Alison Evans Cuellar, PhD, MBA

Alison Cuellar
Titles and Organizations

Associate Dean of Research, CPH
Professor, HAP

Contact Information

Phone: 703-993-5048
Building: Peterson Hall
Room 2911

Personal Websites

Study Recruitment


Dr. Cuellar, Professor of Health Administration and Policy, has extensive research experience in health care systems, payer innovations, Medicaid policy, mental health, and justice involved populations. A health policy researcher, her contributions include work on evaluating new organizational forms, such as hospital systems and physician alliances and their effects on quality, efficiency, costs, prices, and equity. She is currently engaged in research related to Medicaid perinatal care, equity, and payment. In other work she has examined the intersection of behavioral health and the justice system; Medicaid policies and their impact on justice-involved youth and youth with behavioral health problems; on mental health courts as an innovative alternative for justice-involved juveniles; and on health care services for incarcerated youth and adults returning to the community. Her work has been funded by NIMH, NICHD, AHRQ, NIJ, SAMHSA, and private foundations including National Institute for Health Care Management, Robert Wood Johnson, and MacArthur.

Dr. Cuellar was recently appointed to The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine's Improving the Health and Wellbeing of Children and Youth through Health Care System Transformation committee.  In addition, she serves as Chair of the Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF) to which she was appointed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CPSTF is an independent, nonfederal panel of public health and prevention experts that provides recommendations and findings on programs, services, and other interventions to protect and improve population health.

Dr. Cuellar is a Research Associate in the National Bureau of Economic Research, and is affiliated with the Mason Center for Micro-Economic Policy Research, a forum for policy-relevant research using micro-economic and micro-econometric methods hosted by GMU’s Schar School of Policy and Government.

Previously, Dr. Cuellar served on the NASEM Committee on Community-Based Solutions to Promote Health Equity in the United States which released its report in 2017. Previously, she was a member of a national collaborative Mental Health Policy network supported by the MacArthur Foundation. In 2005-2006, she spent the academic year as a visiting economist to the U.S. Department of Justice. Dr. Cuellar serves on the editorial board of Medical Care Research and Review and is co-editor of the Economic Grand Rounds column in the journal Psychiatric Services. 

Dr. Cuellar served as Interim Associate Dean for Research in the College of Health and Human Services in 2018/2019. Prior to joining George Mason University Dr. Cuellar was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University. Her work has been published in several journals, including Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Journal of Health Economics, American Journal of Public Health, Health Affairs, Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, American Journal of Psychiatry, Psychiatric Services, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, JAMA Network Open, and Journal of General Internal Medicine among others.


Research Interests

  • Payer Innovations
  • Medicaid Policy
  • Health care delivery systems
  • Physician and hospital integration
  • Mental health and substance use
  • Criminal justice systems


View Dr. Cuellar's ORCID for her publications.

Honors and Awards

  • Calderone Researcher Prize for Junior Faculty, 2005, Columbia University



  • PhD, Health Services and Policy Analysis, Economics Concentration, University of California, Berkeley
  • MBA, University of Texas at Austin
  • BA with Highest Honors, University of Texas at Austin