Jeanne Brooks-Gunn is the Virginia and Leonard Marx Professor of Child Development and Education at Teachers College, and a Professor of Pediatrics at the College for Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University. She co-directs the National Center for Children and Families at Columbia University’s Teachers College and the Columbia University Institute for Child and Family Policy. In addition, she has directed the Adolescent Study Program at Columbia University’s Teachers College and the College of Physicians and Surgeons. She has served on three National Academy of Science Panels (Child Abuse and Neglect, Preventing HIV Infection, Defining Poverty), was a member of the Social Science Research Council Committee on the urban underclass focusing on neighborhoods, families and children, and was a member of the Children’s Roundtable at the Brookings Institute. She is past president of the Society for Research on Adolescence and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Educational Research Association, the American Psychological Association, the New York Academy of Sciences, and the American Psychological Society, and is an elected member in the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.
Author of more than 500 published articles, four books, and 12 edited volumes, she has received the James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award from the American Psychological Society for outstanding contributions to the area of applied psychological research. She has received three awards from the Developmental Psychology Division of the American Psychological Association for her lifetime contribution to developmental psychology in the areas of science and society, and the Nicholas Hobbs Award from the Division of Children, Youth and Families for her contribution to research policy on children.
Dr. Brooks-Gunn’s specialty is policy-oriented research focusing on family and community influences upon the development of children and youth. Her research centers around designing and evaluating interventions aimed at enhancing the well-being of children living in poverty and associated conditions. She is conducting the national evaluation of the Early Head Start program, and the middle childhood and adolescent follow-up of the Infant Health and Development Program. Both are early childhood and family support intervention programs. Currently, with her collaborators, she is conducting two long-term (30 year) longitudinal follow-up studies of children, youth and families in the Baltimore area. She also conducts research on transitional periods focusing on school, family, and biological transitions in childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. She is interested in the factors that contribute to positive and negative outcomes and changes in well-being over these years.