Ryan Dougherty

Ryan Dougherty is a second year PhD student in Social Welfare. He received a BS in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience from the University of Michigan and Master of Social Welfare from UCLA. Throughout his undergraduate career, Ryan coordinated research examining the lived-experiences of people with disabilities. Concurrently, he assisted in research in both experimental psychopathology and pharmacogenomics to examine the cognitive mechanisms of psychotic disorders and effects of prescribed psychotropic drugs. These experiences have motivated Ryan to examine how political and social systems shape the use and experiences of taking psychiatric medications, particularly among people diagnosed with severe mental illnesses in community contexts. Currently, he is pursuing his research through a field-based ethnography in Los Angeles County through the UCLA Center for Social Medicine and Humanities with Drs. Joel Braslow and Philippe Bourgois, and is under the mentorship of Dr. David Cohen in Social Welfare.


Kenya L. Covington

Kenya L. Covington conducts empirical research that examines social and economic inequality associated with the structural makeup of metropolitan areas. Her work suggests ways to better utilize social and urban policies that likely mitigate disparities in economic opportunity and well-being overall.

For over a decade she was professor of urban studies and planning at California State University Northridge and concluded her tenure as full professor. In 2015 she was named Distinguished Teacher of the Year.

Professor Covington teaches courses on Housing Policy, Introduction to Public Policy, Research Methods, Forces of Urbanization, Social Inequality and Urban Poverty. She joined the Public Policy faculty at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs in 2017. 

Dr. Covington actively participates in APPAM, Urban Affairs, ACSP and the Population Association of America. Over her career, Dr. Covington’s articles have appeared in the Journal of Urban Studies, Brookings Institution Policy Briefs, Journal of Urban Affairs, the International Journal on Economic Development, the Harvard Journal on Legislation, the National Urban League’s 2003 and 2004 publication titled The State of Black America, and The Review of Black Political Economy, among other publications.

Jody Heymann

Dr. Heymann established and will continue to lead the first global initiative to examine health and social policy in all 193 UN nations. This initiative provides an in-depth look at how health and social policies affect the ability of individuals, families and communities to meet their health needs across the economic and social spectrum worldwide. In addition to carrying out award-winning global social policy research, Heymann carried out some of the original studies on the risk of HIV transmission via breast milk to infants in Africa, the impact of HIV/AIDS on tuberculosis rates in Africa, and how labor conditions impact the health and welfare of families globally.

She has authored and edited more than 200 publications, including 15 books. These include Changing Children’s Chances(Harvard University Press, 2013), Making Equal Rights Real (Cambridge University Press, 2012), Lessons in Educational Equality (Oxford University Press, 2012), Protecting Childhood in the AIDS Pandemic (Oxford University Press, 2012), Profit at the Bottom of the Ladder (Harvard Business Press, 2010), Raising the Global Floor (Stanford University Press, 2009),Trade and Health (McGill Queens University Press, 2007), Forgotten Families (Oxford University Press, 2006), Healthier Societies (Oxford University Press, 2006), Unfinished Work (New Press, 2005), Global Inequalities at Work (Oxford University Press, 2003), and The Widening Gap (Basic Books, 2000).

Deeply committed to translating research into policies and programs that improve individual and population health, Dr. Heymann has worked with government leaders in North America, Europe, Africa and Latin America as well as a wide range of intergovernmental organizations including the World Health Organization, the International Labor Organization, the World Economic Forum, UNICEF and UNESCO. Central to her efforts is bridging the gap between research and policymakers. She has helped develop legislation with the U.S. Congress as well as with UN agencies based on the implications of her team’s research results. Dr. Heymann’s findings have been featured on CNN Headline News; MSNBC; Good Morning America; Fox News; National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered,” “Fresh Air” and “Marketplace;” in The New York TimesWashington Post; Los Angeles Times; Business Week; Inc; Portfolio; Forbes India and USA Today, among other internationally and nationally syndicated programs and press.

