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Board Of Directors



David Bishai

Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health

David Bishai is currently professor and director of the Interdepartmental Health Economics Program at Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health. He is an associate editor of Health Economics. His research focuses on the econometric analysis of national, state, and local public health policy effects on life expectancy, mortality, and health disparities using time series and panel methods.  He has published over 200 peer reviewed papers and has collaborated with co-authors in Bangladesh, Botswana, Brazil, China, Cuba, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Iran, Italy, Lebanon, Mexico,  Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Uganda, UK, USA, and Vietnam.

He received his Ph.D. in Health Economics from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania in 1996. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. In 2015 he was voted by students to receive the Golden Apple teaching award as well as awards for advising and mentoring PhD students. Dr. Bishai teaches courses on health economics and macroeconomic development in both undergraduate and graduate campuses as well as a heavily subscribed Coursera course on health systems. He is currently leading Teaching Vaccine Economics Everywhere -- a partnership of universities who teach economics to government policy makers in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Past President 

Adam Wagstaff

World Bank

Adam Wagstaff is Research Manager of the Human Development & Public Services team in the World Bank’s Development Research Group. He has a PhD in Economics from the University of York and before joining the World Bank in 1998 was a Professor of Economics at the University of Sussex. He was Associate Editor of the Journal of Health Economics for 20 years, and has published extensively on a variety of aspects of the field, including: health financing and health systems reform; equity and equality; the valuation of health; the demand for and production of health; efficiency measurement, and illicit drugs and drug enforcement. Much of Adam’s recent work has been on health insurance, health financing, vulnerability and health shocks, and provider payment reform. Adam has worked on countries at all levels of economic development and in all regions of the world. Outside health economics, he has published on the measurement of scientific influence, development effectiveness, the re-distributive effects of economic growth and taxes, public sector efficiency measurement, and the measurement of trade union power. Adam has a blog and is on Twitter at @adamw2011.


Winnie Yip

Dr. Winnie Yip is Professor of Global Health Policy and Economics in the Department of Global Health and Population at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and also Director of the school wide Harvard China Health Partnership. Dr. Yip was previously a Professor of Health Policy and Economics at the University of Oxford. She holds a PhD in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her research focuses on  the design, implementation, evaluation and scaling up of health system interventions, for improving affordable and equitable access to and the efficiency and quality of health care delivery, especially for the poor. Her approach typically involves large-scale social experimentation of health system interventions that integrate the transformation of financing, incentives, organization, management and technology. With a network of Chinese universities, Dr. Yip’s ongoing research projects cover over 25 million people in the low income provinces in China. In addition to China, Dr. Yip also has major projects that assess the Indian health system’s performances and design/evaluate innovations in health system interventions for improvements. She has also studied and advised health care reforms in the wider Asia region, including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam, and she has extensive experience in executive training courses for senior health policymakers. Dr. Yip is a Senior Editor of Social Science and Medicine (Health Policy), Associate Editor of Health Economics and Health Systems & Reform



Audrey Laporte

University of Toronto

Prof. Audrey Laporte is an Associate Professor with the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (IHPME) at the University of Toronto. She has expertise in advancing econometric modelling of efficiency in health care including quantile regression and dynamic econometric modelling and also theoretical dynamic modelling of the demand for health. She was the co-Chair of the iHEA meeting in Toronto and for the last 3 years has served on the iHEA Finance committee.

She is the Founding Director of the Canadian Centre for Health Economics and recently stepped down after 14 years as Chair of the Canadian Health Economists Study Group.


Board Directors

John Ataguba

University of Cape Town

John Ele-Ojo Ataguba is an Associate Professor and Director of the Health Economics Unit, University of Cape Town.  He serves as the interim South African Research Leader (Chair) in Health and Wealth.  He is also the Deputy Executive Director in charge of Capacity Building for the African Health Economics and Health Policy Association (AfHEA).  He is a research fellow for the Partnership for Economic Policy (PEP) network and was a Mellon Mandela Fellow (20016/17) at Harvard University, USA.  John has a PhD in Economics from the University of Cape Town and he has several years of research and teaching experience in many African countries.  Currently, he teaches topics in health financing, quantitative health economics and applied microeconomics to graduate students at the University of Cape Town. He has served as a member of the iHEA Governance and Bylaws ad-hoc committee in 2017 and on the iHEA International Scientific Committee for recent World Congresses. He is the recipient of several competitive awards, both locally and internationally and he has also served as an advisor nationally, and to international agencies including the World Health Organization. His research interests in economics include poverty, inequality, equity in health and health care, social determinants of health, health financing and recently the economics of ageing. He serves as an editorial board member of the journal Applied Health Economics and Health Policy, and BMC Health Services Research.



