Laura J. Faherty

Laura J. Faherty
Senior Physician Policy Researcher; Professor of Policy Analysis (Affiliate), Pardee RAND Graduate School


M.D., Emory University School of Medicine; M.P.H. in global epidemiology, Emory University Rollins School of Public Health; M.S.H.P. in health policy research, University of Pennsylvania; B.A. in history of science, Princeton University

Media Resources

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Laura Faherty (she/her) is a senior physician policy researcher at RAND, professor of policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School, and attending physician at Maine Medical Center. Prior to joining RAND, she was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania.

A board-certified general pediatrician with a public health and health services research background, Dr. Faherty’s research focuses on maternal-child health and pandemic preparedness and response, both in U.S. and non-U.S. settings. Her current work focuses on building trust in public health through social media; early warning systems for potential pandemics, such as wastewater surveillance; and behavioral health in the perinatal period, including opioid use in pregnancy and perinatal depression. She recently published a toolkit funded by CDC on conducting behavioral health surveillance in the disaster context, supported the development of the 2020 Vaccines National Strategic Plan, contributed to The Rockefeller Foundation's national playbook for COVID-19 testing in K–12 schools; and evaluated the impact of The Rockefeller Foundation's Equity-First COVID-19 Vaccination Initiative.

Dr. Faherty completed her residency and chief residency in pediatrics at Boston Medical Center and Boston Children's Hospital. She received her M.D. and M.P.H. in global epidemiology from Emory University, her M.S. in health policy research from the University of Pennsylvania, and her B.A. in history of science from Princeton University. 

Concurrent Non-RAND Positions

Attending Physician, Maine Medical Center; Associate Director, Barbara Bush Children's Hospital Scholars Academy; Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Tufts University School of Medicine

Selected Publications

Faherty LJ, Kranz AM, Russell-Fritch J, Patrick SW, Cantor J, Stein BD., "Association of Punitive and Reporting State Policies Related to Substance Use in Pregnancy With Rates of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome," JAMA Network Open, 2(11), 2019

Faherty, LJ, Rasmussen, SA, and Lurie, N, "Planning for Research on Children During Public Health Emergencies," Pediatrics, 137(2), 2016

Faherty, LJ, Rasmussen, SA, and Lurie, N, "A Call for Science Preparedness for Pregnant Women in Public Health Emergencies," American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2016



Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: KJZZ - (NPR) Phoenix, AZ; Reuters Online