Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy


The Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy at the Muskie School of Public Service is dedicated to developing innovative, evidence-informed, and practical approaches to pressing health and social challenges faced by individuals, families, and communities.

To serve this purpose, we engage expert staff in areas of:

Children, Youth, and Families
The Cutler Institute’s Children, Youth, and Families Program advances the well-being of children and families by improving the public and private systems that serve them. We work to include the voices of children, youth and families, and to engage community. Our approach empowers and strengthens the clients we serve. We have earned a national reputation for excellence in research, policy development, program evaluation, training, and technical assistance.

Disability and Aging
The Cutler Institute’s Disability and Aging program is a team of multi-disciplinary professionals with extensive experience working in close collaboration with states to provide technical assistance, conduct evaluations, identify best practices, and perform policy analysis work.

Justice Policy
Working across disciplines and perspectives, the Justice Policy program's applied research informs policy development and practice in civil and criminal justice systems.

Population Health and Health Policy
The Population Health and Health Policy (PHHP) program at the Cutler Institute conducts policy-driven research, evaluation, policy analysis and technical assistance focusing on the public health system and the delivery of healthcare services.

Partnering with clients throughout the nation, from state and federal agencies to the private sector, more than 200 research staff provide policymakers and practitioners with new knowledge, skills, and solutions to support healthier, stronger communities through:

  • Research and policy analysis
  • Training and technical assistance
  • Program development and implementation

Learn more about our services

What Makes the Cutler Institute Unique?

Capacity for Change
Solutions to complex issues are rarely one-dimensional. Work in the Cutler Institute occurs within a collaborative context, with a mission to improve health and human services bridging the institute’s primary research areas: children, youth and families; disability and aging; justice policy; and population health and health policy. With such wide-ranging capacity, the institute has the unique ability to pull from expert staff and resources across disciplines to provide global, multidisciplinary approaches to complex issues.

More than 60 percent of our expert staff hold advanced degrees in areas of policy, social work, law, education, business administration, and public health, and bring to the institute decades of experience in the field. They care deeply about the issues that face our communities and are committed to finding solutions.

Real-world Solutions
The Cutler Institute is distinguished by its practical approach and prides itself on its ability to bridge the theoretical and the applied, helping to translate best practices into every day practice for government and community agencies.

Staff at the Cutler Institute are interested in more than just a deliverable; they are committed to their clients, working closely with each- no matter the scope- to examine the root of an issue and provide sustainable solutions. They perform data collection and analysis that informs decisions; implement training that empowers the workforce; evaluate programs to ensure training is achieving the desired outcome; and educate lawmakers and community leaders to impact policy and improve our communities. This scope of services, and attention to both client and community solutions, is unique to the Cutler Institute as compared to research institutes throughout the state and region.

Learning Laboratory
As part of its mission to public service, the Cutler Institute proudly plays a role in educating and preparing future leaders of government agencies and community organizations. In addition to quality classroom learning, today’s graduate students require hands-on training from experts in the field. Staff at the Cutler Institute have the unique opportunity to work closely with graduate research assistants to engage them in cutting edge research and analysis- and to prepare them with experience applying knowledge to real-world issues.

Learn more about Catherine E. Cutler