Don Operario Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences

Don Operario is Professor of Public Health in the Department of Behavior and Social Sciences and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the School of Public Health.

He was trained as a Social and Health Psychologist (BA, UCLA; MS, PhD, UMass Amherst; Postdoctoral Fellow, UC San Francisco). He was previously on the faculty of the University of Oxford (Department of Social Policy and Social Work) and before that was at the University of California San Francisco (Center for AIDS Prevention Studies - Department of Medicine). 

His research addresses two inter-related areas. The first general area concerns the social psychological determinants of HIV, sexual health, and related health issues (substance use, mental health) in diverse communities, with an emphasis on developing and evaluating theory-based social and behavioral interventions for members of high-risk groups. A second research area concerns the lived experiences associated with social inequality, with an emphasis on understanding the perspectives of disadvantaged group members and addressing associated health and psychosocial disparities. He conducts research addressing both U.S. domestic and international public health issues.

Brown Affiliations

Research Areas

scholarly work

See CV

research overview

I am a social and health psychologist committed to research that addresses health inequities in the United States and in international settings. My current research involves developing and testing psychosocial and community-based health interventions for reducing HIV transmission, as well as other mixed methods research aiming to understand the determinants of psychological and behavioral health in racial/ethnic minority populations and sexual and gender minority populations. 

research statement

My research bridges psychological and social sciences with public health, with a specific focus on the social determinants and social sequelae of HIV/AIDS. I work with vulnerable populations for health disparities - including ethnic minorities, sexual minorities, and other disadvantaged groups in the United States and in developing world settings. I am fundamentally interested in conducting work that has public health and policy relevance, aimed especially toward improving outcomes in historically disadvantaged communities. My current work is based in urban centers in the United States as well as international settings including China, South Africa, Kenya, Mexico, and Peru.

I am affiliated with the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies (CAAS), Alcohol Research Center on HIV/AIDS (ARCH), and Center for AIDS Research (CFAR).

funded research

Research sponsored by:

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

National Institute of Mental Health

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development