Susan Popkin

Dr. Susan (Sue) J. Popkin

Senior Fellow, Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center
Director, The Urban Institute's Program on Neighborhoods and Youth Development
Urban Institute


Susan J. Popkin is both Director of The Urban Institute's Program on Neighborhoods and Youth Development and a Senior Fellow in the Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center. A nationally recognized expert on assisted housing and mobility, Popkin has researched the impact of the radical changes in housing policy over the past decade on the lives of the most vulnerable public and assisted housing families. This body of research includes the HOPE VI Panel Study, the first large-scale, systematic look at outcomes for families involuntarily relocated from public housing; the "Chicago Family Case Management Demonstration," a unique partnership that is testing the impact and cost-effectiveness of intensive services for the most troubled public housing residents; the "Three City Study of Moving to Opportunity"; and the analysis of housing and mobility outcomes for the ongoing "MTO Final Evaluation."

Popkin is currently developing a new research agenda growing out of her work on public housing that will focus on the ways that neighborhood environments, particularly violence, sexual harassment and pressure for early sexual initiation, affect youth transitions to adulthood. Previously, she directed the a series of studies on public housing transformation in Chicago, the only national study of public housing desegregation, and two large-scale studies of the Gautreaux Housing Desegregation program.

Prior to joining the Urban Institute, Dr. Popkin was an Associate at Abt Associates, Inc. Prior to her position at Abt, she was an Assistant Professor of Community Health Sciences, School of Public Health, and a Senior Research Specialist at the Prevention Research Center, University of Illinois at Chicago. Popkin holds a PhD in Human Development and Social Policy from Northwestern University.



Year Degree Institution
1998 PhD, Human Development and Social Policy Northwestern University
1986 MA, Human Development and Social Policy Northwestern University
1982 BS, Human Dev & Psych Services Northwestern University


Year Title  
1988 Welfare: Views from the Bottom

Selected Publications

Marla McDaniel, Susan J. Popkin, Judy Berman, Paola Barahona, Priya Saxena, Deborah Quint, Stephen J. Teach (2014). Making Sense of Childhood Asthma: Lessons for Building a Better System of Care (Research Report).

Susan J. Popkin, Marla McDaniel (2013). HOST: Can Public Housing be a Platform for Change? (Series/HOST). Urban Institute Series/HOST.

Reed Jordan, Amanda Mireles, Susan J. Popkin (2013). HOST Youth: The Challenges of Growing up in Low-Income Housing (Series/HOST). Urban Institute Series/HOST.

Last Updated: 2014-09-08 15:44:30