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Jennifer Prah Ruger

Jennifer Prah Ruger is the Amartya Sen Professor of Health Equity, Economics, and Policy at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice and Perelman School of Medicine.  She serves as SP2’s inaugural Associate Dean for Global Studies and Faculty Chair at the Center for High Impact Philanthropy (CHIP). She is a Senior Fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics.

Her educational background includes a Master of Studies in Law from Yale University, a PhD in Health Policy from Harvard University, and a Master of Science in Comparative Social Research from Oxford University.

Ruger is an internationally recognized leader in global and domestic health equity – she works at the intersection of economics, ethics, policy and health, producing findings unavailable from the application of only one discipline. As well, Ruger’s national and global research has influenced global and domestic policy, she conducts collaborative research around the globe, including in Ghana, Malawi, Malaysia, Morocco, South Korea, South Africa, Vietnam, India, and Indonesia.

She was speechwriter to the President of the World Bank, served on the health and development satellite secretariat of the WHO Director General Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland’s Transition Team, was a member of the Institute of Medicine’s Board on Global Health and was recently reappointed to another term by University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann to Chair the University’s Social Responsibility Advisory Committee.

Ruger has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, Greenwall Faculty Scholar Award in Bioethics, Donaghue Investigator Award, NIH Career Development Award, Labelle Lectureship and Mark DeWolfe Howe Research Award at Harvard University.  She is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations.


    • M.S.L., Law School, Master of Studies in Law
    • Ph.D., Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Health Policy
      • (Dissertation Committee: Amartya Sen (chair), Joseph Newhouse, Jerry Green)
    • M.Sc., Comparative Social Research
    • M.A., International Relations
    • B.A., Honors Program in Political Economy


Amartya Sen Professor of Health Equity, Economics, and Policy; Associate Dean for Global Studies; Faculty Chair at the Center for High Impact Philanthropy (CHIP)


  • Perelman School of Medicine
  • Social Policy & Practice


  • Health, Equity, and Economics
  • Policy



Past and Present Public Policy Affiliations

  • Institute of Medicine (IOM)
    • Institute of Medicine (IOM) Board on Global Health, Member, 2010 – 2013
    • Institute of Medicine and National Research Council Policy Working Group, Committee for PEPFAR Evaluation, Member, 2011–2013
    • Institute of Medicine and National Research Council Health Systems Working Group, Committee for PEPFAR Evaluation, Member, 2011–2013
    • Institute of Medicine and National Research Council Committee for PEPFAR Evaluation, Member, 2010–2013
    • Institute of Medicine Working Group Meeting on Global Health Governance, Committee on the U.S. Commitment to Global Health, Participant, 2008
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
    • Ethics Subcommittee of the Advisory Committee to the Director, CDC, Member, 2009-2013 Evaluation Workgroup, CDC, Member, 2012-2013
    • Non-Communicable Disease Workgroup, CDC, Member, 2011-2013
    • Travel Restrictions Workgroup, CDC, Member, 2010-2013
    • Case Development Workgroup, CDC, Member, 2010-2013
  • American Public Health Association (APHA)
    • Ethics Special Primary Interest Group (SPIG), American Public Health Association, Chair, 2010-2011
    • Ethics SPIG, American Public Health Association, Chair Elect, 2009-2010 American Public Health Association, Member, (APHA)
  • Human Development and Capability Association (HDCA)
    • Human Development and Capability Association, Health and Disability Thematic Group, Co-Coordinator, 2011 –
    • Human Development and Capability Association, Member, 2004 –
    • Human Development and Capability Association, Health and Disability Thematic Group, Coordinator, 2004-2011
  • Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH)
    • Education Sub-Committee: Master’s and Undergraduate Degrees in Global Health, Member, 2016 –
  • Additional Professional Organization Membership
    • Council on Foreign Relations, Elected Lifetime Member
    • AcademyHealth, Member
    • American Society for Bioethics and Humanities (ASBH), Member
    • International Studies Association (ISA), Global Health Studies Section, Member
    • International Health Economics Association (iHEA), Member


Ruger JP (2015). Good Medical Ethics, Justice and Provincial Globalism, Journal of Medical Ethics, 41(1), 103-6.

