Cornell Brooks School of Public Policy Inaugural Dean Colleen Barry

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Brooks Dean Colleen Barry elected to National Academy of Social Insurance

The National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) has approved the election of Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy Dean Colleen Barry in recognition of her national prominence as a health and policy scholar.

Barry is one of 48 experts elected by NASI and the only Cornell University and Ivy League scholar in this year’s group of honorees. The national nonprofit organization advances solutions to challenges facing the nation while increasing public understanding of how social insurance programs such as Social Security and Medicare contribute to economic security.

“We’re thrilled to welcome this new cohort of social insurance experts to the Academy’s membership. Together, they bring an expansive base of knowledge across topics critical to the social insurance field and will help elevate the Academy’s mission to strengthen social insurance and improve economic security in this country,” said Robert Espinoza, chair of the Membership Committee.

New members are nominated by current members in recognition of their professional contributions, such as improving the quality of research, administration, or policymaking in an area of social insurance. Members make significant contributions to NASI research, education, and leadership development initiatives.  

Barry is the inaugural dean of the Brooks School of Public Policy at Cornell.

Prior to joining Cornell in the fall of 2021, Barry led the nation’s largest department of health policy and management at Johns Hopkins University.

Her research focuses on how health and social policies can affect a range of outcomes for individuals with mental illness and substance use and in communities at risk for violence. She studies how communication strategies influence public attitudes and identifies evidence-based approaches for reducing stigma for vulnerable populations. Dean Barry is also an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine.

Barry has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed publications on a range of health policy topics in top policy and medical journals.  

Most recently, she wrote about policy tools that can improve population health, based on an analysis of the U.S. opioid crisis. The article, with co-author Brendan Saloner, was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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