Ninez Ponce, professor of health policy and management at UCLA and passionate advocate on behalf of evidence-based health policies that represent and serve the nation’s increasingly diverse population, has been appointed the new director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research at the Fielding School of Public Health, starting July 1.

She will succeed Gerald Kominski, professor of health policy and management in the Fielding School and a distinguished health policy analyst and health economist who has advocated on behalf of coverage for the underserved throughout his 30-year career at UCLA.

Ponce is internationally recognized as a disparities researcher. She is also a noted expert in survey-based research and helped develop the California Health Interview Survey, the nation’s largest state health survey.

“The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research is a cornerstone of policy in California and our data collection methods are a model for how to understand a rapidly changing nation,” Ponce said. “It will be an honor to lead this renowned research center at a crucial time in our country’s ongoing conversation about race, equity, and access to health care.”

“It is an enormous pleasure to appoint Ninez Ponce as the new director of the Center,” said Dr. Jody Heymann, dean of the Fielding School, which serves as the Center’s organizational home. “Ninez’s outstanding leadership in advancing our understanding of health disparities, and in moving from developing the best evidence base to public policy which changes lives represents public health at its most transformative.”

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