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US-China Forum 2021: Addressing Inequality and Promoting Social Welfare

Deborah Gorman-Smith

Photo of Dean Deborah Gorman-Smith

Deborah Gorman-Smith

Dean and Emily Klein Gidwitz Professor

The Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice

The University of Chicago

Deborah Gorman-Smith is the Emily Klein Gidwitz Professor and Dean of the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice. She is also the 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 (CDC-P). The center, based at the Crown Family School, 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.

Her program of research, grounded in a public health perspective, is focused on advancing knowledge about development, risk, and prevention of aggression and violence, with specific focus on minority youth living in high burden urban communities. Gorman-Smith has been or currently is principal or co-principal investigator on several longitudinal risk and preventive intervention studies funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institute on Drug Abuse, CDC-P, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the William T. Grant Foundation. She has published extensively in areas related to youth violence, including the relationship between community characteristics, family functioning and aggression and violence, including partner violence and the impact of family-focused preventive interventions.

Gorman-Smith led a study for the United Nations on violence against children that provided an in-depth picture of the prevalence, nature, and causes of all forms of violence against children. Her research group put forth recommendations for consideration by Member States of the UN. She was also a member of a Study Group on Primary Prevention of Antisocial Behavior for the United Kingdom’s Department of Health.

Gorman-Smith has served as Deputy Dean for Research and Faculty Development at The Crown Family School.  She is also a member of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare, a current fellow and past President of the Society for Prevention Research, and has served on other national and state committees including the Board of Scientific Counselors, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control.

Gorman-Smith received her PhD in Clinical-Developmental Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She received a master's degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago and master's and bachelor's degrees from Northern Illinois University.