Rima Nakkash

Rima Nakkash
Titles and Organizations

Interim Chair and Professor, Global and Community Health

Contact Information

Email: rnakkash@gmu.edu

Personal Websites


Rima Nakkash is a Professor in the Global and Community Health Department. Nakkash is a leading international scholar in tobacco control research in prevention and policy evaluation. She has published on community based participatory research initiatives as well as process, and implementation research, particularly with youth and disadvantaged populations with a focus on mental health promotion. She is interested in civic  and citizen engagement in health policy making, translation of evidence-based public health to inform interventions and policy, and advocacy for health. Her most recent research interests include research on research ethics and exploring interactions and conflict of interest between corporations and public health.  She co-coordinates a global network on Governance on Ethics and Conflict and interest in Public Health (GECI-PH). She is a strong tobacco control advocate at national, regional, and international levels and believes in the power of partnerships and coalitions. In partnership with civil society and media, she had a major role in the passage of the most comprehensive tobacco control law while in Lebanon in 2011. In 2013, she was granted the international WHO World No Tobacco Day Award by Dr. Margaret Chan, the WHO Director at that time.

Before coming to Mason, Nakkash was a tenured Associate Professor at the Health Promotion and Community Health Department, Faculty of Health Sciences, at the American University of Beirut. She was the coordinator of the AUB Tobacco Control research group, co-director the WHO FCTC waterpipe tobacco smoking knowledge hub, Associate Director of the Knowledge to Policy Center, and Director of the Public Health Education Office.


Public health schools and programs collaborate to study young adults in humanitarian settings

Mason professor leads grant with University of Florida on a tobacco cessation implementation in Lebanon

Research Interests

  • Implementation science
  • Tobacco control 
  • Advocacy 
  • Mental health promotion 
  • Community based participatory research 
  • Commerical determinants of health 

Select Publications

  • Chalak A, Nakkash R, Abu-Rmeileh NME, Khader Y, Jawad M, Mostafa,A, Abla R, Louviere J, Salloum RG. Own- and cross-price elasticities of demand for cigarettes and waterpipe tobacco in three Eastern Mediterranean countries: A volumetric choice experiment. Tobacco Control. Published Online First: 30 June 2021. doi: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2021-056616.

  • Farran D, Khawam G, Nakkash R (corresponding), Lee J, Abu-Rmeileh N, Darawad M W, Mostafa A, Khierallah K A, SalamaM, Hamadeh R R, Thrasher J F, Salloum R G. Association of health warning labels and motivation to quit waterpipe tobacco smoking among university students in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. Tobacco Prevention and Cessation. Accepted March 2021.

  • Farran D, Nakkash R, Al-Hindi M, Romani M, Asser M, Khairallah M, Chaaya M. Evaluating a tobacco-free university policy: A repeated cross-sectional survey of faculty and staff in Lebanon. Tobacco Induced Diseases. Accepted February 2021.

  • Jawad M, Millet C, Nakkash R. Eastern Mediterranean Region faces unique tobacco control challenges among youth. The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health. Accepted February 2021.

  • Chaaya M, Farran D, Saab D, Al-Hindi M. Romani M, Khairallah M, Nakkash R (corresponding) Influence of a university tobacco-free policy on the attitudes, perceptions of compliance and policy benefit among university students: A pre-post investigation. International Journal of Public Health. Accepted February 2021.

  • Hamadeh RR, Lee J, Abu-Rmeileh NME, Darawad M, Mostafa A, Kheirallah KA, Yusufali A, Thomas J, Salama M, Nakkash R, Salloum RG. (2020). Gender differences in waterpipe tobacco smoking among university students in four Eastern Mediterranean countries. Tobacco Induced Diseases, 18. doi: 10.18332/tid/129266

  • Kalan ME, Bahelah R, Bursac Z, Taleb ZB, DiFranza JR, Tleis M, Nakkash R, Jebai R, Alam MM, Cano MÁ, Sutherland MT. (2020). Predictors of Nicotine Dependence Among Adolescent Waterpipe And Cigarette Smokers: A 6-year Longitudinal Analysis. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2020.108346

  • Romani, M., Nakkash, R., Jawhar, S., & Salloum, R. G. (2020). Implementation of a free smoking- cessation program in a Lebanese academic medical center. Tobacco induced diseases, 18, 75. https://doi.org/10.18332/tid/125916

  • Darawad MW, Rezk-Hanna M, Alhussami M , Lee J , Mostafa A, Abu-Rmeileh N, Kheirallah K , Salama M , Nakkash R, Saleh Z & Salloum R. (2020). Poly-tobacco use among young adult waterpipe smokers in three Eastern Mediterranean countries. Substance Use and Misuse. https://doi.org/10.1080/10826084.2020.1790010.

  • Jawad M, Shihadeh A, Nakkash R. (2020). Philip Morris patents ‘harm reduction’ electronic waterpipe. Tobacco Control. https: doi.org/10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2020-055885.

See CV for more.


  • Doctorate, Public Health Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, U.K.
  • MPH, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, American University of Beirut, Lebanon
  • BS, Bachelor of Arts, Macalester College