Stony Brook Professor George Leibowitz assumes role from Interim Dean Richard L. Edwards

George Leibowitz

George Leibowitz, an interdisciplinary researcher and licensed clinician specializing in adult and adolescent mental health and substance abuse treatment as well as an expert on opioid addiction, has been appointed dean for the School of Social Work (SSW) at Rutgers University–New Brunswick.

Leibowitz, who assumes the role July 1, comes to Rutgers from Stony Brook University’s School of Social Welfare. He is currently a professor, director of the doctoral program in social welfare and chair of the Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure Committee with cross-appointments as professor in the School of Nursing and professor of psychiatry in the Renaissance School of Medicine.

“As an educator, interdisciplinary scholar, administrator and social worker who is committed to helping individuals and elevating the common good, Dr. Leibowitz is an excellent match for SSW the nation’s 16th ranked school of social work whose rankings have risen steadily for the past 15 years and whose portfolio of research, sponsored projects and federal awards has grown impressively over the past decade,” said Rutgers–New Brunswick Chancellor Francine Conway.

Leibowitz’s research is focused on the social determinants of health and health disparities. He has worked with his colleagues at Stony Brook to bring artificial intelligence to solve real-world community issues and drive better health outcomes through informatics. He served as the director of the Community and Stakeholder Engagement Network for the Long Island Network for Clinical and Translational Science to enhance relationships between researchers, patients and community members and reduce health inequalities by race and socioeconomic status.

Additionally, he was a leader on a grant with the University of Vermont investigating the integration of behavioral health and primary care services. He also received a $1.8 million U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration grant in a collaboration between Stony Brook’s Schools of Social Welfare and Nursing to deliver behavioral health screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment with underserved populations within Suffolk County, N.Y.

Previously, he served as chair of Stony Brook's Psychopathology and Psychopharmacology Sequence and is the founding chair of its Forensic Social Work program and the Integrated Health: Physical, Psychological and Social Well-Being specialization in the master of social work program. Leibowitz also has a visiting appointment as professor at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai, India.

Before his tenure at Stony Brook, he was the chair of the University of Vermont’s Department of Social Work and a faculty member in the School of Nursing and the Vermont Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Program. Leibowitz received his master's degree in social work and doctorate at the University of Denver.

Leibowitz practices at Montfort Therapeutic Residence in Port Jefferson, N.Y., where he provides program consultation and training, risk assessments and clinical treatment with adolescents with sexually harmful behavior.

His previous social work practice included consultation and training at the Vermont Department for Children and Family Services; at Stetson School residential treatment program in Barre, Mass.; as a clinical and research consultant at Northeastern Family Institute in Burlington, Vt.; as well as a clinical supervisor at Progressive Therapy Systems in Denver.

Leibowitz has co-authored two published books: Forensic Social Work: Psychosocial and Legal Issues Across Diverse Populations and Settings and Contemporary Human Behavior Theory: A Critical Perspective for Social Work Practice. His research has been disseminated in peer-reviewed journals such as The Journal of the American Medical Association, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Journal of Primary Care and Community Health and Child and Adolescent Social Work.

Leibowitz assumes the role from Richard L. Edwards, chancellor emeritus, University Professor and Distinguished Professor. Edwards  has served as the School of Social Work’s interim dean since July 1, 2023 and as chair of the school’s dean search committee that recruited Leibowitz.