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Valerie ​Shapiro, PhD

Associate Professor, Community Health Sciences
  • Associate Professor, UC Berkeley School of Social Welfare
  • Co-Director, Center for Prevention Research in Social Welfare

Valerie B. Shapiro, PhD, is an associate professor, the PhD Program Director, and the Co-Director of the Center for Prevention Research in Social Welfare at the University of California, Berkeley. She also serves as an analyst for the Social Development Research Group as well as the Devereux Center for Resilient Children.


Dr. Shapiro’s research is in the prevention of mental, emotional, and behavioral problems in children and youth through the adoption, implementation, and sustainability of effective prevention practices. In order to promote the use of effective prevention practice, her scholarship focuses on how to (1) set the stage for communities to adopt and sustain a science-based approach to prevention, (2) implement programs successfully, and (3) assess youth outcomes in routine practice. She serves on the steering committee of the Coalition for the Promotion of Behavioral Health that produced the National Academy of Medicine Discussion Paper entitled “Unleashing the Power of Prevention.” She is currently studying the implementation of Social Emotional Learning practices in school and out-of-school time (OST) settings.

Dr. Shapiro has been a Society of Social Work & Research Dissertation Fellow (2012), an NIMH Child Intervention, Prevention, & Services (CHIPS) Fellow (2013), and a Hellman Foundation Fellow (2014), and visiting scholar at Northwestern University (2017). She was also the sole recipient of the 2014 Prytanean Faculty Prize, recognized for demonstrated scholarly achievement, distinguished teaching, and success as a role model for students at UC Berkeley. She became a Fellow of the Society of Social Work & Research in 2017. Dr. Shapiro has published over 30 peer-reviewed papers in prominent interdisciplinary journals such as the Journal of Adolescent Health, Prevention Science, School Psychology Quarterly, and the American Journal of Community Psychology, as well as well-regarded Social Work journals including Social Work Research, the Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research, and Social Work Research & Practice. Her research has been supported by the Berkeley Faculty Research Fund, Kaiser Permanente Northern California Community Benefit Program, and the Stuart Foundation, as well as through institutional grants from the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute of Health Multidisciplinary Clinical Research Program. She was named a 2019 finalist for the national W.T. Grant Foundation Scholars Program competition.

Dr. Shapiro has also been recognized by GADE (2012) for Leadership and Service to Doctoral Education in Social Work, holds an LSW, and is a Department of Education Certified School Social Worker. She was selected to participate in the award-winning UC Women’s Initiative for Leadership Pipeline Development (2018) and has now been certified as a UC WI program facilitator (2019). She serves as a coach for the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity, an Affiliate Board Member of the National Prevention Science Coalition, a member of the National Scientific Advisory Committee for the Fahs-Beck Fund at the New York Community Trust, and a workgroup co-chair for the California Department of Education CASEL Collaborating States Initiative.

Research Interests

  • Behavioral Health and Prevention/Intervention
  • Community, Organizational and Policy Development
  • Systems of Care for Children/Families/Elderly
  • Adoption, Implementation, and Sustainability of Effective Prevention Practices<
  • Strength-Based Screening and Assessment in Schools and Youth Serving Organizations
  • Coalition-Based Models for Community Decision-Making to Prevent Mental, Emotional and Behavior Problems in Young People