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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Committee on Population
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

Kathleen Mullan Harris, Chair

Department of Sociology
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Kathleen Mullan Harris (Chair) (NAS) is the James E. Haar Distinguished Professor of Sociology, Adjunct Professor of Public Policy, and Faculty Fellow at the Carolina Population Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research focuses on social inequality and health with particular interests in health disparities, biodemography, sociogenomics, and life course processes. Dr. Harris is Director and Principal Investigator of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health), a longitudinal study of more than 20,000 teens who are being followed into adulthood. Under her leadership, the study has pioneered innovative study designs and integrative multidisciplinary research to understand social, environmental, behavioral, biological and genetic linkages in developmental and health trajectories from adolescence into adulthood. Her publications appear in a wide range of disciplinary journals including demography, genetics, family, epidemiology, biology, public policy, survey methodology, medicine, and social and health behavior. She serves on the National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic, and Other Populations of the Census Bureau. Dr. Harris is past president of the Population Association of America and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. She received her Ph.D. in demography from the University of Pennsylvania.

Lisa F. Berkman
Professor of Public Policy, Epidemiology, and Population and International Health
Harvard School of Public Health
 Lisa F. Berkman (NAM) is the Thomas D. Cabot Professor of Public Policy, Epidemiology, and Global Health and Population at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She also serves as director of the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies. She was chair of the School’s Department of Society, Human Development and Health from 1995 to 2008. Recognized for her groundbreaking work in the field of social epidemiology, she is noted for identifying the effects of social networks on mortality risks that helped define the field in the late 1970s. Dr. Berkman also broadened the field with her investigations of how social conditions related to inequality, race, ethnicity, and social isolation influence health and aging. Her research has been oriented towards understanding inequalities in health related to socioeconomic status, different racial and ethnic groups, and social networks, support and isolation. The majority of her work is devoted to identifying the role of social networks and support in predicting declines in physical and cognitive functioning, onset of disease and mortality. She has devoted much of her work to understanding determinants of population health by comparing European countries with the U.S. She is a member of the Conseil Scientifique de l’Institut de Recherche en Sante Publique (IReSP) in France. Dr. Berkman is the author of several books and over 200 publications. She co-edited Social Epidemiology, the first textbook on the topic, plus Neighborhoods and Health (both with Ichiro Kawachi). She is currently president of the Association of Population Centers and serves as chair of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Institute on Aging. She is a past president of the Society for Epidemiologic Research. A graduate of Northwestern University, she received her master’s and doctorate in epidemiology from the University of California, Berkeley.
Nancy Birdsall
Senior Fellow, President Emeritus
Center for Global Development

 Nancy Birdsall is president emeritus and senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, a policy-oriented research institution in Washington, DC. Prior to launching the center, she served as senior associate and director of the Economic Reform Project at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Her work at Carnegie focused on issues of globalization and inequality, as well as on the reform of international financial institutions. From 1993 to 1998, she served as executive vice-president of the Inter-American Development Bank, the largest of the regional development banks, where she oversaw a $30 billion public and private loan portfolio. Before joining the Inter-American Development Bank, she spent 14 years in research, policy, and management positions at the World Bank. Dr. Birdsall is the author, co-author, or editor of more than a dozen books and monographs, including, The Development Agenda as a Global Social Contract: Or We Are All in this Development Boat Together, The White House and the World: A Global Development Agenda for the Next U.S. President, and Fair Growth: Economic Policies for Latin America's Poor and Middle-Income Majority. Her most recent work focuses on the relationship between income distribution and economic growth and the role of regional public goods in development. Dr. Birdsall has a Ph.D. in economics from Yale University.

Ann K. Blanc
Vice President
Social and Behavioral Science Research

The Population Council
 Ann K. Blanc is a vice president and director of the Population Council’s Poverty, Gender, and Youth program. Under her leadership, the program has increased investments in rigorous research on programs for adolescent girls, exploring the importance of various interventions for improving girls’ lives. She is also leading a renewed focus on girls’ education and emerging work on the impact of climate change on vulnerable populations. Her recent research is aimed at improving the quality of measurement in household surveys, estimating patterns of maternal mortality, and examining the circumstances of vulnerable adolescent girls. Before joining the Population Council in 2011, Dr. Blanc was director of the Maternal Health Task Force at EngenderHealth. Between 2005 and 2009, she was a program officer in the Population and Reproductive Health Program at The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. She is a member of the editorial board of Studies in Family Planning and a member of the “Intervention Coverage Measurement Group” of technical experts working on improving the measurement of coverage of maternal, newborn, and child health interventions. Dr. Blanc is the author of more than 70 scientific articles and book chapters on adolescent sexual and reproductive health, maternal health, gender and power dynamics, fertility trends and patterns, and other topics. She received a Ph.D. in sociology with a concentration in demography from Princeton University.

