J. 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, teacher training, violence prevention, literacy and numeracy development, poverty reduction, 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 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. In 2016, he served as Visiting Research Professor of Social and Behavioral Psychology at the London School of Economics. He also chaired the board of directors of several international efforts including the Children’s Institute, University of Cape Town, South Africa; and the “Accelerating Achievement for Africa’s Adolescents” Research HUB and the 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 serves as co-Director of the Global TIES for Children research center at NYU where he currently conducts research on school- and community-based interventions to promote children’s academic and social-emotional learning in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Niger and Lebanon (in collaboration with the International Rescue Committee) and in Ghana (with Innovations for Poverty Action).