As a critical medical anthropologist, I believe that anthropology can serve as a powerful agent in observing and critiquing humanitarian action; while sustaining a moral commitment to human rights, social justice, and giving faithful accounts of human experience. My research focuses on mental health, trauma healing, and post-conflict reconstruction in several West African countries. Part of that research involves ethnographic fieldwork which explores the multi-scalar forces that shape collective and individual experience in conditions of crisis and recovery, including NGO action, local appropriation, and national and international health politics and policy. A second part of my ethnographic work uses historical materials (archival records, memoirs, and oral history) to challenge "culturalist" assertions of global humanitarian institutions regarding gender history, cultural history, and patterns of violence in African cultures (Liberia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo). In my research, I engage fundamental transnational health policy problems using an interdisciplinary methodological toolkit that includes: historical and archival research, policy analysis, ethnographic observation, epidemiological data collection, and discourse analysis.