Brian Smedley
Brian Smedley
Senior Fellow
Health Policy Center
Office of Race and Equity Research
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 a senior fellow in the Health Policy Center and a former equity scholar 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