Goleen Samari is a public health demographer and Associate Professor in the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. Dr. Samari’s research focuses on several dimensions of social inequalities and health. Taking a health justice approach, she considers how discrimination, gender inequities, and migration shape population health both domestically and globally with a particular focus on communities in or from the Middle East and North Africa. She examines a range of issues related to immigrant health, refugee health, religious minority health, birthing people’s health, fertility, and sexual and reproductive health and rights. She is one of a handful of public health researchers examining gender equity, women’s empowerment, and reproductive health in the Middle East. She is also the first to conceptualize Islamophobia and racialization of religious minorities as a public health issue. Her recent work includes extending measures of structural racism and sociopolitical environments to include immigrants and/or religious minorities, like her recent measure of structural xenophobia based on state-level immigration policy (the Immigration Policy Climate Index, IPC Index). Her research remains focused on understanding and alleviating intersectional structural determinants of health. Cutting across all her research interests is the way structural constructs are measured and mixed methods that guide the research process. Her research has been widely published in journals including The Lancet, Social Science & Medicine, and the American Journal of Public Health and she has written Op-Eds that have appeared in outlets like The Washington Post. She is recognized as a thought leader on the population and reproductive health effects of discrimination, particularly for Muslim, Middle Eastern, South Asian, and immigrant communities.
The inaugural 40 under 40 cohort represents the next generation of leaders, entrepreneurs, researchers, scientists, activists, intellectual provocateurs, authors, and directors who inspire and catalyze us all to a more just and equitable world.