Ruger JP (2015). Ethics of Development Assistance for Health, Hastings Center Report, 45(3), 23-26.

Ruger JP, Ruger TW, Annas GJ (2015). The Elusive Right to Health Care under U.S. Law, New England Journal of Medicine, 372(26), 2558-63.

Ruger JP (2015). Governing for the Common Good, Health Care Analysis, 23(4), 341-51.

Ruger JP. Hammonds R, Ooms G, Barry D, Chapman A, and Van Damme W (2015). From Conceptual Pluralism to Practical Agreement on Policy: Global Responsibility and the Case for a Global Fund for Health, BMC International Health and Human Rights, 15, 30-36.

Ruger JP (2015). Health Economics and Ethics and the Health Capability Paradigm, Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, 16(4), 1-18.

Ruger JP (2014). The World Bank and Global Health: Time For a Renewed Focus on Health Policy, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 68(1), 1-2.

Gomez E, Ruger JP (2014). The Global and Domestic Politics of Health Policy in Emerging Nations, Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, 40(1), 3-11.

Ng NY and Ruger JP (2014). Ethics and Social Value Judgments in Public Health, In Encyclopedia of Health Economics, Vol. 1, Elsevier, 287-91.

Ng NY and Ruger JP (2014). Global Justice, In Bioethics, 4th Edition, Macmillan Reference USA, 1353-62.

Ruger JP (2013). A Global Health Constitution for Global Health Governance, Proceedings of the Annual Meeting (American Society of International Law), 107, 267-70.

Ruger JP (2013). Global Health Governance as Shared Health Governance, In The Globalization of Health Care: Legal and Ethical Issues, Oxford University Press, 381-402.

Ruger JP (2012). Global Health Governance as Shared Health Governance, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 66(7), 653-61.

Ruger JP, and Lazar CM (2012). Economic Evaluation of Pharmaco- and Behavioral Therapies for Smoking Cessation: A Critical and Systematic Review of Empirical Research, Annual Review of Public Health, 33, 279-305.

Ruger JP, Lewis LM, and Richter CJ (2012). Patterns and Factors Associated with Intensive Utilization of Emergency Department Services: Implications for Allocating Resources, American Journal of Emergency Medicine, 30(9), 1884-94.

Ruger JP (2012). An Alternative Framework for Analyzing Financial Protection in Health, PLoS Medicine, 9(8).

Ruger JP (2012). Global Health Justice and Governance, American Journal of Bioethics, 12(12), 35-54.

Ruger JP, Jamison DT, Bloom DE, and Canning D (2012). Health and the Economy, In Global Health: Diseases, Programs, Systems, and Policies, 3rd Edition, Jones and Bartlett Learning, 757-814.

Ruger JP (2012). Global Health Justice, In Leadership and Global Justice, Palgrave Macmillan, 113-29.

Ruger JP (2011). Shared Health Governance, American Journal of Bioethics, 11(7): 32-45.

Ng NY, and Ruger JP (2011). Global Health Governance at a Crossroads, Global Health

Governance, 3(2), 1-37.

Ruger JP (2011). Responses to Peer Commentaries on ‘Shared Health Governance’, American Journal of Bioethics, 11(7), W1-W3.

Ruger JP (2010). Health and Social Justice*, Oxford University Press.

Ruger JP (2010). Health Capability: Conceptualization and Operationalization, American Journal of Public Health, 100(1), 41-9.


