Professor of Public Policy and Management at the Kennedy School, Harvard University
Kathryn Edin, Professor of Public Policy and Management at the Harvard Kennedy School, is one of the nation’s leading poverty researchers. She is interested in questions about the urban poor that have not been fully answered by quantitative work: How do single mothers possibly survive on welfare? Why do they end up as single mothers in the first place? Where are the fathers and why do they disengage from their children’s lives?
Kathy is the author of six books and more than 50 journal articles. The most recent, Doing the Best I Can: Fathering in the Inner City, written with Timothy Nelson, will be published in May, 2013 by the University of California Press. A strikingly rich, paradigm-shifting look at fatherhood among inner-city men, who are so often dismissed as “deadbeat dads,” Doing the Best I Can shows how mammoth economic and cultural changes have transformed the meaning of fatherhood among the urban poor. The book reveals a radical redefinition of family life, one that has revolutionized the meaning of fatherhood among inner-city men.
A frequent commentator for print and broadcast media, Kathy Edin has also testified before the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate on welfare and marriage issues. She is chair of Harvard’s Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality and Social Policy. She is a Trustee of the Russell Sage Foundation, a member of ASPE’s Self Sufficiency Working Group, and on HHS’s advisory committee for the poverty research centers at Michigan, Wisconsin, and Stanford. She is a founding member of the MacArthur Foundation-funded Network on Housing and Families with Young Children and a past member of the MacArthur Network on the Family and the Economy.