Howard Friedman

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Howard Friedman
Born Howard Steven Friedman
(1972-06-10) June 10, 1972 (age 45)
New York City
Nationality American
Occupation Scientist
Employer United Nations
Columbia University

Howard Steven Friedman (born June 10, 1972) is a prominent American statistician, health economist, writer and artist currently employed at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and as an adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia University[1]

Friedman is widely known for his role as a lead statistical modeler on a number of key United Nations projects and for his wide-ranging publications in the fields of statistics and health economics.



Friedman was born in New York City and received his bachelor's degree from Binghamton University in applied physics in 1993. He received a master's in statistics in 1998 and PhD in biomedical engineering from Johns Hopkins University in 1999. His thesis work focused on neural representations of object color through neurophysiological records of awake, behaving monkeys. This research leveraged a visual phenomenon known as Troxler's fading which is related to color filling-in to explore how object color is represented in the visual cortex. He has also contributed to areas of changepoint detection as it applies to neurophysiology.

Friedman was awarded a number of awards during his undergraduate and graduate career including the National Merit Scholarship, Whitaker Foundation Fellowship[2] and the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship NSF-GRF

Following his dissertation work, Friedman took a position as a director at Capital One where he led teams of statisticians, analysts and programmers in various areas of operations and marketing. He left Capital One to form Analytic Solutions LLC in 2003 which provided consulting services in areas of designing, developing and modeling data.

He moved to a full-time position at the United Nations in 2007 where he has since been a lead on work including the ICPD @ 15 Costing, High Level Task Force on Innovative Financing, and the Adding It Up reports. He is credited with being the lead developer of the Integrated Health Model (used for costing the Health-related Millennium Development Goals within UNDP) and the Reproductive Health Costing Tool in UNFPA[3] He is a lead scientist for the interagency collaboration among UNICEF, World Bank, World Health Organization, UNFPA, UNAIDS and UNDP for the development of the Unified Health Model, a project sponsored by the IHP+.[4] In 2014, he was a Visiting Researcher at Oxford University's Department of Economics.

Friedman is the author of over 50 scientific articles and book chapters in areas of applied statistics, health economics and politics.


Friedman was born in New York City. His father worked as a math teacher, his mother worked as an early education teacher.

Literature and artwork[edit]

In addition to his scientific career, Friedman is an accomplished artist[5][6] and writer. His formal art training was at both Binghamton University and the School of Visual Arts. His first book, Angels and Stardust, featured original poetry and artwork. In his doctoral thesis, he quoted both Ozymandias and Angels and Stardust in the preface. His paintings have been displayed in a number of New York City venues.

His recent writing is focused on political analysis leveraging his statistics and United Nations experience have been published in numerous online venues including the Huffington Post,[7] and[8]

In June 2012, Prometheus Books released his book Measure of a Nation. This book focuses on how to improve America by first comparing its performance with thirteen competitive industrial nations, then identifying the best practices found throughout the world that can be adopted here in the United States. Measure of a Nation was named by Jared Diamond as the best book of 2012 in an interview[9] published in the New York Times.

Friedman released an e-book, A Modest Proposal for America, in May 2013 through Foreword Literary that combines an opening satire on America with an analysis of US federal government finances.

Selected publications[edit]

Peer-review publications[edit]