Ana Balsa 

Universidad de Montevideo & National Agency for Research and Innovation (ANNI) Uruguay

Ana Balsa received her PhD in Economics from Boston University and is Professor at the Department of Economics, University of Montevideo (Uruguay). Her areas of academic interest include Health Economics and the Economics of Human Capital. She has conducted research on the implications of social interactions on behavior and human capital – focusing on statistical discrimination, relative deprivation, and peer effects-, and on the economic impact of programs and policies, including prenatal care, anti-tobacco campaigns, drug prevention and treatment programs, and education interventions. Her projects have been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the US, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Uruguayan National Agency of Research and Innovation (ANII), the Uruguayan Ministry of Public Health (MSP), and the Latin American Development Bank (CAF).

Selected publications include: "Relative Deprivation and Risky Behavior" (Journal of Human Resources, 2014), “Tobacco control campaign in Uruguay: Impact on smoking cessation during pregnancy and birth weight” (Journal of Health Economics, 2015), and “Exposures to Particulate Matter from the Eruptions of the Puyehue Volcano and Birth Outcomes in Montevideo, Uruguay” (Environmental health perspectives, 2016).



Joanna Coast 

University of Bristol

Joanna Coast has been Professor in the Economics of Health & Care at the School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol since 2015, and was previously Professor of Health Economics at the University of Birmingham, where she retains an honorary appointment. She has been a health economist for 25 years. She has a BA(Econ) in Economics, and an MSc in Health Economics, both from the University of York; her PhD, from the University of Bristol, focused on citizen and agent behavior in relation to health care priority setting. She has served on funding bodies for a number of organisations including NIHR, Marie Curie, Health Research Board for Ireland, Academy of Finland and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research. She is currently the Health Economics Senior Editor for Social Science & Medicine.

Jo has published more than 130 academic peer-reviewed papers across a number of areas of health economics including priority setting and health care rationing, capability and well-being, organisational change, end of life care, the use of qualitative methods in health economics and the economics of antimicrobial resistance. She has used a diverse range of theory and methods in her work, ranging from neoclassical to capability theory and from qualitative methods to meta-regression. Since 2005, she has conducted a substantial programme of research to develop capability measures for use in economic analysis across the life course, with work latterly focusing on the difficult issues around evaluating end of life care. This research has been funded by the UK Medical Research Council and the European Research Council and has drawn extensively on Jo’s expertise in the use of qualitative methods in health economics. It has resulted in the development of the ICECAP capability indices for older people, adults and supportive care, and exploration of their use in economic analysis. Jo can be found on twitter at  @joclarkecoast



Kara Hanson

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Kara Hanson is Professor of Health System Economics and Associate Dean for Research in the Faculty of Public Health and Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She holds degrees from McGill University, the University of Cambridge and Harvard University, and has nearly 30 years’ experience in health economics research, focusing on low- and middle-income countries. From 1988 to 90 she was an ODI fellow in the Ministry of Health Swaziland and she has spent extended periods of time working and researching health economics issues in Africa and, more recently, in Asia. She has been a member of iHEA since 1999 and was on the scientific committee for the 2017 congress. She has published in leading health economics, health policy and public health journals and has led large, multi-partner research programmes applying health economics to critical health policy issues. Her research interests address a variety of areas of health economics, including health care financing, the operation of healthcare markets, human resources, and the economics of delivering priority health interventions. She has previously been Editor of Health Policy and Planning, the leading journal for health systems research in low- and middle-income settings. She is supporting the development of a new initiative to link together the 50+ economists working across the Faculty of Public Health and Policy at LSHTM.    



Florence Jusot

Paris-Dauphine University

Florence Jusot is professor of economics at Paris-Dauphine University (Paris, France), research fellow at Leda-Legos (Department of Economics, Department of Economics and Management of Health Organisation). She is also research affiliate at IRDES (Institute for Research and Information in Health Economics).

She is co-country team leader of the French part of the Survey on Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe. Co-editor of Economie et Statistique, she is the scientific vice President of the French Association of Health Economists and member of the executive committees of the EUropean Health Economics Association and of the International Health Economics Association. Engaged in disseminating research findings to institutions and policy makers, she is member of the scientific committee of the French National Health Insurance Funds and of the French National Ethics Committee.

