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About Dean Delva


Dean Jorge Delva, PhD

Jorge Delva, PhD, a prolific author, researcher and nationally recognized expert on substance use disorders and ethnic health inequities, is dean of the BU School of Social Work and director and Paul Farmer Professor at the School’s Center for Innovation in Social Work & Health (CISWH). His research is focused on improving the lives of low-income and racial and ethnic minority groups – to understand cultural variations in the causes of substance use and mental health disorders in the US and globally. In his work at CISWH, he is dedicated to expanding social work’s impact in healthcare and public health to improve the lives of vulnerable populations. 

He joined BUSSW from the University of Michigan’s number-one ranked social work program, where he was the Kristine A. Siefert Collegiate Professor of Social Work and director of the Communities Engagement Program of the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research (MICHR), an NIH center for Clinical and Translational Science Awards. 

Delva is the author of more than 150 publications and his recent research has appeared in Health Education & Behavior, Revista Médica de Chile, and Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. He serves as an external advisory board member for MICHR; is a fellow of the Society for Social Work & Research and the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare; and a past editor-in-chief of Social Work, the flagship journal of the National Association of Social Workers.

Delva holds a master’s degree in social work and a PhD in social welfare from the University of Hawaii.  He completed a postdoctoral program at Johns Hopkins University, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, to study drug epidemiology.

Learn more about Dean Delva’s research.