (B.MSc.) (Honours) in Honors Physiology (with Distinction)

Western University


Closson, K., L. Lee, J. J. Dietrich, M. E. Beksinska, S. Hornschuh, P. Smith, J. A. Smit, T. Ndung'u, M. Brockman, G. Gray and A. Kaida (2021). "Gender and Power Dynamics of Social Relationships Shape Willingness to Participate in Biomedical HIV Prevention Research Among South African Adolescents and Young Adults." Frontiers in Reproductive Health 3: 12.

Wright, L.H.V., Lee, L., Saied, N, Currie, V. Youth-led arts-based participatory action research. In P. Liamputtong (Eds.). (Forthcoming). Handbook of Social Inclusion, Research and Practices in Health and Social Sciences. NY: Springer.

Lee, L., Currie, V., Saied, N., & Wright, L. (2019). Journey to Hope, Self-expression and Community Engagement: Youth-led Arts-Based Participatory Action Research. Children and Youth Services Review, 104581.

Laura M. Lee. 2015. “Left to stand alone? Youth engagement, solidarity and meaningful exchange.” pp 153-174. In Youth at the margins: experiences from engaging youth in research worldwide, Edited by Bastien, S. & Holmarsdottir, H. Sense Publishers: Rotterdam.

Laura M. Lee. 2013. “Socio-economic Structures and Sexual Health of Marginalized Youth: Policy Implications in Kenya.” Pp. 197 – 222. In Africa Rising: A Continent Through the Eyes of Emerging Scholars, Edited by Shaw, E. and Mackinnon, H., Africa Initiative: The Centre for International Governance Innovation, Waterloo.

Laura M. Lee. 2012. “Youths navigating social networks and social support systems in settings of chronic crisis: the case of youth-headed households in Rwanda.” African Journal of AIDS Research, Special Issue: Resilience and coping strategies of HIV-affected children in sub-Saharan Africa. Volume 11. Issue 3, pp. 165 – 175.

Laura M. Lee. 2012. “Reducing HIV Infection Rates Among Young Kenyan Women.” Backgrounder No. 40, September 21, 2012. Africa Portal. Centre for International Governance Innovation, Waterloo. Available at

Laura M. Lee. 2012. “Strategies to Support Youth-headed Households in Kenya and Rwanda.” Backgrounder No. 43, October 25, 2012. Africa Portal. Centre for International Governance Innovation, Waterloo. Available at

Laura M. Lee. 2012. “The Impact of HIV on the Sexual Health of Kenya's Young Generation.” Backgrounder No. 28, May 9, 2012. Africa Portal. Centre for International Governance Innovation, Waterloo. Available at

Laura M. Ward and Carola Eyber. 2009. “Resiliency of children in child-headed households in Rwanda: implications for community-based psychosocial interventions.” Intervention: The International Journal of Mental Health, Psychosocial Work and Counselling in Areas of Armed Conflict, Volume 7, Number 1 (March), pp. 17-33.