Nuannuan Xiang

Nuannuan Xiang is an Assistant Professor in the Health Policy & Management Department at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. She is a political scientist whose research lies at the intersection of public health, the welfare state, and state-building. Her current book-length project examines the differential treatment of mothers and infants in public health interventions in the United States and Japan. In related lines of research, she (1) traces and explains racial and geographical inequality in maternal mortality in the United States from more than 100 years ago to now (2) examines how medical protocols and the ambiguities involved in the implementation process shape inequality in hemorrhage-related maternal morbidity by race and class in the United States, and (3) the biopolitics of maternal health in Japan. She is also a quantitative methodologist interested in using innovative methods to detect and understand systemic racial disparities in maternal and infant health with large datasets of medical records linked to socioeconomic data. Her other research agendas include the politics of the U.S. community health centers and the relationship between women's suffrage, public health, and state-building. She completed her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Michigan and a postdoctoral fellowship at Brown University.

Research Interests

Community Development
Family Policy
Health Inequities
Income Based Interventions
Place-based Interventions
Policy (policies)
Social Determinants
Social Policy
Social Stratification
Social Support
State Child Health Programs


American Community Survey (ACS)
Administrative Data (State or National)
Decennial Census
Vital Statistics Data