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David Osher, Dr

Vice President & Institute Fellow at American Institutes for Research

David Osher is Vice President and Institute Fellow at the American Institutes for Research. Osher’s expertise includes the science of learning and development, the conditions for learning and school climate, social and emotional learning, youth development and thriving, cultural competence and responsiveness, family engagement, collaboration, trauma sensitive approaches, mental health services, implementation science, violence prevention, school safety, restorative practice. He has and continues to lead and serve as senior advisor to research and practice projects across children’s ecosystems. His evaluation work includes impact and implementation evaluations of initiatives and programs, systematic reviews, and expert panels. He is or was Principal Investigator of experimental, quasi-experimental, and qualitative research studies that examine whole child, youth development, and social and emotional learning programs in the U.S., Western Europe, and the Global South. Osher has helped develop many research and practice tools that focus on whole child development, and he has authored or co-authored or edited 400 books, monographs, chapters, articles, and reports including Creating Safe, Equitable, Engaging Schools: A Comprehensive Approach; Keeping Students Safe and Helping Them Thrive: A Collaborative Handbook on School Safety, Mental Health, and Wellness, Equity-Centered Thriving, and The Science of Learning and Development.
David received his A.B., A.M., and Ph.D. from Columbia University. He taught history and sociology at colleges and universities and was Dean of an experimental liberal arts college and two innovative professional schools of human services. He is an AERA fellow and was the 2018 recipient of The Juanita Cunningham Evans Memorial Award for Contributions in School Mental Health and of the Joseph Zins Distinguished Senior Scholar Award for Outstanding Contributions to Action Research in Social and Emotional Learning and is the lead editor of the 2023 and 2025 volumes of Review of Research in Education.

David Osher's contributions