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Shannon Brownlee is the former acting director of the Health Policy Program. A noted essayist, writer and speaker, she has been published in such outlets as The New York Times Sunday Magazine, Time, The Atlantic, and The Washington Post, and is the winner of numerous writing awards. She's the author of Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine is Making Us Sicker and Poorer, which was published in 2007 and named the best economics book of the year by New York Times economics correspondent David Leonhardt.
She currently serves as the senior vice president of the Lown Institute, in Boston. In 2011, while at New America, Brownlee co-convened the Avoiding Avoidable Care conference with Dr. Vikas Saini, president of the Lown Institute. It was the first major medical meeting devoted entirely to addressing concerns around the overuse of treatments, tests and drugs. In her new position at the Lown Institute, Brownlee and Dr. Saini will be co-leading the Right Care Alliance, an effort to address the cultural issues at the core of the overuse problem.
Brownlee holds a master’s degree in marine science from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and was named one of the 45 most influential graduates of the university in 2010, the 45th anniversary of the campus’s founding. She received the UCSC Alumni Achievement Award in 2012, and in 2009 was named one of four writers who changed the world by the World Federation of Science Journalists. She is a former Knight Journalism fellow at Stanford University.