Rita Hamad
Primary Faculty

Rita Hamad

Associate Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Social and Behavioral Sciences



Dr. Rita Hamad is a social epidemiologist and the director of the Social Policies for Health Equity Research (SPHERE) Center. Her research focuses on the pathways linking social factors like poverty and education with racial and socioeconomic disparities in health across the life course. In particular, she studies the health effects of social and economic policies using interdisciplinary quasi-experimental methods to generate actionable evidence to inform policymaking. She is the co-Chair of the Communications Committee of the Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science and serves as an Associate Editor for the journals Social Science & Medicine and Health Affairs Scholar. In 2020-2022, she was the James C. Puffer American Board of Family Medicine / National Academy of Medicine Fellow. She provides consultation to state and federal legislators on the design of poverty alleviation and social safety net policies. Dr. Hamad mentors trainees at all levels in population health and health equity research, and lectures about the effects of social policies on health inequities. She saw patients as a family physician for 10 years in safety net clinics throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, although she is no longer a practicing doctor.

PhD, Epidemiology
Stanford University

MD, Medicine
University of California San Francisco

MPH, MS, Health & Medical Sciences
University of California Berkeley

AB, Chemistry
Harvard University

Outstanding Impact in Health & Social Justice Alumni Award2022-2022
UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program

James C. Puffer, M.D./American Board of Family Medicine Fellowship2020-2022
National Academy of Medicine

Hellman Fellowship2018-2020
University of California San Francisco

Irene Perstein Award2018-2021
University of California San Francisco