Robert B. Hudson is Professor of Social Policy at Boston University. He has been a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) since 1994, and has chaired the Academy’s John A. Heinz Dissertation Award Committee since 1999.



“There are those who argue that the careful scholar must eschew passion, that she or he can have a social conscience before entering the academy, put it aside while in the academy, and presumably renew it when emerita or emeritus status beckons. Rob Hudson puts those arguments to shame. His contributions to the academic field of social welfare are made richer by his concern for people and his understanding that behind the numbers and the legislative language stand individuals and groups whose needs must be met so that their aspirations may be fulfilled. Put simply, we are all in his debt because he is not afraid to care,” said Rashi Fein, Professor of Economics of Medicine Emeritus in the Department of Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and founding member of NASI.


Hudson joined the faculty of the Heller School at Brandeis University in the early 1970s, turning his attention to domestic social policy, with a particular emphasis on aging issues. His early work focused on issues facing the nascent “aging services network” and on aging-related budgetary issues, captured in a series of late-1970s articles on “the graying of the federal budget.” Hudson’s social policy work since has focused on accounting for political developments associated with “the aging welfare state,” promoting the expansion of social insurance programming to include long-term care services, and exploring the relative merits of using advanced age as a proxy for need in social welfare decision-making.


His writings have appeared in Milbank Quarterly; Social Service Review; Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law; International Social Security Review, and Handbook of Aging and the Social Sciences, among other publications. His edited volume, The New Politics of Old Age Policy was published by Johns Hopkins in 2005. Hudson also serves as Editor of Public Policy & Aging Report, the quarterly publication of the National Academy on an Aging Society, the policy institute of the Gerontological Society of America.


Hudson received the Arthur S. Flemming Award from the National Association of State Units on Aging in 1995, and the Donald P. Kent Award from the Gerontological Society of America in 1996. During the Spring semester of 2006, Hudson will be a Visiting Professor at the University of Melbourne, studying work and retirement issues with Australian colleagues.


Hudson received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, specializing in comparative European politics and writing a dissertation analyzing social policy formation in the French National Assembly.



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