David Yokum J.D., Ph.D.

David Yokum is Director of The Lab @ DC. Under his leadership, The Lab conducts applied research projects to generate timely, relevant, and high-quality evidence that informs the District’s most important decisions. He hosts The Podcast @ DC, conversations that attempt to bridge the gap between research and practice in government.

David was previously a founding member of the White House’s Social & Behavioral Sciences Team and Director of its scientific delivery unit housed at the U.S. General Services Administration. President Obama further institutionalized the work in Executive Order 13707, “Using Behavioral Science Insights to Better Serve the American People.”

David’s expertise draws on the cognitive foundations of judgment and decision making and, in particular, how that knowledge and associated methodologies can be extended into applied settings. His public speaking, teaching, and advocacy won the Excellence in Teaching Award from the University of Arizona (UA) College of Science. His work has been published in journals such as Health Affairs, Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, American Journal of Law & Medicine, and Law & Contemporary Problems and received media coverage from outlets such as NPR, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, Slate, USA Today, Politico, Scientific American, Forbes, Huffington Post, and elsewhere.

David earned a Ph.D. in psychology (with dual specialization in cognition & neural systems and psychology, policy, & law) at UA, a law degree from the UA James E. Rogers College of Law, a Masters degree in bioethics & medical humanities from the University of South Florida, and a B.S. in biology from Birmingham-Southern College. He lives in Ward 6 with his wife Sara, son Ethan, dog Tieto, cats Philo and Mouse, and bunny Mr. Bubbles.

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