Monika Mitra Selected as Next Director of Lurie Institute for Disability Policy

September 11, 2018

The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University has selected Monika Mitra as the next director of the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy. The Lurie Institute is a national leader in generating relevant and impactful research on the wellbeing and health of people with disabilities across the lifespan in the U.S. and increasingly, around the world. Their mission is “to promote inclusive and effective policies that improve the well-being of children and adults with disabilities and their caregiving families.”

In addition to exploring new opportunities for the Lurie Institute and providing continued training opportunities to Heller students, Mitra says, “I am looking forward to engaging with new partners, including grassroots disability advocacy organizations, self-advocates, as well as other disability researchers to realize the mission of the institute. This position offers me the opportunity to expand the Lurie Institute research base to address disparities in the health and wellbeing of people with disabilities in the Global South.”

Mitra brings over two decades of experience in conducting research on the health care experiences and health outcomes of people with disabilities across the lifespan. She has a particular focus on the perinatal health and pregnancy outcomes of women with disabilities, violence victimization against people with disabilities, and disability-related disparities in health and access to care.

Since March of 2017, Mitra has served as the institute’s interim director. In that time, she has grown the Lurie research team and cultivated several new projects, including establishing the National Research Center for Parents with Disabilities, a web-based resource hub focused on generating and curating information that supports the civil rights of parents who have disabilities.

Heller Dean David Weil says, “Monika’s incredible leadership as interim director and her innovative research portfolio represent the best of what Heller can be: we push boundaries, effect change, and inspire our community. We know she will carry the Lurie Institute to even greater heights as its director.”

Prior to joining Brandeis, Mitra held positions at the University of Massachusetts Medical School where she served as associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine and as senior program director for the Disability, Health and Employment Policy Unit at the Center for Health Policy and Research. She received her PhD and MA from Boston University, and her MS from Calcutta University, Kolkata, India.