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Alumni Feature 1

Robert J. Blendon, Sc.D., Class of 1964


Robert J. Blendon, Sc.D.

An expert in the field of surveying and evaluating the public opinion of Americans on the topic of health care, Dr. Blendon’s innovative initiatives have been instrumental in helping U.S. policy-makers establish national spending priorities and policies.

A professor of health policy and political analysis at both the Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, he currently directs the institution’s Program on Public Opinion on Health and Social Policy. The project focuses on the dynamics of public opinion and its ability to inform the country’s domestic agenda.

As co-director of the Washington Post/Harvard University/Kaiser Family Foundation survey project, his work was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. His exploration of U.S. attitudes on health care and social policy as part of a National Public Radio and Kaiser Foundation project in 1999 was cited by the National Journal as breaking new ground in the use of public opinion surveys in broadcast journalism.

Prior to joining Harvard in 1987, Dr. Blendon served the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in a variety of capacities before departing as senior vice president.

Earning his B.A. from Marietta College in 1964, Dr. Blendon went on to become an Indiana University Medical Center Fellow before completing a master’s degree at the University of Chicago and an additional master’s degree and doctorate at Johns Hopkins University. He has also received an LL.D. from Marietta in 2000.

Dr. Blendon is the recipient of numerous awards for his teaching and research and has been affiliated with a variety of organizations such as the National Academy of Sciences, Council on Foreign Relations and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.