• Professor, Global Health
  • Professor, Anthropology
  • Adjunct Professor, Health Services
  • Executive Director, Health Alliance International
James Pfeiffer

Health Alliance International
1107 NE 45th Street, Suite 350
Box 354809
Seattle, WA 98105
United States

Phone Number: 
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James Pfeiffer PhD, MPH is Professor in the Department of Global health in the School of Public Health, with a joint appointment in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Washington. Dr. Pfeiffer earned his PhD in Anthropology and his MPH at UCLA. He has 25 years of research experience in medical anthropology and public health in Africa and worked extensively on primary health care projects with Health Alliance International (HAI), a non-profit based in Seattle and closely affiliated with the UW School of Public Health. His research interests have focused on HIV/AIDS, nutrition, reproductive health, community participation, religion and traditional healing. In 2013, Dr. Pfeiffer became Executive Director of HAI and oversees public sector health system strengthening projects in Mozambique, Côte d’Ivoire, and Timor Leste. In his faculty positions at Case Western Reserve University and University of Washington, Dr. Pfeiffer has served as principal investigator on medical anthropology and public health research funded by the National Science Foundation, Wenner-Gren Foundation, and National Institutes of Health. Dr. Pfeiffer has conducted research on community participation in Nicaragua and nutrition planning in Iran for UNICEF. Dr. Pfeiffer has expertise in ethnographic and qualitative research methods, epidemiology, program evaluation, and implementation science.

  • PhD (University of California Los Angeles)
  • MPH (University of California Los Angeles)
  • MA (University of California Los Angeles)
  • BA (Williams College)
  • Portuguese
Health Topics 
  • Child Mortality
  • Community Health Workers
  • Community-Based Participatory Research
  • Community-Based Primary Health Care
  • Diarrheal Diseases
  • Epidemiology
  • Gender
  • Health Disparities
  • Health Interventions
  • Health Policy
  • Health Policy and Advocacy
  • Health Promotion
  • Health Systems Strengthening and Human Resources Development
  • HIV Transmission
  • Immunizations
  • Implementation Science
  • Indigenous/Traditional Health
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Intervention Design and Management
  • Leadership and Organizational Development
  • Malaria
  • Maternal Child Health (incl. Reproductive Health)
  • Maternal Mortality
  • Medical Anthropology
  • Nutrition
  • Nutrition, Clean Water, and Food Security
  • Operations Research
  • Political Economy of Health
  • Poverty
  • Prevention
  • Qualitative Research and Methods
  • Quality Improvement
  • Social Demography
  • Social Determinants of Health
  • Social Justice and Human Rights
  • TB
  • War, Conflict, and Peace Studies

Pfeiffer, J. African Independent Churches in Mozambique: Healing the Afflictions of Inequality. Medical Anthropology Quarterly 16(2): 176-199, 2002

Pfeiffer, J. International NGOs and Primary Health Care in Mozambique: The Need for a New Model of Collaboration. Social Science & Medicine. 56: 725-738, 2003

Pfeiffer, J. Montoya, P. Baptista, A. Karagianis, M. Pugas, M. Micek, M. Johnson, W. Sherr, K. Gimbel, S. Baird, S. Lambdin, B. Gloyd, S. Integration of HIV/AIDS Services into African Primary Health Care: Lessons Learned for Health System Strengthening In Mozambique. Journal of the International AIDS Society, 13:3 (20 January), 2010.

Pfeiffer, J. Chapman, R. Anthropological Perspectives on Structural Adjustment and Public Health. Annual Review of Anthropology, 39:149-166, 2010.

Pfeiffer J., Chapman R. An anthropology of aid in Africa: The need for public sector health systems. (The Art of Medicine essay). The Lancet 385(9983): 2144 – 2145, 2015.