Davis 2018

Photo: Damien Marti/SNIS

Dr. Sara L.M. Davis (known as Meg) is a senior researcher and lead of the Digital Health and Rights Project, a participatory action research project at the Global Health Centre, Graduate Institute, Geneva. Her work focuses on human rights, data and digital technologies in global health. Her latest book is The uncounted: Politics of data in global health (Cambridge University Press, 2020).

Meg began her career working in China, earning a Ph.D. at University of Pennsylvania, and holding postdoctoral fellowships at Yale and UCLA. Her first book, Song and silence: Ethnic revival on China’s southwest borders (Columbia University Press 2005) drew on ethnographic research with ethnic Buddhist monks, storytellers and pop singers in Yunnan, China and in Shan State, Myanmar. She taught at U Penn, and held postdoctoral fellowships at Yale University and UCLA.

After the 9/11 attacks, Meg turned to focus on human rights as a researcher at Human Rights Watch, then as founding executive director of Asia Catalyst; and then as the first senior advisor on human rights at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. Throughout her time as a practitioner, she maintained an active involvement in academic life, including through teaching and visiting fellowships at Temple University, University of Alabama at Birmingham, the Geneva Centre for Humanitarian Studies, Columbia University, Fordham University School of Law, New York University’s Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, and the Graduate Institute Geneva. As a consultant, she has assisted UN agencies, civil society networks, and delegations on the Board of the Global Fund and UNAIDS.

During the first lockdowns of the Covid-19 pandemic, Meg launched the Right On Podcast to explore human rights issues in the Covid response. She is an expert listed on SheSource. In 2017, she was one of three winners of the International Geneva Award.

Meg is an avid hiker and live music fan, and divides her time between Geneva and London. She is currently finishing her first novel, Ghosts of Wicker Park.