Naomi Zewde


As a fellow at Roosevelt Forward, Naomi Zewde conducts research on public policies that can reduce inequalities in health-care access.

Naomi Zewde is a fellow at Roosevelt Forward, and an assistant professor at the City University of New York. Zewde conducts research on how health and social policies in the United States affect households’ economic security and economic inequalities. Her work has evaluated the reductions to home evictions and poverty that result from expanded public health-care coverage; critically evaluated the ability of high-deductible insurance to protect low- and middle- income households; and simulated the effects of a universal trust fund program (“baby bonds”) for racial wealth inequality among young adults. Zewde’s recent and current work examines the ability of a state-level public option to offer meaningfully improved coverage without destabilizing competing private markets; the individual welfare effects of tax-financed coverage across the income distribution; and the ability of New York City jails to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Her work has been published by academic outlets in health policy, public health, and health economics, and covered in the popular press.

Prior to joining Roosevelt, Zewde was a postdoctoral research scientist at the Columbia School of Social Work at Columbia University and is formerly a junior fellow at the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. She holds a PhD in health policy from Penn State University and an MPH and BA from Emory.