Would you like to share your expertise at the highest levels of government? Has a program officer urged you to consider a rotation in a federal agency?

Numerous federal agencies offer opportunities for faculty to take a temporary leave from their university and serve in the federal government, including the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the US Department of State, and the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H). Known as “rotators,” these academics take on short-term positions through intergovernmental personnel agreements; visiting scientist, engineer, and educator programs; and other fellowships. Serving as a rotator offers a deep, insider understanding of federal operations, collaborative relationships with government officials, and the chance to apply lessons learned back to your own research.

Join BU Federal Relations for a discussion with BU professors who have taken on temporary positions in federal agencies, ranging from the White House to the US Department of Health and Human Services. Learn about their motivations and experiences, what they learned about BU’s approval process for faculty considering this type of position, how their rotations influenced their research agendas, and more.

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About the Panelists

Nahid Bhadelia is the founding director of the BU Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases Policy & Research, a board-certified infectious diseases physician, and an associate professor at the BU Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine. She served as the Senior Policy Advisor for Global COVID-19 Response for the White House COVID-19 Response Team in 2022-2023. Dr. Bhadelia’s research focuses on global health security and pandemic preparedness, including medical countermeasure evaluation and clinical care for emerging infections, diagnostics evaluation and positioning, infection control policy development, and healthcare worker training. She has health system response experience with pathogens such as H1N1, Zika, Lassa fever, Marburg virus disease, and COVID-19 at the state, national, and global levels. Dr. Bhadelia has served on state, national, and interagency groups focused on biodefense priority setting, development of clinical care guidelines, and medical countermeasures research. She has served as a subject matter expert to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Defense (DoD), White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and World Bank.

Joshua Goodman is an associate professor of education and of economics at Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development, where he works on the economics of education policy. Professor Goodman spent the 2022–23 academic year on leave from BU to serve as a senior economist on the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers. Before he joined BU, he was a faculty member at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and at Brandeis University. Previously, Professor Goodman was a public high school math teacher in Watertown, Massachusetts, before starting his PhD. His research applies causal inference methods to large quantitative data sets, to provide rigorous evidence on the impacts of education policies. His work focuses on a variety of education policy issues, including: the determinants and consequences of college choice; the effects of secondary math coursework; the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on public schools; and the role of stressors in student learning. Much of his policy-related work is done as a faculty affiliate of the Wheelock Educational Policy Center (WEPC).

Sarah Gordon, assistant professor in the Department of Health Law, Policy, and Management at the BU School of Public Health, served as a senior advisor on health policy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at the US Department of Health and Human Services in the Biden Administration. She is a health services researcher with expertise in health insurance, access to care, and Medicaid policy, and co-directs the BU Medicaid Policy Lab. She applies econometric and causal inference-based methods to assess the impacts of state-level health care policies on low-income populations. She has experience merging and analyzing multiple state all payer claims databases and national Medicaid claims to conduct cross-state policy comparisons. Her recent work has focused on the intersections of Medicaid policy and maternal health. She received her doctorate in Health Services Research from the Brown University School of Public Health and an MS in Social and Behavioral Sciences from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health.

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