Vicki A. Freedman

Research Professor

Institute for Social Research

University of Michigan


Vicki A. Freedman is a research professor at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research. Her research focuses on the consequences of population aging for disability, long-term care, and related public health issues. Recent publications focus on late-life disability trends, time use and wellbeing in later life, the role of environmental factors in late-life health and disability, and associated measurement issues. She is also co-author of the text, Public Health and Aging: Maximizing Functioning and Wellbeing (2010). Dr. Freedman currently serves as co-principal investigator of the National Health and Aging Trends Study, a platform for studying late-life disability trends and trajectories, and as associate director of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, a long-term panel study of social, economic, and health-related dynamics over the life course and across generations. She also co-directs the Michigan Center on the Demography of Aging. From 2005-2007 she served on the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Disability in America. Dr. Freedman received her M.A. in demography from Georgetown University and Ph.D. in epidemiology from Yale University.


Dana A. Glei
Senior Research Investigator
Center for Population and Health
Georgetown University
 Dana A. Glei is a senior research investigator at Georgetown University and has worked on the Social Environment and Biomarkers of Aging Study (Taiwan) since 2001. During 2002-2009, she also served as project coordinator for the Human Mortality Database (, a collaborative project involving research teams at the University of California, Berkeley and the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, Germany. Over the past 20 years, Dr. Glei has published articles on various topics related to health, mortality, biomarkers, and the health effects of the social environment (i.e., exposure to stressors, socioeconomic status, social relationships) and lifestyle factors (e.g., smoking, physical activity). Her current research focuses on evaluating the prognostic incremental value of biomarkers and physical performance assessments in terms of predicting survival and on exploring resilience: why do some people thrive despite adversity? She has a M.A. in sociology from the University of Virginia and a Ph.D. in sociology, with a specialization in demography, from Princeton University.

Robert A. Hummer
Howard W. Odum Distinguished Professor of Sociology
Department of Sociology
Carolina Population Center
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill



Robert A. Hummer is Howard W. Odum distinguished professor of sociology and fellow of the Carolina Population Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH). Prior to this, he was director of the NICHD-supported Population Research Center at the University of Texas, Austin. Currently, he serves as vice president of the Population Association of America, deputy editor of Demography, associate editor of Demographic Research, and as a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the U.S. Census Bureau. In 2010, Dr. Hummer was presented with the Clifford Clogg Award for Early Career Achievement by the Population Association of America. His research focuses on the accurate description and more complete understanding of population health and mortality patterns and trends in the United States. He has been funded by NICHD and/or NSF throughout most of his career to date and has published more than 110 journal articles, book chapters, and books in this area. Dr. Hummer’s work focuses on the understanding of racial/ethnic, immigrant-native, and socioeconomic differences in population health/mortality, as well as with the effective use of very large data sets to study U.S. health/mortality patterns and trends. He has a Ph.D. in sociology from Florida State University.

Hillard S. Kaplan
Professor of Health Economics and Anthropology
Economic Science Institute
Chapman University



Hillard S. Kaplan is professor of health economics and anthropology at Chapman University. He examines the evolution of the human life course. His work has at various times focused on food sharing, fertility decisions, parental investment, sex roles, subsistence behavior, intelligence, and the life span. His empirical work draws on fieldwork with a number of populations including the Ache (Paraguay), Mashco-Piro (Peru), Yora/Yaminahua (Peru), Machiguenga (Peru), and Xhosa (South Africa). Past work on fertility and parental investment has also drawn on data collected from men living in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He currently directs the Tsimane Health and Life History Project with Michael Gurven (UC Santa Barbara). Dr. Kaplan has a B.A. from McGill University, an M.A. in communications from the University of Pennsylvania, an M.A. in anthropology from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Utah.


Hedwig (Hedy) Lee
Professor of Sociology
Washington University in St. Louis

 Hedwig (Hedy) Lee is professor of sociology at Washington University in St. Louis. Before joining the sociology faculty, she was associate professor at the University of Washington, where she also served as a faculty affiliate of the Center for Research on Demography and Ecology and the Center for Statistics and the Social Sciences. After receiving her Ph.D., she took a position as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation health and society scholar at the University of Michigan, School of Public Health. Dr. Lee is interested in the social determinants and consequences of population health and health disparities, with a particular focus on race/ethnicity, poverty, race-related stress, and the family. She has a keen interest in engaging in interdisciplinary research and has published and worked with scholars across a wide range of fields including sociology, demography, psychology, political science, public health, and medicine. Her recent work examines the impact of family member incarceration on the health and attitudes of family members, association between discrimination and mental and physical health, documenting trends in racial/ethnic health disparities, socioeconomic causes and consequences of obesity in childhood and adolescence, and using social media data for demographic and health research. She has a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Jennifer J. Manly
Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer’s Disease and the Aging Brain
Department of Neurology
Columbia University



