Dr. Gary Slutkin, MD thinks of violence as a disease.
A physician, epidemiologist, and innovator in violence reduction, Dr. Slutkin is the Founder and Executive Director of Cure Violence, an anti-violence program that uses a scientifically proven, public health approach to build on disease control and behavior change methods.
Dr. Slutkin is an Ashoka Fellow, a Professor of Epidemiology and International Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago, a senior advisor to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the 2009 Winner of the Search for Common Ground Award. He received his MD from the University of Chicago Pritzker School Of Medicine and completed his internship, residency, and infectious disease control training at UCSF/San Francisco General Hospital. He ran the Tuberculosis (TB) Program for San Francisco from 1981 to 1985, moved to Somalia to work on TB and cholera epidemics in 1985, and in 1987 was recruited by the World Health Organization, working for seven years in over 20 countries, including leading efforts – using behavior change methods – to reverse the AIDS epidemic in Uganda. He was then appointed Director of Intervention Development for WHO (global). Dr. Slutkin credits his WHO training and experiences with informing his understanding and approach to violence and behavior change, and specifically the development of Cure Violence’s results-driven and epidemic control approach.
Independently funded, Cure Violence has been evaluated by the U.S. Department of Justice, Johns Hopkins University and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control as effective in reducing shootings and killings. Cure Violence was named in the top 100 NGOs Worldwide by the Global Journal in 2012 and 2013. In 2013, it was named in the top 10 NGOs worldwide, ranking #9 overall and first on violence prevention.
Currently working in 15 U.S. cities and in 8 countries on three continents including the UK, Trinidad, South Africa and Iraq, the Cure Violence method is being promoted by the National League of Cities, the National Governors Association, the White House, and by the U.S. Foreign Relations Committee and the World Bank.
Dr. Slutkin’s work has been featured in Studs Terkel’s Will the Circle be Unbroken, profiled in Blocking the Transmission, a Sunday New York Times Magazine cover story, and featured in the award-winning documentary The Interrupters. Dr. Slutkin is also the Co-Founder of PeaceTXT, a new international effort to use mobile phones for violence reduction currently being pilot tested in Kenya, and is currently working on a book about these new methods for understanding and reducing lethal violence.