The Heller School for Social Policy and Management

Laurie A. Nsiah-Jefferson

Senior Scientist

Laurie A. Nsiah-Jefferson's photo


Office: Heller-Brown Building 349
Phone: 781-736-3757
Brandeis Directory


heatth and health care inequities;intersectionality; diversity and inclusion; evaluation studies; race/ethnicity/gender and social and health policy; women and gender studies


  • HS 515a - Race/Ethnicity and Gender in Health and Human Services Research
  • HS 527a - Race, Ethnicity and Gender in Public Policy
  • HS 529a - Diversity, Inclusion and Equity in Social Policy
  • HS 604c - Assets and Inequalities Doctoral Seminar
  • HSSP 114b - Racial/Ethnic and Gender Inequalities in Health and Health Care


  • Brandeis University
  • Brandeis University
  • Yale University
  • Brandeis University

Laurie A. Nsiah-Jefferson

Senior Scientist


Dr. Laurie Nsiah-Jefferson holds faculty and senior scientist positions at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. She is affiliated with the Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy, the Institute on Assets and Social Policy, and the Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy. She is also an affiliated faculty member in the African and Afro-American Studies Department, Women, Gender and Sexuality Program, and the Health, Science, Society and Policy Program. She chairs the WGS Concentration of the MPP Program, and is the coordinator, and advisor to Heller students enrolled in the MPP/WGS Joint Degree Program with the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Nsiah-Jefferson chairs the Heller Diversity Steering Committee and the MPP Program Diversity Subcommittee. She was also elected to the Faculty Senate in 2016. In 2012 -2013 she was a Davis Teaching and Learning Fellow working with a cohort of Brandeis faculty to explore innovations in pedagogy for effective teaching and student learning. Finally she is an international affiliate of Simon’s Fraser University’s Institute for Intersectionality, Research and Policy.

Dr. Nsiah-Jefferson earned a joint Ph.D. in Social Policy with a concentration in Health Policy/ Health Services from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, and a M.A. in Women and Gender Studies from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Brandeis University. She received an M.P.H, in Health Services Administration from Yale University School of Medicine, Dept. of Epidemiology and Public Health. In addition she holds a B.A. in African and Afro-American Studies and Politics from Brandeis University.

Dr. Nsiah-Jefferson formerly served as the Director of Health Disparities at Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA; Policy Analyst at the Civil Rights Project at Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA; Research Scientist for the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, Trenton, NJ; and a Senior Research Associate at Columbia University School of Public Health, New York. She has also been awarded numerous fellowships including the H. Jack Geiger Congressional Fellowship to work with the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust, Washington D.C; W.K. Kellogg Fellow in Health Policy Research, Waltham, MA; Senior Fellow for the National Center for Health Behavior Change, Morgan State University, Baltimore MD. Furthermore she has had visiting scholar positions at the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis University, the University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health's Center for Minority Health, and Suffolk University Center for Women’s Health and Human Rights

She has brought her expertise to bear on social and health inequities as a consultant to several entities including: the Commonwealth of Massachusetts - Dept. of Public Health, Rutgers University School of Social Work and Law, the Boston Public Health Commission, The University of Connecticut, School of Medicine, the Consortium of Boston Teaching Hospitals, and the USDHHS. She has also served on several boards at the local and national levels.

Dr. Nsiah-Jefferson’s research interests relate to the simultaneous intersections between aspects of social difference and identity (e.g. race and ethnicity, gender, class, sexual orientation, age, immigrant status, ability etc.), and forms of systematic oppression (racism, sexism, classism etc.) at micro and macro levels, and its impact on various social outcomes. She is also interested in the relationship between health and wealth inequities and its impact on the well-being of women of color and young children; the role of racial and ethnic discrimination on health status; disparities in health care quality ands services. Her recent research projects were focused on health workforce diversity, nursing home report cards for diverse populations, the role of philanthropy in the creation of healthy communities, and racism/discrimination on health outcomes. Her current research and scholarly projects relate to identifying and addressing the psycho-social Impacts of being a student of color activist advocating for racial justice on college campuses. The other project is is to develop a web-based primer to support pedagogical and curricular innovations related to diversity and intersectionality in policy studies. Finally she is a expert advisor on an Endowment for Health funded project to Implement A Culturally Effective Organizational Framework at Manchester Community Health Center in New Hampshire. Her current book projects address Intersectionality and Policy in the African American community; and Intersectionality and Pedagogy and Curriculum.

