Ross A. Hammond

Director – Center on Social Dynamics and Policy, Senior Fellow – Economic Studies

Ross A. Hammond is a senior fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution, where he is director of the Center on Social Dynamics and Policy. His primary area of expertise is modeling complex dynamics in economic, social, and public health systems using mathematical and computational methods from complexity systems science. His current research topics include chronic disease prevention, obesity etiology, tobacco control, implementation science, food systems and food security, policy models, developmental and neurobiological approaches to food choice, social norms and social contagion, early childhood literacy, health disparities, behavioral epidemiology, and decision-making.

Hammond received his B.A. from Williams College and his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. He has authored numerous scientific articles in journals such as Lancet, JAMA Pediatrics, PNAS, American Journal of Public Health, Evolution, and Journal of Conflict Resolution, and his work has been featured in New Scientist, Salon, The Atlantic Monthly, Scientific American, and major news media. Hammond is an HHS-appointed member of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities advisory council, and serves as a public health advisor for the National Cancer Institute, an Advisory Special Government Employee for the FDA Center for Tobacco Products, and a commissioner for the Lancet Commission on Obesity. He also holds academic appointments at Harvard School of Public Health, the Santa Fe Institute, and the Brown School at Washington University in St Louis.

Hammond is on the editorial board of the journals Behavioral Science & Policy and Childhood Obesity and has been a member of four NIH-funded research networks using complex systems science: MIDAS (Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study), ENVISION (part of the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research), NICH (Network on Inequality, Complexity, and Health), and SCTC (State and Community Tobacco Control). He has contributed to multiple National Academy of Sciences reports, including one approaching the U.S. food system from a complex systems perspective and one focused on the use of agent-based models to inform tobacco policy. He has been a consultant to the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Institute of Medicine, and the National Institutes of Health, and has taught computational modeling at Harvard School of Public Health, the University of Michigan, Washington University, Drexel University, the National Cancer Institute, and the NIH/CDC Institute on Systems Science and Health.

He has previously held positions as the Okun-Model Fellow in Economics, an NSF Fellow in the Center for the Study of Complex Systems at University of Michigan, a visiting scholar at The Santa Fe Institute, and a Consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

  • Areas of Expertise

    • Obesity
    • Tobacco control
    • Food system
    • Public health
    • Health disparities
  • Current Positions

    • Director, Center on Social Dynamics and Policy
    • Senior Fellow, Economic Studies
  • Past Positions

    • Okun-Model Fellow, The Brookings Institution
    • NSF IGERT IDEAS fellow, Center for the Study of Complex Systems, University of Michigan
    • Research Consultant, Center on Social and Economic Dynamics, Brookings
    • Consultant, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
  • Education

    • Ph.D., University of Michigan (2007)
    • B.A., Williams College (1999)
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