Research & Biography

Deborah Gorman-Smith is the Emily Klein Gidwitz Professor and will become interim Dean of the School of Social Service Administration, effective July 1, 2017. She is also the Principal Investigator and director of the Chicago Center for Youth Violence Prevention, one of 6 national Academic Centers of Excellence funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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 poor urban settings. Gorman-Smith has been or currently is Principal or Co-Principal Investigator on several longitudinal risk and preventive intervention studies funded by NICHD, NIDA, CDC-P, SAMHSA and the W.T. Grant Foundation. Gorman-Smith 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. She also serves as Senior Research Fellow with the Coalition for Evidence Based Policy—a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization whose mission is to promote government policy based on rigorous evidence of program effectiveness. She currently serves as the President for the Society for Prevention Research, in addition to her service on other national, state, and university committees. She served as a visiting scholar at the Joint Center for Poverty Research at Northwestern University/University of Chicago.

Gorman-Smith was recently reappointed to the Board of Scientific Counselors, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) by Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The Board advises and makes recommendations to the Secretary, HHS, and the Director, CDC, regarding feasible goals for the prevention and control of injury. 

Gorman-Smith received her PhD in Clinical-Developmental Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago.