Advisory Board


Orfeu Buxton, Penn State

Dr. Orfeu Buxton’s research primarily focuses on 1) the causes of chronic sleep deficiency in the workplace, home, and society, and 2) the health consequences of chronic sleep deficiency, especially cardiometabolic outcomes, and the physiologic and social mechanisms by which these outcomes arise. Successful aging is a central focus of this work. Ongoing interdisciplinary human studies involve sleep loss, aging, and insomnia, as well as health disparities.  Dr. Buxton serves on the Internal Advisory Board for the Harvard School of Public Health Center for Work, Health, and Well-being. Dr. Buxton is a member of the Work, Family, and Health Network, co-chairs the Steering Committee, and leads the Biomarker and Actigraphy Data Coordinating Center (BADCC) for the Work, Family, and Health Study, among others.  Dr. Buxton co-founded the National Postdoctoral Association, a member-driven organization that provides a unique, national voice for postdoctoral scholars.


John Cromartie, USDA ERS

Dr. John Cromartie is a geographer in the Rural Economy Branch, Resource and Rural Economics Division. John joined ERS in 1990. His research focuses on rural population change, rural migration, and rural-urban classifications. He was the first to report and explain this decade’s historic shift to rural population decline. His research was featured in Secretary Perdue’s 2017 Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity. He co-authored several reports based on a collaborative, field-based study of return migration to rural communities. Findings show that return migrants play a critical role in rural areas in slowing population loss, generating jobs, and increasing human capital. As an expert on rural definitions, John has developed new rural-urban classification schemes, most recently the ERS Frontier and Remote Area Codes. He has briefed policymakers on definitions used to determine eligibility for rural development programs at USDA, HHS, and other agencies. He serves as a consultant to the Office of Management and Budget on metropolitan area definitions and the American Community Survey. From 2005-14, John was a visiting lecturer in the Department of Geography, George Washington University, where he taught a class on Population Geography.


Irma Elo, University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Irma Elo has a PhD in Demography and Public Affairs from Princeton University. She is the Chair of the Sociology Department and a Research Associate at the Population Studies Center and the Population Aging Research Center. She has served as a member and/or a chair of several national and international committees, including chair of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), member of the Census Bureau’s Scientific Advisory Committee (CSAC), member and chair of the section on the sociology of population for the American Sociological Association, member of the PAA’s board of directors, chair of the PAA’s Committee on Population Statistics, and a member of an International Advisory Board of the Swedish Initiative for Research on Microdata in the Social and Medical Sciences. Her main research interests center on socioeconomic and racial/ethnic disparities in health, cognition, and mortality across the life course and demographic estimation of mortality. In recent years, she has extended this focus to include health and mortality among racial/ethnic immigrant subgroups. She is currently the PI of NIA-funded study, Causes of Geographic Divergence in American Mortality Between 1990 and 2015: Health Behaviors, Health Care Access and Migration.


Kenneth M. Johnson, University of New Hampshire

Dr. Kenneth M. Johnson is senior demographer at the Carsey School of Public Policy and the Class of 1940 professor of sociology at the University of New Hampshire. He is a nationally recognized expert on U.S. demographic trends. His research examines national and regional population redistribution, rural and urban demographic change, the growing racial diversity of the U.S. population, the relationship between demographic and environmental change and the implications of demographic change for public policy.  Dr. Johnson has published a book and more than 250 articles, reports and papers. His peer-reviewed publications have appeared in leading academic journals. He is also sought after for his expertise and ability to explain demographic information to a broad audience both by policy groups and by reporters for national media. He has received over 5,000 media mentions since 2010. His research has been funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Forest Service, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. He received his doctorate in sociology and demography from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and his undergraduate training at the University of Michigan.


Daniel T. Lichter, Cornell University

Dr. Daniel T. Lichter is the Ferris Family Professor of Life Course Studies, Professor of Policy Analysis and Management, and Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology at Cornell University.  For over 4 decades, Professor Lichter has centered much of his work on the changing social and economic conditions of rural America.  His most recent work has focused on rural depopulation over the past century, and on fertility and reproductive health in small-town America.  Dr. Lichter has published widely on topics in population and public policy, including studies of concentrated poverty and inequality, intermarriage, cohabitation and marriage among disadvantaged women, and immigrant incorporation.  His recent work, for example, has focused on changing ethno-racial boundaries, as measured by changing patterns of interracial marriage and residential segregation in the United States.  Lichter is especially interested in America’s racial and ethnic transformation, growing diversity, and the implications for the future.  His other work centers on new destinations of recent immigrants, especially Hispanics moving to less densely-settled rural areas.  He has provided new national estimates of racial residential segregation in Hispanic “boom towns” in the Midwest and South, focusing on the spatial assimilation and economic incorporation of the new immigrants into local communities.  As a measure of acculturation, he also has documented high rates of fertility and poverty among Hispanic immigrants and natives in new immigrant destinations.


Benjamin Shaw, University at Albany

Dr. Benjamin Shaw is the Associate Dean for Research at the School of Public Health and a professor of Health Policy, Management and Behavior who examines population health in aging societies. His primary focus is on social (e.g., socioeconomic status; social networks; living arrangements) and behavioral (e.g., physical activity; substance use) determinants of health among older adults in the US. He also has ongoing collaborations in Sweden and Japan to study population health among the aging populations in these countries.  Dr. Shaw’s other areas of expertise include the long-term effects of early life adversary, as well as quality of life in old age.