Gary Orfield
University of California, Los Angeles
Professor of Education

Year Elected


Membership status

Gary Orfield is Professor of Education, Law, Political Science and Urban Planning at the University of California-Los Angeles, and Professor of Education and Social Policy at Harvard University during the transition of the Civil Rights Project to UCLA. Professor Orfield is interested in the study of civil rights, education policy, urban policy, and minority opportunity. He has been Director of the Civil Rights Project at Harvard, an initiative that develops and published a new generation of research on multicultural civil rights issues. At UCLA, The Civil Rights Project/El Proyecto de CRP will add more emphasis on issues of immigration and language and more focus on California and the Southwest to its long-standing work and a new co-director, Patricia Gandara. Orfield’s central interest has been the development and implementation of social policy, with a central focus on impact of policy on equal opportunity for success in American society. Recent works include five co-edited books over the last two years and numerous articles and reports. Recent books include, Dropouts in America: Confronting the Graduation Rate Crisis, School Resegregation: Must the South Turn Back?(with John Boger), and Higher Education and the Color Line (with Patricia Marin and Catherine Horn). In addition to his scholarly work, Orfield has been involved in the development of governmental policy and has served as an expert witness in several dozen court cases related to his research, including the University of Michigan Supreme Court case which upheld the policy of affirmative action in 2003 and has been called to give testimony in civil rights suits by the United State Department of Justice and many civil rights, legal services, and educational organizations. He was awarded the American Political Science Association’s Charles Merriam Award for his contribution to the art of government through the application of social science research.” He has been awarded the 2007 Social Justice in Education Award by the American Educational Research Association. A native Minnesotan, Orfield received his PhD from the University of Chicago and travels annually to Latin America, where his research work is now expanding.

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