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Gary G. Orfield

Gary Orfield is Professor of Education and Social Policy at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Professor Orfield is interested in the study of civil rights, education policy, urban policy, and minority opportunity. He is Co-Founder and Director of the Civil Rights Project at Harvard, an initiative that is developing and publishing a new generation of research on multiracial civil rights issues. Orfield's central interest has been the development and implementation of social policy, with a central focus on the impact of policy on equal opportunity for success in American society.  Recent works include studies of changing patterns of school desegregation and the impact of diversity on the educational experiences of law students. In addition to his scholarly work, Orfield has been involved with development of governmental policy and has served as an expert witness in court cases related to his research. He has participated as an expert witness of a court-appointed expert in several dozen civil rights cases, 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 States Department of Justice and many civil rights, legal services, and educational organizations.  In 1997, Orfield 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." A native Minnesotan, Orfield received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and travels annually to Latin America, where his research work is now expanding.