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H. Luke Shaefer

Professor of Social Work, School of Work; Center Director, Poverty Solutions; Hermann and Amalie Kohn Professor of Social Justice and Social Policy, Professor of Public Policy, Associate Dean for Research and Policy Engagement, Gerald R Ford School of Public Policy; Faculty Associate, Survey Research Center, Faculty Associate, Population Studies Center, Institute for Social Research; and Adjunct Professor of Law, Law School

H. Luke  Shaefer

H. Luke Shaefer, Ph.D. is the Hermann and Amalie Kohn Professor of Social Justice and Social Policy and Associate Dean for Research and Policy Engagement at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. He is also a professor of social work and the inaugural director of Poverty Solutions, an interdisciplinary, presidential initiative that partners with communities and policymakers to find new ways to prevent and alleviate poverty. Through his role at Poverty Solutions, Shaefer acts as a special counselor on anti-poverty policy to the director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Shaefer’s research on poverty and social welfare policy in the United States has been published in top peer-reviewed academic journals in the fields of public policy, social work, public health, health services research, and history, and his work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and U.S. Census Bureau among other sources. He has presented his research at the White House and before numerous federal agencies, has testified before the U.S. Senate Finance Committee and has advised a number of the nation’s largest human service providers.

His work has been cited in media outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post, The Economist, The Atlantic, and Los Angeles Times, and he has been featured on such programs as Marketplace and CNBC’s Nightly Business Report. His book with Kathryn Edin, “$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America,” was named one of the 100 Notable Books of 2015 by the New York Times Book Review, and won the Hillman Prize for Book Journalism among other awards. He was recently named to an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship.

Shaefer received his BA in politics from Oberlin College and AM and PhD from the University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration.

Research Interests/Focus

Social safety net, low-wage workers, economically disadvantage families, non-profit management

Education

Year Degree   School
2008 PhD Social Service Administration University of Chicago, Illinois
2005 MA Social Service Administration University of Chicago, Illinois
2001 BA Politics Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH

Websites

Poverty Solutions
Year Description
2018 Finding New Ways to Prevent and Alleviate Poverty in Michigan, the Nation, and the World
2015 Shaefer, H. L. (2015, March). Rising levels of $2-a-day poverty in the United States. Annual Drexler Lecture Keynote Speaker, American Baptist Seminary of the West.
2015 Shaefer, H. L. & Edin, K. (2015, January). Understanding the dynamics of $2-a-day poverty in the United States. Invited presentation to the Center for Wealth and Inequality Sseminar Series, Columbia University, NY, NY.
2014 Shaefer, H.L. & Edin, K. (January 2014). “Rising Extreme Poverty: Is the Employment-Based Safety Net Partly to Blame?” Invited presentation to the Council of Economic Advisors, Executive Office of the President of the United States.
2013 Shaefer, H.L. & Edin, K. (November 2013). “Rising Extreme Poverty: Is the Employment-Based Safety Net Partly to Blame?” Keynote Address at Symposium for the Employment Instability, Family Well-Being, and Social Policy Network (EINet), “Employment Instability and the Safety Net.”

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