Ben Verboom is currently pursuing his DPhil in social intervention at the University of Oxford's Centre for Evidence-Based Intervention. In his doctoral work he is examining the role of research evidence in health policy processes, with a particular focus on regional governance and national health policy for maternal and child health in West Africa. Ben's other research interests include the role of corporate and commercial interests in influencing public knowledge on health issues and public health policymaking, and the links between knowledge and power in policy processes, especially in so-called "aid-recipient" countries. He is also interested in developing methodological approaches for synthesizing research knowledge in the social sciences, and in exploring the potential contribution of complexity theory to the study of social and political phenomena.
A survivor of suicide loss, Ben has been involved in the cause of suicide prevention and stigma reduction for several years. In 2009, he established and led a Canada-wide campaign to raise awareness about suicide and to tackle its associated stigma. Inspired by his late father's passion for cycling, he spent a summer cycling across Canada, from St. John's to Victoria, sharing his story and fostering public dialogue on suicide and mental illness. Ben has also worked on community-based HIV prevention and health promotion projects with civil society organizations in Namibia and Tanzania.
A physical educator and personal trainer in a past life, Ben has an intense passion for sport and physical activity. He regularly sets aside time for running and cycling, and he is a member of the Oxford University Ice Hockey Club. One of Ben's biggest recent thrills was his chance to serve as a torchbearer in advance of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. Ben holds a bachelor of physical and health education degree from the University of Toronto and a master of science degree from the University of Oxford.