top of page

Dr. Heidi Tworek is a Canada Research Chair and associate professor of international history and public policy at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. Her work examines the history and policy around media, hate speech, health communications, international organizations, and platform governance. She directs the Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions at UBC. She is a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation as well as a non-resident fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States and the Canadian Global Affairs Institute

Heidi's prize-winning book, News from Germany: The Competition to Control World Communications, 1900-1945, was published in 2019 by Harvard University Press. She has co-edited two volumes: Exorbitant Expectations: International Organizations and the Media in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (2018), and The Routledge Companion to the Makers of Global Business (2019). Heidi has published or has forthcoming over 45 book chapters and journal articles on media and communications, journalism history, German and transatlantic politics, the digital economy, the history of technology, legal history, digital history, and the history of health. She is currently working on several projects, including global platform governance, the history and policy of health communications and an edited volume on the interwar world.


Heidi is committed to bringing a historical sensibility to policy discussions. She regularly writes policy briefs on topics including Covid-19 communications, online harassment, and platform governance. She has briefed or advised officials and policymakers from governments around the world on media, democracy, and the digital economy. She has also served on the steering committee for multiple transatlantic and international working groups on transatlantic relations, freedom of expression, and global platform governance. 

Her writing has been published in English and German in major magazines and newspapers, including Foreign Affairs, Washington Post, The Atlantic, Politico, The Globe and Mail, Columbia Journalism Review, War on the Rocks, Wired, Nieman Journalism Lab, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Der Tagesspiegel, ZEIT, Internationale Politik, and The Conversation. Her work has been featured in publications such as the New York Times, Financial Times, CNN, STAT News, Globe & Mail, and many others. Heidi also appears regularly on national radio and television in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Germany. 


Alongside her research, Heidi co-edits the Journal of Global History and the Routledge International Studies in Business History series. She manages the United Nations History Project website to provide materials for researching and teaching the history of international organizations. She is a co-founder of the Platform Governance Research Network, which brought together 15 institutions from around the world and held its first annual global conference in March 2020. She also chairs the board of Digital Action, an NGO dedicated to strengthening democratic rights in the digital age. 


She received her BA (Hons) in Modern and Medieval Languages with a double first from Cambridge University and earned her MA and PhD in History from Harvard University. Her PhD received the Herman E. Krooss Prize for best dissertation in business history. She previously held the position of Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies and Lecturer on History in the History Department at Harvard University. Heidi has held visiting fellowships at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, the Transatlantic Academy in Washington DC, Birkbeck, University of London, and the Centre for Contemporary History, Potsdam, Germany. She has also taught as a guest lecturer at Freie Universität, Berlin and Göttingen University. She is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. 

Select Awards and Fellowships

SSHRC Arts Explore Grant (CAD $4,000), 2021


Historical Innovation in Explanatory Journalism, SSHRC Partnership Grant sub grant (CAD $17,500), 2021

Arts Undergraduate Research Award, UBC Faculty of Arts (CAD $3,000), 2021

Covid-19 Solutions, Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies, UBC (CAD $19,500), 2020

SSHRC Partnership Engage Grant (CAD $24,940), 2020

Grants for Catalyzing Research Clusters, Language Science Initiative, UBC (CAD $8,000), 2020


Co-applicant, COVID-19 Rapid Publication Working Group, Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies, UBC (CAD $7,500), 2020

SSHRC Exchange: Arts Workshop and Visiting Speakers (CAD $2,000), 2020


Co-applicant, Genomics in Society Interdisciplinary Research Team (CAD $1.4 million), 2020


Public History Initiative, UBC History Department (CAD $5,000), 2019


Digital Ecosystem Research Challenge Grant (CAD $46,150), 2019


Co-applicant, Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Partnership Grant (CAD $2.5 million), 2019


Public History Initiative, UBC History Department (CAD $3,000), 2019


Fieldwork Project Grant/Public History Initiative, UBC History Department (CAD $4,500), 2019


Mitacs Globalink Research Award, Canada (x2) (CAD $12,000), 2019


Arts Undergraduate Research Award, UBC Faculty of Arts ($3,000), 2019


Public History Initiative, UBC History Department (CAD $3,000), 2018


Fieldwork Project Grant, UBC History Department (CAD $4,500), 2018

German Historical Institute Conference Organization Grant ($13,000), 2018

Bridge Funding, Vice President Research Office and History Dept, UBC (CAD $4,000), 2018

Co-applicant, SSHRC Connection Grant (CAD $38,567), 2018

Co-applicant, SSHRC Insight Development Grant (CAD $24,800), 2018

SSHRC Partnership Engage Grant (CAD $24,954), 2018

Mitacs Globalink Research Award, Canada (x2) (CAD $12,000), 2018

History Department Fieldwork Project Grant, UBC (CAD $4,878), 2017–2018

Faculty of Arts International Travel Grant, UBC (CAD $2,000), 2017

Bridge Funding, Vice President Research Office and History Dept, UBC (CAD $4,680), 2017

History Department Summer Fieldwork Project Grants (x2), UBC (CAD $9,477), 2017

Transatlantic Academy Fellowship, German Marshall Fund, Washington DC ($70,000), 2016–2017

Visiting Fellowship, “Reluctant Internationalists,” Birkbeck, University of London ($1,300), 2016

Mitacs Globalink Research Award, Canada (CAD $5,000), 2016

Faculty of Arts Research Grant, University of British Columbia (CAD $4,000), 2016

History Department Summer Fieldwork Project Grant, UBC (CAD $5,000), 2016

SSHRC Connection Grant (CAD $23,736), 2016

Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund, “History Lab,” UBC (CAD $50,000), 2016

Faculty of Arts International Travel Grant, University of British Columbia (CAD $2,000), 2015

Hampton Fund New Faculty Research Grant, UBC (CAD $10,000), 2015

The Star Family Prize for Excellence in Advising, Harvard University (nominated), 2015

John R. Marquand Award for Exceptional Advising and Counseling, Harvard (nominated), 2015

Leibniz Summer Fellowship, Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung, Potsdam ($6,700), 2014

Herman E. Krooss Prize for Best Dissertation in Business History ($500), 2014

United Nations Foundation Operational Support Grants (awarded four times at $20,000), 2012– 2016

Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching (awarded twelve times), 2008–2015

German Historical Institute Conference Grant for German Studies Association ($3,000), 2013

Harvard University Dissertation Completion Fellowship (declined), 2012–2013

Alfred D. Chandler, Jr. Travel Grant to Business History Conference ($1,000), 2012

Bok Center Certificate of Achievement in the Practice of Teaching in Higher Education, 2012

Society for the History of Technology (SHOT) Travel Grant ($1,500), 2011

Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies Research Grant, Harvard University ($3,000), 2011

History Department Summer Grant, Harvard University ($4,000 each), 2007–08, 2011

Frederick Sheldon Traveling Fellowship (honorary recipient), 2009–2010

Krupp Foundation Dissertation Research Fellowship ($30,000), 2009–2010

DAAD Dissertation Research Fellowship ($12,500), 2009–2010

James Souverine Gallo ‘27 Memorial Scholarship, Harvard University ($500), 2008–2009

Center for European Studies Summer Travel Grant, Harvard University ($6,000), 2008

Herchel Smith Travel Grant, Emmanuel College, Cambridge University ($10,000), 2006–2009

Kurt Hahn University Prize (Highest mark in German at Cambridge University),  2004, 2006

The Sands Senior Scholarship, Emmanuel College, Cambridge University. 2003, 2004

bottom of page