lawrence-aberJ. Lawrence Aber

Board of Directors

Lawrence Aber is Albert and Blanche Willner Family Professor in Psychology and Public Policy at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, and University Professor, New York University, where he also serves as board chair of its Institute of Human Development and Social Change. He earned his doctorate at Yale University and his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University. He previously taught at Barnard College, Columbia University, and at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, where he also directed the National Center for Children in Poverty. He is an internationally recognized expert in child development and social policy and has co-edited Neighborhood Poverty: Context and Consequences for Children (1997, Russell Sage Foundation), Assessing the Impact of September 11th 2001 on Children Youth and Parents: Lessons for Applied Developmental Science (2004, Erlbaum) and Child Development and Social Policy: Knowledge for Action (2007, APA Publications).

His basic research examines the influence of poverty and violence at the family and community levels and on the social, emotional, behavioral, cognitive, and academic development of children and youth. Aber also designs and conducts rigorous evaluations of innovative programs and policies for children, youth, and families, such as school-based social-emotional learning programs, violence prevention, literacy development, welfare reform, and comprehensive services initiatives. He testifies frequently before Congress, state legislatures, and other deliberative policy forums. The media, public officials, private foundations, and leading nonprofit organizations frequently seek his opinion or advice about pressing matters concerning child and family well-being.

In 2006 Aber was appointed by the mayor of New York City to the Commission for Economic Opportunity, an initiative to help reduce poverty and increase economic opportunity in New York City. In 2007 he served as the Nannerl O. Keohane Distinguished Visiting Professor at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 2008 and 2009 he served part-time as Visiting Research Professor in Evidence-based Social Interventions in the Department of Social Policy and Social Work, University of Oxford. He is also chair of the board of directors of the Children’s Institute, University of Cape Town, South Africa; and served as consultant to the World Bank on their “Children and Youth in Crisis” project. From 2003 to 2006 he chaired the advisory board, International Research Network on Children and Armed Conflict of the Social Science Research Council, in collaboration with the Special Representative to the Secretary General of the United Nations on Children and Armed Conflict and UNICEF. Currently he conducts research on the impact of poverty and HIV/AIDS on children’s development in South Africa (in collaboration with the Human Sciences Research Council), and on school- and community-based interventions in the Democratic Republic of Congo (in collaboration with the International Rescue Committee).