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Penn Nursing Professor Appointed to New National Committee

Alison Buttenheim, PhD, MBA, the Patricia Bleznak Silverstein and Howard A. Silverstein Term Endowed Professorship in Global Women’s Health in Penn Nursing’s Department of Family and Community Health, has been named a member of a new National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) committee that will assess future prospects for the broader use of behavioral economics in public policy.

Beginning this week, Buttenheim along with Penn Medicine’s Kevin Volpp, MD, PhD, will join 11 other academics in reviewing the evidence of how behavioral economics principles have successfully or unsuccessfully been applied in various fields over the last decade. The goal is to identify insights that can help direct future research related to public health, chronic illness, economic well-being, and global climate change.

Buttenheim will co-chair the new “Future Directions for Applying Behavioral Economics to Policy” committee. “Given ongoing policy interest in applying behavioral economics to pressing social problems, this consensus committee is launching at the perfect moment. I’m excited to be co-chairing the committee as a social scientist trained in public health – the interdisciplinary perspective on these important issues will be critical,” she said.

Buttenheim is the Director of Engagement at Penn LDI, Scientific Director of the Penn Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics (CHIBE), and the behavioral design lead for Indlela, an HIV-focused nudge unit based in South Africa.

Volpp is a Professor at the Perelman School of Medicine and at The Wharton School, and is the Director of the Penn Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics (CHIBE). CHIBE is one of the country’s leading centers for behavioral economics research.