Staff Profile

Jovan Julien (preferred pronoun: li~they) joined the MGH Institute for Technology Assessment in 2017 as an affiliated student concurrent to the commencement of their research studies at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. Julien is currently a postdoctoral research fellow working with Jag Chhatwal. They are a Haitian-American earning their PhD in Operations Research at the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology in the summer of 2022. GA Tech is also where they received a MS in Health Systems Engineering. They received their ScB in Biomedical Engineering from Brown University. Dr. Julien is also an alumni of the Health Policy Research Scholars leadership program, which supported their PhD studies through funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Before joining the ITA, Dr. Julien worked as an Organizing Programs Director at Project South: Institute for the Elimination of Poverty and Genocide and facilitator and storytelling and alignment coordinator at Youth for Environmental Sanity. They built relationships with other organizers and communities across the world working to develop democratic decision making practices.

Jovan’s research aims to elucidate how individuals and communities can take strategic choices in ways that simultaneously expand wellness for all and the future decision space available to the collective. As a decision scientist focused on policy, they work to create solutions that center democratic decision making through consensus, abolition, and child-centered outcome analysis. Currently, their research focusses on (1) applying mathematical modeling and decision science to alcohol-related diseases to elucidate strategic decisions available to individuals to control their risk of disease. (2) Their research aims also include finding hidden opportunities for policies that leverage consensual decision making processes and education to support disease reduction. While the health policy implications of these models are important at the societal level, Jovan is most interested in leveraging the findings for marooned solutions, solutions that are generalizable across time and space as methods for marginalized and oppressed communities to build power and self-sufficiency, that can be leveraged for liberatory change.

Jovan’s research integrates, synthesizes, and facilitates learning about evidence-based models that are accessible, relevant, and available to community actors to transfer power away from state actors towards local communities. They believe designing tools that support democratic decision and policymaking, at its most basic level, is about supporting the actualization of democratic practice that is truly accountable to and in direct control of those who have been traditionally sidelined in US American society.

In this as with all things, they are student of Black Caribbean radical traditions including maroonage and vodoun. They are a storyteller committed to collecting story-past and making story-future using tools including mathematics, photography, organizing, and more.

In 2018, the Society for Medical Decision Making acknowledged Jovan work on alcohol-related liver cirrhosis with the Lee B. Lusted Student Award for Health Services, Outcomes, and Policy Research. They have also had the opportunity to present their work at the INFORMS annual meeting.

Jovan is currently working with Dr. Jagpreet Chhatwal on various efforts including expanding their Alcohol model to incorporate alcohol-use disorders explicitly and to harness the regenerative abilities of the liver to propose novel harm reduction strategies for drinkers.

Jovan is passionate about supporting the call of his Haitian ancestors to listen to “vwa la libète kap chante lan kè nou (the voice of liberation that sings in each of our hearts. - Boukman's Prayer)” Towards that end, they lend their talents as a member of the Organization for Human Rights and Democracy to model alternative institutions and community driven policy and practice. There they serve as a co-founder and organizer of the Metro Atlanta Mutual-Aid Fund, a collective community driven effort that raised over $750,000 to distribute to community members impacted by COVID-19, and the Free Atlanta Abolition Movement, where guided by the lived experiences of formerly-incarcerated folx, they work to extricate people from dehumanizing cages and to resource a network of healing, legal and mutual aid that supports the building of alternative futures.

Selected Publications

Julien, Jovan; Ayer, Turgay; Tapper, Elliot B.; Barbosa, Carolina; Dowd, William; Chhatwal, Jagpreet

Effect of Increased Alcohol Consumption During COVID-19 Pandemic on Alcohol-related Liver Disease: A Modeling Study. Journal Article

In: Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.), vol. 75, iss. 6, pp. 1480-1490, 2022, ISSN: 1527-3350.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

Julien, Jovan; Ayer, Turgay; Bethea, Emily; Tapper, Elliot B.; Chhatwal, Jagpreet

Projected prevalence and mortality associated with alcohol-related liver disease in the USA, 2019-40: a modelling study. Journal Article

In: The Lancet. Public health, vol. 5, pp. e316–e323, 2020, ISSN: 2468-2667, ().

Abstract | Links | BibTeX