Senior Fellows

Katherine Bliss

Senior Fellow

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Katherine E. Bliss is a Senior Fellow with the Tower Center and a Senior Associate with the Global Health Policy Center at the Washington, DC-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Her recent research has focused on United States government support for reproductive, maternal, neonatal and child health programs in lower- and lower-middle income countries; the role of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) and other emerging economies in shaping a new global health agenda; international cooperation to address global water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) challenges; and public health and development policies during the Cold War in Latin America.

Previously, she served at the U.S. Department of State. As a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow Bliss served as a member of the Secretary’s Policy Planning Staff before leading the Department’s effort to develop foreign policy approaches to environmental health challenges. Her work in more than fifteen countries in Latin America, Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, the Asia-Pacific region, and the Middle East involved participating in multilateral negotiations and strengthening U.S. engagement in public-private partnerships focused on global health. In 2006 she received the Superior Honor Award from the Bureau of Oceans, Environment, and Science for her diplomatic outreach on environmental health, as well as avian and pandemic influenza. 

Bliss began her career as a historian of modern Latin America. Her book, Compromised Positions: Prostitution, Public Health, and Gender Politics in Revolutionary Mexico City, was published by the Pennsylvania State Press in 2001. She is also the co-editor, with William E. French, of Gender and Sexuality in Latin America since Independence (Rowman and Littlefield, 2007). In 2000 she was awarded the Conference on Latin American History's James A. Robertson Memorial Prize. She has received research support from the U.S. Department of Education, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the John D. and Catherine D. MacArthur Foundation. She has taught at the University of Chicago, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Smith College, and Georgetown University.   

Bliss completed her Ph.D. at the University of Chicago and was a David E. Bell Fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health. She completed her A.M. and A.B., magna cum laude, at Harvard University and studied at the Colegio de México.