Center for Social Policy

at the University of Massachusetts Boston

Faculty & Staff

photo of Elaine Werby

Elaine Werby, MSW

  • Senior Research Fellow, Center for Social Policy
  • Telephone: 617.287.5542

Degrees

MSW, Boston College School of Social Work

Additional Information

Beginning in the early 1970s, first as a professor of community planning and human services at UMass Boston's College of Public and Community Service (CPCS) and, then, as a researcher at the Center for Social Policy, Werby’s professional focus has been to ensure that Boston’s citizens, particularly those from low income backgrounds, have access to good homes.

A social worker by training, Werby’s early career working with low-income populations and nonprofit service organizations augmented her expertise on social service delivery and public housing. Her keen ability to connect research to practice was widely recognized. Twice she was appointed by Massachusetts governors to serve on the commonwealth’s mortgage board and she served as chair of both Family Services of Greater Boston and the Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly. She came to CPCS to offer a practitioner’s perspective to students and relished that role until she retired in 1993.

After a brief hiatus, she returned to the Center for Social Policy as a senior research fellow where she continues today. Over the years she has been involved in a number of the center’s major housing studies as well as research on the utilization of food stamps in Massachusetts and the effects of welfare reform on nonprofit agencies.

Currently she is leading the evaluation of the HOPE VI revitalization program in two Boston Housing Authority developments. She has also been involved in a number of the center’s major housing studies as well as research on the utilization of food stamps in Massachusetts and the effects of welfare reform on nonprofit agencies.

At the center's 20th anniversary celebration in October 2012, Elaine Werby was honored as one of five leaders for economic and social justice.  In recognition of her untiring commitment to the education to UMass Boston students, the Center for Social Policy created a public service internship in her name.

Now in her nineties, she continues to play a key role at the Center for Social Policy conducting research, mentoring graduate students, and advising colleagues on the management and strategic direction of the center.