Jody Heymann, MD, PhD is Founding Director of the WORLD Policy Analysis Center, and Distinguished Professor at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, Luskin School of Public Affairs, and Geffen School of Medicine. An unprecedented effort to improve the level and quality of comparative policy data available to policymakers, researchers and the public, WORLD examines health and social policies and outcomes in all 193 UN countries.
Dr. Heymann previously held a Canada Research Chair in Global Health and Social Policy at McGill University where she was the founding director of the Institute for Health and Social Policy. While on the faculty at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health, she founded the Project on Global Working Families.
Dr. Heymann has authored and edited more than 400 publications, including 18 books. Selected titles include Advancing Equality (University of California Press, 2020), Changing Children’s Chances (Harvard University Press, 2013), Making Equal Rights Real (Cambridge University Press, 2012), Lessons in Educational Equality (Oxford University Press, 2012), Protecting Childhood in the AIDS Pandemic (Oxford University Press, 2012), Profit at the Bottom of the Ladder (Harvard Business Press, 2010), Raising the Global Floor (Stanford University Press, 2009), Trade and Health (McGill Queens University Press, 2007), Forgotten Families (Oxford University Press, 2006), and Healthier Societies (Oxford University Press, 2006).
Dr. Heymann has received numerous honors, including election to the national Institute of Medicine in 2013 and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences in 2012. She has worked with leaders in North American, European, African, and Latin American governments as well as a wide range of intergovernmental organizations including the World Health Organization, the International Labor Organization, the World Economic Forum, UNICEF, and UNESCO.
Dr. Heymann’s findings have been featured on CNN Headline News; MSNBC; Good Morning America; Fox News; National Public Radio’s All Things Considered; Fresh Air and Marketplace; in The New York Times; Washington Post; Los Angeles Times; Business Week, Inc; Portfolio; Forbes India and USA Today among other internationally and nationally syndicated programs and press.
Erin BresnahanManager of New Initiatives and Strategic Partnershipsebresnahan (at) ph.ucla.edu
Erin Bresnahan is Manager of New Initiatives and Strategic Partnerships at the WORLD Policy Analysis Center. Erin develops partnerships with governmental and intergovernmental organizations, faculty and staff, civil society organizations, and others. She also engages with national and international monitoring systems for treaties and conventions, including United Nations Human Rights Conventions and regional treaty commitments. Erin received her Bachelor of Business Administration from Acadia University in Canada, and her MA in International Affairs from Carleton University’s Norman Paterson School of International Affairs. Prior to joining WORLD, Erin worked on new and strategic initiatives for the Fielding School of Public Health at UCLA.
Alison EarleSenior Research Analystaearle (at) ph.ucla.edu
Alison Earle, PhD, is a Senior Research Analyst at the WORLD Policy Analysis Center. Dr. Earle’s research focuses on how labor and employment policies affect the health, wellbeing, and economic security of working families in the United States and worldwide. While at the Harvard School of Public Health, Dr. Earle was the Co-director with Dr. Jody Heymann of the Project on Global Working Families, and managed a large research team developing the first truly global labor policy database, the Work, Family, Equity Index. Dr. Earle conducted some of the first national studies on disparities in access to paid leave and schedule flexibility in the United States, and the first globally comparative analysis of paid sick days policies. Earle has over 60 publications and with co-author Dr. Jody Heymann, published her first book Raising the Global Floor: Dismantling the Myth that We Can’t Afford Good Working Conditions for Everyone (Stanford University Press, 2010). Dr. Earle has provided expert testimony at Massachusetts congressional hearings on proposed paid family and medical leave and paid sick days legislation, and at U.S. congressional briefings on afterschool policy and funding. Earle received the 2006 Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis Best Article Award for her article examining the link between economic competitiveness and paid sick days policy and the 2014 Lawrence Klein Award for the Best Article in Monthly Labor Review for her article examining job characteristics of minority and immigrant working parents. She taught courses on the translation of public health research into action, and the effects of social policy on children’s health. Dr. Earle received an M.P.P. from the Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. in Public Policy from Harvard University.
Laurel Grzesik-MouradPolicy Analystlgrzesik (at) ph.ucla.edu
Laurel Grzesik-Mourad is a Policy Analyst at the WORLD Policy Analysis Center. She received her BA in the Study of Religion and a minor in Arabic & Islamic Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles and completed her Master of Public Policy at the University of Southern California’s Price School of Public Policy. Before joining WORLD, she was Program Communications Officer for the Office of Interdisciplinary & Cross Campus Affairs at UCLA, connecting partners across campus. Prior to that, Laurel worked in government relations, policy, communications, and development for Andy Spahn & Associates as well as in diversity and inclusion at the British Broadcasting Corporation’s Diversity Centre.
