A Texas researcher, whose most recent work was devoted to improving life in low-income neighborhoods, will become director of a Kansas University welfare policy center, KU officials said Wednesday.
Martin Gerry, a high-level official in the Ford and Bush administrations, will lead the KU Center for the Study of Family, Neighborhood and Community Policy.
He's been executive director of the Austin Project, housed in the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, Austin.
KU's program focuses on making social welfare services to children and their families more efficient. An ideal for those at the KU center is a one-stop approach that makes schools the central point for providing services.
Gerry said Kansas -- through efforts of the Corporation for Change, Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services and Board of Education -- could become a national model.
"For what I want to do, Kansas is the place to be," he said.
Gerry, a Stanford law graduate, was director of the U.S. Office of Civil Rights in the Ford administration.
During Bush's presidency, he was assistant secretary for planning and evaluation in the Health and Human Services Department.
Under Gerry's guidance, the first federal grants were awarded to states to stimulate welfare reform by integrating services at the community level.