Her researches focus on the analysis and the measurement of inequalities in health and of inequalities of opportunity in health, the economics of addiction, and the determinants of access to health care and health insurance. She also publishes on the evaluation of public interventions aiming at reducing health inequalities with particular interests in health insurance and financing of health systems. Among others she has published in Annals of Economics and Statistics, Health Economics, Health Policy, Journal of Health Economics, Journal of Human Resources, and Social Science and Medicine.

Don Kenkel

Cornell University 

Don Kenkel is the Joan K. and Irwin M. Jacobs Professor in the Department of Policy Analysis and Management at Cornell University. He received his PhD in Economics from the University of Chicago in 1987 and has been at Cornell since 1995. Since 2011, he is jointly appointed as a Professor, Department of Economics. He is also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Broadly speaking, most of his research is on the economics of disease prevention and health promotion. He is the author of the chapter on "Prevention" in the Handbook of Health Economics (2000). He has conducted a series of studies on the economics of public health policies, including: alcohol taxes and other policies to prevent alcohol problems; cigarette taxes to prevent youth smoking; and advertising to promote smoking cessation. His current research is on the economics of tobacco regulation. Another area of research and teaching interest is in cost-benefit analysis of public policies, especially policies that affect health.

Tony LoSasso 

Anthony T. Lo Sasso, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Division of Health Policy and Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago's School of Public Health and the Institute of Government and Public Affairs (IGPA) at the University of Illinois. He also serves as the Executive Director of the American Society of Health Economists.

Dr. Lo Sasso is an economist whose research spans several dimensions of health and labor economics. Dr. Lo Sasso is keenly interested in how government policies affect private sector decisions. Dr. Lo Sasso has studied the impact of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program on insurance coverage among children and the extent to which public coverage “crowded out” private coverage. In addition, he has examined how community rating provisions affected individual health insurance coverage. Dr. Lo Sasso also studies the effects of health savings accounts and other aspects of health insurance benefit design on service use, spending, and health outcomes.

Dr. Lo Sasso received his doctorate in economics in 1996 from Indiana University, Bloomington, and his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics from DePaul University in 1991 and 1993, respectively. 

Jui-fen Rachel Lu 

Chang Gung University 

Jui-fen Rachel Lu, is a Professor in the Graduate Institute of Business and Management and Department of Health Care Management, College of Management, at Chang Gung University in Taiwan, where she teaches comparative health systems, health economics, and health care financing and has served as department chair (2000-2004), Associate Dean (2009-2010) and Dean of College of Management (2010-2013). She earned her B.S. from National Taiwan University, and her M.S. and Sc.D. from Harvard University, and she was also a Takemi Fellow at Harvard (2004-2005) and is an Honorary Professor at Hong Kong University (2007-2017) and a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at Stanford University (2015-2016). She cofounded Taiwan Society of Health Economics (TaiSHE) in 2008 and currently serves as President of TaiSHE (2014-2017). Rachel is a member of the Arrow Award Committee for iHEA (2014-2016), and has served on the International Scientific Committee for several iHEA World Congresses.

Her research interests are in the impact assessment of the NHI program on health care market and household consumption patterns, and comparative health systems in the Asia-Pacific region with a focus on equity performance. She is a long-time and active member of Equitap (Equity in Asia-Pacific Health Systems) research network. Rachel has also been appointed to serve on several advisory boards to Taiwan Ministry of Health and Welfare and National Health Insurance Administration. She received the Minister Wang Jin Naw Memorial Award for Best Paper in Health Care Management in 2002 and was the recipient of IBM Faculty Award in 2009.



Albert Okunade

University of Memphis 

Albert Okunade, Ph.D., is Economics Professor and faculty affiliate of the Center for Community Health and Senior Research Fellow at the Methodist-LeBonheur Center for Healthcare Economics at University of Memphis (USA). He coordinates the Ph.D. Economics program, teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in healthcare and pharmaceutical economics, and chairs doctoral dissertations in health economics. His more than 100 publications include dozens of single- and co-authored healthcare articles (various topic areas) in Journal of Health Economics, Health Economics, Journal of Applied Econometrics, Southern Economic Journal, Journal of Productivity Analysis, Health Policy, Managed Care Quarterly, Applied Economics, Health Care Management Science, Journal of Health Care Finance, etc. His research honors include Suzanne Downs-Palmer Professorships, First Tennessee Professorship, Superior Performance in University Research, and University Distinguished Research awards. The Review of Black Political Economy ranked him the 3rd leading US Black economist (based on peer-review publications indexed in The Journal of Economic Literature). Broadly ranged citations to his published research run in several hundreds. His has presented papers at conferences in Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Portugal, Senegal, Spain, UK, USA, etc.  Professor Okunade has Guest Edited Special Issues of peer review journals, including The Quarterly Review of Economics & Finance, Journal of Pharmaceutical Finance, Economics & Policy, and Journal of Health Care Finance. He was appointed to serve on the inaugural Board of Trustees of The American Society of Health Economists (ASHEcon). He has reviewed grant applications for National Science Foundation (USA) and serves as ad hoc referee for health (care) manuscripts submitted for peer-reviews in journals including Journal of Health Economics, Health Economics, Southern Economic Journal, Contemporary Economic Policy, BioMed Central journals, Clinical Breast Cancer, European Journal of Health Economics, Health Policy, Politics and Law, The Lancet, etc.

