The RWJF Health & Society Scholars program ended February 2017. The site will no longer be updated. More »

Elizabeth Rigby, Ph.D., M.A.

RWJF Health & Society Scholar:

Political Science, Public Policy

Area(s) of Expertise:
Health Policy and Politics, Politics of Inequality, State Politics, Social and Education Policy


Personal Website:


Elizabeth Rigby is an Assistant Professor in the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at the George Washington University. Her research examines the interplay of politics, policy, and social inequality in the contemporary United States. In current research, Rigby examines the politics of redistribution, representation of the poor across state legislatures, public opinion regarding health disparities and other inequalities, and the effect of electoral institutions on class bias in political participation. In addition, she is undertaking a new project examining the political dynamics surrounding adoption and implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Her research has been published in both political science and inter-disciplinary journals including: Political Research Quarterly, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Health Affairs, Publius, and Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law. Selected papers authored by Rigby are available in the Policy Studies Commons: Rigby holds a Ph.D. (with distinction) in Politics and Education from Columbia University. In addition, she received post-doctoral training in population health at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholar from 2005-2007. Complimenting this academic training, Rigby has worked at the intersection of politics, policy, and inequality in a range of roles. These include: coordinating a state-wide lobbying campaign, consulting with state policymakers on design of early childhood health and education systems, teaching in a large urban school district, and conducting evaluation research in Head Start programs. Together these experiences convinced her of the importance of structural and institutional influences on both individual outcomes and the inequalities we see among population sub-groups. This conviction motivates her work illuminating the causes and consequences of public policy in our society.

Journal Articles:
Click here for a list of Elizabeth Rigby's available publications in PubMed.