  • Friedman, H. S., Navaratnam, P., Reardon, G., High, K. P., & Strauss, M. E. A retrospective analysis of clinical characteristics, hospitalization, and functional outcomes in residents with and without Clostridium difficile infection in US long-term care facilities. Curr Med Res Opin. 2014 Jun;30(6):1121-30.
  • Stenberg, K., Axelson, H., Sheehan, P., Anderson, I., Gülmezoglu, A. M., Temmerman, M., Friedman HS, …& Bustreo, F. Advancing social and economic development by investing in women’s and children’s health: a new Global Investment Framework. The Lancet, 12 April 2014 ( Vol. 383, Issue 9925, Pages 1333-1354 ).
  • High, K. P., Yogel, R., High, K. P., Friedman, H. S., Navaratnam, P., Reardon, G., & Strauss, M. A Retrospective Analysis of Clinical Characteristics, Hospitalization, and Humanistic Outcomes in Patients With and Without Clostridium Difficile-Associated Disease in US Long Term Care Facilities. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, Volume 13, Issue 3, B18 - B19, 2013
  • Friedman H, Mollon P, Lian J, Navaratnam P. "Clinical Outcomes, Health Resource Use, and Cost in Patients With Early Versus Late Treatment With Dual or Triple Anti-Platelet Treatment for Acute Coronary Syndrome", Am J Cardiovasc Drugs. 2013 Aug;13(4):273-83
  • Friedman HS, Rajagopalan S, Barnes JP, Roseman H. Combination Therapy with Ezetimibe/Simvastatin Versus Statin Monotherapy for LDL-C Reduction and Goal Attainment in a Real-world Clinical Setting. Clinical Therapeutics. 2011 Feb; 33(2):212-24.
  • Navaratnam P, Friedman HS Urdaneta E. The impact of adherence and disease control on resource use and charges in patients with mild asthma managed on inhaled corticosteroid agents. Patient Prefer Adherence 2010 (4) pp. 197–205
  • Friedman HS, Navaratnam P, McLaughlin J. Adherence and asthma control with mometasone furoate versus fluticasone propionate in adolescents and young adults with mild asthma. J of Asthma Vol 47, Issue: 9, 2010 Nov, pp 994–1000
  • Navaratnam P, Friedman HS, Urdaneta E. Mometasone furoate vs fluticasone propionate with salmeterol: multivariate analysis of resource use and asthma-related charges. Curr Med Res Opin. 12 October 2009.
  • Friedman HS, Song X, Crespi S, Navaratnam P. Comparative Analysis of Length of Stay, Total Costs, and Treatment Success between Intravenous Moxifloxacin 400 mg and Levofloxacin 750 mg among Hospitalized Patients with Community-Acquired Pneumonia. Value in Health. 20 August 2009
  • Friedman HS, Eid NS, Crespi S, Wilcox TK, Reardon G. Retrospective claims study of fluticasone propionate/salmeterol fixed-dose combination use as initial asthma controller therapy in children despite guideline recommendations. Clin Ther. 2009 May;31(5):1056-63.
  • Loftus EV Jr, Friedman HS, Delgado DJ, Sandborn WJ. Colectomy subtypes, follow-up surgical procedures, postsurgical complications, and medical charges among ulcerative colitis patients with private health insurance in the United States. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2009 Apr;15(4):566-75.
  • Friedman H, Wilcox T, Reardon G, Crespi S, Yawn BP. A retrospective study of the use of fluticasone propionate/salmeterol combination as initial asthma controller therapy in a commercially insured population.Clin Ther. 2008 Oct;30(10):1908-17.
  • Loftus EV, Delgado DJ, Friedman HS, Sandborn WJ. Colectomy and the Incidence of Post-Surgical Complications among Ulcerative Colitis Patients with Private Health Insurance In The United States American Journal of Gastroenterology, 103(7):1737-4, 2008
  • Friedman HS., Tencer T., Chan W. Impact of HIV and HCV Infection on Hospitalization and Resource Use Among Hemophilia Enrollees in Commercial Health Plans. J Manag Care Pharm. Nov-Dec;13(9):790-8, 2007
  • Friedman HS., Yawn BP. Resource utilization in asthma: combined fluticasone propionate/salmeterol compared with inhaled corticosteroids. Current Medical Research & Opinion. 23(2):427-34, 2007
  • Keating KN., Friedman HS., Perfetto EM. Moxifloxacin versus levofloxacin for treatment of acute rhinosinusitis: a retrospective database analysis of treatment duration, outcomes, and charges. Current Medical Research & Opinion. 22(2):327-33, 2006
  • Keating KN., Friedman H., Perfetto EM. Fluoroquinolone therapy for uncomplicated skin and skin structure infections: A retrospective database comparison of treatment duration, failures and charges. Clinical Drug Investigation. Vol. 25(10)(pp 621–631), 2005
  • Friedman HS, Zhou H, von der Heydt R The coding of uniform color figures in monkey visual cortex. J Physiol (Lond) 548: 593-613 figures in monkey visual cortex. J Physiol (Lond) 548: 593-613, 2003[10]
  • von der Heydt R, Zhou H, Friedman HS, "Representation of stereoscopic edges in monkey visual cortex", Vision Research 40:1955-1967, 2000.
  • Zhou H, Friedman HS, von der Heydt R, "Coding of border ownership in monkey visual cortex", Journal of Neuroscience 20: 6594-6611, 2000.[11]
  • Friedman, HS, Zhou H, von der Heydt R "Color filling-in under steady fixation: behavioral demonstration in monkeys and humans." Perception. 1999;28(11):1383-95.
  • Friedman, HS, Priebe, C.E. "Smoothing Bandwidth Selection for Response Latency Estimation", Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 87:13-16, 1999.[12]
  • Friedman, HS, Priebe, C.E., "Estimating Stimulus Response Latency," Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 83:185-194, 1998.
  • Nelson, C.A., Friedman, HS, Goozovat, T.S., Klein, J.A., Kneller, L. R., Perry W.J., Ustin, S.A., "Stage-two spin-correlation functions: tests from non-CKM-type leptonic CP violation in tau to rho nu decay", Physical Review D, 50(7): 4544-57, 1994.

