Melinda J. B. Buntin portrait

Melinda J.B. Buntin, PhD

Bloomberg Distinguished Professor
Academic AreaEconomics
Academic AreaHealth
Areas of InterestHealth economics and financing

Melinda J.B. Buntin, PhD joined the faculties of Health Policy and Management at the Bloomberg School of Public Health and of the Carey Business School in July 2023. As one of the top academic health policy leaders in the nation, Dr. Buntin will be part of the University’s Knowledge to Action and the Business of Health Bloomberg Distinguished Professor Cluster.

Dr. Buntin joins Hopkins from Vanderbilt University, where she was the University Distinguished Professor in the Departments of Health Policy and of Medicine, Health, & Society and held the Mike Curb Chair for Health Policy as Chair of the Department of Health Policy, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

Dr. Buntin trained in health policy with a concentration in economics at Harvard University where she received her Ph.D. in 2000. She started her professional career at RAND Health and transitioned into several health policy leadership roles during her 12 years in Washington, DC. She was the Director of the Office of Economic Analysis, Evaluation and Modeling at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and was Deputy Director of Health, Retirement and Long-Term Analysis at the Congressional Budget Office.

In 2013, she became the founding Chair of the Department of Health Policy at Vanderbilt University, a multidisciplinary department within a medical school. During her tenure she grew the faculty from 9 to 22, started a Health Policy track in the MPH program, as well as a Ph.D. Program in Health Policy. Under her leadership and vision, it has become one of the leading departments of its kind.

Dr. Buntin will be primarily based at 555 Pennsylvania Avenue where she aims to inform health care policy through a newly established health systems and policy modeling center. Dr. Buntin’s body of work has built bridges between health care policy and public health by advancing our understanding of health care delivery and costs, with an emphasis on improving the value created by the health care system. This new center will address emerging issues in health policy with rigorous empirical work—predictive models and causal inference methods from econometric study designs—with the goal of providing insights to the health care sector, businesses, and policymakers on how to improve health care delivery and outcomes.