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Center Director: Michael A. Rodríguez, MD, MPH
Professor and Vice Chair of Research at the UCLA Department of Family Medicine 

Dr. Rodríguez is professor and vice chair in the Department of Family Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, founding director of the UCLA Blum Center on Poverty and Health in Latin America, founding chair of the UCLA Global Health Minor, and medical director for innovative research at the AltaMed Institute for Health Equity. He also serves as: principal investigator of the CBRE Shared Advantage Research Initiative; co-chair of the UC-Mexico Initiative’s Violence Prevention Subgroup dedicated to preventing youth violence across borders; co-chair of the emerging Migration and Health online course; and co-director of UCLA Campus Activity for the UC Firearm Violence Prevention Center.

Dr. Rodríguez is committed to promoting health equity for all. He has been published widely while lecturing internationally on his areas of research that include, but are not limited to, ethnic/racial and immigrant health equity, gun and violence prevention, migration, food insecurity and the development of health research. His interest and work in cross-cultural medicine and collaborative development of domestic and international research capacity has made him a consultant for UNICEF, the World Health Organization and the Pan American Health Organization, among others. He serves as advisor or conducts collaborative programs with several Latin American institutions including: the International Centre for Health Equity; Social Cohesion Laboratory II (Mexico); Centro de Investigacion y Docencia Economicas (CIDE); Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Nicaragua (UNAN); Consejo de Minstros de Salud de Centroamerica y Republica Dominicana (COMISCA).

Dr. Rodríguez completed his undergraduate training at the University of California, Berkeley; received his medical degree from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA; completed his residency from the UC San Francisco's Family Medicine Residency Program; received his Master of Public Health degree at the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health; and was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at Stanford University.  


Steering Committee


Thomas J. Coates, PhD
Director, UCLA Program in Global Health and the Michael and Sue Steinberg Endowed Professor of Global AIDS Research within the Division of Infectious Diseases
Professor in Residence, Epidemiology
Dr. Coates was recently named Director of the Center for World Health at the David Geffen School of Medicine and the UCLA Health Systems.  He also leads the UCLA Program in Global Health within the Division of Infectious Diseases and the Co-Director of the University of California Global Health Institute (UCGHI). He was the founding Executive Director of the UCSF AIDS Research Institute, leading it from 1996 to 2003.  His areas of emphasis and expertise are HIV prevention, the relationship of prevention and treatment for HIV, and HIV policies. With funding from USAID and WHO, he led a randomized controlled trial to determine the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of HIV voluntary counseling and testing for individuals and couples in Kenya, Tanzania, and Trinidad.  He is now directing a 48 community-randomized clinical trial in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Thailand to determine the impact of strategies for destigmatizing HIV on HIV incidence community-wide. He is also conducting research in Uganda, Peru, and China.  He was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 2000. 


Stephen K. Commins, PhD
Associate Director, Global Public Affairs
Lecturer, Department of Urban Planning
UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs

Dr. Commins is the Associate Director for Global Public Affairs and a Lecturer in the Department of Urban Planning, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. He is currently on the Core Team for the World Bank's World Development Report 2015, 'The Behavioral and Social Foundations of Development Policy’. He has managed research projects for the World Bank, DFID, UNECA, UNFPA, ODI and UNESCAP.  He is the Strategy and Partnerships Specialist for International Medical Corps, and the Secretary for the International Health and Fragile States Network.





Steven P. Wallace, PhD
Professor and Chairperson
Department of Community and Health Sciences, and Associate Director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research

Dr. Wallace has studied migration issues since the mid-1980s when he published work on Central American immigration to the U.S. and the effects of immigration reform (IRCA) on immigrant communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. His interest in migration issues since then has focused primarily on access to health care and services for the elderly. His work has included studies of both Latin American and Asian immigrant elders, as well as analyses of access to health care and preventive services for nonelderly adults. He has also published work on access to health care from an international comparative perspective, including multiple studies involving Mexico, Nicaragua, and Chile.

His current research includes projects an analysis of the impact of health care reform on undocumented immigrants, a capacity building project that fosters community-based participatory research skills among environment health science researchers and immigrant communities in Los Angeles, and several studies that identify the gaps in health policies for underserved elders in the state. Wallace received a Fulbright Fellowship for research and lecturing in Chile in 2000 where he studied the impact of public policies on health equity among the elderly. Wallace earned his doctorate in Sociology from the University of California, San Francisco.