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Build Brains Better: A Proposal for a White House Brain Capital Council to Accelerate Post-COVID Recovery and Resilience

A diverse group of happy college students sitting around a table. iStock-1067477990

Brookings Institution

Walter D. Dawson, Carol Graham, Erin Smith, Virginia Bennett, Carolee Lee, Geoff Ling, Sandra Bond Chapman, Bruce L. Miller, Thomas Insel, Brad Herbert, Rebecca Brune and Harris A. Eyre


Societies face various brain health challenges, such as dementia, depression and learning disorders, yet these increasingly common health issues are seldom addressed in current economic or public policy approaches. In a bold push to rectify this, a multi-disciplinary team of experts proposes a Brain Capital Council created to inform better policy development and focus on building brain health and brain skills to drive economic empowerment, social resilience and emotional connection. This policy brief outlines plans for establishing a Brain Capital Council within the President's Executive Office to connect the federal government and communities, merging brain-related datasets from government and private sectors. To achieve targeted outcomes, researchers envision a specialized task force to coordinate cross-agency efforts within the federal government. Beyond the United States, they foresee the potential to integrate this system globally through the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.Making brain health science central to policymaking can increase productivity and well-being for individuals and communities. Leading this initiative, the U.S. can strengthen global leadership and develop resilience in preparation for tomorrow's challenges.Download the full policy brief

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Sandra Bond Chapman, PhD

Chief Director Dee Wyly Distinguished Professor, School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences Co-Leader, The BrainHealth Project

Geoff Ling, MD, PhD

Jean Ann Brock BrainHealth Project Co-Leader

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