Profile: Nancy Davis Lewis

Professor Nancy Davis Lewis, Director of Research, East West Center, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. Nancy’s research focuses on the geography of health and disease, health and development, women’s health, globalization and health and health and global environmental change, including climate change, and health.

Nancy Lewis received her BA (Psychology, 1968), MA (Geography, 1974), MS (Health and Medical Sciences, 1976), and PHD (Geography, 1981) from the University of California, Berkeley. She joined the Geography Department at the University of Hawaii in 1981 and held appointments there as assistant, associate and full professor until she became Associate Dean of the College of Social Sciences in 1993. Since 2002, she has been Director of the Research Program at the East-West Center in Honolulu

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Nancy has worked in the Pacific Islands for over 30 years and since joining the East-West Center has expanded her area of interest to Asia. Her interests there include emerging infectious disease and a new collaborative initiative between the East-West Center and the UC Berkeley War Crimes Studies Center, the Asia International Justice Initiative that is focused on human rights and international humanitarian law. She is the vice president of the Pacific Science Association and also leads that organization’s efforts to promote women in science and technology in the United States, Asia and the Pacific. She serves on the board of the new International Association of Ecology and Health. She also served as the U.S. representative on the International Geographical Union’s Commission on Health Environment and Development, and she is a past President of the Hawaii chapter of Sigma Xi. She serves on the editorial boards of Pacific Science; The Contemporary Pacific: A Journal of Island Affairs; Ethics Place and Environment, and Eco-Health. She also serves on the US National Research Council Committee for the Pacific Science Association. She was a Kellogg National Leadership Fellow from 1986 to 1989. Nancy is interested in policy issues related to vulnerability and the human dimensions of global change. She also contributed to two chapters of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and to the fourth IPCC report.

Nancy can be reached at

Updated: January 2009