Dr. Rita Hamad is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies and the Department of Family & Community Medicine at UCSF. She is a social epidemiologist and family physician, and the director of the Social Policies for Health Equity Research Center (https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/sphere/). She is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Dr. Hamad's 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 was the Associate Director of the UCSF Center for Health Equity. She was also a member of the steering committee of the UCSF Population Health Data Initiative, serving as the Faculty Lead for the development of data infrastructure to advance population health research on campus.
Outside of her academic role, Dr. Hamad is the co-Chair of the Communications Committee of the Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science and serves as an Associate Editor for the journal Health Affairs Scholar. In 2020-2022, she was also a Fellow at the National Academy of Medicine. She has provided consultation to federal and state legislators on the design of poverty alleviation policies. Dr. Hamad mentors trainees at all levels in population health and health equity research, and lectures in several courses about the effects of social policies on health inequities. She saw patients for 10 years in safety net clinics throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, although she is no longer a practicing physician.