HCP Faculty Members Maestas and Zubizarreta Promoted to Professor

The Department of Health Care Policy is delighted to announce the promotion of celebrated faculty members, Nicole Maestas, PhD, Professor of Health Care Policy, Department of Health Care and José Zubizarreta, PhD, Professor of Health Care Policy. 

The two newly named professors shared their enthusiasm for the future of their research in the Health Care Policy department, joined in celebration by fellow faculty, family, and friends. As asserted by Maestas, “The smartest career move I’ve made was to join HCP. It’s an extraordinary community and a supportive environment in which I’ve been able to do my best work. I’ve loved every second of being here.”  Zubizarreta graciously affirmed, “Our Department is a unique place to contribute to health policy from and across the core disciplines, with an exceptional group of colleagues and students from economics, medicine, and statistics, among others. At HCP, I've had the time of my life. I look forward to continuing learning and working with you to advance our field!”

Maestas joined HCP’s faculty in 2015, as an Associate Professor of Health Policy. Prior to her position at HCP, Maestas served as a senior economist at RAND. In addition to her role as Professor of Health Care Policy, Maestas is also the current director of the Retirement and Disability Research Center at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). Maestas also acts as a member of the of the Advisory Committee to the NBER Center for Aging and Health Research and the COVID-19 Task Force, Policy Translation Working Group.

In her research, Maestas studies the economics of disability insurance, labor markets, health care systems, and population aging, centering on effect of health and disability insurance systems on individual economic behaviors, such as labor supply and the use of medical care.

In current work, Dr. Maestas is investigating the causes of the opioid epidemic and its impact on employment and participation in the federal disability programs, as well as the effects of state Medicaid policies on the health care and well-being of people receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.

Among her numerous research awards and grants, Maestas currently serves as Principal Investigator (PI) for the NBER Retirement and Disability Research Center (RDRC) and the “Assessment of Health Related Work Capacity to improve Independence of Older Adults.” Maestas also serves as co-PI for the Disability-Inclusive Employment Policy Research and Resource Training Center (RRTC).

In addition to her research, Maestas has published widely in the leading journals of economics, policy, and medicine. She received her M.P.P. in Public Policy from the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley, and her Ph.D. in Economics also from UC Berkeley.

Zubizarreta joined HCP as an Assistant Professor of Health Care Policy 2017, focusing on statistical methods for causal inference and impact evaluation to advance research in health care and public policy. In addition to his work at HCP, he is a Professor of Biostatistics at the Harvard School of Public Health and a faculty affiliate in the Department of Statistics. Prior to his work at Harvard, Zubizarreta was an assistant professor in the Division of Decision, Risk, and Operations and the Department of Statistics at Columbia University.

Currently, Zubizarreta is an acting Fellow of the American Statistical Association, and a founding member of ICOVID Chile, a collaborative initiative formed in coordination with the government of Chile in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Zubizarretais the principal investigator on the Patients Centered Outcomes Initiative (PCORI) Awards:Fast and Robust Weighting Methods for Targeted Comparative Effectiveness,” and “Toward a New Generation of Matching Methods for Comparative Effectiveness Research,” and on numerous collaborations in methodological research.

His research has been published in the Journal of the American Statistical Association, the Annals of Applied Statistics, and the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, among others. His research in medicine and healthcare has appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Zubizarreta has also written several software packages making his statistical methods widely available.

In addition to his publications, Zubizarreta serves as co-editor of the Handbook of Matching and Weighting in Causal Inference, and associate editor for the Annals of Applied Statistics, Biometrics, and the Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics. 

Zubizarreta received his PhD in statistics from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 2013, focusing on optimal designs for observational studies using mathematical programming, with applications to health care and policy.