Yiwen (Xavier) Kuai

Yiwen is a doctoral student at the Department of Urban Planning at UCLA Luskin. His research interests include housing affordability, neighborhood and poverty, gentrification, transportation, urban economics, and international development. His current research projects include topics on the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program, suburban street width and parking policy, gentrification issues in New York City, social networks among public housing residents, etc. Yiwen is also a research affiliate of Furman Center for Real Estate & Urban Policy at New York University.

LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/xavierkuai
Office Location: 1355 Public Affairs Building

Karen Kaufmann

Karen Kaufmann is a lecturer in the department of Public Policy in the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs.  She received her Ph.D. in political science from UCLA and was an Associate Professor in Government and Politics at the University of Maryland before returning to California.

Kaufmann’s research on urban politics explores the nature of power in American cities and the ever-present challenges that political leaders face with respect to enacting policies that aid the poor. Kaufmann (with collaborator Thomas Holbrook) was awarded a $750,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to study race relations and political behavior in American cities.  Her work examines local politics in the context of diversity, with an eye to the roles that competing interests and incentives play in undermining successful minority coalitions. She is the author of numerous articles and two books — “The Urban Voter: Group Conflict and Mayoral Voting Behavior in American Cities” (University of Michigan Press) and “Unconventional Wisdom: Facts and Myths about American Voters” (with John R. Petrocik and Daron R. Shaw, Oxford University Press).

Kaufmann teaches classes on urban poverty and public policy, urban politics and U.S. housing policy.



The Urban Voter: Group Conflict and Mayoral Voting Behavior in American Cities
University of Michigan Press, 2004
The Consequences of Marriage and Motherhood: How Gender Traits Influence Voter Evaluations of Female Candidates
Journal of Women, Politics and PolicyFebruary 2015, 6:1:1-21 (with Melissa Bell).
Turf Wars: Local Context and Latino Political Development
Urban Affairs Review, January 2012, Volume 48:1:111-147 (with Benjamin Bishin and Daniel Stevens).
Political Behavior in the Context of Racial Diversity: The Case for Studying Local Politics
January 2011, 
PS: Political Science and Politics (with Antonio Rodriguez).
Battleground States versus Blackout States: The Behavioral Implications of Modern Presidential Campaigns
Journal of Politics, August 2007, Volume 69 (3):786-797 (with Jim Gimpel and Shanna Pearson-Merkowitz).
Immigration and the Future of Black Power in American Cities
Du Bois Review, (spring) March 2007, Volume 4 (1):79-96.

Bill Parent

Bill Parent is lecturer in public policy at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. He teaches Leadership and Management of Nonprofit Organizations and Leadership in the Public Interest.

Since coming to the Luskin School in 2000, he has served as Associate Dean for Administration, Associate Dean for Advancement, and Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives. He was acting director of the former UCLA Luskin Center for Civil Society from 2009 to 2015.

He has published articles and opinion pieces in the Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post and California Policy Options.

Before coming to UCLA in 2000, Bill was on the senior staff of the Harvard Kennedy School, including five years as executive director of the Harvard University-Ford Foundation Innovations in American Government Program.

He is a former newspaper reporter and also worked in New York City Board of Education and the California Governor’s Office of Appropriate Technology during Gov. Jerry Brown’s second term.

He holds an Ed.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Yeheskel (Zeke) Hasenfeld

Dr. Hasenfeld’s research focuses on the dynamic relations between social welfare policies, the organizations that implement these policies and the people who use their services. The study of these relations enables policy makers and practitioners to understand how social welfare policies and services are actually delivered by workers and experienced by clients, and the resulting impact the policies have on the well-being of their recipients.

