I am an American economist specialized in comparative social systems and societal change. I have been working on health systems analysis for more than 15 years in almost every corner of our planet; and, before that, I worked with policymakers in Russia, Central Europe and the Balkans as they steered their societies through various phases of transition away from central planning and single-party rule. I have had the privilege of working in the World Bank, the Center for Global Development, the Gates Foundation as well as the Brookings Institution. I am the author, co-author or co-editor of various books and articles on health care systems, health policy, and development assistance. I am particularly interested in Russia, having studied and lived and worked there starting way back in 1982 when it went by a different name. I write on this blog about a broad set of political, social & cultural topics.