Professor Amy E. Lerman, is the Michelle Schwartz Chair and Professor of Public Policy and Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, and Director of the Possibility Lab at the University of California. In addition, Professor Lerman currently serves as Senior Strategist for Data-Driven Innovation at the California Government Operations Agency. Her research is focused on issues of equity, public opinion, and political behavior, especially as they relate to public safety and social inequality in America.
Professor Lerman’s scholarship can be found in a wide variety of academic journals and has been featured in numerous media outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, CNN, and NPR. She consults widely on issues related to civic engagement and trust in government, prison reform, access to higher education, and law enforcement mental health.
Professor Lerman is the author of several award-winning books, including work on the American criminal justice system in The Modern Prison Paradox and Arresting Citizenship. Her most recent book, Good Enough for Government Work, examines how perceptions of government shape citizens’ attitudes toward privatization and public programs.
In addition to her research, Lerman previously served as a speechwriter and communications consultant for national nonprofits and members of the United States Congress, a community organizer in Latin America and Southeast Asia, and an adjunct faculty member of the Prison University Project at San Quentin State Prison. In 2023, Lerman was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.