Social epidemiologist Lisa Berkman named president-elect of the Population Association of America

Head shot of Professor Lisa Berkman

Lisa Berkman, PhD, director of Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, and the Thomas D. Cabot Professor of Public Policy, Epidemiology, and Global Health and Population at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, has been named president-elect of the Population Association of America (PAA). Berkman will begin her term as president-elect of the non-profit, professional organization dedicated to supporting high-quality population research on January, 1, 2022, followed by one year as president, and then the last year of the three-year term as past president.

Dr. Berkman is a social epidemiologist whose groundbreaking research has helped to expose the social and policy influences on health and health inequities. She is noted for identifying the effects of social networks on mortality risks that helped define the field in the ’80s, and has expanded her research with investigations of how working conditions contribute to the growing inequalities that influence health and aging. Berkman is co-editor of the seminal textbook “Social Epidemiology,” and has served as past president of the Society for Epidemiologic Research and the Association of Population Centers (APC).

Lisa Berkman’s commitment to PAA runs deep since the Association’s mission is critical to national and global well-being.

“Today, the census in the United States is under scrutiny,” says Berkman. “The COVID pandemic struck with limited understanding of the need for population-based rates, global climate change threatens population movements and migration, and fertility in the U.S. fell, with little explanation of the interactions between the health and economic impacts of the pandemic. Now is the moment for population scientists to contribute good science to evidence-based policy.”