Leighton Ku, PhD, MPH

Leighton Ku photo

Leighton Ku

Professor and Director of the Center for Health Policy Research

George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health

As a health policy researcher, a public policy analyst, and an advocate, Dr. Ku’s career has been built around the effort to understand and improve access to affordable health care for vulnerable populations. Among his areas of expertise are national and state health reforms, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), immigrant health, prevention and health care financing and budgets, with an emphasis on strengthening the health care safety net. “I am interested in applying the lessons of research to policies and programs at the federal and state levels, and working with governmental officials, community groups and advocacy organizations to advance policies and progress,” he says. He has authored or co-authors more than 200 peer-reviewed articles and other policy and translational health policy research reports. As a faculty, he has taught research methods and statistics at the graduate level for about 25 years. As a member of the community, he has help develop and guide the District of Columbia’s health insurance exchange since 2012 as a member of its Executive Board.

Professor Ku joined GWSPH as a full-time faculty member in 2008, but he is also a professor of public policy. Over his career, he also served as a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, which focuses on improving policies for low- and moderate-income Americans; as principal researcher at the Urban Institute; and as a policy and budget analyst for the federal Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program.


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