Awards and Honors

  • Harry S. Levitan Award for Excellence and Leadership in Education (2015)
  • Heller Mentoring Award (2015)
  • Affiliate Intersectionality Institute for Policy and Research, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, British Columbia (2014)
  • Faculty Mentor, Doris Dukes Fellowship for Child Well-being and Promotion, Chapin Hall University of Chicago (2014)
  • Nominated by Brandeis Students for Acts of Kindness (2013)
  • David Teaching and Learning Fellowship (2012)
  • Shiff Fellowship Faculty Mentor (2011 - 2012)
  • Visiting Scholar, Womens Center for Health and Human Rights, Suffolk University (2010 - 2012)
  • Research Clerkship, Center for Minority Health, University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health (2009 - 2010)
  • Senior Fellow, National Center for Health Behavioral Change (2009)
  • Certificate for Distinction in Teaching, Derek Bok Center for Teaching, Harvard University (2008)
  • Isak Kazes Prize in Women’s and Gender Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Brandeis University (2006)


  • Doupe, M, Nsiah-Jefferson, L., Venner, S.. Improving Quality and Performance: Cultural Competence and Workforce Diversity Strategies,. Waltham Institute for Assets and Social Policy, Heller School Brandeis University: 2016.
  • Doupe, M., Santos, J., Lord, T., L. Venner, S., Boguslaw, J, Nsiah-Jefferson, L,.. Patient and Family Advisory Councils: A Conduit for Culturally Effective Patient- Centered Care. Waltham, Mass Institute on Assets and Social Policy, Heller School: 2016.
  • Nsiah-Jefferson, Laurie A.. ""Intersectionality: Applications to a Global Fieldwork”, Diversity Series, Boston, Mass., December 2015.." Oxfam America: Diversity Series. Boston, Mass
  • Nsiah-Jefferson, Laurie A.. "Democracy Works, All Staff Diversity and Inclusion Workshop, “Diversity and Inclusion Leading Ease in the Voting Process”." Brooklyn, New York. April 13, 2016.
  • Nsiah-Jefferson, Laurie A.. "Hefele, J., Acevedo, A., Nsiah-Jefferson, L., Bishop, C., Abbas, Y., Ecaterina, D., Ramos, C., Choosing a nursing home: What do consumers want to know, and do preferences vary across race/ethnicity? Health Services Research, (forthcoming).." Health Services Research Volume 51, Issue Supplement S2, pages 1167–1187. Issue Supplement S2 (2016): 1167-1187.
  • Nsiah-Jefferson, Laurie A.. "Keynote Address." Intersectionality, Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid, Oxfam America. Boston, MA. March 26, 2015.
  • Nsiah-Jefferson, Laurie A.. "National Efforts and Practices to Address Health Care Inequities." Manchester Community Health Center, All Staff Meeting,. June 17, 2015.
  • Nsiah-Jefferson, Laurie A.. "Roundtable 2, How to Teach Feminism Today “ The Role of Intersectionality in the Classroom”, Waltham, Mass, April 9, 2016." The Graduate Consortium on Women’s Studies, Feminist Strategies in the Classroom and Beyond,. Brandeis University, Waltham, Mass
  • Nsiah-Jefferson, Laurie A.. "“Improving Quality and Performance: Strategies of Culturally Effective Organizations”." Quality Workforce = Quality Health Care: From Research to Practice, An Interactive Research and Policy Forum. Manchester, New Hampshire
  • Boguslaw, J., Venner, S., Santos, J., Nsiah-Jefferson. Perspectives and Practices of New Hampshire Health Care Employers. Waltham, Mass Institute for Assets and Social Policy: 2015.
  • Doupe, M, Nsiah-Jefferson, L., Santos, J. Institute for Assets and Social Policy, Heller School Brandeis University (April 2015).. Culturally Effective Health Organizations: A Framework For Success,. Waltham, Mass Institute for Assets and Social Policy: 2015.
  • Boguslaw, J., Venner, S., Santos, J., Nsiah-Jefferson (2013). Perspectives and Practices of New Hampshire Health Care Employers,. Waltham, Mass Institute on Assets and Social Policy, Heller School, Brandeis University. (addresses perspectives on workforce diversity).: 2013.
  • Gibbs BK, Nsiah-Jefferson L., McHugh M, Triveda A, & Prothrow-Stith D.. "Reducing racial and ethnic health disparities: An outcomes oriented research and policy agenda.." Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, 2006 31. 1 (2012).
  • Nsiah-Jefferson, Laurie A.. "Pharmacogenomics: Considerations for communities of color." Pharmacogenomics: Social, ethical and clinical dimensions.. Ed. M. Rothstein. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley @ Sons, 2012. 267-290.
  • Triveda A., Gibbs B, Nsiah-Jefferson L., Ayanian Z, & Prothrow-Stith. ".Creating a state minority health report card.." Health Affairs 24. 2 (2012): 388--96.
  • Nsiah-Jefferson, Laurie A.. "Nsiah-Jefferson, L. Inequities in Health Care and African-American Women: Intersectional Applications of Research and Policy: In: Black Women’s Health: Challenges and Opportunities. New York, NY: Nova Science Publishers, Inc; pp: 1-56.", 2009