Margaret D. Whitley

Photo of Margaret Whitley
Senior Policy Analyst
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in public health, University of California, Irvine; M.P.H. in community health sciences, UCLA; B.A. in social welfare, University of California, Berkeley


Margaret Whitley is a senior policy analyst at the RAND Corporation. In addition to being a policy analyst at RAND, she is a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research, Population Studies Center. Her research interests include health inequities, maternal and child health, occupational health, and complementary and integrative health (CIH). She has experience with both quantitative and qualitative research methods and has been involved in a variety of health studies at RAND, including an NIH-funded Center of Excellence for Research on Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the RWJF Culture of Health study, and faith-based health promotion work. Whitley completed a doctoral degree in public health at the University of California, Irvine; her dissertation focused on the occupational determinants of breastfeeding behaviors. She also completed an M.P.H. in community health from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, and a B.A. in social welfare from the University of California, Berkeley.

Selected Publications

Whitley MD, Ro A, Choi B, "Low job control and racial disparities in breastfeeding," Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 64(8), 2022

Coulter, Ian D., Margaret D. Whitley, Raheleh Khorsan, and Patricia M. Herman, Incorporating Complementary and Integrative Health Providers in the Public Health Pandemic Response: Lessons from COVID-19 and Recommendations for the Future from a Multidisciplinary Expert Panel, RAND Corporation (RR-A1836-1), 2022

Whitley MD, Ro A, Palma A, "Work, race and breastfeeding outcomes for mothers in the United States.," PLoS one, 16(5), 2021

Whitley MD, Herman PM, Aliyev G, Sherbourne C, Ryan GW, Coulter ID, "Income as a predictor of self-efficacy for managing pain and for coping with symptoms among patients with chronic low back pain," Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 44(6), 2021

Whitley MD, Ro A, Choi B, "Workplace breastfeeding support and job satisfaction among working mothers in the United States," American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 62(8), 2019

Whitley MD, Payán D, Williams M, Flórez K, Wong E, Branch C, Derose KP, "Feasibility and acceptability of a healthy living messaging program within a church-based intervention to promote healthy weight among African Americans and Latinos," Health Informatics Journal, 26(2), 2019

Herman PM, Whitley MD, Ryan GW, Hurwitz EL, Coulter ID, "The impact of patient preferences and costs on the appropriateness of spinal manipulation and mobilization for chronic low back pain and chronic neck pain," BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 20(1), 2019

Acosta, Joie D., Margaret D. Whitley, Linnea Warren May, Tamara Dubowitz, Malcolm V. Williams, and Anita Chandra, Stakeholder Perspectives on a Culture of Health: Key Findings, RAND Corporation (RR-1274-RWJ), 2016