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Gary Slutkin
Dr. Gary Slutkin is a visionary leader and innovator in violence reduction. He is an American epidemiologist and the Founder/ Executive Director of CeaseFire, an innovative, scientifically proven approach that regards violence as an infectious disease. Dr. Slutkin applied lessons learned from more than a decade fighting epidemics in Africa and Asia to the creation of a public health model to reduce violence through behavior change and disease control. He is an Ashoka Fellow, a Professor of Epidemiology and International Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a senior advisor to the World Health Organization.

Dr. Slutkin spent more than a decade fighting epidemics throughout Asia and Africa, including working for the World Health Organization, where he created and led their Intervention Development Unit, which guided over 120 countries in epidemiological and program methods. He credits his WHO training and experiences abroad to educating his view of violence in terms of public health field strategy, specifically CeaseFire’s results-driven approach. His work overseas was featured in Studs Terkel’s Will the Circle be Unbroken.

In 1995, Dr. Slutkin turned his attention toward the field of violence prevention; applying data, evidence and rigorous evaluation with the hope of producing lasting solutions. His training and experience as an epidemiologist with the World Health Organization had taught him to approach problems in terms of health field strategy – what works, what produces results, what adds up to large-scale change. After five years of research and collaboration with faith leaders, community stakeholders, and law enforcement into violence prevention strategy, Dr. Slutkin helped develop the CeaseFire Model.

Dr. Slutkin is an ardent crusader of the violence prevention movement. He has shared the vision that urban violence is not an intractable problem, but one that can be slowed or stopped before numerous audiences. He was a featured speaker at the 2008 PopTech Conference (, a gathering of global innovators, thinkers, and leaders from diverse disciplines. He has also presented the CeaseFire Model at the White House Conference on Gang Violence Prevention & Crime Control and was the featured plenary speaker the 2009 National Institute of Justice Conference, the premiere forum for research and evaluation in the criminal justice field in the U.S. ( CeaseFire has also been endorsed as “best practice” for violence prevention by both the National Governors’ Association and the National League of Cities.

Blog Entries by Gary Slutkin

Re-understanding Violence as We Had to Re-Understand Plague..To Cure It

0 Comments | Posted April 19, 2012 | 11:05 AM

God was punishing Europe. To the devout Christian populous in 14th century nothing else made sense. Twelve Genoese ships docked in Messina, Sicily in October 1347. Onboard the vessels' dying sailors writhed in agony as their bodies became marred with dark, black, swollen patches oozing blood and pus. The victims...

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A New Approach: L.A. and Chicago Successfully Lower Homicide Rates

0 Comments | Posted February 23, 2011 | 10:48 AM

At the start of 2011 we have great reason to celebrate, as homicides in the nation's two largest epicenters for violence -- Chicago and Los Angeles -- are at their lowest levels since the 1960s. In both cities, new strategies in violence prevention are being employed,...

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Pieces of the Behavior Change Puzzle

0 Comments | Posted October 18, 2010 | 1:01 PM

Molly Melching had accomplished something remarkable in Senegal. She took a stubbornly ingrained cultural norm, one with 2,000 years of history woven into the very fabric of family practices and tribal custom, with dangerous consequences, and provided the tools to reverse it. Skeptics, some reacting with hostility, said...

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