Columbia University in the City of New York

New Scholar-in-Residence Joins Zuckerman Institute Efforts to Enhance Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Clinical psychologist will advise on issues of bias and lead trainings to combat prejudice and racism.

Dana E. Crawford, PhD

New York – Columbia University’s Zuckerman Institute announces the arrival of Scholar-in-Residence Dana E. Crawford, PhD, who will play a key role in furthering the Institute’s commitment to being an inclusive, equitable and diverse place of scientific discovery.

“Diversity is foundational for the Zuckerman Institute. The Institute was created to be a hub for people from many backgrounds with diverse specialties and skills, because we believe this will help us to do the kind of transformative science that moves all of humanity forward,” said Rui Costa, DVM, PhD, director and chief executive officer of the Zuckerman Institute. “Having Dr. Crawford on board to help us embrace diversity through antiracism efforts will be essential in helping us be the model Institute we were created to be.”

Dr. Crawford brings to the Institute extensive research experience on the psychological and social underpinnings of bias. She is a pediatric and clinical psychologist with a private practice in Manhattan. Prior to joining the Zuckerman Institute, she was the director of the Trauma-Informed Care Program at Montefiore Medical Group and held a joint appointment as an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health Services at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

“In my role as scholar-in-residence, I will be collaborating with faculty, researchers and staff,” said Dr. Crawford. “We will be working together to develop frameworks for recognizing and reducing bias, prejudice and racism in the scientific community.”

We will be working together to develop frameworks for recognizing and reducing bias, prejudice and racism in the scientific community.

Her scientific exploration of these issues began when she was a graduate student. She experienced prejudice firsthand – in comments about her appearance, for example – which motivated her to research the origins of bias: first in herself and in other therapists, and later in health and administrative environments.

Dr. Crawford has conducted more than 200 trainings and presentations nationally in private, public and government sectors. She is the developer of the Crawford Bias Reduction Theory and Training program, a systematic approach to reducing bias, prejudice and racism.

In June, Dr. Crawford led a webinar at the Zuckerman Institute that shared findings from her research. Centered on countertransference, the projection of one’s own emotions onto others, her work provides tools for recognizing and reacting to biases in ourselves and in others.

Working with the Zuckerman Institute’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Board, she will continue to provide trainings aimed at faculty, researchers, staff and students.

“We plan to develop a training curriculum for the entire Zuckerman community, starting with leadership,” said Dr. Crawford.

She will also consult on opportunities for impactful programmatic goals and efforts centered on equitable recruitment. Dr. Crawford recently began partnering with teams within the Institute: facilitating conversations about race and applying an equity lens to the work of the Zuckerman Institute.

“We are focused on providing a safe space in which people can dialogue about how to stop science from being racist,” said Dr. Crawford. “It takes courage and bravery to have these conversations.”

For Dr. Crawford, these conversations cut both ways. As she develops a research agenda focused on evaluating racism and supporting antiracism for Zuckerman scientists, she also plans to dive deeper into how the brain processes information – and use what she learns to further her own studies of prejudice and bias.

“I’m excited both to share my research into these issues and to push that research to the next level as part of the Zuckerman community,” says Dr. Crawford.

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