Carol Graham, PhD

Senior Fellow of Hope and Despair Research

Carol Graham is the Leo Pasvolsky Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, a College Park Professor at the University of Maryland, and a Senior Scientist at Gallup. Her work at  Meadows centers on deepening our insights into how effective treatment for depression can increase hope and reduce despair, as part of our Lone Star Depression Challenge, Path Forward, and international brain capital promotion efforts.

Graham is the author of eight books and numerous articles in journals including Science, Social Science and Medicine, the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, the Journal of Population Economics, Economica, Perspectives in Psychological Science, the World Bank Research ObserverHealth AffairsHealth Economics, the Journal of Socio-Economics, World Economics, Foreign Affairs, the Journal of Development Studies, the Journal of Benefit-Cost AnalysisWorld Development, and the Journal of Happiness Studies. She has also authored numerous chapters in edited volumes, including the New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics. She is senior editor of Behavioral Science and Policy and on the editorial boards of numerous other economic journals. She served on a National Academy of Sciences panel on well-being metrics and policy in 2012-13, Pioneer Awards from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2017 and 2021, and a Lifetime Distinguished Scholar award from the International Society of Quality of Life Studies in 2018.

Graham served as Vice President and Director of Governance Studies at Brookings from 2002-2004. She has also served as a Special Advisor to the Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund. She has been a consultant at the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank, United Nations Development Program, and the Harvard Institute for International Development, helping to design safety net programs in Latin America, Africa, and Eastern Europe. She has testified in Congress several times and has appeared on NBC News, National Public Radio, The Newshour with Jim Lehrer, and CNN among others. Graham has also written in the Wall Street JournalThe Christian Science Monitor, the Financial Times and the Washington Post. Reviews of her work on well-being have appeared in The New YorkerThe New York Times, the Financial Times, the New York Review of Books, Science, and the Journal of Economic Literature, among others.

Graham, born in Lima, Peru, has an AB from Princeton University, an MA from The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and a PhD from Oxford University. She is the mother of three children.