Jennifer Beard, PhD, MPH, MA

Clinical Associate Professor, Global Health
Jennifer Beard
Crosstown Center – 381
View full profile at BUMC


Jennifer Beard, PhD, MA, MPH, is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Global Health at Boston University School of Public Health and the Associate Editor of Public Health Post. She developed and leads the BUSPH Public Health Writing Program and also directs the MPH certificates in Global Health and Program Management. She created and teaches courses in global mental health, global health storytelling, and public health writing. Dr. Beard founded the BU Program for Global Health Storytelling – a collaboration between BUSPH, the BU College of Communication, and the Pulitzer Center – which analyzes the similarities and tensions between global health research and journalism and seeks ways to improve collaboration. She is a member of the Boston University Provost’s Arts Council and the Innovate@BU Faculty Innovation Network. Dr. Beard's scholarship explores the intersection between population health, the arts and humanities, and journalism; and the health and well-being of key populations at high risk for HIV and trauma including sex workers, drug users, orphans, and other highly vulnerable children. From 2010-2014, she was the principal investigator for the multi-study Ghana Operations Research for Key Populations project. The 9 qualitative studies (done in collaboration with the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, the Ghana AIDS Commission, and USAID) identified the HIV prevention and harm reduction needs of young female sex workers and their boyfriends, prisoners, men who have sex with men, post-secondary female students, women who work in bars, people who inject drugs, and people living with HIV at risk of dropping out of antiretroviral therapy. She has also worked in India, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Ukraine, and Zambia. Dr. Beard started her academic life in the humanities, completing her BA in English literature at Youngstown State University, her MA at Ohio University with a focus on Victorian literature, and her PhD at the University of New Hampshire specializing in twentieth-century British women writers. She remains a devoted reader of novels and believes that her global health teaching and research interests are rooted in her passion for Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, the Brontë sisters, and Barbara Pym.


  • University of New Hampshire, PhD
  • Boston University, MPH
  • Ohio University, MA
  • Youngstown State University, BA

Classes Taught

  • SPHGH701
  • SPHGH760
  • SPHGH765
  • SPHGH941
  • SPHPH845


  • Published on 8/31/2018

    Sabin LL, Beard J, Agyarko-Poku T, DeSilva M, Ashigbie P, Segal T, Esang M, Asafo MK, Wondergem P, Green K, Wambugu S, Adu-Sarkodie Y. "Too Much Sex and Alcohol": Beliefs, Attitudes, and Behaviors of Male Adolescents and Young Men Who have Sex with Men in Ghana. Open AIDS J. 2018; 12:69-80. PMID: 30258509.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 6/1/2018

    Beard J, Skalicky A, Nkosi B, Zhuwau T, Cakwe M, Simon J, DeSilva MB. Challenges of developing a district child welfare plan in South Africa: lessons from a community-engaged HIV/AIDS research project. Glob Health Promot. 2018 Jun 01; 1757975918774569. PMID: 29900800.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 4/19/2018

    Onyango MA, Adu-Sarkodie Y, Adjei RO, Agyarko-Poku T, Kopelman CH, Green K, Wambugu S, Clement NF, Wondergem P, Beard J. Love, power, resilience and vulnerability: relationship dynamics between female sex workers in Ghana and their intimate partners. Cult Health Sex. 2018 Apr 19; 1-15. PMID: 29669473.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 11/21/2017

    Halim N, Beard J, Mesic A, Patel A, Henderson D, Hibberd P. Intimate partner violence during pregnancy and perinatal mental disorders in low and lower middle income countries: A systematic review of literature, 1990-2017. Clin Psychol Rev. 2018 Dec; 66:117-135. PMID: 29198412.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 11/2/2017

    Beard J, Donohue A, Agnew M. How to change the narrative on gun violence. Cognoscenti. 2017.

  • Published on 10/5/2017

    Beard J, Adu-Sarkodie Y, Messersmith L. Injection drug use in Ghana. Public Health Post. 2017.

  • Published on 6/24/2017

    Beard J. There are markers of grace and dignity on this stretch of misfortune. Boston Globe, Letter to the Editor. 2017.

  • Published on 12/25/2016

    Beard J. We are failing parents who struggle with addiction. Boston Globe, Letter to the Editor. 2016.

  • Published on 11/6/2016

    Beard J. Avoiding death on the highway and other benefits of clear writing. Viewpoint: Boston University School of Public Health. 2016.

  • Published on 3/2/2016

    Beard J. Africa’s children need help coping with of myriad stresses, not just HIV. The Conversation, Africa Edition. 2016.

View 27 more publications:View full profile at BUMC

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