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© Johns Hopkins University

Spotlight: Johns Hopkins University

November 10, 2014 09:00 AM

The Johns Hopkins Master of Public Policy (MPP) was created in 1992 as the Masters of Arts in Policy Studies (MAPS) under the direction of Dr. Lester Salamon in an effort to address a clear demand for qualitatively oriented analysis of social policy.  The program was found to be of high-quality and to have succeeded remarkably well in its short existence. It shortly created a substantive niche among policy programs by emphasizing the concept of “citizenship” and the responsibilities of good public citizens in its courses. The MAPS program benefitted from its proximity to Washington, D.C., by attracting many students who worked and lived in the D.C. area.

Today, Johns Hopkins Institute for Health and Social Policy’s internationally recognized MPP program offers an integrated approach that combines research and practice. Through courses in applied microeconomics, statistics, and our policy core, students gain exposure to relevant theory, learn to identify important patterns and organize disorder to solve complex policy problems. At the same time, through policy projects, service-learning experiences and policy internships, students learn how to apply their knowledge to succeed in a range of settings in the policy arena.

New Leadership

P_-G_Forest_-credit_photo_Jean-Marc_Carisse-___61013003Pierre-Gerlier Forest, Ph.D., appointed in 2013 as Director of the Institute for Health and Social Policy (IHSP) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Well known for his work in the areas of health policy and the governance of health care organizations, Forest brings a wealth of experience in scholarship, research and practice to Hopkins. Prior to joining Johns Hopkins University, PG Forest was the president of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, a Canadian institution supporting policy innovation and the dissemination of actionable research results. After his appointment in 2006, he has drawn on his wide network of senior-level contacts in the public and private sector and within the academic community for fundraising and to support the Foundation’s engagement in such diverse areas as social policy, immigration, democratic reform, and Canada’s energy future.

Carey_BorkoskiCarey Borkoski, Ph.D., Director of the Master’s in Public Policy Program and a faculty member in the Department of Health Policy and Management in the School of Public Health. She teaches Applied Microeconomics for Policymaking, Policy Communications as well as a Data Analysis course in the program. As the program director, Carey also runs the first-year student seminar for the MPP program. Carey came to JHU after spending six years as an Associate Professor of Economics at Anne Arundel Community College. This is where she developed her strong interest in how students learn while participating in various activities to improve her own teaching and assisted her colleagues with infusing new and different teaching strategies into their own classrooms. Carey is currently a second year doctoral student at Hopkins School of Education where she continues to expand and improve her understanding of how student learning and, more specifically how to better evaluate the effectiveness of teaching strategies and techniques implemented. Her current research interests focus on the benefits of service-learning to students and faculty and on ways to better support faculty in their roles as teachers. Carey holds a doctoral degree in public policy as well as a master's in applied economics.

New Faculty

mcginty_head_shotEmma “Beth” McGinty, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Institute for Health and Social Policy. Her research focuses on how health and social policies affect mental health and substance use. Professor McGinty is particularly interested in studying issues at the intersection of healthcare and social policy. One of her primary research interests is integration of behavioral, somatic and social services for people with mental illness and addiction. She also studies policy issues at the juncture of behavioral health and criminal justice policy.  

Brendan_Saloner_13Brendan Saloner, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Institute for Health and Social Policy. One strand of his research concerns the impact of subsidized health insurance programs, including the Affordable Care Act, on access to care for vulnerable populations. Professor Saloner has a particular interest in coverage of treatment for mental health and substance use disorders, and on the long-term effects of access to treatment on health and social outcomes. Another component of his research concerns the effects of social and health policies on children and adolescents at risk for poverty. Professor Saloner has also studied the ethics of resource allocation and normative issues related to health insurance policy. He holds a doctorate in Health Policy from Harvard University and completed the Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholars Program at the University of Pennsylvania.  

The Program

  • The MPP program is a two-year multidisciplinary degree with a focus on developing students’ analytic and creative-thinking skills to design politically feasible, socially desirable, and economically sustainable solutions to policy challenges.
  • The MPP offers students the opportunity to observe the policy process at every level and interact with city, state, and federal decision makers.
  • The MPP program fosters an environment that allows faculty and staff to work with students in career advising, planning, recruitment, and placement to ensure that they are competent and competitive as they enter their chosen professions.
  • The curriculum includes core courses in public analysis, an internship, and elective courses, which may be selected from divisions across the University, including the schools of Arts and Sciences, Public Health, Education, Business, Advanced International Studies, and Engineering.

Students and Alumni

DSC_7730The Johns Hopkins MPP attracts applicants from all over the world who have a profound interest in a policy research environment and policy dissemination. In addition, students demonstrate interest or commitment to public policy as well as relevant work or community experiences. The MPP program nourishes that interest through academic advising and mentoring. Students seek to interact with actual policy networks throughout the School and the city to participate in real-time policy conversations. Baltimore offers them the ideal stage to investigate the city's policies from a local and estate perspective in the areas of education, urban development, and social policy, among others. Graduates of the program pursue careers in government, nonprofits, think tanks and consulting firms in the U.S. and abroad.


front_of_school_(2)The Johns Hopkins Institute for Health and Social Policy explores the interaction between health and other areas of social policy to expand the understanding of human health and well-being and to generate evidence and insights that inform and influence decision-making.

The Institute provides a dynamic environment that encourages dialogue, learning and innovation amongst academic experts from a wide range of disciplines, practitioners, and decision-makers interested in research and its applications to health and social policy.

The Institute houses an internationally acclaimed Master in Public Policy (MPP) program, reputed for training students with outstanding analytic skills and the creativity to find politically feasible, socially desirable, and economically sustainable solutions to policy challenges.

To achieve its goals, the Institute develops partnerships with multiple groups and organizations, from within its surrounding community and throughout the global scene, leveraging the stature and resources of the Bloomberg School of Public Health, one of the world’s top research institutions.

Future Goals

  • The Johns Hopkins MPP Program seeks to enrich the curriculum and programmatic efforts to focus on skills necessary for leadership in policy positions.
  • The Johns Hopkins MPP Program seeks to continue building relationships with the program’s alumni as well as the broad policy community in Baltimore and Maryland.

For more information about the Institute for Health and Social Policy, visit the website, or Follow on Facebook and Twitter.


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