Kelly D. Brownell

Dean of the Sanford School of Public Policy

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Rutgers University 1977

  • M.S., Rutgers University 1975

  • B.S., Purdue University 1973


Kelly Brownell is Dean of the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University, and is a professor of public policy. He also serves on the board of directors of the Duke Global Health Institute.

In 2006 Time magazine listed Brownell among “The World’s 100 Most Influential People” in its special Time 100 issue featuring those “.. whose power, talent or moral example is transforming the world.” Brownell was elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine in 2006 and has received numerous awards and honors for his work, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Psychological Association, Graduate Mentoring Award from Yale, the James McKeen Cattell Award from the New York Academy of Sciences, the Distinguished Alumni Award from Purdue University, the Lifetime Achievement Award from RutgersUniversity, and the Distinguished Scientific Award for the Applications ofPsychology from the American Psychological Association.

Prior to joining the facultyat Duke, Brownell was at Yale University where he was the James Rowland AngellProfessor of Psychology, professor of epidemiology and public health, and director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. While at Yale heserved as chair of the department of psychology and as master of SillimanCollege.

Brownell has published 15 books and more than 350 scientific articles and chapters. He has served as president of several national organizations, including the Society of Behavioral Medicine, Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy and the Division of Health Psychology of the American Psychological Association.

Brownell has advised the White House, members of congress, governors, world health and nutritionorganizations, and media leaders on issues of nutrition, obesity and public policy. He was cited as a “moral entrepreneur” with special influence on public discourse in a history of the obesity field and was cited by Time magazine as a leading “warrior” in the area ofnutrition and public policy.

Roberto, CA, and Brownell, KD. "Strategic science for eating disorders research and policy impact." International Journal of Eating Disorders (February 2017). Full Text

Brownell, KD, and Wadden, TA. "The Heterogeneity of Obesity: Fitting Treatments To Individuals – Republished Article." Behavior Therapy 47.6 (November 2016): 950-965. Full Text

Gearhardt, AN, Corbin, WR, and Brownell, KD. "Development of the Yale Food Addiction Scale Version 2.0." Psychology of Addictive Behaviors 30.1 (2016): 113-121. Full Text

Roberto, CA, Swinburn, B, Hawkes, C, Huang, TT-K, Costa, SA, Ashe, M, Zwicker, L, Cawley, JH, and Brownell, KD. "Patchy progress on obesity prevention: emerging examples, entrenched barriers, and new thinking." Lancet (London, England) 385.9985 (June 2015): 2400-2409. Full Text

Brownell, KD, and Roberto, CA. "Strategic science with policy impact." Lancet (London, England) 385.9986 (June 2015): 2445-2446. Full Text

Pearl, RL, Dovidio, JF, Puhl, RM, and Brownell, KD. "Exposure to Weight-Stigmatizing Media: Effects on Exercise Intentions, Motivation, and Behavior." Journal of health communication 20.9 (January 2015): 1004-1013. Full Text

Yokum, S, Gearhardt, AN, Harris, JL, Brownell, KD, and Stice, E. "Individual differences in striatum activity to food commercials predict weight gain in adolescents." Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.) 22.12 (December 2014): 2544-2551. Full Text

Pomeranz, JL, and Brownell, KD. "Can government regulate portion sizes?." The New England journal of medicine 371.21 (November 2014): 1956-1958. Full Text

Allison, KC, Berkowitz, RI, Brownell, KD, Foster, GD, and Wadden, TA. "Albert J. ("Mickey") Stunkard, M.D." Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.) 22.9 (September 2014): 1937-1938. Full Text

Gearhardt, AN, Yokum, S, Stice, E, Harris, JL, and Brownell, KD. "Relation of obesity to neural activation in response to food commercials." Social cognitive and affective neuroscience 9.7 (July 2014): 932-938. Full Text


Brownell, KD. "The power of industry (money) in influencing science." Ethical Challenges in the Behavioral and Brain Sciences. January 1, 2015. 197-199. Full Text

Thomas, JJ, and Brownell, KD. "Obesity." Cambridge Handbook of Psychology, Health and Medicine, Second Edition. January 1, 2014. 797-800. Full Text

Food and Addiction: A Comprehensive Handbook. Ed. KD Brownell and MS Gold. Oxford University Press, August 30, 2012. (Edited Book)

Launching a World Food Policy Center awarded by Duke Endowment (Principal Investigator). 2017 to 2022

To fund a planning grant for a world food policy center awarded by Duke Endowment (Principal Investigator). 2015 to 2017