Brian D. Smedley, Ph.D., is vice president and director of the Health Policy Institute of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington, D.C. Smedley oversees all operations at the institute, which was founded in 2002 with funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The institute focuses on exploring disparities in health care and generating policy recommendations on long-standing health equity concerns.
Smedley previously served as research director and co-founder of The Opportunity Agenda, a communications, research and policy organization. In this role, he led the organization’s efforts to center equity in state and national health care reform discussions and to build the national will to expand opportunity for all. He also worked as director for public interest policy at the American Psychological Association, managing a wide range of topics on social, health and education policies. Prior to joining the APA, Dr. 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.
Smedley earned his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, Boston, and a doctorate in psychology from University of California, Los Angeles.
Smedley is co-editor of “All Things Being Equal: Instigating Opportunity in an Inequitable Time.” Before founding The Opportunity Agenda, Smedley served as senior program officer in the Institute of Medicine Division of Health Sciences Policy, where he served as study director for reports titled “In the Nation’s Compelling Interest: Ensuring Diversity in the Health Care Workforce” and “Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care.”
In 2004, Smedley was honored by the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition as a Health Trailblazer; in 2002 he was awarded the Congressional Black Caucus Healthcare Hero award; and in August 2002 he was awarded the American Psychological Association Early Career Award for distinguished contributions to the field of psychology in the public interest.