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Peter Hovmand

Associate Professor of Practice
Director of the Social System Design Lab
MSW, Michigan State University
PhD, Michigan State University
Peter Hovmand

Phone: 314-935-7968


Research interests:

System dynamics

Group model building

Social determinants of health

Early child and maternal health

Implementation and scale-up of innovations

Domestic violence​​


Peter Hovmand, PhD, is the founding director of the Brown School’s Social System Design Lab. He has a bachelor of science in electrical engineering and bachelor of arts in mathematics from Bucknell University. He received his masters in social work with a clinical concentration and interdisciplinary social science doctorate in social work and community psychology from Michigan State University.

Dr. Hovmand’s research and practice focuses on using participatory group model building methods to involve communities and other stakeholders in the process of understanding systems and designing solutions using system dynamics models and computer simulations with a specific emphasis on promoting social justice. Application areas include early child and maternal health, childhood obesity, energetics and cancer, mental health, domestic violence, child welfare, household economic security, structural racism, educational equity, K-12 education, and the implementation and scale-up of health innovations.

He has been funded by the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Robert Woods Johnson Foundation, Lupina Foundation, Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, Waters Foundation, and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

He is an associate editor for System Dynamics Review and area editor on population level health for the Wiley Series on Modeling and Simulation. He was the host chair for the National Institutes of Science Institute on Systems Science and Health (ISSH) and co-led the system dynamic track in 2012 at Washington University in St. Louis.

Dr. Hovmand has conducted over 30 GMB workshops domestically and internationally, including rural and urban India, Mongolia, United Kingdom, Canada, China, Panama, and the United States. He teaches graduate social work and engineering courses on system dynamics and group model building. He is the co-founder and co-chair of the diversity committee for the System Dynamics Society and a member of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers, System Dynamics Society, and Society for Community Research and Action.


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