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News Release

Ross Hammond to Lead Center on Social Dynamics and Policy

Ross Hammond will be the new director of the Center on Social Dynamics and Policy at Brookings, Strobe Talbott announced today. Hammond is currently a senior fellow in the Economic Studies program at Brookings.

The focus of the center, formerly the Center on Social and Economic Dynamics, will continue to be on understanding the social dynamics that drive economic, political, and public health systems, but with a stronger emphasis on examining policy implications for issues such as obesity and public health preparedness.

The center’s research includes computational modeling to shed greater light on the complex determinants of chronic public health challenges, improve the planning and response to threats such as infectious disease outbreaks, and explore new policy options for combating corruption and distrust in government.

“I’m confident that with Ross’s significant experience and expertise the Center on Social Dynamics and Policy will continue to produce pioneering work at the intersection of simulation, modeling and public policy,” said Talbott. “The center’s new mission will make it even more of a resource for policymakers interested in how good data can drive good policy.”

Hammond has been at Brookings since 2006. His research focuses on modeling complex dynamics of social, economic, political, and public health systems using mathematical and agent-based computational methods. His work includes research with both the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) and Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study (MIDAS) networks, which have been cited by the Department of Health and Human Services for their innovation and contributions to the nation’s health.

He is also an expert member of the Network on Inequality, Complexity and Health (NICH), a new network created to apply systems science approaches to the study of health disparities. Prior to joining Brookings he was a National Science Foundation IGERT fellow at the University of Michigan’s Center for the Study of Complex Systems. He received his bachelor’s degree from Williams College and his Ph.D from the University of Michigan.

Hammond succeeds Josh Epstein, who served as director of the Center on Social and Economic Dynamics since 2007.

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The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit organization devoted to independent research and policy solutions. Its mission is to conduct high-quality, independent research and, based on that research, to provide innovative, practical recommendations for policymakers and the public.

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