Abt Associates

Abt Associates

Abt Associates is an engine for social impact, harnessing the power of data and grounded insight to move people from vulnerability to security worldwide.We do more than solve the challenges our clients have today. We collaborate to solve the challenges of tomorrow.

Company details

55 Wheeler Street , Cambridge , MA 02138-1168 USA
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Business Type:
Professional association
Industry Type:
Environmental Science and Research
Market Focus:
Globally (various continents)
Over 1000

This company also provides solutions for other industrial applications.
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It was more than 50 years ago—on January 12, 1965—that Clark Abt started on his journey in a small Cambridge office to create a place where innovation, bold thinking and creativity could tackle the toughest social issues of the day. Almost 50 years later, Abt Associates has grown into a global company of more than 2,300 employees with offices around the world. Although the company has changed and grown far beyond its early days, one thing remains constant: Abt’s mission to improve the quality of life and economic well-being of people worldwide.

In 1965, 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.

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, climate change, 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 ongoing work in nearly 50 countries is significant and wide ranging. Our global staff of more than 2,300 people conducts innovative studies and implements remarkable projects. These include, among many others:

  • Mozambique, where we helped provide HIV treatment to more than 150,000 patients and reached more than 85,000 HIV-positive pregnant women with services to prevent mother-to-child transmission;
  • San Diego, where Abt examined how climate change-induced temperature increases affect health, worker productivity, and the county’s economy;
  • Papua New Guinea, where we are leading a 10-year effort that is improving health systems at the district level. Activities range from health worker training to immunization campaigns; and
  • The United States, where Abt created an online system to deliver easy-to-use nursing home ratings information to consumers.  The system has sparked nursing home improvements nationwide. 

Practice Areas


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.

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 50 other countries. Growing every year, we are now ranked as a Top 20 global research company.

Over more than 50 years, Abt Associates has grown far beyond that small Cambridge office, but Clark Abt’s founding principles remain constant.