Jennifer J. Manly is associate professor of neuropsychology at the Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center and the Taub Institute for Research in Aging and Alzheimer’s disease at Columbia University. She completed her graduate training in neuropsychology at the San Diego State University/University of California at San Diego joint doctoral program in clinical psychology. After a clinical internship at Brown University, Dr. Manly completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University. Her research on cultural, medical, and genetic predictors of cognitive aging and Alzheimer’s disease among African Americans and Hispanics has been funded by the National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer’s Association. She has authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications and 8 chapters. Dr. Manly aims to improve the diagnostic accuracy of neuropsychological tests when used to detect cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease among African American and Hispanic elders. This work clarifies the independent influences of language, acculturation, educational experiences, racial socialization, and socioeconomic status on cognitive test performance, with the ultimate goal of understanding more about the relationship between culture and cognition. Recent work focuses on the specificity of cognitive tasks in detecting subtle cognitive decline among illiterate and low-literacy older adults. This work has important implications for determining the complex influence of reading and writing skills on brain function. Dr. Manly has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of California, San Diego.


Emilio Parrado
Department of Sociology
University of Pennsylvania


Emilio Parrado is Professor and Chair, Department of Sociology of the University of Pennsylvania and is Director of the Latin American and Latino Studies Program. His research interests are migration, both within and across countries, as a significant life-course event with diverse implications for the migrants themselves and their families as well as for sending and receiving areas and countries. His research has migration as it central focus and its interaction with other demographic and social processes. He holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Chicago. 


Isabel V. Sawhill
Senior Fellow, Economic Studies
The Brookings Institution



Isabel V. Sawhill is senior fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institution. Prior to this, she served as vice president and director of the Economic Studies program. Dr. Sawhill has also been co-director (with Ron Haskins) of the Center on Children and Families. Prior to joining Brookings, she was senior fellow at The Urban Institute. She also served in the Clinton administration as associate director of OMB, where her responsibilities included managing all of the human resource programs of the federal government, accounting for one third of the federal budget. Her research has spanned a wide array of economic and social issues, including fiscal policy, economic growth, poverty, and inequality. Over the past decade, Dr. Sawhill’s major focus has been on how to improve opportunities for disadvantaged children in the U.S. She has authored or edited numerous books and articles, including: Generation Unbound: Drifting Into Sex and Parenthood Without Marriage; Creating an Opportunity Society, with Ron Haskins; Restoring Fiscal Sanity 2005: Meeting the Long-Run Challenge and Restoring Fiscal Sanity: How to Balance the Budget, both with Alice Rivlin; and One Percent for the Kids: New Policies, Brighter Futures for America’s Children. Dr. Sawhill has a Ph.D. from New York University.


John R. Wilmoth

Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division
United Nations


John R. Wilmoth is director of the United Nation’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) Population Division. He was formerly a professor in the Department of Demography of the University of California at Berkeley, and a researcher in Berkeley's Center on the Economics and Demography of Aging. He is also an affiliated faculty member in the Department of Sociology. From 2005 until 2007, he worked for the Population Division of the United Nations. He is the director of the Human Mortality Database (HMD), a project co-sponsored by the University of California at Berkeley and the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany. Most of his research concerns the increase in human longevity that has occurred during the past 250 years. This research has also included a special emphasis on developing better sources of information about historical patterns and trends in human mortality and life expectancy. He participated in the 2003 Social Security Advisory Board’s Technical Panel on Assumptions and Methods. He has a Ph.D. in statistics and demography from Princeton University.


Rebeca Wong
P&S Kempner Distinguished Professor in Health Disparities
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

 Rebeca Wong is the P. & S. Kempner distinguished professor of health disparities at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), a professor of sociomedical sciences in the UTMB Preventive Medicine and Community Health unit, and a senior fellow of the Sealy Center on Aging, also at UTMB. Dr. Wong is also principal investigator of the longitudinal Mexican Health and Aging Study (MHAS). Prior to joining UTMB, she served on the faculty of the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Georgetown University Department of Demography, and as associate director of the University of Maryland Population Research Center. Dr. Wong's research agenda focuses on the economic consequences of population aging, in particular in Mexico and among immigrant Hispanics in the U.S. She has M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in economics, both from the University of Michigan.


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