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Ashlesha Datar

Senior Economist
Director, Program on Children & Families

Contact Information

Office: VPD 314K
Phone: (213) 821-2787
E-mail: adatar@usc.edu

Biographical Sketch

Ashlesha Datar joined CESR as a senior economist, and is also an adjunct economist at the RAND Corporation and professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Her research focuses on the role of school, neighborhood, and other contextual factors in determining children's health and educational outcomes, with a special focus on childhood obesity. In her current research, Datar is studying the factors explaining the emergence of socioeconomic disparities in childhood obesity. She is also leading a large NIH-funded study to examine how food and physical activity environments influence diet, activity behaviors, and obesity among military children. She is the recipient of several grants from federal agencies and private foundations, including the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.


  • Ph.D. Policy Analysis, RAND Graduate School of Policy Studies, 2003
  • M.A. Economics, Indiana University-Purdue University of Indianapolis, 1999
  • M.A. Economics, Delhi School of Economics, 1997
  • B.A. Economics, Shri Ram College of Commerce, 1995

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