I am a Professor of Public Policy at Universidad Mayor, Chile, and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, with core affiliation to the Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center. Previously, I worked at Universidad Católica and Universidad Diego Portales, Chile, and served as a consultant for the United Nations, Government of Chile, and Center for Retirement Research.
My research areas include life-course sociology, social epidemiology, and comparative public policy. Much of my work aims to identify and understand the social factors experienced across the life course that influence the health and happiness of older adults, as well as to evaluate public policies and interventions that can improve their well-being and benefit society as a whole.
I am author of over 50 publications, including articles, books, book chapters, and policy papers. My recent publications analyze the health effects of work and retirement, life satisfaction effects of unemployment and pension policy, as well as explore cultural and structural determinants of social security and health policy reforms worldwide. I am currently engaged in a long-term “cells to society” project, studying patterns of alcohol consumption and cardiovascular health outcomes and mortality among older adults in more than 20 countries.
I have received awards from the American Sociological Association, American Public Health Association, Gerontological Society of America, and Retirement Research Foundation. In addition, my research has been supported by generous grants from Columbia Global Centers, United States Social Security Administration, Atlantic Philanthropies, and Government of Chile.
My research has been published in academic journals and books, but has also been disseminated to broader audiences in policy briefs and media coverage in the Washigton Post, The Wall Street Journal, CNN International, Chicago Tribune, MSNBC, Financial Post, Bloomberg, U.S. News, Business Week, Dallas Morning News, Waco Tribune-Herald, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and many other major media outlets in Chile and abroad. I have also been active in aging, social security, and health policy reform in Chile and the United States.
I received my PhD in Sociology from Boston College and postdoctoral Ms in Public Health from Harvard University. Previously, I earned a BS in Sociology from Universidad Católica, Chile.