Thorhildur Ólafsdóttir

Thorhildur Ólafsdóttir received her PhD in Economics from University of Iceland in 2016 and was a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Iceland until 2018 when she joined DeCODE genetics as a research scientist. As a health economist specializing in applied microeconometrics her main research areas include health evaluation using the subjective well-being method and exploring the effects of macroeconomic shocks on health and health behaviors. She has co-authored papers and written research proposals with health economists from Europe and the U.S. and publications include papers in Journal of Health Economics, Economics and Human Biology, Review of Economics of the Household and European Journal of Health Economics. She has presented her work in numerous conferences in the Nordic countries and in the U.S., served as an advisor for B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D. students in health economics and has taught microeconomics and health economics at undergraduate level and econometrics at graduate level at universities in Iceland.


Anthony Scott

University of Melbourne 

Anthony Scott is a Professorial Fellow and National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Principal Research Fellow, and leads the Health Economics Research Program at the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research at the University of Melbourne. He jointly co-ordinates the 30-strong University of Melbourne Health Economics Group. He is also an Associate Editor of Journal of Health Economics and Health Economics, and jointly organizes the Australasian Workshop on Econometrics and Health Economics, now in its 7th year. He was a member of the Arrow Award Committee for iHEA from 2013 to 2015, and is President of the Australian Health Economics Society. His research interests include the role of financial and other incentives in changing the behavior and improving the performance of health care providers, with a focus on general practice and primary care and the labor markets of health care professionals. He is Principal Investigator on the Medicine in Australia: Balancing Employment of Life (MABEL) panel survey of over 10,000 doctors ( Funded by the NHMRC, this project focuses on labor supply and workforce participation decisions by doctors, including mobility across geographical areas and career choices.


Richard Smith 

London School of Hygiene & tropical Medicine 

Richard Smith is Professor of Health System Economics, and Dean of the Faculty of Public Health and Policy, at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Following undergraduate and postgraduate studies in economics at the University of York in 1991, Richard worked in Sydney, Cambridge, Bristol, Melbourne and Norwich, before joining the London School in May 2007. From 2008-2011 he served as Head of Department of Global Health & Development, and since 2011 has served as Dean of Faculty of Public Health & Policy. The Faculty boasts one of the largest group of health economists in the world; especially those working in low- and middle-income settings.

Richard has worked on a wide range of health economics topics, from willingness-to-pay to public goods and externalities, and topics from genomic technologies to antibiotic resistance. In the last decade he has focused mostly upon the interaction and interface between a nation’s health system and other systems – both within the nation (e.g. agriculture, manufacturing and finance sectors) and between different countries (e.g. through movement of health professionals and patients). This interest has been manifest in two areas: (i) macro-economic modeling of health (care), concerning the impact of communicable and non-communicable diseases and related polices; and (ii) economic analysis of the impact of trade and trade agreements. Richard has received research funding in excess of £30m, and has published more than 200 papers, chapters, reports etc (including many in Health Economics, Journal of Health Economics, Social Science & Medicine, The Lancet, Science, British Medical Journal).

Richard was a Charter Member of iHEA and has presented at every meeting, several times organizing sessions, and over the last year has been part of the ‘iHEA 2020’ committee working on strategies for the future development of iHEA. He has also been part of the organizing committees for two UK HESG meetings (and will no doubt be on a third when HESG comes to the London School!). He has been committed to advancing the work of health economics in every institution he has worked, including the development of MSc courses, growing capacity through appointments, and support for junior staff and students.

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The International Health Economics Association was formed to increase communication among health economists, foster a higher standard of debate in the application of economics to health and health care systems, and assist young researchers at the start of their careers.

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