Peter Hovmand, PhD, MSW


Dr. Peter Hovmand is the founding director of the Social System Design Lab at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, where he uses system dynamics to understand and evaluate community level interventions. He has a background in electrical engineering, mathematics, and philosophy, and received his doctorate in social work and community psychology from Michigan State University. His research focuses on developing and using participatory group model building (GMB) techniques to involve community members in the creation of models to understand the role of social determinants of health, scale-up of health innovations, and the design of community prevention strategies. Application areas include childhood obesity, K-12 education, mental health, domestic violence, child welfare, and household economic security. Other interests include ordinary language philosophy, philosophy of mathematics, epistemology of social science, and feminist theory. He advises students interested in learning and applying system dynamics and systems thinking and teaches “A System Dynamics Approach to Designing Sustainable Social Policies and Programs” and “Group Model Building” courses