E-mail: epn2102@columbia.edu

Eric Nicklas, Ph.D., M.P.Aff., teaches Children, Youth and Family Services and a policy course focused on the child welfare system.  Currently, he is Chief Operating Officer for Forestdale, Inc. a Queens-based private non-profit agency serving the children and families of that borough.

Before joining Forestdale Inc., Dr. Nicklas worked for New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services for nearly eleven years, last serving as Associate Commissioner in the Division of Family Permanency Services.  In that role he focused on practice and systems change in the foster care system with particular focus on permanency for older youth and resource parent recruitment and support.  Prior to this position, he served as Assistant Commissioner for Research and Evaluation, where he managed the annual evaluation of all foster care and preventive service providers. This department also was responsible for measuring and analyzing system performance, with a particular focus on outcomes.  Prior to ACS, Dr. Nicklas served with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, where he was responsible for policy and operational analyses and grant management.  He began his career in child welfare in 1990 in Los Angeles, CA, where he counseled directly children and youth with severe emotional disturbances placed in residential treatment.

Dr. Nicklas holds a Masters in Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Austin and a BA from Tufts University.  He received his Ph.D. in Social Welfare Policy and Analysis from the Columbia University School of Social work in February 2010.