- Northwestern University, PhD in Anthropology, Evanston, IL, 2014
- Northwestern University, Masters in Public Health, Chicago, IL 2014
- Dickinson College, Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology & Sociology, Carlisle, PA, 2004
Olive is an applied anthropologist and UX researcher working at the intersection of global health and technology. Whether in global health or tech, Olive uses her research skills to understand the needs and experiences of vulnerable groups and translates their insights into practical recommendations that improve policies, programs, and products.
Olive earned her PhD in Anthropology and Masters in Public Health (MPH) at Northwestern University in 2014. Her dissertation research explored how transgender people in Kampala, Uganda, balanced visibility, and risk in the context of Uganda’s 2008 Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Olive’s MPH thesis examined barriers to HIV prevention and treatment services for transgender Ugandans. One of her proudest accomplishments was in 2014-2015 when she carried out fieldwork with Oxfam’s response to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa sparking key changes in their community engagement strategies.
In 2016, Olive was awarded an ACLS Public Fellowship to conduct research and evaluation with the International Rescue Committee. At IRC, she collaborated with research and design partners to identify and find solutions to barriers that refugees face when resettling in the U.S.
In 2019, Olive pivoted to design anthropology in global tech, and has carried out research with companies like Google, Facebook, and Etsy.
At Anthro-Tech, Olive continues to craft her career from the things she loves: seeing new places, talking with people, and trying to make the world a better place through User-Centered Design.
When she’s not working, you might find Olive cruising around Seattle on her e-bike, playing in the park with her daughter, reading fiction, practicing the piano, or practicing French vocab on Duolingo.
Path that led you to UX
I became an anthropologist because I’ve always had a drive to understand and connect with other people across differences. I chose to pursue applied work, because I wanted to solve real-world problems. I discovered user experience research via the EPIC conference and made it my goal to become a UX researcher in the social-impact sector!
Work that you're most proud of
My part in the response to the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
What you ultimately want to accomplish
Improving international development through User-Centered Design.
Adventurous and always game!
Alternative universe career(s)
Psychiatrist. Foreign service diplomat. Joining Suzanne’s international spy agency.
- American Anthropological Association
- Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows Alumni
- Women in Global Health – Seattle (WGH Seattle)
- A Comparison of Wages by Gender and Region of Origin for Newly Arrived Refugees in the USA
- Safety Among Newly Resettled Refugees in the USA
- Ebola and Accusation: Gender and Stigma in Sierra Leone’s Ebola Response
- Mainstreaming gender in WASH: lessons learned from Oxfam’s experience of Ebola
- 'They wrote "gay" on her file': transgender Ugandans in HIV prevention and treatment