Heather Lanthorn


Social Science Research Council

Heather Lanthorn is a social scientist, grounded in cross-disciplinary behavioral theories and driven to make the world a little better by translating intentions into actions. She works as Co-Director of the Mercury Project, a consortium of social and behavioral scientists and practitioners housed at the Social Science Research Council, committed to identifying cost-effective and scalable interventions to build vaccination demand. As an idealistic pragmatist and mild curmudgeon, she works in professional and volunteer capacities to improve health systems around the world to promote wellbeing and human flourishing, with specific focus on Ghana, India, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, and the US. She thinks a lot about the nitty gritty details it takes for programming and policy change to happen, digging into the theory of change and the context.

Heather investigates the process issues that can prevent policy from being well-implemented—or implemented at all. She has worked with IDinsight, the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation, and Innovations for Poverty Action. She has a Doctorate of Science (ScD) in Global Health and Population from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health with a focus on health systems. She received her Masters of Public Health (MPH) in Health Behavior and Health Education from the University of Michigan School of Public Health. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Wake Forest University with a focus on medical anthropology and minors in neuroscience and health policy.