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Thomas Abt

October 19, Copley Square
Thomas Abt is a senior research fellow with the Center for International Development at Harvard Kennedy School, where he leads their Security and Development Seminar Series. He is also a senior fellow to the Criminal Justice Policy Program at Harvard Law School and the Igarape Institute in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Prior to his time at Harvard, Abt was a policymaker during the Obama administration, serving as Chief of Staff to the Office of Justice Programs at the US Department of Justice. During this time, he helped create the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention, which aims to reduce youth and gang violence, as well as the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative. Abt also served as Deputy Secretary for Public Safety to Governor Andrew Cuomo in New York, where he focused on urban violence and supervised all of the criminal justice and homeland security agencies including Homeland Security and Emergency Services and the Divisions of Corrections and Community Supervision. His book titled Bleeding Out: The Devastating Consequences of Urban Violence--and a Bold New Plan for Peace in the Streets was deemed "a useful addition to the necessarily growing literature on urban violence" by Kirkus in a rave review. His work has also been featured in the New York Times, the Guardian, the Chicago Sun-Times, Vox, and National Public Radio.