Michael Sherraden, PhD

Michael Sherraden, PhD

inducted in 2010 Board MemberFellow

Michael Sherraden is the George Warren Brown Distinguished University Professor and founding director of the Center for Social Development (CSD), Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis. Sherraden was educated at Harvard (AB 1970) and the University of Michigan (MSW 1976; PhD 1979). Among other awards, he is recipient of a Fulbright Research Fellowship (1992-93), the Flynn Prize for innovation in social policy from the University of Southern California (2001), and the Career Achievement Award from the Association of Community Organization and Social Administration (2006).

Major areas of research have focused on civic engagement, productive aging, and asset building. Regarding the last, Sherraden introduced the concept of “asset building” or asset-based development. Books on this subject include Assets and the Poor: A New American Welfare Policy (1991) and Inclusion in the American Dream: Assets, Poverty, and Public Policy (2005). CSD’s research in this area has influenced policies and community projects in the United Kingdom, Canada, Peru, China, Australia, Korea, Uganda, and other countries.

In the United Kingdom, Sherraden advised the Prime Minister’s Office and Chancellor of the Exchequer from 2000 to 2005 in creating the UK Child Trust Fund, a universal and progressive account for every newborn. Current domestic research includes a test of universal Children’s Development Accounts (CDAs), including a randomized experiment. Internationally, CSD is part of a consortium testing CDAs in four developing countries.