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. Her research interests include systems analysis and multi-sector solutions to complex social problems. At RAND, Abbott conducts mixed-methods research and evaluation of community health and well-being interventions, both in the U.S. and internationally. Abbott’s dissertation develops a grounded theory model of household resilience and conducts a realist evaluation of a household-centered care intervention on the social determinants of health in Miami, FL.

Prior to RAND, Abbott worked at Abt Associates on USAID-funded global health projects across East Africa. At Abt, she delivered national-level capacity building in health systems strengthening and conducted evaluations of community-based interventions 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.

Selected Publications

Lynsay Ayer, Dana Schultz, Mental Health Task-Shifting in Community-Based Organizations (RR-3083-MFANYC)

Schmitt Olabisi, Laura; Azhar, Gulrez; Abbott, Michele; Lempert, Robert J., "Participatory modeling of climate change impacts on public health in Long Beach, California," RAND Health Quarterly, 8(1), 2018

Abbott, Michele; Ramchand, Rajeev.; Chamberlin, Margaret.; Marcellino, William, "Detecting Changes in Newspaper Reporting of Suicide after a Statewide Social Marketing Campaign," Health Communication, 2017

Melinda Moore, Laura J. Faherty, Shira H. Fischer, Kathryn E. Bouskill, Julie DaVanzo, Claude Messan Setodji, Bill Gelfeld, Emily Hoch, Luke J. Matthews, Sarah Weilant, Michele Abbott, Gabriela Armenta, Rouslan I. Karimov, Adeyemi Theophilus Okunogbe, Uza, Evaluation of Two Programs Supporting Global Family Planning Data Needs (RR-2112-BMGF)

Abbott, Michele; Bazilian, Morgan; Egel, Daniel; Willis, Henry H., "Examining the Food-Energy-Water and Conflict Nexus," Current Opinion in Chemical Engineering, 18, 2017

Honors & Awards

  • James Q. Wilson Dissertation Fellowship, Pardee RAND Graduate School
  • JL Foundation Dissertation Award, JL Foundation
  • Spotlight Award, Pardee RAND Graduate School


  • 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