Jeffrey Edleson named to head Berkeley’s School of Social Welfare

Jeffrey Edleson, a leading authority on domestic violence who earned his bachelor’s degree at UC Berkeley’s School of Social Welfare, will return to campus as the school’s permanent dean, effective Aug. 1.

Jeffrey Edleson

Jeffrey Edleson (Lisa Miller photo)

Edleson, a California native who graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Berkeley in 1974, has been a University of Minnesota faculty member for 29 years, serving as a professor and director of research in its School of Social Work and director of the Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse. He was selected to lead Berkeley’s School of Social Welfare after a nationwide search. Sam Davis, a professor emeritus of architecture in the College of Environmental Design, has served as interim dean for the past year.

“My undergraduate experience at Berkeley provided the foundation to develop a life of scholarly inquiry and critical analysis that has helped to improve the lives of children, women and men affected by violence,” Edleson said. “I’m delighted by the opportunity to come back as a dean and mentor a new generation of scholars, and can’t wait to get started.”

Edleson has published more than 120 articles and 12 books, and is co-author of 1999’s Effective Intervention in Domestic Violence and Child Maltreatment Cases, a best-practices guide widely known as “the Greenbook.” An in-demand speaker in the U.S. and internationally, he is frequently called upon to testify as an expert witness in legal matters, including Hague Convention cases involving allegations of domestic violence, the subject of a forthcoming book. His current national service includes membership on the National Institute of Justice’s Scientific Review Panel on Family Violence and Violence Against Women and on the National Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women.

After receiving his bachelor’s degree, Edleson earned his master’s and Ph.D. in social work from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. A practitioner as well as a scholar, he has practiced in elementary and secondary schools and nonprofit agencies, and provided technical assistance to domestic-violence programs and research projects throughout North America and around the world.

He was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, and has four adult sons. His wife, Sudha Shetty, is an attorney and a member of the graduate faculty of the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

As dean, Edleson will head a school that boasts one of the nation’s top-ranked social-work graduate programs. The school also offers an undergraduate major.

“What we’ve found in Jeffrey is a rare combination of exceptional scholarship, outstanding leadership and unshakable commitment to making a difference in the lives of women, children and families,” said Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost George Breslauer. “We’re thrilled he’s agreed to return to Berkeley to lead the School of Social Welfare.”