Gordon Berlin


Gordon Berlin has served as a trustee of the Weinberg Foundation since December of 2018. Most recently, Berlin was a research professor at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy, where he started a new interdisciplinary research center focused on addressing some of the nation’s most complex and pressing problems from racial disparities in the nation’s juvenile justice systems to countering the corrosive effects of social media on the factual information democracies need to function.   

Before joining Georgetown University in 2020, he served as the president of MDRC, one of the nation’s leading social policy research and evaluation firms. Prior to becoming MDRC’s president in 2004, he served as the organization’s senior vice president for program and policy, overseeing MDRC’s activities in the work, community, and economic security policy area and in the education, children, and families policy area.

Berlin brings a range of experiences in both the public and private sectors including the role of executive deputy administrator for management, budget, and policy at the $6 billion, 33,000-person New York City Human Resources Administration. He also worked as a program officer and deputy director of the Ford Foundation’s urban poverty program and as a program analyst and project officer in the US Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. Throughout his career, Berlin has developed and managed programs to address problems associated with welfare dependency, homelessness, teenage pregnancy, early childhood development, poverty, health, unemployment, and other issues of concern to low-income families and communities. He founded and, for seven years, served as the executive director of the Social Research and Demonstration Corporation, a Canadian nonprofit formed at the request of the Canadian government to test innovative employment-focused programs.

Berlin has authored and coauthored numerous publications on employment and social welfare issues, including Poverty and Philanthropy: Strategies for Change; Rewarding the Work of Individuals: A Counterintuitive Approach to Reducing Poverty and Strengthening Families; What Works in Welfare Reform: Evidence and Lessons to Guide TANF Reauthorization; Learning from Experience: A Guide to Social Impact Bond Investing; and Can Evidence-Based Policy Ameliorate the Nation’s Social Problems? He has served on National Academy of Sciences committees; as a member of the MacArthur Foundation-funded Network on Transitions to Adulthood; as an advisory board member to the National Poverty Center; and as chair of the board of Youth Service America, a nonprofit organization responsible for providing technical assistance and disseminating information about national youth service in schools, colleges, and communities.