About NIA


Acting Director, BSR
Division of Behavioral and Social Research (DBSR)


John Haaga has served since October 2004 as Deputy Director for Behavioral and Social Research in the National Institute on Aging. He helps lead NIA’s extramural program funding research in economics, demography, epidemiology, cognitive science and social neurosciences, behavioral genetics, and health services research related to aging. This program includes major data collection and dissemination in the United States and cross-national comparative research on global health and aging. Dr. Haaga serves as coordinator for the trans-NIH Common Fund Program in Health Economics and as NIA representative for the program in Climate Change and Health. He teaches a graduate course in demography and development at the University of Maryland, School of Public Policy, and has previously taught at Georgetown University and the Defense Intelligence College. He has served as President of the Association of Population Centers and Secretary-Treasurer and elected member of the Board of Directors (2012-2014) for the Population Association of America.

Before joining NIA, he was Director of Domestic Programs, of the NIH-funded Center for Public Information on Population Research, and of USAID-funded projects, at the Population Reference Bureau, a nonprofit research and education organization. From 1994 to 1997 he was staff director for the Committee on Population of the National Academy of Sciences. From 1991 to 1994 he directed extension research in family planning and maternal and child health at the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh. During the 1980s, Dr. Haaga was a Policy Analyst in RAND and a Research Associate for the Cornell University International Nutrition program. He has lived and worked in Bangladesh, Malaysia and Kenya, and worked for shorter periods in Indonesia, India, and several African countries.

His PhD in Public Policy was awarded by the RAND Graduate School, and he has a BA (first-class honors) in Modern History from Oxford University and an MA in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University.


  • Demography of aging
  • Biodemography
  • Social networks, neighborhoods, built environments