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The Author

Thomas Corbett, PhD, has emeritus status at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and remains an active affiliate as a senior scientist with the Institute for Research on Poverty, where he served as associate director for a number of years until his retirement. He has a doctorate in social welfare from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and, for a number of years, taught social policy courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels in the School of Social Work. He has long studied social assistance systems that affect the well-being of disadvantaged families.

In addition, he has explored methods for assessing program effectiveness and strategies for monitoring the status of vulnerable populations, including service on a National Academy of Sciences expert panel examining methods for evaluating contemporary welfare reform.

He co-edited a book with Mary Clare Lennon (Columbia University) titled Policy into Action, which is an exploration of methods to evaluate the implementation of innovative initiatives, and, more recently (April 2010), published a book (with Karen Bogenschneider, University of Wisconsin) on evidence-based policymaking.

Over the years, he has worked on poverty-related policy issues at all levels of government, including a year as senior policy advisor at the US Department of Health and Human Services, where he worked on President Clinton’s first welfare reform bill and other policy issues. Among many other initiatives, he has worked with a number of senior state officials in the Midwest on various welfare reform issues through the Welfare Peer Assistance Network (WELPAN) and has consulted with numerous state and local sites in the United States and Canada who are developing integrated human service models in their jurisdictions.

He lives with his spouse, Mary Rider, and their sweet dog, Rascal. They reside in Madison, Wisconsin, but do escape to Florida in the winter months.