Nilüfer Isvan

Nilüfer Isvan

Senior Research Associate and Chief Methodologist

Nilüfer is a senior research associate and chief methodologist. Her work is driven by a passion for the prevention and early detection of behavioral health issues and the elimination of health disparities. She is particularly skilled at working with public agency staff to assess behavioral health service needs, design and direct program evaluation studies, and conduct research on the social determinants of health and well-being. Nilüfer is also highly skilled in research design, quantitative and qualitative data analysis, data management, and technical assistance to communities and grantee organizations on all stages of program evaluation. She has deep experience in working with initiatives that focus on substance use and HIV prevention and positive youth development. She is bilingual in English and Turkish and has a working knowledge of French.

Prior to joining HSRI, Nilüfer was a research consultant at Channing Bete Company, where her work addressed community risk and protective factors associated with positive youth development. Her team collected and analyzed community- and state-level data using the Communities That Care Youth Survey, and constructed a national normative database for that survey. Prior to that, Nilüfer was a sociology faculty member at SUNY Stony Brook, where she taught graduate and undergraduate courses on research methods, sociological theory, economic sociology, social inequality, family, and reproduction. Nilüfer has volunteered at Amnesty International and is a member of the Nature Conservancy, ASPCA, and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

When not at work, Nilüfer enjoys long walks, classical music, and collecting antiques dating from the Arts & Crafts period. She also tries to keep up with the sociological literature and publishes articles on gender, family, and the links between production and reproduction.


  • Doctorate in sociology from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
  • Master's degree in computer science and systems design from Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, Turkey
  • Bachelor's degree in computer science and statistics from the University of London, U.K.

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