Jennifer Greenfield

Jennifer Greenfield

Associate Professor; Assoc Dean for Doctoral Ed.

What I do

I'm passionate about social policy: how policies help shape the human experience, and how humans shape policies. I particularly love teaching about social policy and advocacy, even (or especially) in these turbulent times. As my current students know, teaching policy often involves processing the news in real time, and I love learning from my students' experiences and perspectives. Being involved in policy analysis and political work can be a whirlwind, though, so I'm grateful to my colleagues, my twin boys and my Siberian huskies for helping to keep me grounded.


aging and gerontology, civic and community engagement, disparities, economic development, health and wellness, marginalized populations, poverty, public policy, racial justice, social justice

Professional Biography

Associate Professor Jennifer Greenfield's research focuses on the intersections of health and wealth disparities across the life course, especially through the mechanism of family care work. Through her research, Greenfield seeks to identify and test policies that best support families as they balance work and caregiving. Policy topics such as paid family leave, minimum wage policy and economic self-sufficiency are a major focus of her work and she frequently speaks on these issues through legislative testimony, guest commentaries and media interviews.

Greenfield, who joined the GSSW faculty in 2013, teaches several policy-focused courses, including:
* Social Policy Analysis, Advocacy, and Practice, Health Care Policy, Policy Advocacy, Aging Policy, and Mental Health and Health Care Policy at the masters level
* Social Policy Analysis and Development in both the masters and doctoral programs.


  • Certificate, Chinese Language, Beijing Language Institute
  • Ph.D., Social Work, Washington University, 2013
  • MSW, Social Work, Saint Louis University, 2008
  • BA, English, Albright College, 1992

Professional Affiliations

  • Other
  • Other
  • National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
  • Society for Social Work Research (SSWR)
  • Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)

Media Sources

Key Projects

  • Expert Analysis for Potential Colorado Paid Family and Medical Leave Program


Greenfield, J., Cole, P., Reichman, N., & Galgiani, H. (2020). The Promise of Family Leave in Colorado. Annual Meeting. Washington, DC: Society for Social Work and Research.
Greenfield, J., Hasche, L. K., Bell, L., & Johnson, H. (2018). The relationship between paid leave and financial security among working caregivers of older adults. Washington, DC: Society for Social Work and Research.
Greenfield, J., & Neary, C. (2017). Measuring the Costs of Informal Caregiving: A Review of Research on Economic Burden. 21st IAGG World Congress on Gerontology and Geriatrics. San Francisco, CA: International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics.
Greenfield, J., Gibson, A., Wladkowski, S., Fields, N., Kusmal, N., & Mauldin, R. (2019). Growing the Pipeline of Gerontological Education Leadership through Pre-Dissertation Training Programs . Annual Program Meeting. Denver, CO: Council on Social Work Education.
McLaughlin, J. K., Taeckens, A., Greenfield, J., & Chess, E. S. (2019). Bridging the gap between cognitive health and financial capacity in older adults: A scoping review. Annual Scientific Meeting. Austin, TX: Gerontological Society of America.
Greenfield, J., & Plassmeyer, M. P. (2017). Raising the Wage: Employment, Income, and Social Justice Implications of Minimum Wage Increases. Annual Meeting. New Orleans, LA: Society of Social Work and Research.


  • Award for Excellence in Mentoring In Doctoral Education, Graduate School of Social Work
  • Award for Excellence in Teaching (Appointed Faculty), GSSW
  • MSW Advisor of the Year, Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis
  • Jane B. Aron Doctoral Fellow, National Association of Social Workers
  • Doctoral Fellow, Hartford Doctoral Fellows Program in Geriatric Social Work, Cohort XI