Richard M. Lerner

Bergstrom Chair, Tufts University

National Advisory Board

Richard M. Lerner is the Bergstrom Chair in Applied Developmental Science and the Director of the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University.  He went from kindergarten through Ph.D. within the New York City public schools, completing his doctorate at the City University of New York in 1971 in developmental psychology.  Lerner has more than 650 scholarly publications, including more than 80 authored or edited books.   He was the founding editor of the Journal of Research on Adolescence and of Applied Developmental Science, which he continues to edit.  He was a 1980-81 fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Psychological Association, and the Association for Psychological Science.  He is the 2013 recipient of the American Psychological Associations (Division 7) Urie Bronfenbrenner Award for Lifetime Contribution to Developmental Psychology in the Service of Science and Society. He is also the 2014 recipient of the American Psychological Association Gold Medal for Life Achievement in the Application of Psychology.

Prior to joining Tufts University, he was on the faculty at The Pennsylvania State University, Michigan State University, and Boston College, where he was the Anita L. Brennan Professor of Education and the Director of the Center for Child, Family, and Community Partnerships.  During the 1994-95 academic year, Lerner held the visiting, Tyner Eminent Scholar Chair in the Human Sciences at Florida State University.  

Lerner serves on the Board of Directors of the Military Child Education Coalition (and co-chairs their Scientific Advisory Board). He is also a member of the National Advisory Board of the Positive Coaching Alliance. In addition, Lerner is a Trustee of the Milton S. Eisenhower Foundation, and he is a member of the Board of Advisors of the John Templeton Foundation.

Lerner is known for his theory of relations between life-span human development and social change, and for his research about the relations between adolescents and their peers, families, schools, and communities.  As illustrated by his 2004 book, Liberty:  Thriving and Civic Engagement among America’s Youth, and his 2007 book, The Good Teen:  Rescuing Adolescence from the Myth of the Storm and Stress Years, his work integrates the study of public policies and community-based programs with the promotion of positive youth development and youth contributions to civil society.  

He is married to Dr. Jacqueline V. Lerner, Professor in the Department of Applied Developmental and Educational Psychology in the Lynch School of Education at Boston College.  They live in Wayland, Massachusetts.  They have three children, Justin, 33, a director and screen writer living in Los Angeles, Blair, 31, an advertising executive at Media Contacts in Boston, and Jarrett, 27, a novelist and editor living in Boston. They have one grandchild, Harper Rose Ramsey, who is 20 months old.

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