Brian Smedley

Executive Director, The National Collaborative for Health Equity

Brian D. Smedley is co-founder and Executive Director of the National Collaborative for Health Equity, a project that connects research, policy analysis, and communications with on-the-ground activism to advance health equity. From 2008 to 2014, Dr. Smedley was Vice President and Director of the Health Policy Institute of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington, D.C. In this position, Dr. Smedley oversees all of the operations of the Institute, which was started 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 a communications, research and policy organization, The Opportunity Agenda, 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 is a co-editor, along with Alan Jenkins, of a 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 the IOM reports “In the Nation’s Compelling Interest: Ensuring Diversity in the Health Care Workforce” and “Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care,” among other reports 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. Smedley holds an undergraduate degree from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in psychology from UCLA.