Date: January 31, 2022
TO: The Silver School of Social Work Community
FROM: President Andrew Hamilton and Provost Katherine Fleming

We are proud to announce that our own Michael Lindsey, the Constance and Martin Silver Professor of Poverty Studies and executive director of the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research, will be the next dean of NYU’s Silver School of Social Work, effective July 1, 2022.

As the director of the McSilver Institute, Michael has distinguished himself both within the University and outside of it. He is a world leader in the search for knowledge and solutions to generational poverty and inequality, as well as a widely recognized scholar of child and adolescent mental health, especially among low-income youth and young people of color. His work epitomizes the concept of “ideas with impact,” and his research and widely sought expertise have helped shape national policy in these areas. Within the NYU community, which he first joined in 2014, he is highly esteemed for his openness to collaboration, as demonstrated by his role in NYU’s Cross-Cutting Initiative on Inequality, and his collegiality.

He will bring to the deanship many talents and qualities for which he is admired within the SSSW community and more broadly throughout the University. A careful listener who does not shy away from difficult conversations, Michael is innovative and reflective; he excels at fostering community and managing change; he is down-to-earth and politically sophisticated. He is committed to Silver and its aspirations; to research, practice, and teaching; to diversity and equity; and to making affordability and access priorities. He has a successful record as a fundraiser, an ability to see the big picture, and a vision for the school. In so many, many ways, he exceeds the high bar of what we hope for in the next dean of the Silver School of Social Work.

Michael Lindsey’s scholarship was shaped by his adolescence during the 1980s in the nation’s capital, which was then reeling from the effects of the crack cocaine epidemic. The devastation in Washington’s neighborhoods drove him to try to understand how conditions for youth, such as not being able to arrive at school safely and being educated amidst the stress of crime, poverty, hunger and family upheaval, and racism, could be permitted to persist without a strong public response.

These questions became central to his undergraduate studies in sociology at Morehouse College; his pursuit of a master’s degree in social work for direct service practice with a concentration on mental health from Howard University; his MPH and PhD degrees from the University of Pittsburgh; as well as his postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health.

As a mental health services and intervention scholar, Michael’s research has been funded by both the National Institute of Mental Health and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. His intervention research has focused on how best to engage youth with depression and suicide ideation in school-based counseling services. He is also currently the Principal Investigator of an NICHD-funded randomized controlled trial to test the efficacy of a PTSD and parenting intervention delivered to mothers participating in child welfare preventive services. His research on adolescent suicide has led to the development of federal legislation to address the rising trend of suicides and suicide behaviors among Black adolescents.

As a result of his leadership in social work and the impact of his research, Michael is the recipient of many awards, honors and distinctions. They include being selected in 2019 to lead the working group of experts supporting the Congressional Black Caucus’ Emergency Taskforce on Black Youth Suicide and Mental Health; being named a distinguished fellow of the National Academies of Practice (NAP) in Social Work; being appointed a board member of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare (AASWSW); and being named an Aspen Health Innovators Fellow. He was also appointed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to serve on the Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF). Additionally, he serves on the editorial boards of Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, Psychiatric Services and School Mental Health.

Michael Lindsey was appointed an associate professor in NYU’s Silver School of Social Work in 2014, and was promoted to professor in 2017. He was appointed executive director of the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research in 2016. Prior to coming to NYU, he was a faculty member at the University of Maryland, a psychotherapist in Washington DC, and a researcher at the University of Pittsburgh.

The search process began with an invitation to the Silver community to reflect on their hopes for the future of the school and the role that social work could play in bringing about a more just world. The Dean Search Committee, chaired by Dr. Ernest Gonzales, used comments and contributions from the Silver community to formulate a concept of what they hoped for in a new dean. We are very grateful to the search committee, which included, in addition to Dr. Gonzales, Terrance Coffie, Fabiola Desmont, Marya Gwadz, Linda Lausell-Bryant, Charlton McIlwain, Jennifer Manuel, Linda Mills, Courtney O’Mealley, Matthew Santirocco, Ellen Schall, and Constance McCatherin Silver. Few duties at a university are as weighty as the selection of a dean, who is so vital to setting a direction for a school. The members of this search committee were outstanding, and we thank them for the care they took in envisioning a model dean and their hard work, which came on top of their regular duties, in helping to find such a person.

We also want to take this opportunity to thank Neil Guterman for his dedicated service as dean these past several years. During an unusually challenging period, his devotion to the school and to the field was plainly evident. We are grateful to him, we appreciate his hard work, and we wish him well.

We couldn’t be happier with this appointment. Please join us in congratulating Michael and welcoming him to his new role. We are confident that Silver will be in excellent hands and that the school will thrive under his leadership.