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Dan A. Lewis

Dan A. Lewis

  • Professor Emeritus, Human Development and Social Policy

Annenberg Hall Room 206, 2120 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208
Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

Lewis currently heads a large-scale university consortium to study welfare reform efforts in Illinois. In another current project he is developing a new Suburban Action Research Project that will deliver technical assistance to suburbs struggling with social problems. It will concentrate on issues of homelessness and crime prevention in its initial phase.


Dan A. Lewis’ research agenda provides an approach to studying social policy that meets the challenge of a profound transformation in social policy over the last 40 years. Gone are the days of new federal programs to solve national problems. The New Deal and the Great Society are seen by many as the source of our problems rather than solutions. Lewis’ work responds to these changes in the political climate.

In addition to numerous articles, Lewis has written or edited seven books in these areas, including Gaining Ground in Illinois: Welfare Reform and Person-Centered Policy Analysis (2010). At the Institute for Policy Research, he has directed major program projects on community reactions to crime, deinstitutionalization of state mental health patients and Chicago school decentralization. More recently, he conducted evaluations of the homelessness problem in the Chicago suburbs. Lewis also directs the Center for Civic Engagement, which encourages students to enhance their academic experiences through voluntary service and research to help build communities.

Lewis serves on many nonprofit boards and civic committees. At Northwestern, he served as director of undergraduate education at the School of Education and Social Policy.


  • PhD, History of Consciousness, University of California at Santa Cruz, 1980
  • BA, Political Science, Stanford University, 1968

Awards and Honors

  • 2020 – The Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award by Marquis Who’s Who
  • 2008 – ASG Faculty Honor Roll
  • 2007 – Outstanding Professor Award June 07

Selected Publications

Lewis, Dan (2010). Gaining Ground in Illinois: Welfare Reform and Person-Centered Policy Analysis. Northern Illinois University Press.

Lewis, Dan (2007). Moving Up and Moving Our? Economic and Residential Mobility in Low Income Chicago Families.Urban Affairs Review.

Lewis, D.A., Lee, B.J., Altenbernd, L. (2006). Depression and Welfare Reform: From Barriers to Inclusion . Journal of Community Psychology.

Lewis, D. A. (2005). New Deal to no deal: The movement toward less government is shifting social responsibility to the states.. Illinois Issues.

Lewis, D. A., with K. S. Slack and B. J. Lee. (2004). Are welfare sanctions working as intended?. Social Science Review. 78(3): 370-403.

Lewis, D. A., with B. Nelson. (2004). Suburban homelessness.. In Encyclopedia of Homeless, Sage Publications/Berkshire, ed. D. Levinson. Great Barrington, Mass.: Reference Works.

Lewis, D. A., with I. Carvalho (2003). Beyond community: Reactions to crime among inner-city residents.Criminology 41(3): 779-812.

Lewis, Dan A., & Nakagawa, K. (1995). Race and Educational Reform in the American Metropolis: A Study of School Decentralization. Albany, NY: SUNY Press.

Lewis, Dan A., Lurigio, Arthur J., et. al. (1994). The State Mental Patient and Urban Life: Moving In and Out of the Institution. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas.

Lewis, Dan A. (1991). The Worlds of the Mentally Ill. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press.