Dr. Gary Slutkin

professor of epidemiology and founder and CEO, Cure Violence


Dr. Gary Slutkin is professor of epidemiology in the UIC School of Public Health and founder and CEO of Cure Violence. Recognized as an innovator in violence prevention, Slutkin says that violence is a public health issue. Cure Violence stops the spread of violence in communities by using methods and strategies of disease control – detecting and interrupting conflicts, identifying and treating the highest risk individuals, and changing social norms – resulting reductions in violence of 40 to 70 percent.

Dr. Gary Slutkin, founder of CeaseFire, in his office at the University of Illinois Chicago.

Dr. Gary Slutkin, founder of Cure Violence.

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. He is an Ashoka Fellow, a senior advisor to the World Health Organization, and the 2009 Winner of the Search for a Common Ground Award.

Cure Violence programs are working in more than 50 sites in 15 U.S. cities and in seven countries abroad. Slutkin’s work was featured in Studs Terkel’s Will the Circle be Unbroken, profiled in Blocking the Transmission, a New York Magazine cover story by bestselling author Alex Kotlowitz, and represented in the award-winning documentary The Interrupters.

Slutkin served as Medical Director for the Tuberculosis Program for the San Francisco Health Department from 1981 to 1985. From 1987 to 1994, he worked for WHO fighting epidemics and was principally responsible for supporting Uganda’s AIDS program—the only country to have reversed its AIDS epidemic.

Cure Violence is ranked one of the top 20 NGOs in the world by Global Journal and has been endorsed by a resolution from the U.S. Conference of Mayors. In 2016, Slutkin was been named a Chicago Humanitarian of the Year by the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. 

Topic areas:

  • Urban violence
  • Gang violence


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