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Nigar Nargis, PhD

Senior Scientific Director
Tobacco Control Research

What Keeps Me Going

I focus my research on preventing cancer so that I can focus my days counting the number of people living as opposed to counting the number of dead.”

At ACS since 2015

Nigar Nargis, PhD, leads the Tobacco Control Research team at the American Cancer Society (ACS). When she joined ACS in 2015, she had over a decade of experience in tobacco and tobacco control economics.

She and her team collaborate extensively with internal and external partners including the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and multiple universities, research institutions, and international organizations.

Nargis has extensive experience mentoring young researchers and students and building capacity in tobacco control research in low- and middle-income countries. As a Senior Scientific Director of Tobacco Control Research, she supports the Surveillance & Health Equity Science department leader in day-to-day management responsibilities, including supervising and mentoring junior research staff.

She is currently the ACS representative to the Convention Secretariat of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), where ACS holds an independent nongovernmental organization (NGO) Observer status to the Conference of the Parties (COP).

Research focus and accomplishments

Nargis’ current research focuses on economic and public health policies and interventions concerned with tobacco use as a major behavioral risk factor for cancer. She has devoted two decades of her career to tobacco control research with the specific aim of generating scientific evidence to inform tobacco control policy decisions at local, national, and global levels. 


For a full list of Dr. Nargis’ publications, visit her Google Scholar page.




Work before ACS

    • World Health Organization; Geneva, Switzerland; Senior Economist, Tobacco Control
    • University of Dhaka; Bangladesh; Assistant Professor, Economics
    • University of Waterloo; Canada; Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Tobacco Control
    • Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies; Dhaka; Research Associate, General Economics

    Professional organizations

    • International Health Economics Association, Member
    • Society for Research on Nicotine & Tobacco (SRNT)
    • Institute for the Study of Labor Economics (IZA), Research Fellow
    • Global Labor Organization (GLO), Fellow


    • Post Doctoral Fellow: Economics of Tobacco Control, University of Waterloo, 2009
    • PhD: Economics, Cornell University, 2003
    • MA: Economics, Cornell University, 2002
    • MSS: Economics, University of Dhaka, 1996
    • BSS: Economics, University of Dhaka, 1994