Vivian L. Towe

Photo of Vivian Towe
Policy Researcher
Washington Office


Ph.D. in epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; M.Sc. in epidemiology, University of California Berkeley School of Public Health; M.A. in molecular and cellular biology and biochemistry, Boston University


Vivian Towe is a policy researcher at the RAND Corporation. Towe's work focuses on the impact of social factors on health outcomes among vulnerable populations. She leads numerous evaluation projects and projects focused on the development of measures. Her current projects include the multi-site evaluation of task-shifting mental health interventions to staff at community-based organizations for delivery to their clients. She also leads an evaluation of the integration of data systems and services at jurisdictions receiving Ryan White and Housing Opportunity for Persons With AIDS funding. Prior to coming to RAND, Towe was the lead researcher and evaluator of housing programs for PLWHA at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Before that, she worked on the design and implementation of the Centers for Disease Control's Baltimore site of the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance System. That research measured social and psychological factors affecting sexual behaviors of heterosexual adults living and socializing in neighborhoods highly affected by HIV/AIDS and the epidemiology of highly prevalent and unrecognized infection among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Baltimore. In much of her work, Towe has designed structured questionnaires to assess sexual and behavioral risk factors among low-income and vulnerable persons at high risk for or infected with HIV/AIDS. She has used psychometric methods to develop and test scales, including confirmatory factor analyses and structural equation modeling. Towe earned her Ph.D. in epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Recent Projects

  • Addressing HIV Care and Housing Coordination Through Data Integration to Improve Health Outcomes Along the HIV Care Continuum
  • Connections to Care
  • Culture of Health

Selected Publications

Vivian L. Towe, Laura Leviton, Anita Chandra, Jennifer C. Sloan, Margaret Tait, and Tracy Orleans, "Cross-Sector Collaborations And Partnerships: Essential Ingredients To Help Shape Health And Well-Being," Health Affairs, 35(11), 2016

Honors & Awards

  • Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award, 2007 – 2009, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health, Pre-doctoral Fellow
  • UCB-UCSF Fogarty AIDS International Training and Research Program, Scholar, 2002 – 2004, University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health


  • Data sharing and privacy concept

    Collaboration Is the Best Strategy to Combat Population Health Concerns

    The greatest opportunities to improve health happen pretty much everywhere but the doctor's office. Collaborative programming that merges strategies from housing, education, or labor could make a big difference.

    Dec 14, 2017 The Hill

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, September 30, 2014

    Gulf States Among Top in New HIV, AIDS Cases

    Improving HIV prevention and medical care delivery to persons living with HIV/AIDS should be a collaborative effort, particularly in the Gulf States region, where resources are limited but the epidemic is expanding, writes Vivian Towe.

    Jun 27, 2012 The RAND Blog