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Brian D. Smedley, Ph.D.

brian_smedleyBrian D. Smedley, Ph.D.
Vice President and Director, Health Policy Institute
Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies
Washington, D.C.


Brian D. Smedley is Vice President and Director of the Health Policy Institute of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington, D.C. where he oversees all institute operations which began in 2002 with funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The institute has a dual focus: to explore disparities in health and to generate policy recommendations on longstanding health equity concerns. Formerly Smedley was research director and co-founder of The Opportunity Agenda, a communications, research, and policy organization where he led the organization’s effort to center equity in state and national health reform discussions and to build the national will to expand opportunity for all. To that end, Smedley was co-editor with Alan Jenkins of the book All Things Being Equal: Instigating Opportunity in an Inequitable Time. Prior to helping launch The Opportunity Agenda, Smedley was a senior program officer in the Division of Health Sciences Policy of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), where he served as study director for IOM reports including In the Nation’s Compelling Interest: Ensuring Diversity in the Health Care Workforce and Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care, as well as others on diversity in the health professions and minority health research policy. Smedley came to the IOM from the American Psychological Association where he worked on a wide range of social, health, and education policy topics in his capacity as director for public interest policy. Prior to working at the APA, Smedley served as a Congressional Science Fellow in the office of Rep. Robert C. Scott (D-VA), sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Among his awards and distinctions, Smedley was honored by the Rainbow/PUSH coalition with the Health Trailblazer award in 2004. In 2002, he was given the Congressional Black Caucus' Healthcare Hero award, and in August 2002 he received the Early Career Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest by the APA. Smedley holds an undergraduate degree from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in psychology from UCLA.