Book publications[edit]

  • Friedman, Howard Steven, A Modest Proposal for America, Foreword Literary, 2013
  • Friedman, Howard Steven, Measure of a Nation, Prometheus Books, 2012
  • von der Heydt, R., Friedman, H. S., & Zhou, H. Searching for the neural mechanisms of color filling-in. In: Filling-in: From Perceptual Completion to Cortical Reorganization, eds. Pessoa, L. & De Weerd, P., pp. 106–127. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2003
  • von der Heydt R, Friedman HS, Zhou H. Searching for the neural mechanisms of color filling-in. In: Filling-in: From Perceptual Completion to Skill Learning (Pessoa L, De Weerd P, eds), Oxford University Press, 2002
  • von der Heydt R, Zhou H, Friedman HS Neural coding of border ownership: Implications for the theory of figure-ground perception. In: Perceptual Organization in Vision: Behavioral and Neural Perspectives (Behrmann M, Kimchi R, Olson CR, eds), Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2002
  • Friedman, HS, Neural Mechanisms of Object Color Representation in Areas V1, V2, and V4 of Macaque Visual Cortex, Ph.D. Thesis, 1998
  • Friedman, HS, Angels and Stardust, Brunswick Publishing, 1995
  • Friedman, HS, GaAs fluorescence detection of polarized electron beam. In: Stanford Linear Accelerator Center Summer Research, Stanford University Press, 1992

Major United Nations related publications (analyst or co-author)[edit]

  • Economics of Social Determinants of Health and Health Inequalities led by WHO (2013)
  • Causal Inference and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs): Assessing Whether There Was an Acceleration in MDG Development Indicators Following the MDG Declaration (2013)
  • OneHealth Tool Manual and FAQs Collaboration with other UN agencies (2012)
  • UNFPA Contributor to "Financing of health systems to achieve the Health Millennium Development Goals in low-income countries" Lancet 2010; 375: 419–26 (2010)
  • Updated Adding It Up Monograph: Collaboration with Guttmacher Institute (2009)
  • Donor Support Report: UNFPA Commodity management Branch (2009)[13]
  • Thematic Trust Fund Report: UNFPA Commodity Management Branch (2009)
  • The Case for Asia and the Pacific (2009)[14]
  • MDG Calculation Estimates: Collaboration with other UN agencies (2009)
  • A Guide for Tools For Assessments in Sexual and Reproductive Health (2009)[15]
  • ICPD Updated Costing Estimates: Collaboration with other UN agencies, academic institutions and organizations. (2009)
  • Contraceptive Projections and the Donor Gap (Meeting the Challenge) (2009)[16]
  • High Level Task Force Impact Estimataion: Collaboration with other UN agencies, academic institutions and organizations. (2009)
  • Updated Adding It Up Monograph: Collaboration with Guttmacher Institute (2009)
  • Donor Support Report: UNFPA Commodity Management Branch (2008)[17]
  • Thematic Trust Fund Report: UNFPA Commodity Management Branch (2008)
  • Meeting the Gap: Collaboration with Futures Institute, John Snow International (2008)
  • Adding It Up Monograph: Collaboration with Guttmacher Institute (2008)[18]
  • Donor Support Report: UNFPA Commodity management Branch (2007)


  1. ^ "Howard Friedman". SIPA Columbia University. Retrieved 2010-03-27. 
  2. ^ "Whitaker Foundation Report". Whitaker Foundation. Retrieved 2010-03-27. 
  3. ^ "Review of Costing Tools Relevant to the Health MDGs" (PDF). PMNCH. Retrieved 2010-03-27. 
  4. ^ "IHP+ Report" (PDF). International Health Partnership. Retrieved 2010-03-27. 
  5. ^ "Selected Artist Jewcy". Jewcy. Retrieved 2010-03-27. 
  6. ^ "Angels and Stardust". Angels and Stardust. Retrieved 2010-03-27. 
  7. ^ "Huffington Post". Retrieved 2012-07-06. 
  8. ^ "Bullish on Books Blog at CNBC". Retrieved 2012-07-06. 
  9. ^ "Jared Diamond - By the Book, New York Times". The New York Times. 2013-01-17. Retrieved 2013-02-16. 
  10. ^ "The coding of uniform color figures in monkey visual cortex". Journal of Physiology. Retrieved 2010-03-27. 
  11. ^ "Coding of Border Ownership". Journal of Neuroscience. Retrieved 2010-03-27. 
  12. ^ "Smoothing Bandwidth Selection for Response Latency Estimation". Journal of Neuroscience Methods. Retrieved 2010-03-27. 
  13. ^ "Donor Support Report 2008 (published 2009)" (PDF). UNFPA. Retrieved 2010-03-27. 
  14. ^ "The Case for Asia and the Pacific" (PDF). WHO. Retrieved 2010-03-27. 
  15. ^ "A Guide for Tools For Assessments in Sexual and Reproductive Health 2009". UNFPA. Retrieved 2010-03-27. 
  16. ^ "Contraceptive Projections and the Donor Gap (Meeting the Challenge" (PDF). Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition. Retrieved 2010-03-27. 
  17. ^ "Donor Support Report 2007 (published 2008)" (PDF). UNFPA. Retrieved 2010-03-27. 
  18. ^ "Contraception: An Investment in Lives, Health and Development" (PDF). UNFPA and Guttmacher Institute. Retrieved 2010-03-27.