Senior Fellow

Alison Buttenheim, PhD, MBA

  • Professor, Family and Community Health, Penn Nursing
  • Professor, Medical Ethics and Health Policy, Perelman School of Medicine
  • Scientific Director at the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics (CHIBE), Perelman School of Medicine

Alison Buttenheim, PhD, MBA is a Professor of Family and Community Health at Penn Nursing and of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the Perelman School of Medicine. She also serves as Scientific Director of the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research addresses persistent behavior change challenges in public and global health. Using the techniques and frameworks of behavioral economics, Dr. Buttenheim designs, tests, and scales innovative interventions to prevent and mitigate infectious diseases. She is a recognized global expert in the area of vaccine acceptance, with a particular focus recently on COVID-19 vaccines. Dr. Buttenheim also helped launch and serves as the Behavioural Design Lead for Indlela, a first-of-its kind nudge unit supporting innovations in HIV service delivery in South Africa. She co-chaired the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s Consensus Committee on Behavioral Economics: Policy Impact and Future Directions, which released its consensus report in early 2023.

She earned an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and a PhD in Public Health from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she majored in Community Health Sciences and minored in Sociology/Demography. She also completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Office of Population Research at Princeton University and was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar at Penn.

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