Brian Smedley
Brian Smedley
Equity Scholar
Senior Fellow
Health Policy Center
Office of Race and Equity Research
  • Profile
  • Outside Affiliations
  • I’m tremendously excited to join Urban’s deep bench of talented researchers and policy analysts and contribute to a new generation of racial justice research.

    Brian D. Smedley is among the inaugural class of equity scholars at the Urban Institute, where he conducts research and policy analysis to address structural and institutional forms of racism that affect the health and well-being of people of color. Previously, Smedley was chief of psychology in the public interest at the American Psychological Association, where he led the organization’s efforts to apply the science and practice of psychology to the fundamental problems of human welfare and social justice. Among his other prior positions are cofounder and executive director of the National Collaborative for Health Equity, codirector of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Leaders program, and vice president and director of the Health Policy Institute of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. He also was a senior program officer at the Institute of Medicine (IOM), where he served as study director for the IOM report Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care, among other reports on diversity in the health professions and minority health policy. Smedley has been honored by the American Public Health Association, the Congressional Black Caucus, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, and the American Psychological Association. 

    Smedley is the treasurer and a member of the board for the Poverty & Race Research Action Council, the chair of the advisory committee to the Maryland Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities, and a member of and consultant to the Institute for Healing Justice and Equity at Saint Louis University.

    Research Areas
    Health and health care
    Race and equity
    Black/African American communities
    Behavioral health and justice
    Community engagement
    Health equity
    Place-based initiatives
    Racial segregation
    Public health
    Racial and ethnic disparities
    Racial inequities in health
    Racial inequities in neighborhoods and community development
    Residential mobility
    Social determinants of health
    Structural racism

    Outside Affiliations
    Advisory Committee, Maryland Department of Health
    Chair, Advisory Committee
    Poverty & Race Research Action Council
    Treasurer, member of Board of Directors

    Urban experts are permitted and empowered to work and affiliate with outside organizations, whether serving on boards, volunteering their time, or providing advice and counsel. And Urban welcomes visiting scholars, nonresident or affiliated fellows who work for other organizations. These outside affiliations enrich our perspectives and our learning environment. We also require all paid and unpaid experts to disclose their affiliations to Urban leadership and follow rules governing their engagement to ensure transparency for audiences and independence of experts.