Skip Navigation

Faculty Directory

Adam Koon, PhD

  • Assistant Scientist

Departmental Affiliations

Contact Information

615 N Wolfe Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21205


View Current Courses


PhD, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, 2017
MPH, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, 2008
BA, Carroll College, 2005


Dr. Koon's work focuses on understanding the forces that structure human behavior in the health policy process. He approaches policy as a contest of ideas, shaped by language and deeper value conflicts and applies these concepts to work on health financing, health workforce development, and the regulation of harmful consumer products. Dr. Koon has published widely on “framing” and overlapping phenomena such as "sensemaking" and "storytelling" in the health policy process. His work has been published in Social Science and Medicine, Health Policy and Planning, Bulletin of the World Health Organization, the Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law, as well as other health policy journals. Currently, Dr. Koon is collaborating on research in Kenya (UNICEF), Uganda (GHR Foundation), Bangladesh (Gates Ventures), and the Philippines (Bloomberg Philanthropies).

Prior to joining the Health Systems Program Dr. Koon worked in public health programming in low- and middle-income countries. In 2010-2011, he served as a technical advisor for the Southern Sudan Guinea Worm Eradication Programme in Awerial County in Lakes State, South Sudan. He has worked on evaluations of polio eradication and nurse mentoring programs in Bihar, India. In addition to this focus on human resources for health, Dr. Koon spent three years as a Health Policy Specialist on Abt Associates' Health Finance and Governance Project funded by USAID after conducting his PhD research on the politics of health financing in Kenya.

Honors and Awards

Excellence in Teaching, JHSPH (3x): 1) Health Systems Seminar, 2) Financing Health Systems for UHC

Research Traveling Award Recipient, LSHTM, 2014

Outstanding Practicum Award winner, RSPH, 2007

  • Framing
  • Health Policy
  • Health Politics
  • Health Financing
  • Critical Policy Studies
  • Human Resources for Health
  • Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Selected Publications from the last year

  • Koon AD, Mendenhall E, Eich L, Adams A, Borus ZA. (2021). “A Spectrum of (Dis)Belief: Coronavirus Frames in a Rural Midwestern Tourist Town.” Social Science and Medicine. (Advance Access)
  • Kenworthy N, Koon AD, Mendenhall E. (2021). "On symbols and scripts: The politics of the American COVID-19 response." Global Public Health. (Advance Access).
  • Koon AD. (2021). "When Doctors strike: Making Sense of Professional Organizing in Kenya." Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law. Volume 46, Issue 4, pages 653-676.
  • Carriedo A, Koon AD, Encarnación LM, Lee K, Smith R, Walls H. (2021). "The political economy of sugar-sweetened beverage taxation in Latin America: lessons from Mexico, Chile and Colombia." Globalization and Health, Volume 17, Issue 1, pages 1-14.
  • Koon AD, Hawkins B, Mayhew SH. (2020) “Framing Universal Health Coverage in Kenya: An Interpretive Analysis of the 2004 Bill on National Social Health Insurance.” Health Policy and Planning. Volume 35, Issue 10, pages 1376-1384.