As an advocate for poor women and children, Professor Gail Garfield has been active in efforts to reshape social policies and practices in the areas of child welfare, public housing, foster care, drug treatment for women, and violence against women. Professor Garfield holds a Doctor of Philosophy and a Master Degree in Sociology from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, a Master of Arts Degree from the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Child Psychology from the Institute of Child Development, both from the University of Minnesota. Her current book is titled, Tightrope: A Racial Journey to the Age of Obama.
For ten-years she was the executive director of the Institute on Violence, Inc. The focus of the Institute’s activities was on African American women’s experiences of violence, and the program areas included: research, policy advocacy, technical support, and outreach and education. Prior to this position, she was the senior policy analyst for human services with the Manhattan Borough President’s Office. She also directed the Public Policy Program at St. Peters College in Jersey City, New Jersey and worked as a senior research analyst with the Community Services Society.