Michele Abbott

Photo of Michele Abbott
Assistant Policy Researcher; Ph.D. Candidate, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Pittsburgh Office


M.Phil. in policy analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School; B.S. in international business, University of Maryland


Michele Abbott is an assistant policy researcher at the RAND Corporation and a Ph.D. candidate at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. She is passionate about innovative, multi-sectoral solutions to complex social problems. Abbott’s research at RAND includes: evaluating a household-based intervention to mitigate social determinants of health in Miami, FL; conducting implementation and cost analyses of an intiative integrating evidence-based mental health services into programs serving at-risk populations in New York City; analyzing the impact of integrated depression care and microfinance groups in Vietnam; using social network analysis to model social support and disclosure decisions of HIV+ populations in Uganda; and constructing a global risk index of the food-energy-water nexus.

Prior to RAND, Abbott worked at Abt Associates on USAID-funded projects across East Africa. Her research focused primarily on health systems strengthening and economic evaluations of task-shifting interventions and community-based care programs for vulnerable populations. Abbott attended the University of Maryland where she completed the Quality Enhancement Systems and Teams (QUEST) Honors program; served as a research fellow for the Center for Health Information and Decision Systems (CHIDS); and received a B.S. in international business and a minor in English.


  • Youth foodies Ojangole Max Igune and Regina Nantege create a recipe at the October 2017 Superfoods cook-off in Kampala, Uganda

    How Uganda Could Benefit from a Center for Food Innovation

    A training and innovation center that trains and certifies street food vendors to address issues related to food hygiene, safety, and quality would accelerate the growth of a new Ugandan cuisine that capitalizes on nutritious local ingredients in a sustainable manner.

    May 23, 2017 The RAND Blog

  • Kampala street food vendor Monica Kayagi makes a recipe during the Superfoods Cook-Off in December 2016

    What Street Food Vendors in Uganda Need to Succeed

    Street vendors in Kampala, Uganda, would benefit from infrastructure development, food safety standards, rules of hygiene, and greater focus on healthy products. The city's growing population also would benefit from increased access to nutritious and affordable foods.

    May 16, 2017 The RAND Blog

  • Ugandan chefs display their creations at the first Superfoods Contest in December 2015

    A New Ugandan Cuisine: Showcasing Superfood Qualities of Millet and Sorghum

    The results of a series of cooking contests in Uganda to promote the use of drought-tolerant, nutritious traditional grains—millet and sorghum—signal that a new food trend may be on the horizon.

    May 9, 2017 The RAND Blog