Faith Mitchell
Faith Mitchell
Institute Fellow
Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy
Health Policy Center
  • Profile
  • Outside Affiliations
  • Urban gives me the opportunity to work as an anthropologist at the intersection of research, practice, and social and health policy.

    Faith Mitchell is an Institute fellow at the Urban Institute, working with the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy and the Health Policy Center. She oversees Urban’s American Transformation project, which looks at the implications and possibilities of this country’s racial and ethnic evolution. Over several decades, her career has bridged research, practice, and social and health policy.

    Previously, Mitchell was president and CEO of Grantmakers In Health, a DC-based national organization that advises, informs, and supports the work of health foundations and corporate giving programs. Before that, she held leadership positions at the National Academies (National Research Council and Institute of Medicine), the US Department of State, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the San Francisco Foundation.

    Mitchell has written or edited numerous policy-related publications and is the author of Hoodoo Medicine, a groundbreaking study of Black folk medicine; The Book of Secrets, Part 1, a semifactual supernatural thriller; and Emma’s Postcard Album: Black Lives in the Early Twentieth Century, a memoir and social history. She cochairs the advisory group for the John A. Hartford Foundation and Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Age-Friendly Health Systems initiative; chairs the board of the Jacob and Valeria Langeloth Foundation; serves on advisory committees for the National Collaborative for Health Equity and the University of California, San Francisco, Institute for Health Policy Studies; and serves on the editorial board of Health Affairs. Mitchell has a doctorate in medical anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley.

    Research Areas
    Health and health care
    Nonprofits and philanthropy
    Race and equity
    Children's health and development
    Foundations and philanthropy
    Health equity
    Race and equity in grantmaking
    Structural racism in civil society and civic participation
    Maternal, child, and reproductive health
    Featured Work
    Children in classroom with teacher
    A health care professional examining a child.
    A man presenting graphs to a group of colleagues.
    Volunteers handing out water bottles.

    Outside Affiliations
    The Jacob & Valeria Langeloth Foundation
    Member, Board of Directors (Chair beginning 2023)
    Healthcare Georgia Foundation
    Advisory Panel Member
    Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Age-Friendly Health Systems Advisory Group (John A. Hartford Foundation)
    National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Board on Health Care Services
    National Collaborative for Health Equity
    Advisory Committee Member
    Health Affairs
    Member, Editorial Board
    Community Wealth Partners
    Member, Board of Directors
    Institute for Health Policy Studies, University of California San Francisco
    Member, National Advisory Board
    Leon Lowenstein Foundation

    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.