Michael McCormackPolicy AnalystTel: 310 825 7461mmccormack (at) ph.ucla.edu
Michael McCormack received BAs in Political Science and Economics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and an MA in Applied Economics from the University of Massachusetts Boston. His research interests include labor economics, economic development, the political economy of household debt and progressive economic policy. Prior to working at WORLD, he worked as an economic policy associate at The Century Foundation, a progressive think tank based in New York City. He was also a researcher at the Center for Social Policy at UMass Boston and an organizer in the student and labor movement at UMass Amherst with the Student Labor Action Project.
Gonzalo MorenoPolicy Analystgmoreno (at) ph.ucla.edu
Gonzalo Moreno is a Policy Analyst at the WORLD Policy Analysis Center, where he works mainly on research and dissemination projects that utilize the Constitutions database. He received BAs in Translation at the University of Malaga and in International Development at the University of Guelph, and completed his MA in International Affairs at Carleton University’s Norman Paterson School of International Affairs. Before joining WORLD, he was the project manager of MACHEquity, a collaborative project between McGill University and UCLA to better understand how changes in policy can affect the health and wellbeing of households in low- and middle-income countries. Before MACHEquity Gonzalo worked on various research projects at McGill, including coordinating the conference and publications of Disability and Equity. Gonzalo’s main research interests include the importance of non-health policies as social determinants of health, global health initiatives and financing, and the political economy of development assistance.
Nicholas PerrySenior Research Analyst – Outreach CoordinatorTel: 310 983 3350 nperry (at) ph.ucla.edu
Nicholas Perry is a Senior Research Analyst and the Outreach Coordinator at the WORLD Policy Analysis Center. In addition to research work on work and family, education, poverty, and aging policy issues, Nicholas coordinates WORLD’s global research and dissemination partnerships with policymakers, civil society organizations, funders, and the public at large. In this outreach work, Nicholas works with the WORLD team to develop and disseminate tools that translate newly available law and policy data into evidence-based decision making and increased transparency and accountability. Nicholas leads WORLD’s collaborative work across the UCLA campus, with academic partners around the globe, with on the ground civil society organizations, and with intergovernmental organizations looking to translate policy into impact. Nicholas’ professional background includes work in direct political engagement, political polling and messaging, and grassroots political organizing. Nicholas received his BA in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley and a Master’s in Public Policy from the University of Southern California.
Brianna PierceSenior Policy AnalystTel: 310 825 7433bpierce (at) ph.ucla.edu
Brianna Pierce received her B.A. in Psychology, minoring in Global Poverty & Practice, from the University of California, Berkeley and a Master’s in Public Policy from the University of Southern California. Prior to joining the WORLD Policy Analysis Center, she worked for USC Price School International Initiatives, Community Health Councils, Relief International, and was a UC Berkeley Blum Center for Developing Economies Fellow at the Buduburam Refugee Camp in Ghana. She has worked on a range of research and outreach projects including refugee integration and resettlement, migrant rights, HIV/AIDS prevention and care, early childhood education, and child labor prevention in the U.S., Peru, Ghana, Hong Kong, and Mexico.
Corina PostProgram AnalystTel: 310 825 7126cpost (at) ph.ucla.edu
Corina Post is the Program Analyst at WORLD Policy Analysis Center, where she manages papers, grant deliverables, and content for key stakeholders, sponsors, academic journals, and outreach. Prior to joining WORLD, Corina has conducted social policy research with World Vision International in Zambia and Sonke Gender Justice in South Africa, where she worked on intersectional issues of gender equality, including health, violence, income equity, constitutional protections, and positive paternity. Her professional commitments are for supporting solutions addressing intersectional issues of poverty, gender equality, and social equity within domestic and international contexts. She received her BA in Political Science from University of California, San Diego, and a Masters in Public Policy and Social Welfare at Luskin School of Public Affairs at UCLA.
Amy RaubPrincipal Research Analystaraub (at) ph.ucla.edu
Amy Raub is the Principal Research Analyst of the WORLD Policy Analysis Center and is responsible for the translation of WORLD’s comparative policy research on all 193 UN countries to findings for policymakers, citizens, civil society, and researchers. Amy has been deeply involved with the development of WORLD's databases on constitutional rights, laws, and policies since 2008. She has presented WORLD’s findings to UN human rights committees, civil society groups, and at international conferences. Her publications include statistical analyses of the relationship between policies and outcomes, overviews of the status of constitutional rights globally, and assessments of whether countries are meeting their international commitments in human rights conventions. Amy received her BA in Economics from Rice University and her MS in Economics from The University of Texas at Austin. She has a background in statistical analysis for economic consulting including the examination of disparities based on race, gender, and age in a variety of topics, including mortgage lending, police stops, and employment issues.
