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Leadership & Staff

Alison Buist

Alison Buist
Director of Child Health


Alison Buist, Ph.D., is Director of Health at the Children's Defense Fund, leading its efforts to give every child in America a Healthy Start in life, including CDF's Health Coverage for All Children Campaign aimed at providing health coverage to the more than 8 million uninsured children in America. Dr. Buist is responsible for developing and implementing CDF's child health policy recommendations and serves as lead advocate for enhancing child health policy to elected officials and policymakers.

Prior to coming to CDF, Dr. Buist served as the legislative aide to U.S. Senator Gordon Smith for domestic and international health and social policy, worked on child health issues for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, and taught health policy at the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Dr. Buist has conducted research in areas such as health coverage for childhood asthma, and immunization rates within different health service delivery systems. She has also worked with health planners in Oregon, Canada and Great Britain on priority setting and resource allocation within their health care systems.

Dr. Buist received a Ph.D. in health policy from the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, her M.A. in international relations from Yale University and a B.A. in government from Pomona College.