Rashawn Ray

Rashawn Ray

Senior Fellow – Governance Studies

Dr. Rashawn Ray is a senior fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution, renowned for his expertise in understanding and addressing racial and social inequality. He frequently testifies at both federal and state levels on topics such as racial equity, policing and criminal justice reform, health policy, wealth disparities, and family policy. Ray has written op-eds for Washington Post, New York Times, USA Today, POLITICO, Business Insider, and The Hill, and appeared on CNN, MSNBC, BBC, C-SPAN, PBS, and NPR.

In addition to his role at Brookings, Dr. Ray is a professor of sociology at the University of Maryland. As the Founding Executive Director of the Lab for Applied Social Science Research (LASSR), Ray helped develop a virtual reality training program for law enforcement and led implicit bias trainings with thousands of police officers, military personnel, and employees at companies and organizations.

With an extensive publication record, Dr. Ray has contributed to prestigious academic journals such as the American Journal of Sociology and the Annual Review of Public Health. His influential books, including “Systemic Racism in America: Sociological Theory, Education Inequality, and Social Change” (with Hoda Mahmoudi), “How Families Matter: Simply Complicated Intersections of Race, Gender, and Work” with Pamela Braboy Jackson, and “Race and Ethnic Relations in the 21st Century: History, Theory, Institutions, and Policy”, have been adopted in numerous college courses.

Ray was recently awarded a prestigious Andrew Carnegie Fellowship as well as the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Mani L. Bhaumik Award for Public Engagement with Science. Currently, Ray serves on the National Artificial Intelligence Advisory Board (NAIAC) Subcommittee on Law Enforcement tasked with providing advice to the President of the United States and the state of Maryland’s Governor’s Task Force on Reducing/Eliminating Bias related to Automated Valuation Models and Alternative Property Valuation Methods.

To stay updated on Dr. Ray’s work and insights, you can connect with him on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook at @SociologistRay.

  • Areas of Expertise

    • Police and Criminal Justice Reform
    • Race in Public Policy
    • Healthcare Policy
    • Social Mobility
  • Current Positions

    • Senior Fellow, Governance Studies, The Brookings Institution
    • Professor of Sociology, University of Maryland
  • Past Positions

    • Founding Executive Director, Lab for Applied Social Science Research (LASSR), University of Maryland
    • David M. Rubenstein Fellow, Governance Studies, The Brookings Institution
    • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Research Scholar, UC-Berkeley
    • Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Maryland
    • Visiting Scholar and Lecturer, University of Mannheim-Germany
  • Education

    • Ph.D in Sociology, Indiana University
    • M.A. in Sociology, Indiana University
    • B.A in Sociology, University of Memphis
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