Deborah Gorman-Smith, professor at the School of Social Service Administration and principal investigator and director of the Chicago Center for Youth Violence Prevention, has been named the Emily Klein Gidwitz Professor.
Gorman-Smith’s career has focused on conducting rigorous research designed to inform practice and policy to make a differences in the lives of individuals, families, and communities. She has carried out research with children and families in inner-city neighborhoods and schools in Chicago, conducting both basic longitudinal risk studies and a series of large-scale preventive interventions using randomized controlled designs. Much of this work has been devoted to designing and evaluating the impact of family-focused and school-based preventive interventions on child and youth behavioral, academic and social outcomes, with a particular focus on youth violence. Through these studies, she strives to expand developmental-ecological theory and inform intervention and related policies by determining the impact that the social contexts of race, ethnicity, poverty, school and neighborhood conditions have on interventions for children and families.
Gorman-Smith is principal investigator and director of the Chicago Center for Youth Violence Prevention, one of six National Academic Centers of Excellence for Youth Violence Prevention funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Center, based at SSA, is devoted to studying and stemming the underlying causes of youth violence through evidence-based, collaborative interventions that focus on families and communities, linking them with schools, the justice system, social service agencies and policy makers.
In addition to her research, Gorman-Smith serves as a Senior Research Fellow with the Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization in Washington, DC whose mission is to promote government policymaking based on rigorous evidence of program effectiveness and continues in this role as the Coalition transitions to the Laura and Jon Arnold Foundation in 2015. She is immediate Past-President for the Society for Prevention Research and serves on a number of national and international boards and committees including the Board of Scientific Counselors of the Injury Prevention Center at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Gorman-Smith received her PhD in clinical-developmental psychology at the University of Illinois-Chicago. She joined the UChicago faculty in 2012.