Ryan K. McBain

Photo of Ryan McBain
Policy Researcher
Boston Office


Ph.D. in public health, Harvard University; M.P.H. in public health, Harvard University; B.A. in psychology, Oxford University; B.A. in psychology, Gordon College


Ryan K. McBain is a policy researcher at the RAND Corporation. He focuses on the design and evaluation of health policies and programs meant to reach vulnerable populations—including those coping with mental health conditions, HIV/AIDS, homelessness, and poverty. To achieve this, McBain has utilized a wide range of methodologies, including econometric approaches for quasi-experimental analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis, and decision analytic models, as well as key informant interviews and focus group discussions. McBain's domestic work has focused on evaluating policies and programs intended to expand access and quality of care to vulnerable populations, such as those with opioid use disorder in rural settings and homeless individuals who are HIV-positive. Internationally, McBain has worked at the World Bank, World Health Organization, Harvard University and Partners In Health, where he has focused on evaluating mental health, HIV, and primary care service delivery systems, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa and Haiti. McBain holds a Ph.D. and M.P.H. in global health with concentrations in health economics and health policy analysis from Harvard University, as well as a B.A. in psychology from Gordon College and Oxford University in the United Kingdom.

Recent Projects

  • Expanding U.S. Healthcare Access through Telehealth
  • Identifying Safety-Net Resources at Health Centers to Prevent Infectious Disease Transmission Resulting from the Opioid Epidemic
  • Evaluating Cost Savings Associated with Los Angeles County's Mental Health Full Service Partnerships
  • Lesotho National Health Reform Evaluation
  • Haiti Primary Healthcare Cost and Quality Evaluation

Selected Publications

McBain R, Rose AJ, LaRochelle MR, "The U.S. opioid crisis: one disease, diverging tales," Preventive Medicine, 112, 2018

McBain R, Ashwood JS, Eberhart N, Montemayor C, Azhar GS., Evaluating cost savings associated with Los Angeles County's mental health full service partnerships, RAND, 2018

McBain R, Peterson L, Mahon N, Dully L, Noel B, Wroe E., "Impact and economic evaluation of a novel HIV service delivery model in rural Malawi," AIDS, 131, 2017

McBain R, Jerome G, Warsh J, Browning M, Mistry B, Faure P, Pierre C, Mugunga JC, Rhatigan J, Leandre F, Kaplan R., "Rethinking the cost of healthcare in low-resource settings," BMJ Global Health, 1, 2016

McBain R, Salhi C, Hann K, Salomon J, Kim J, Betancourt TS., "Costs and cost-effectiveness of a mental health intervention for war-affected young persons: decision analysis based on a randomized controlled trial.," Health Policy & Planning, 31, 2016

McBain R, Wickett E, Mugunga J, Beste J, Konwloh P, Mukherjee J, "The post-Ebola baby boom: a call for health systems strengthening.," Lancet, 388, 2016

McBain R, Karredy V, Cantor J, Stein B, Yu H., "Systematic Review: United States Workforce for Autism-Related Child Healthcare Services," JAACAP, 59, 2019


English; French; Spanish; Krio