Prof. Hasenfeld has done theoretical and empirical research in conceptualizing human service organizations and applying organizational theory to understand their structural features. He has explored the strategies these organizations use to relate and adapt to their environment; how these affect their internal structures and services; how they structure the relations between staff and clients; and the consequences of these relations on clients’ well-being. In recent years, his research has focused on the implementation of welfare reform, especially the ideological, political and economic processes that have shaped it. He has studied the changes in the organization of welfare departments, and how such changes have affected the relations between workers and recipients. Currently, he is studying the role of non-profit organizations in the provision of social services. He has recently completed an analysis of the impact of welfare reform.


Organizational Responses to Social Policy: The Case of Welfare Reform
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What Exactly Is Human Services Management?
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The Epistemological Challenges of Social Work Intervention Research
Author: Eve Garrow & Yeheskel Hasenfeld
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When Professional Power Fails: A Power Relations Perspective

Author: Eve Garrow & Yeheskel Hasenfeld


Michael A. Stoll

Michael A. Stoll is Professor of Public Policy in the Luskin School of Public Affairs at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He serves as a Fellow at the American Institutes for Research, the Brookings Institution, the Institute for Research on Poverty at University of Wisconsin, Madison, and the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and served as a past Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation.

Dr. Stoll’s published work explores questions of poverty, labor markets, migration, and crime. His past work includes an examination of the labor market difficulties of less-skilled workers, in particular the role that racial residential segregation, job location patterns, job skill demands, employer discrimination, job competition, transportation, job information and criminal records play in limiting employment opportunities.

His recent work examines the labor market consequences of mass incarceration and the benefits and costs of the prison boom. A recently completed book, Why Are so Many Americans in Prison, explores the causes of the American prison boom and what to do about it to insure both low crime and incarceration rates.

Much of his work has been featured in a variety of media outlets including NPR, PBS, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Economist, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, and Washington Post, ABC, NBC, CBS, Univision, among other outlets.  He also regularly advises the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services and Labor, as well as for state and local governments in various capacities.

Prof. Stoll received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a B.S. from the University of California, Berkeley.




Why are So Many Americans in Prison? jointly authored with Steven Raphael, New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation, 2013.

Do Prisons Make Us Safer? The Benefits and Costs of the Prison Boom
edited with Steven Raphael, New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation, 2009

Barriers to Reentry? The Labor Market for Released Prisoners in Post-Industrial America edited with David Weiman and Shawn Bushway, New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation, 2007 (Selected as a Noteworthy Book in Industrial Relations by Princeton University’s Industrial Relations Section.)

Michael Lens

A large and growing body of research shows that neighborhoods matter for several life outcomes including economic mobility, education, and safety. For many reasons, positive neighborhood attributes remain unattainable for low-income households in many U.S. metropolitan areas. Professor Lens’ work fulfills gaps in the literature that evaluates the potential for housing policy to reduce this separation by focusing on neighborhood safety and access to jobs. This research contributes to this literature in both conceptual and empirical ways. Specifically, this research 1) measures the neighborhood conditions of families that receive housing subsidies; 2) analyzes the potential interactions of crime with subsidized housing and commercial development; 3) identifies how residential location affects employment outcomes; and 4) improves how scholars and policy makers measure neighborhood opportunity for low-income households.

In recent research, Professor Lens is studying the effect of the housing bust on housing subsidy demand and local government finances, the role of public investments in gentrification processes, and the spatial concentration of eviction. Professor Lens’ research has won awards from the Journal of the American Planning Association and Housing Policy Debate.

Among several grants, Professor Lens has – along with fellow UCLA Urban Planning Professor Paavo Monkkonen – a multiyear grant from the MacArthur Foundation to study the effect of the housing boom and bust on local government finances.

Professor Lens teaches courses on Quantitative Analysis, Community-Based Research, Housing Markets and Policy, Poverty and Inequality, and Research Methods.

Click here to view available office hours.