Aleta SpragueSenior Legal AnalystTel: 310 983 3256asprague (at) ph.ucla.edu
Aleta Sprague is a Senior Legal Analyst at WORLD, where she leads WORLD’s written and transmedia communications and examines the intersections among constitutional rights, case law, and national policy development in advancing social and economic equality across different legal systems. Previously, Aleta was a policy analyst at New America, a public policy think tank, where her research focused on poverty, access to public assistance programs, and financial inclusion for low-income communities. She also previously served as a Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellow with the Idaho Hunger Relief Task Force. Aleta received her BA in Anthropology and French from New York University and her JD from UCLA School of Law, where she focused on international law and human rights and completed a specialization in Critical Race Studies. She is a member of the California and New York state bars.
Pam Stek is a Writer and Editor at WORLD with a background in researching and writing about the political activism of marginalized groups. She received her BA in Mathematics from Macalester College and her PhD in History from the University of Iowa. Prior to joining WORLD, she was employed as a historical researcher and writer for several nonprofit organizations, as a history instructor, and as an actuary. Her previous work includes an examination of Midwestern immigrant women’s activism in support of organized labor and women’s suffrage during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Sheleana VarvaroOperations and Administrative ManagerTel: 310 825 7322 svarvaro (at) ph.ucla.edu
Sheleana received her BS in Biochemistry from UCLA with a minor in Asian languages (Concentration-Chinese) in 2011 and her MPH in Health Policy and Management from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health in 2017. Prior to joining WORLD, she worked as Grants Project Manager for the UCLA Clinical and Translational Science Institute’s Grants Submission Unit. Sheleana has over seven years of full-time working experience within UCLA, collaborating with researchers, clinicians, faculty, students and administration of all levels. Outside of her UCLA activities, Sheleana is an active member of Women in Health Administration of Southern California, and currently serves on the board as Administrative Coordinator and Events Co-Chair.
Willetta WaisathSenior Research Analyst and Research ManagerTel: 310 983 3078wwaisath (at) ph.ucla.edu
Willetta Waisath is a Senior Research Analyst and Manager at WORLD, where she guides the development of law and policy databases, contributes to analysis, and supports the translation and dissemination of policy data to diverse stakeholders. Prior to WORLD, she worked in a range of quantitative and qualitative research projects including: access to early childhood care and education, health needs assessments, reproductive health education, sexual risk behavior, violence against children, and social interactions embedded in physical activity. Early in her career, her work supported community-based programs focused on healthy child development and family violence prevention. Willetta received her BA in Psychology from Coe College and her MPH in Community Health Sciences from UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health.
Marissa WatkinsPolicy AnalystTel: 310 825 7116mwatkins (at) ph.ucla.edu
Marissa is a Policy Analyst at WORLD with a background in human rights law and sexual and reproductive health. Marissa received BAs in Political Science and Legal Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, an LLM in International Human Rights Law from Utrecht University, and an MPH in Community Health Sciences from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. Prior to joining WORLD, Marissa was a fellow at Population Council in Lusaka, Zambia, where she researched adolescent sexual and reproductive health in Zambia, including overseeing end-line data collection for GirlsRead!, a girls’ empowerment and literacy program aimed at reducing HIV incidence among Zambian girls in urban areas. Marissa’s research interests include sexual and reproductive health, gender roles in caretaking and the family, and implementation and enforcement of human rights law.
Ross WeistrofferSenior Policy AnalystTel: 310 825 7447rweistroffer (at) ph.ucla.edu
Ross Weistroffer is a Senior Policy Analyst at WORLD with a background in researching complex and systemic public policy issues. He has worked for the U.S. Senate, U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Genocide Prevention Task Force, and the World Peace Foundation. His previous work has included examinations of how mass atrocities end and the role of markets in botnet prevention efforts. He received a BA in history and a BA in international studies from American University, and graduated from the Fletcher School at Tufts University with a Masters in Law and Diplomacy, with concentrations in public international law and mass atrocities.
Elizabeth WongSenior Policy AnalystTel: 310 983 3601ewong (at) ph.ucla.edu
Elizabeth Wong is a Policy Analyst at WORLD with a background in qualitative and quantitative public health research. Prior to joining WORLD in May 2016, she worked at the USC Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research as a Project Manager for a national panel study exploring the health behaviors of U.S. military families. She received a BA in Public Health Policy from the University of California, Irvine, and an MPH in Community Health Sciences from the Fielding School of Public Health.