Ellis Ballard

Ellis Ballard’s research and teaching focus on advancing participatory approaches to system dynamics modeling with communities to advance health access and social justice.

Ballard is director of the Brown School’s Social System Design Lab. In that role, he innovates group model building practice methods in cross-cultural contexts, trains future cohorts of social work and public health practitioners to apply system dynamics modeling in their work, and cultivates the growing global community of community based system dynamics practitioners.  He is also the specialization chair for the Brown School’s System Dynamics Specialization and teaches system dynamics modeling courses in social work and public health.

 As a researcher and consultant, Ballard works with community organizations, foundations, development banks, research teams, and corporations to build capabilities to develop system dynamics models for organizational strategy, research design, and advocacy. 

 Prior to joining the Social System Design Lab, Ballard worked in disability rights advocacy and research.  He advanced disability rights advocacy in U.S foreign affairs and contributed to capacity building efforts and program evaluations with community-based organizations and disabled people’s organizations in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. 

Ellis Ballard

  • Assistant Professor of Practice
  • MSW/MPH, Washington University in St. Louis, Brown School of Social Work
  • Office Phone: 314-935-3072
  • Email: eballard@wustl.edu

Areas of Focus:

  • Systems science
  • Participatory methods
  • Communities of practice
  • Disability inclusion