Job Accessibility Among Housing Subsidy Recipients
Housing Policy Debate 24(4): 671-691.
Best Paper of 2013-14, Housing Policy Debate
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The Impact of Housing Vouchers on Crime in U.S. Cities and Suburbs
Urban Studies 51(6): 1274-1289.
Author: Lens, M.C.
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The Limits of Housing Investment as a Revitalization Tool: Crime in New York City
Journal of the American Planning Association 79(3): 211-221.
Author: Lens, M.C.
Best Article of 2014, Journal of the American Planning Association
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Safe, but Could Be Safer: Why Do Voucher Households Live in Higher Crime Neighborhoods?
Cityscape 15(3): 131-152.
Author: Lens, M.C.
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Subsidized Housing and Crime: Theory, Mechanisms, and Evidence
Journal of Planning Literature 28(4): 352-363.
Author: Lens, M.C.
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American Murder Mystery Revisited: Do Housing Voucher Households Cause Crime?
Housing Policy Debate, 22(4): 551-572.
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Do Vouchers Help Low-Income Households Live in Safer Neighborhoods? Evidence on the Housing Choice Voucher Program
2011, Cityscape, 13(3): 135-159.
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Other Links:

How Zoning Restrictions Make Segregation Worse
Memphis Murder Revisited: Do Housing Voucher Households Cause Crime?
Gang Injunction Draws Suspicion In Hidden Valley
Moving Poor People Into a Neighborhood Doesn’t Cause Crime


Refereed Journal Articles

Lens, Michael C., and Vincent Reina. “The Impact of Housing Subsidy Expirations on Neighborhood Opportunity.” Housing Policy Debate. Forthcoming.

Lens, Michael C., and C.J. Gabbe. “Employment Proximity and Outcomes for Moving to Opportunity Families.” Journal of Urban Affairs. Forthcoming.

Lens, Michael C., and Rachel Meltzer. “Is Crime Bad for Business? New York City Neighborhoods 2004 to 2010.” Journal of Regional Science, Forthcoming 

Lens, Michael C. “Measuring the Geography of Opportunity.” Progress in Human Geography, Forthcoming 

Lens, Michael C., and Paavo Monkkonen. 2016. “Housing Market Regulation and Economic Segregation.”Journal of the American Planning Association, 82(1): 6-21.

Lens, Michael C. 2014. “Job Accessibility Among Housing Subsidy Recipients.” Housing Policy Debate24(4): 671-691. Best Paper of 2013-14, Housing Policy Debate.

Lens, Michael C. 2014. “The Impact of Housing Vouchers on Crime in U.S. Cities and Suburbs.” Urban Studies 51(6): 1274-1289.

Lens, Michael C. 2013. “The Limits of Housing Investment as a Revitalization Tool: Crime in New York City.” Journal of the American Planning Association 79(3): 211-221. Best Paper of Volume 79, Journal of the American Planning Association.

Lens, Michael C. 2013. “Safe, but Could Be Safer: Why Do Voucher Households Live in Higher Crime Neighborhoods?” Cityscape 15(3): 131-152.

Lens, Michael C. 2013. “Subsidized Housing and Crime: Theory, Mechanisms, and Evidence.” Journal of Planning Literature 28(4): 352-363.

Ellen, Ingrid Gould, Michael C. Lens, and Katherine M. O’Regan. 2012.  “American Murder Mystery Revisited: Do Housing Voucher Households Cause Crime?” Housing Policy Debate, 22(4): 551-572.

Lens, Michael C., Ingrid Gould Ellen, and Katherine M. O’Regan. 2011. “Do Vouchers Help Low-Income Households Live in Safer Neighborhoods? Evidence on the Housing Choice Voucher Program.” Cityscape, 13(3): 135-159.


Papers in Progress

Sugie, Naomi and Michael C. Lens. “Spatial Job Search, Residential Job Accessibility, and Employment Outcomes for Returning Parolees.” Revise and resubmit (Demography)

Lens, Michael C. “Housing Subsidy Demand During The Great Recession.” Revise and resubmit (Urban Studies)