PhD, Social Welfare, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Cohort Four Fellow

Academic Mentor
Lonnie Berger
Professor, School of Social Work, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Director, Institute for Research on Poverty, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Policy Mentor
Ken Taylor
Executive Director, Wisconsin Council on Children & Families

Current Institutional Affiliation
Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago: Researcher

Areas of Expertise

Economic Supports for Families, Low-Income Families and Individuals, Program Evaluation


Dr. Leah Gjertson is a Researcher at Chapin Hall. She conducts applied research that aims to promote family economic security and to improve outcomes for youth touched by the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Her current portfolio includes projects that support state human service agencies to better use and analyze their public program data, examine program and policy issues in early care and education, and efforts to advance evidence-based policymaking through linkage of administrative data across levels of government. Gjertson has experience with administrative data analysis, survey research, and experimental program evaluation.

Gjertson holds a PhD in Social Welfare and a Master of Science in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Juris Doctor from Drake University Law School.