Gordon Berlin was appointed President of MDRC on September 1, 2004. Prior to becoming president, he served as MDRC's Chief Operating Officer, overseeing MDRC's activities in the Work, Community, and Economic Security policy area and in the Education, Children, and Families policy area. Before joining MDRC in 1990, he was Executive Deputy Administrator for Management, Budget, and Policy at the $6-billion, 33,000-person New York City Human Resources Administration. He also worked as a program officer and Deputy Director of the Ford Foundation’s Urban Poverty program and as a program analyst and project officer in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. Throughout his career, Berlin has developed and managed programs to address problems associated with welfare dependency, homelessness, teenage pregnancy, early childhood development, poverty, health, unemployment, and other issues of concern to low-income families and communities. He founded and, for seven years, served as the Executive Director of the Social Research and Demonstration Corporation, a Canadian nonprofit formed at the request of the Canadian government to test innovative employment-focused programs.
Berlin has authored and coauthored numerous publications on employment and social welfare issues, including Poverty and Philanthropy: Strategies for Change; Rewarding the Work of Individuals: A Counterintuitive Approach to Reducing Poverty and Strengthening Families; and What Works in Welfare Reform: Evidence and Lessons to Guide TANF Reauthorization. He has served on National Academy of Sciences committees, as a member of the MacArthur Foundation-funded Network on Transitions to Adulthood, as an advisory board member to the National Poverty Center, and as chair of the Board of Youth Service America, a nonprofit organization responsible for providing technical assistance and disseminating information about national youth service in schools, colleges, and communities.