  • <h3>Federal Aviation Administration: Accident & Incident Data</h3><p><img width="100" height="100" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/100/height/100/80_faa-logo.rev.1402681347.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image80 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/4/width/100/height/100/80_faa-logo.rev.1402681347.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/4/width/100/height/100/80_faa-logo.rev.1402681347.jpg 3x" data-max-w="550" data-max-h="550"/>The NTSB issues an accident report following each investigation. These reports are available online for reports issued since 1996, with older reports coming online soon. The reports listing is sortable by the event date, report date, city, and state.</p><p> Quick link: <a href="http://www.faa.gov/data_research/accident_incident/" target="_blank">http://www.faa.gov/data_research/accident_incident/</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>National Center for Education Statistics</h3><p><strong><img width="400" height="80" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/400/height/80/479_nces.rev.1407787656.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image479 lw_align_right" data-max-w="400" data-max-h="80"/>The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education in the U.S. and other nations.</strong> NCES is located within the U.S. Department of Education and the Institute of Education Sciences. NCES has an extensive Statistical Standards Program that consults and advises on methodological and statistical aspects involved in the design, collection, and analysis of data collections in the Center. To learn more about the NCES, <a href="http://nces.ed.gov/about/" target="_blank">click here</a>.</p><p> Quick link to NCES Data Tools: <a href="http://nces.ed.gov/datatools/index.asp?DataToolSectionID=4" target="_blank">http://nces.ed.gov/datatools/index.asp?DataToolSectionID=4</a></p><p> Quick link to Quick Tables and Figures: <a href="http://nces.ed.gov/quicktables/" target="_blank">http://nces.ed.gov/quicktables/</a></p><p> Quick link to NCES Fast Facts (Note: The primary purpose of the Fast Facts website is to provide users with concise information on a range of educational issues, from early childhood to adult learning.): <a href="http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/" target="_blank">http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/#</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>The Penn World Table</h3><p> The Penn World Table provides purchasing power parity and national income accounts converted to international prices for 189 countries/territories for some or all of the years 1950-2010.</p><p><a href="https://pwt.sas.upenn.edu/php_site/pwt71/pwt71_form.php" target="_blank">Quick link.</a> </p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>National Bureau of Economic Research (Public Use Data Archive)</h3><p><img width="180" height="43" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/180/height/43/478_nber.rev.1407530465.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image478 lw_align_right" data-max-w="329" data-max-h="79"/>Founded in 1920, the <strong>National Bureau of Economic Research</strong> is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization dedicated to promoting a greater understanding of how the economy works. The NBER is committed to undertaking and disseminating unbiased economic research among public policymakers, business professionals, and the academic community.</p><p> Quick Link to <strong>Public Use Data Archive</strong>: <a href="http://www.nber.org/data/" target="_blank">http://www.nber.org/data/</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>USDA Nutrition Assistance Data</h3><p><img width="180" height="124" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/180/height/124/485_usda_logo.rev.1407789238.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image485 lw_align_right" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/4/width/180/height/124/485_usda_logo.rev.1407789238.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/4/width/180/height/124/485_usda_logo.rev.1407789238.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1233" data-max-h="850"/>Data and research regarding the following <strong>USDA Nutrition Assistance</strong> programs are available through this site:</p><ul><li>Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) </li><li>Food Distribution Programs </li><li>School Meals </li><li>Women, Infants and Children </li></ul><p> Quick link: <a href="http://www.fns.usda.gov/data-and-statistics" target="_blank">http://www.fns.usda.gov/data-and-statistics</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>HUD State of the Cities Data Systems</h3><p><strong><img width="200" height="200" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/200/height/200/482_hud_logo.rev.1407788472.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image482 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/4/width/200/height/200/482_hud_logo.rev.1407788472.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/4/width/200/height/200/482_hud_logo.rev.1407788472.jpg 3x" data-max-w="612" data-max-h="613"/>The SOCDS provides data for individual Metropolitan Areas, Central Cities, and Suburbs.</strong> It is a portal for non-national data made available through a number of outside institutions (e.g. Census, BLS, FBI and others).</p><p> Quick link: <a href="http://www.huduser.org/portal/datasets/socds.html" target="_blank">http://www.huduser.org/portal/datasets/socds.html</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED®)</h3><p><strong><img width="180" height="79" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/180/height/79/481_fred-logo.rev.1407788243.