Director of the Workplace Center and Senior Research Scientist
Room 1117

Lauren Gates

Dr. Gates’ expertise is in working with individuals confronted by barriers to labor force participation, such as those with physical or psychiatric disabilities and youth transitioning from foster care. She also works with organizations unfamiliar with best practices for the effective employment of workers with multiple challenges.

Lauren B. Gates is a senior research scientist at the Columbia School of Social Work and director of the Center for Social Policy and Practice in the Workplace. Dr. Gates conducts research and evaluation, provides training, develops policy and programs, and offers consultation around workplace issues for people at risk of not being able to secure or sustain employment such as individuals with physical or psychiatric disability, youth transitioning from foster care, youth with juvenile justice involvement, caregivers of children with chronic illness, older people or victims of domestic violence. With projects throughout the United States, her current focus is on strategies that best promote young adults transitioning from foster care, youth in the juvenile justice system and individuals with disabilities into the world of work, the translation of research into practice, and the use of technology in opening access to workforce preparation for those at-risk with respect to successful labor force participation.

As an adjunct professor, she taught courses in research methods and vocational issues. Her publications include Disability Management: A Complete System to Reduce Costs, Increase Productivity, Meet Employee Needs, and Ensure Legal Compliance, co-authored with S. H. Akabas and D. Galvin, as well as numerous articles on vocational evidence-based practice, disability, labor force diversity, and neighborhood planning. Dr. Gates holds a PhD in City and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MS in Environmental Psychology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

A list of Dr. Gates’ publications can be found here.