Abt Associates

Clark Abt expressed a single, noble goal—to create a world free of war and poverty. The visionary set to work establishing Abt Associates. Over the next half century, the company became known as a bold, innovative and effective agent of social change, committed to improving the quality of life and economic well-being of people worldwide.

Company details

55 Wheeler Street , Cambridge , MA 02138 USA

Locations Served

Business Type:
Software vendor
Industry Type:
Environmental - Environmental Management
Market Focus:
Globally (various continents)
Over 1000

Today, Abt Associates continues to be a mission-driven, global leader in research and program implementation in the fields of health, social and environmental policy, and international development. Known for its rigorous approach to solving complex challenges, Abt Associates is regularly ranked as one of the top 20 global research firms and one of the top 40 international development innovators.

The impact of our work in more than 60 countries is significant and wide ranging. Our global staff of 2,700 conducts innovative studies and implements remarkable projects—from carrying out malaria prevention activities in 17 African countries as part of the President’s Malaria Initiative and playing a key role in Mexico’s climate change mitigation actions, to identifying potential barriers to flu vaccination among U.S. health workers and pregnant women and examining whether career pathways programs can improve employability in high poverty regions.

In 1965, Clark Abt brought together a group of scientists, engineers, and educators in a small office above a machine shop in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He created a new kind of company—using interdisciplinary social science research to solve social, economic, and technological problems.

Abt Associates focused on transferring defense-related technology and systems to civilian application, such as the nation’s War on Poverty. These early efforts contributed to the development of the field of public policy research and established our reputation and capabilities.

In the 1970s, we built on our expertise, especially in housing, education, substance abuse, and health. Our studies contributed to the establishment of Section 8 housing, Head Start, and many other programs still operating. We developed and managed the National Day Care Study, the most frequently cited piece of daycare research for almost 2 decades.

In the 1980s, we became truly global with the Agriculture Policy Analysis Project, the first of many for the U.S. Agency for International Development.

In the 1990s, we expanded to countries in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, strengthening health systems and becoming known for our leadership in health financing. In the U.S., our research contributed to the Food Stamp program, immunization coverage, and other programs.

By the 2000s, employees worked in offices in the U.S. and nearly 40 other countries. Growing every year, we are now ranked as a Top 20 global research company.

Over the past 46 years, Abt Associates has grown far beyond that small Cambridge office, but Clark Abt’s founding principles remain constant.

Abt Associates’ Mission

Abt’s mission is to improve the quality of life and economic well-being of people worldwide.

We apply our energy and creativity to helping our customers—governments, businesses, and private organizations—make better decisions and deliver better products and services by providing them with the highest quality research, technical assistance, and consulting services available in the marketplace.

We strive to exceed our client's expectations for the integrity of our methods and findings, the objectivity of our thinking, and the practical utility of our results.

We are committed to hiring and retaining a diverse staff with the highest quality technical, management, and entrepreneurial talents. We aspire to provide our staff with a quality of work life characterized by mutual respect and a continuous learning environment that fosters creativity and high performance.

Abt Associates’ Values


We are united by our mission to improve the lives of people worldwide.


We are a global community, bringing diverse knowledge, expertise, and perspectives to the many challenges faced by today's world.

Committed to Excellence.

We strive to meet and exceed the highest professional standards.


We know that working collaboratively produces excellence.


We take responsibility for what we do and how we do it.


We sustain the energy and commitment we bring to our roles by promoting a healthy balance between our personal and professional lives.