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image481 lw_align_right" data-max-w="222" data-max-h="97"/>An online database consisting of more than 72,000 economic data time series from 54 national, international, public, and private sources.</strong> FRED®, created and maintained by Research Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, goes far beyond simply providing data: It combines data with a powerful mix of tools that help the user understand, interact with, display, and disseminate the data.</p><p> Quick link to data page: <a href="http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/tags/series" target="_blank">http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/tags/series</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>NOAA National Climatic Data Center</h3><p><img width="200" height="198" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/200/height/198/483_noaa_logo.rev.1407788692.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image483 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/4/width/200/height/198/483_noaa_logo.rev.1407788692.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/4/width/200/height/198/483_noaa_logo.rev.1407788692.jpg 3x" data-max-w="954" data-max-h="945"/>NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) is responsible for preserving, monitoring, assessing, and providing public access to the Nation’s treasure of <strong>climate and historical weather data and information</strong>.</p><p> Quick link to home page: <a href="http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/" target="_blank">http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/</a></p><p> Quick link to NCDC’s climate and weather datasets, products, and various web pages and resources: <a href="http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/data-access/quick-links" target="_blank">http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/data-access/quick-links</a></p><p> Quick link to Text & Map Search: <a href="http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cdo-web/" target="_blank">http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cdo-web/</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>Internal Revenue Service: Tax Statistics</h3><p><img width="155" height="200" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/155/height/200/486_irs_logo.rev.1407789424.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image486 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/4/width/155/height/200/486_irs_logo.rev.1407789424.jpg 2x" data-max-w="463" data-max-h="596"/>Find statistics on business tax, individual tax, charitable and exempt organizations, IRS operations and budget, and income (SOI), as well as statistics by form, products, publications, papers, and other IRS data.</p><p> Quick link to <strong>Tax Statistics, where you will find a wide range of tables, articles, and data</strong> that describe and measure elements of the U.S. tax system: <a href="http://www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Stats-2" target="_blank">http://www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Stats-2</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>MapStats</h3><p> A feature of FedStats, MapStats allows users to search for <strong>state, county, city, congressional district, or Federal judicial district data</strong> (demographic, economic, and geographic).</p><p> Quick link: <a href="http://www.fedstats.gov/mapstats/" target="_blank">http://www.fedstats.gov/mapstats/</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>Congressional Budget Office</h3><p><img width="180" height="180" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/180/height/180/380_cbo-logo.rev.1406822035.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image380 lw_align_right" data-max-w="180" data-max-h="180"/>Since its founding in 1974, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has produced independent analyses of budgetary and economic issues to support the Congressional budget process.</p><p> The agency is strictly nonpartisan and conducts objective, impartial analysis, which is evident in each of the dozens of reports and hundreds of cost estimates that its economists and policy analysts produce each year. CBO does not make policy recommendations, and each report and cost estimate discloses the agency’s assumptions and methodologies. <strong>CBO provides budgetary and economic information in a variety of ways and at various points in the legislative process.</strong> Products include baseline budget projections and economic forecasts, analysis of the President’s budget, cost estimates, analysis of federal mandates, working papers, and more.</p><p> Quick link to Products page: <a href="http://www.cbo.gov/about/our-products" target="_blank">http://www.cbo.gov/about/our-products</a></p><p> Quick link to Topics: <a href="http://www.cbo.gov/topics" target="_blank">http://www.cbo.gov/topics</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>The World Bank Data (U.S.)</h3><p><img width="130" height="118" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/130/height/118/484_world-bank-logo.rev.1407788945.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image484 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/4/width/130/height/118/484_world-bank-logo.rev.1407788945.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/4/width/130/height/118/484_world-bank-logo.rev.1407788945.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1406" data-max-h="1275"/>The <strong>World Bank</strong> provides World Development Indicators, Surveys, and data on Finances and Climate Change.</p><p> Quick link: <a href="http://data.worldbank.org/country/united-states" target="_blank">http://data.worldbank.org/country/united-states</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>