PI-GRO Welcomes Roberta Downing, PhD

Downing will direct federal policy initiatives related to socioeconomic status, poverty and aging


Downing is a social psychologist with a background in public policy, research and direct service with low-income communities. Prior to joining APA, Downing was a senior legislative associate at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a leading national think tank that focuses on fiscal policy and public low-income programs. Her portfolio at CBPP included domestic policy issues related to federal food assistance and income security programs. She has also served as adjunct faculty in the Professional Psychology Program at The George Washington University (GWU), teaching an LGBT health policy class for the inaugural LGBT Graduate Certificate Program at GWU.

Before joining CBPP, Downing handled health care, social security and older Americans policy for Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio. Prior to working for Sen. Brown, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health as part of the W. K. Kellogg Community Health Scholars Program. Downing's research focused on economic justice, community-based participatory research, and gender, race and class-based health disparities.

Downing was an APA Congressional Fellow in the health policy office of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, working for Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. She completed her PhD in social psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Prior to earning her doctorate, Downing spent four years working in the AIDS community in Los Angeles.