Paul D. Cleary PhD

Anna M. R. Lauder Professor of Public Health (Health Policy) and Professor of Faculty of Arts and Sciences and of Sociology; Dean, Yale School of Public Health; Director, Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS (CIRA)

Biographical Info

Paul D. Cleary, Ph.D. is the Dean of the Yale School of Public Health and the Anna M.R. Lauder Professor of Public Health at the Yale University School of Medicine.

Dr. Cleary received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin. His earliest work focused on studies of health behavior. He conducted theoretical and empirical research on smoking as well as patients’ perceptions and responses to physical symptoms and factors affecting use of medical care. He also studied the recognition and management of conditions such as mental illness, alcohol abuse and functional impairment in primary care settings.

For more than 20 years, Dr. Cleary has been actively involved in research focused on persons infected with HIV. Since early in his career, he has investigated the ways in which infection affects people’s lives and the factors affecting the quality of medical care for infected persons. He led a key component of the HIV Costs and Services Utilization Study (HSCUS), in which his team investigated the physician and clinic characteristics that predict the quality of care that patients receive. He also conducted a major national evaluation of a quality improvement program in HIV clinics funded by the Ryan White Care Act.

He has studied how organizational characteristics affect the costs and quality of care for persons with AIDS; evaluated a national continuous quality improvement initiative in clinics providing care to HIV infected individuals; and studied the long-term impact of patient-centered hospital care. He is Principal Investigator of one of the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) projects funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to develop information gathering surveys for consumers regarding their health plans and services. He also is Principal Investigator and Director of the Yale Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS (CIRA). He has published more than 300 journal articles describing his research.

Dr. Cleary has been a member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) since 1994 and served as Chair of two IOM Committees: the Committee on the Ryan White CARE Act: Data for Resource Allocation, Planning and Evaluation in 2002-2003, and the Committee on HIV Screening and Access to Care from 2010 to 2011. He has also been a member of the Connecticut Academy for Science and Engineering since 2007. In 1996, he was selected as a distinguished fellow of the Association for Health Services Research, and in 2002, received the Distinguished Investigator Award from the Academy for Health Services Research and Health Policy. In 2010, Dr. Cleary was awarded the Picker Award for Excellence in the Advancement of Patient-Centered Care by the Picker Institute.

Dr. Cleary is chair of the National Advisory Committee for The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research Program. He has served as editor of The Milbank Quarterly, associate editor of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, consulting editor of the Journal of Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry, and an editorial board member of The Handbook of Social Studies in Health and Medicine and the Advanced Handbook of Methods in Evidence Based Health Care.

International Activity

  • Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS (CIRA)
    Ghana; China; Russia; Uganda; South Africa; Malaysia; Estonia; India; Liberia; Peru(1997)
    The Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS (CIRA) was established in 1997 and is currently New England's only National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) funded AIDS research center. CIRA brings together scientists from 25 different disciplines and three institutions including Yale University, The Institute for Community Research and the Center for Health, Intervention, and Prevention. At Yale, faculty from five different schools participate in CIRA, including the Yale School of Public Health, Yale School of Medicine, Yale Law School, Yale Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, and Yale School of Nursing. CIRA supports innovative, interdisciplinary research focused on the implementation of HIV prevention and treatment and the elimination of HIV disparities. CIRA facilitates HIV prevention research by providing individual and core consultations, as well as a variety of other services and activities to assist in the development of new research collaborations, the conduct of research, and the dissemination of research findings. At present, over 200 individuals and over 55 research and training projects are affiliated with the Center. Countries involved include the United States, Brazil, China, Estonia, Ghana, India, Liberia, Malaysia, Peru, Romania, Russia (Russian Federation), South Africa, Uganda, and Ukraine. URL:

Education & Training

University of Wisconsin (1973)
University of Wisconsin (1980)

Honors & Recognition

  • Elected Member, Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences
  • 2010 Picker Award for Excellence in the Advancement of Patient-Centered Care
    Picker Institute 
  • Distinguished Fellow, Association for Health Services Research
  • 2002 Distinguished Investigator Award, Academy for Health Services Research and Health Policy
  • 1997 A. Clifford Barger Award for Excellence in Mentoring, Harvard Medical School
  • Elected Member, Connecticut Academy for Science and Engineering
  • Fellow
    Trubbull College (2013)

Professional Service

  • Advisory Board Member, Peking University International Hospital (01/01/2014)
  • Board of Directors, The Whitney Center (01/01/2013)
  • Board of Directors, The Milbank Memorial Fund (01/01/2013)
  • Board of Directors, DataHaven (01/01/2006)
  • Chair, Chair National Advisory Committee, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research Program
  • Board of Directors, Honorable Tina L. Brozman Foundation

Edit Profile