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Dr David Williams

Dr David Williams

Florence and Laura Norman Professor of Public Health, Chair, Department of Social and Behavioural Science and Professor of African and African American Studies and of Sociology, Harvard

Dr. David R. Williams is the Norman Professor of Public Health and chair of the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. He is also a Professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. His prior academic appointments were at Yale University and the University of Michigan. The author of over 500 scientific papers, his research has addressed how race, stress, socioeconomic status, racism, health behavior and religious involvement can affect health. The Everyday Discrimination scale that he developed is the most widely used measure of discrimination in health studies.

Dr. Williams directed the South African Stress and Health Study, the first nationally representative study of the prevalence and correlates of mental disorders in sub-Sahara Africa. He was also a key member of the scientific team that conducted the largest study of mental disorders in the black population in the U.S. and the first health study to include a large national sample of Blacks of Caribbean ancestry. 

He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences. He was ranked as the Most Cited Black Scholar in the Social Sciences, worldwide, in 2008. In 2014, Thomson Reuters ranked him as one of the World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds.

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