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Edward F. Lawlor, PhD

Inducted in 2024

Current Position

William E. Gordon Distinguished Professor and Dean Emeritus, George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University



Edward F. Lawlor served as dean of the Brown School from 2004 to 2016, and Special Assistant to the Provost from 2016 to 2019. During his term, the Brown School created public health and social policy graduate programs, constructed Hillman Hall, carried out a major capital campaign, and doubled its faculty and research capacity. His teaching and research focus on public policy and aging, health policy, and social services. Lawlor’s book Redesigning the Medicare Contract: Politics, Markets, and Agency treats Medicare reform as an exercise in writing a good social contract. He is currently writing a book on distressed older industrial cities, as well as a blog on social policy. He recently co-edited a Special Issue of the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, “The COVID-19 Shock to Our Deep Inequities: How to Mitigate the Impact.” Lawlor is the founding editor of the Public Policy and Aging Report and a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance. He was the founding director of the Institute for Public Health at Washington University. He was also a founding member of the St. Louis Group of Social Work Research Schools and later served as its President. He has served on more than 35 government, professional, nonprofit, and community boards. Prior to joining the Brown School, Lawlor served as dean and professor at the School of Social Service Administration (now the Crown School) at the University of Chicago, and professor at the Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies. He was Director of the Center for Health Administration Studies and the University’s Graduate Program in Health Administration and Policy.

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