Kristin S. Seefeldt



Kristin S. Seefeldt is an Assistant Research Scientist at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and the Assistant Director of the National Poverty Center.  Her primary research interests lie in exploring how low-income individuals understand their situations, particularly around issues related to work and economic well-being.  She is the author of Working After Welfare (W.E. Upjohn Institute Press), which discusses employment advancement and work-family balance issues as experienced by former welfare recipients.  Currently, she is conducting qualitative research on families’ financial coping strategies during an economic downturn.

Although much of Kristin’s current work uses a qualitative approach, she also conducts analysis of survey data.  She was a co-Principal Investigator on a panel survey of Michigan welfare recipients examining barriers to employment, known as the Women’s Employment Study (WES).

Another strand of research, begun when she was a researcher at the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C., is focused on documenting and understanding how social welfare policies are implemented.  Currently, she is working with researchers from MDRC and the Urban Institute on an implementation study of four employment programs serving ex-offenders.

At the Ford School, Kristin teaches Social Welfare Policy, a course which explores the ways in which U.S. welfare and related assistance programs have evolved over time and analyzes a wide range of social policy reform options, including those of other countries, that might reduce poverty.  She also frequently consults with policy makers and practitioners at the national, state, and local levels.

Kristin holds a Masters degree in Public Policy from the University of Michigan and is completing her doctoral degree at the University of Michigan in Sociology and Public Policy.