James Mabli

James Mabli

Executive Director, Children, Youth, and Families Division
  • Federal nutrition assistance programs and emergency food provision
  • Household food security
  • Low-wage labor markets
  • Older adult care and nutrition
  • Longitudinal data analysis
Focus Areas
  • Nutrition and Food Assistance Programs
  • Food Security and Hunger
  • Nutrition
  • Human Services
About James

James Mabli specializes in federal nutrition assistance programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program; the Older Americans Act Nutrition Services Program (congregate and home-delivered meal programs); and community-based emergency food programs. Much of his work focuses on the intersection of low-income households’ decisions to participate in these programs, their efforts to find and retain employment, and programs that address barriers to job security and adequate access to food.

Mabli is the project director for Mathematica’s SNAP Employment and Training Pilots Evaluation for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is a large 10-state random assignment evaluation of innovative strategies to help SNAP participants increase employment, earnings, and food security and decrease dependency on public assistance. He also directs the Administration on Aging’s Nutrition Services Program Evaluation, which estimates the impact of receiving congregate and home-delivered meals on participants’ food security, socialization, diet quality, and health. In addition to performing federal evaluations, he directs projects for foundations and nonprofit organizations. He currently leads a project for the Greater Chicago Food Depository, one of the largest food banks in the country. This project assesses the food needs of food-insecure older adults in Chicago and will create a program model for providing meals and services to clients with varying degrees of mobility and food and transportation access, in part through prepared-meal pilots.

Mabli, who joined Mathematica in 2006, publishes frequently in peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of Labor Economics, Pediatrics, Journal of Nutrition, and the American Journal of Public Health. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from New York University.

Key Projects
  • Evaluation of SNAP Employment and Training Pilots

    The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the primary source of nutrition assistance for many low-income people. Beyond providing a monthly benefit to spend on food, the program aims to ensure that SNAP participants have adequate access to enough food to lead healthy, active lives.

  • SNAP Food Security

    Mathematica conducted the SNAP Food Security survey between October 2011 and September 2012, to assess the effect of SNAP participation on food security and food spending in the post-ARRA environment of higher SNAP allotments.

Latest News
  • Congressional Testimony on SNAP Household Characteristics

    Senior researcher Karen Cunnyngham testified before the House Committee on Agriculture’s Nutrition Subcommittee at a public hearing to review SNAP recipient characteristics and participation patterns. Findings from a recent study on SNAP dynamics, coauthored by senior researcher James Mabli, were also...

Related Case Studies
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    WIC Breastfeeding Policy Inventory

    This video sheds light on the comprehensive range of policies and practices that WIC agencies use to promote breastfeeding. Mathematica's study, the first to examine WIC agencies' breastfeeding policies, surveyed 90 state-level agencies and nearly 1,800 local WIC agencies.

  • Research Recap: SNAP

    A video examining a study of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The largest, most rigorous national study of food security among SNAP participants. James Mabli, the study's lead author, highlights key findings.