Alison Buttenheim, PhD, MBA
Alison M. Buttenheim, PhD, MBA, is CHIBE’s Scientific Director. She is also Professor in the Department of Family and Community Health at Penn Nursing and Professor in the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the Perelman School of Medicine. She also serves as Penn LDI’s Director of Engagement.
Dr. Buttenheim is a public health researcher and behavioral epidemiologist who combines her interest in behavioral economics with a focus on improving child health on a global level. She has designed and evaluated interventions to improve parental and family decision-making across a broad range of topics, including food access in low-income neighborhoods, childhood obesity, vaccine hesitancy, and participation in large-scale vector control programs. An evaluation expert, Dr. Buttenheim has published or consulted on several international evaluations, including school feeding schemes in Laos, household sanitation in Bangladesh, national family planning strategies in Niger and Jordan, and global tobacco surveillance strategies.
She earned an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and a PhD in Public Health from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she majored in Community Health Sciences and minored in Sociology/Demography. She also completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Office of Population Research at Princeton University and was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar at Penn.
In The News
- Alison Buttenheim, Harsha Thirumurthy, and two colleagues from Wits University in South Africa published a commentary in The Lancet Global Health - Maximising the value of nudge units for global health. The commentary reflects on the work of the Indlela nudge unit in South Africa over the past three years. It also addresses the need for nudge units and behavioral scientists engaged in global health research to invest in strengthening local capacity.The Lancet Global Health · Harsha Thirumurthy · Alison Buttenheim
- BEGIN Lab Co-Directors Alison Buttenheim and Harsha Thirumurthy host launch event at UPenn Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics.
- BEGIN Lab Co-Director Alison Buttenheim co-authors the Indlela NUDGE Handbook, a practical guide to applying behavioral insights to challenges in HIV service deliveryIndela · Alison Buttenheim
- A Systematic Review of Peer Support Interventions for Adolescents Living with HIV in Sub-Saharan AfricaAIDS Patient Care and STDs · November 2023Ahmed CV, Doyle R, Gallagher D, Imoohi O, Ofoegbu U, Wright R, Yore MA, Brooks MJ, Flores DD, Lowenthal ED, Rice BM, Buttenheim A.
- Improving HIV testing, linkage, and retention in care among South African men through U= U messaging: A study protocol for two sequential hybrid type 1 effectiveness-implementation randomized controlled trials.BMC Public Health · October 2023Medina-Marino A, Sibanda N, Putt M, Davey DJ, Smith P, Thirumurthy H, Bekker LG, Buttenheim A.
- Kindergarten Vaccination Status in California After Changes to Medical Exemption PolicyJAMA · October 2023Delamater PL, Buttenheim AM, Salmon DA, Schwartz JL, Omer SB.
Behavioral Decision Research