George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Katie Schenk, PhD

Adjunct Faculty

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Dr. Schenk is adjunct faculty in the Department of Global and Community Health. She is the principal investigator on an NIH-funded research study exploring HIV status disclosure among children and caregivers in Zimbabwe, in collaboration with colleagues at Duke University and the Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative. She has extensive research experience focused on mitigating the impacts of HIV on children and families in sub-Saharan Africa. From 2002 to 2014, she managed a portfolio of applied social and behavioral research studies at the Population Council, an international nonprofit organization focused on sexual and reproductive health. She has conducted fieldwork at diverse international research sites, including in Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. She has technical expertise in HIV and AIDS prevention, care, support, and treatment, and in program evaluation and operations research. In addition to conducting research, she also teaches courses on global health and research methodology.


PhD, Public Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK (2008)

MSc, Medical Demography, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK (1999)

MA (Oxon), Philosophy, Politics, Economics, University of Oxford (Keble College), UK


Research Interests

  • Quantitative and qualitative research in global public health

  • Children and families affected by HIV

  • Orphaned and vulnerable children

  • Ethical and methodological aspects of research among young people

  • HIV and AIDS prevention, care and support, treatment

  • Program monitoring and evaluation

  • Operations research


Schenk, K.D., Kiragu, K., Murugi, J., & Sarna, A. (2014). If you build it, will they come? A qualitative investigation into barriers to accessing pediatric HIV services in Kenya. Children and Youth Services Review, 45, 18-27.

Schenk, K.D., Friedland, B.A., Chau, M., Stoner, M., Plagianos, M.G., Skoler-Karpoff, S., Palanee, T., Ahmed, K., Rathlagana, M.J.M., & Ngcozela, N.  (2014). Enrollment of young women aged 16-17 years old in microbicide trials: an evidence-based approach. Journal of Adolescent Health, 54, 654-662.

Schenk, K.D., Friedland, B., Sheehy, M., Apicella, L., & Hewett, P.C. (2014). Making the cut: Evidence-based lessons for improving the informed consent process for voluntary medical male circumcision in Swaziland and Zambia. AIDS Education and Prevention, 26, 170-184.

Friedland, B., Apicella, L., Schenk, K.D., Sheehy, M., & Hewett, P.C. (2013). How informed are clients who consent? A mixed-method evaluation of client comprehension during scale-up of voluntary medical male circumcision services in Zambia and Swaziland. AIDS and Behavior, 17, 2269-2282.

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