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Rita HamadAssociate Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Director of the Social Policies for Health Equity Research Program

areas of expertise
  • Social Epidemiology
  • Neighborhood Characteristics and Health
  • Methodological Issues and Causal Inference in Social Epidemiology
  • Policy Evaluation
  • Perinatal Health
  • Population Health
  • Health Disparities
  • Poverty Alleviation and Health
  • Education Policies and Health
  • AB, Chemistry, Harvard University
  • MPH, MS, Health & Medical Services, University of California, Berkeley
  • MD, Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
  • PhD, Epidemiology, Stanford University

Dr. Rita Hamad is a social epidemiologist and the director of the Social Policies for Health Equity Research Center. She is an Associate Professor at the Harvard School of Public Health and an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of California, San Francisco. Her research focuses on the pathways linking social factors like poverty and education with racial and socioeconomic disparities in health across the life course. In particular, she studies the health effects of social and economic policies using interdisciplinary quasi-experimental methods to generate actionable evidence to inform policymaking. She is the co-Chair of the Communications Committee of the Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science and serves as an Associate Editor for the journal Health Affairs Scholar. In 2020-2022, she was the James C. Puffer American Board of Family Medicine / National Academy of Medicine Fellow. She has provided consultation to state and federal legislators on the design of poverty alleviation policies. Dr. Hamad mentors trainees at all levels in population health and health equity research, and lectures in several courses about the effects of social policies on health inequities. She saw patients as a family physician for 10 years in safety net clinics throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, although she is no longer a practicing doctor.

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