Ben Sommers
Primary Faculty

Ben Sommers

Huntley Quelch Professor of Health Care Economics

Health Policy and Management

Other Positions

Professor of Medicine

Medicine-Brigham and Women's Hospital

Harvard Medical School


Dr. Sommers is a health economist and a physician whose main research interests are health policy for vulnerable populations, the uninsured, and the health care safety net. He is the Huntley Quelch Professor of Health Care Economics at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He has received numerous awards for his research, including the Outstanding Dissertation Award, Alice Hersh New Investigator Award, the 2015 Article-of-the-Year Award, and the 2017 Health Services Research Impact Award from AcademyHealth, a preeminent national association of health policy researchers; and the Outstanding Junior Investigator Award from the Society of General Internal Medicine. He was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2019. His research has been published in leading journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, Journal of Health Economics, and Health Affairs. His research has been profiled in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and National Public Radio. He has testified before Congress and advised state Medicaid programs.

Dr. Sommers has served in the federal government in multiple leadership roles. In January 2021, he was appointed by President Biden as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health Policy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and he served in that role until early 2023. From 2022-2023, he was appointed to lead ASPE as the Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Assistant Secretary. Previously, he served as a Senior Advisor in ASPE from 2011-2016, and continues in 2023 to serve in a part-time capacity as a Senior Counselor to the Assistant Secretary.

He received a PhD in Health Policy from Harvard and an MD from Harvard Medical School.

National Academy of Medicine

Impact Award for Health Services Research2017

Alice Hersh New Investigator Award2015

Article of the Year Award2015

Outstanding Junior Investigator2015
Society for General internal Medicine

Teaching Citation2013
Harvard School of Public Health

Hamolsky Award2012
Society for General Internal Medicine Annual Meeting

Best Oral Presentation in Scientific Abstracts2011
Society for General Internal Medicine, New England Region

Faculty Mentor Award2011
Brigham & Women’s Department of Medicine

Best Residents and Fellows at Harvard Medical School2010
Harvard Medical School

Resident Mentor Award2010
Brigham & Women’s Department of Medicine

Robert Ebert Award in Primary Care Medicine2007
Harvard Medical School

Daniel E. Ford Award in Health Services Research2007
Johns Hopkins, Division of General Medicine

National Dissertation Award 2006



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