Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy

Dolores Acevedo-Garcia

Dolores Acevedo-Garcia, MPA-URP, PhD, is Samuel F. and Rose B. Gingold Professor of Human Development and Social Policy, and Director of the Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University. Her research focuses on the social determinants (e.g. residential segregation, neighborhood inequality, immigrant adaptation) of racial/ethnic inequities in health; the role of social policies (e.g. housing policies, anti-poverty policies, immigrant policies) in reducing those inequities; and the health and wellbeing of children with special needs. She received her BA in Public Administration from El Colegio de Mexico (Mexico City), and her MPA-URP and PhD in Public Policy with a concentration in Demography from the School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.

Dr. Acevedo-Garcia is Project Director for, a comprehensive research program and indicator database on racial/ethnic equity in child wellbeing and opportunity across multiple sectors (e.g., education, health, housing and neighborhoods) and geographies, funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

In 2017-2019, Dr. Acevedo-Garcia was a member of the congressionally-mandated National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) Committee on Building an Agenda to Reduce the Number of Children in Poverty by Half in 10 Years that produced the 2019 landmark report A Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty. She continues to research policy changes that can help reduce inequities in child poverty. For example, the project Including Children of Immigrants in the Post-Pandemic Economic Recovery Efforts and Safety Net-- a collaboration with UnidosUS funded by the W.T. Grant and Spencer Foundations—examines how to correct exclusions that limit access to social programs for children in immigrant families.

In 2020-2021, she was a member of the NASEM Executive Committee for the Response and Resilient Recovery Strategic Science Initiative developed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic to inform crisis response and recovery across U.S. society. She is a member of the NASEM’s Societal Experts Action Network (SEAN) Executive Committee. She is a member of the Steering Committee on the Housing and Children’s Healthy Development Study funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the MacArthur Foundation. She was a member of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on How Housing Matters for Families and Children (2009-2014).

She serves on the Health Equity Advisory Committee for the journal Health Affairs. She is on the editorial board of Cityscape, and served on the editorial board of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, and Social Problems. She has served on the Board of Directors of the National Institute for Children’s Health Quality, the Board of Directors of the Council on Contemporary Families, the Advisory Board of the National Center for Children in Poverty, the board of PolicyLink, the Social Science Advisory Board of the Poverty and Race Research Action Council, the Research Advisory Panel of the National Coalition on School Diversity, and the National Hispanic Advisory Council of the March of Dimes.