Tenure granted to three Heller School faculty members

January 27, 2022

The Brandeis University Board of Trustees granted tenure status to three exceptional Heller School faculty members: Karen Donelan, Pamina Firchow, and Monika Mitra. 

These faculty members represent academic excellence and innovative research in several key social policy areas, including U.S. health policy, disability policy and peacebuilding and conflict resolution. This important designation recognizes their many significant contributions to the university and to their fields. 

"The addition of these three scholars to our tenured faculty will further build the capacity of the Heller School and Brandeis University in the areas of research and teaching, and our collective ability to meet Heller's aspirational motto of 'Knowledge Advancing Social Justice,'” says Dean David Weil. 

See below for additional information about each faculty member's research and academic accomplishments.

Karen Donelan

Stuart H. Altman Chair in U.S. Health Policy, Schneider Institutes for Health Policy

Karen Donelan undertakes research on the healthcare workforce and labor markets including labor shortages, the impacts of workforce organization on quality of care, and the demographics of employment.  She has designed and conducted hundreds of national and international surveys on the experiences of patients and health professionals in health care systems. Donelan’s current and recent national projects include the health workforce changes needed to improve care for frail older adults, assessments of care innovations for persons with complex illness, disability and dementia, and improving diversity and inclusion in the healthcare workforce. Her extensive academic work is widely cited and has impacted both public policy and clinical practice.

Pamina Firchow

Associate Professor, MA in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence program

Pamina Firchow’s research interests include peacebuilding, transitional justice (especially victim reparations) and reconciliation, particularly in local communities affected by mass violence. She co-developed Everyday Peace Indicators (EPI), a method of using bottom-up qualitative interviews to create quantitative measures reflecting the experiences of those directly affected by conflict. EPI has been used to assess progress towards peace in Colombia, Uganda, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and most recently in the United States. Firchow’s work (including an award winning book) has impacted both peace and conflict studies in the academy and conflict resolution efforts on the ground. 

Monika Mitra

Nancy Lurie Marks Associate Professor of Disability Policy and Director, Lurie Institute for Disability Policy

Monika Mitra’s research examines the health care experiences and health outcomes of people with disabilities, with a focus on the sexual and reproductive health of women with disabilities. Her work has impacted multiple areas of disability policy research and the funding priorities for federal agencies and leading foundations.  The Lurie Institute for Disability Policy has grown significantly in size and scope since she became director in 2018, including the addition of the National Research Center for Parents with Disabilities and the Community Living Policy Center. Mitra is co-editor-in-chief of the Disability and Health Journal and the 2017 recipient of the Allan Meyers Award from the American Public Health Association Disability Section.