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Douglas Besharov

Senior Fellow

Headshot of Douglas Besharov

Douglas J. Besharov, a lawyer, is a professor at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy, where he teaches courses on poverty, welfare, children and families, policy analysis and program evaluation, and performance measurement. He is also director of the University’s Center for International Policy Exchanges.

In 2008, Professor Besharov was President of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) and then served as its International Conference Coordinator. He was also the editor of the “Policy Retrospectives Section” of APPAM’s Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. He chairs the selection committee for the “Peter H. Rossi Award for Contributions to the Theory or Practice of Program Evaluation.” Between 1975 and 1979, he was the first director of the U.S. National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect.

Together with Neil Gilbert of the University of California (Berkeley), Professor Besharov is co-Editor-in-Chief of the Oxford University Press Library on International Social Policy. Professor Besharov’s best-known book is Recognizing Child Abuse: A Guide for the Concerned, a book designed to help professionals and laypersons identify and report suspected child abuse. His other twenty books include Improving Public Services: International Experiences in Using Evaluation Tools to Measure Program Performance (in press), Adjusting to a World in Motion: Trends in Migration and Migration Policy (2016); Counting the Poor: New Thinking About European Poverty Measures and Lessons for the United States (2012), Poverty, Welfare, and Public Policy (2010), Family and Child Well-Being after Welfare Reform (2003), America’s Disconnected Youth: Toward a Preventive Strategy (1999), Enhancing Early Childhood Programs: Burdens and Opportunities (1996), When Drug Addicts Have Children: Reorienting Child Welfare’s Response (1994), Recognizing Child Abuse: A Guide for the Concerned (1990), Legal Services for the Poor: Time for Reform (1990), The Vulnerable Social Worker: Liability for Serving Children and Families (1985), and Juvenile Justice Advocacy: Practice in a Unique Court (1974).

Professor Besharov has written more than 250 articles, and has contributed to The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.