Tamara Dubowitz

Photo of Tamara Dubowitz
Senior Policy Researcher; Affiliated Faculty, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Pittsburgh Office


Sc.D. in maternal and child health/social epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health; S.M., Harvard School of Public Health; M.Sc. in anthropology, University of Pennsylvania

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email media@rand.org.

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Tamara Dubowitz is a senior policy researcher at the RAND Corporation and affiliated faculty at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Trained in social epidemiology with concentrations in maternal and child health and public health nutrition, Dubowitz's research interests include neighborhood effects, particularly that of the built physical and social environment; obesity and diet-related disease; and the health and nutrition effects of policy (e.g., housing policy, food policy, urban planning) and monitoring and evaluation. Her work has utilized both quantitative and qualitative methods to examine individuals within their social and structural contexts.

In addition to spending more than two years working on women's health programs and development with the Peace Corps in Burkina Faso, West Africa, Dubowitz led an evaluation of a maternal and child nutrition program led by UNICEF India. More recently, she has looked at factors of the built environment and their association with prevalence of obesity in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Dubowitz received her M.Sc. in anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania and her S.M. and Sc.D. from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Recent Projects

  • Does a new supermarket improve dietary behaviors of low-income African-Americans?
  • Impact of Greenspace Improvement on Physical Activity in a Low Income Community
  • Neighborhood Change: Impact on Sleep and Obesity-Related Health Disparities
  • Robert Wood Johnson Culture of Health
  • Improving environmental measures in obesity research using innovative technology


  • Fresh produce at a grocery store

    Location, Location, Location: Does the Food Desert Narrative Hold Up?

    There's little rigorous evidence to support the notion that 'food deserts' are driving the U.S. obesity epidemic. But this narrative has nearly become conventional wisdom. In response, stakeholders have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into bringing supermarkets to these neighborhoods.

    Oct 28, 2014 The RAND Blog

  • A 40-foot-high inflatable rubber duck, created by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, is towed up the Allegheny River in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, September 2013

    Here's to Our Health

    Atop the new mayor's agenda should be improving the health and well-being of Pittsburgh residents. With an unassailable electoral mandate in hand, Mr. Peduto is positioned to take bold steps. And the best way to do that is by applying scientific and medical evidence to shape an integrated, citywide, health-policy framework.

    Nov 25, 2013 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

  • lettuce grocery store

    What Happens When a 'Food Desert' Gets an Oasis?

    In an era of budget constraints, policymakers confronting the U.S. obesity crisis need strong evidence from projects like PHRESH to inform decisions about where and how to invest, writes Tamara Dubowitz.

    Dec 13, 2012 RAND.org

  • A woman eats a hamburger

    Bedside Manners: Obesity Is Not All Your Fault

    We will be more successful at stemming the growing tide of obesity and improving our own health if everyone accepts their share of responsibility for the obesity epidemic, write Chloe E. Bird and Tamara Dubowitz.

    Jul 26, 2012 Girl with Pen, Bedside Manners blog