Hilary Silver

Professor Hilary Silver
Professor, Sociology
409 J
Phillips Hall
801 22nd Street NW
Washington , District Of Columbia 20052
[email protected]
Professor Silver's page

Areas of Expertise

Urban, housing, and social/anti-poverty policies in the US and around the world


Hilary Silver is Professor of Sociology, International Affairs, and Public Policy and Public Administration. She has served as Director of the Urban Studies Program at Brown and Chair of the Department of Sociology at GW. She arrived at GW in 2017 after rising through the ranks at Brown University, where she is Professor emerita of Sociology and Urban Studies. Silver served two terms as Editor of City & Community, the journal of the Community and Urban Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association, which honored her with the Lynd Award for Career Lifetime Achievement.

She has held visiting appointments at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, INSEE, and INED in Paris, JNU and Centre des Sciences Humaines in New Delhi, Universite de Lille I, WZB, and at Oxford, Tel Aviv, Korea, Bristol, Sussex, New York, and Columbia Universities.  At Harvard, she was a longtime Affiliate of the Minda de Gunzberg Center for European Studies, and in 2016, a senior fellow at the Ash Center of the Kennedy School of Government.  

Silver has served as a consultant to major international organizations, including the World Bank, United Nations, IADB, and International Labor Organization, on issues of social exclusion and inclusion, and to the US Government and the State of Rhode Island on racial disparities.  

She has received four Fulbright fellowships, fellowships from the American Institute of Indian Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru Institute for Advanced Study, and Hanse Wissenschaftskolleg, and multiple grants from the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst [DAAD], National Science Foundation, and National Endowment for the Humanities and RI Council for the Humanities. The latter funded her two films on urban issues, Southside and Direction Home, that aired on RI Public Television. 


Current Research

Most cited work:
Recent works:
“Youth Exclusion in the Middle East.” The Muslim World 107, 1 (2017): 13-40.
“National Urban Policy in the Age of Obama.” Pp. 11-44 in James DeFilippis, ed. Urban Policy in the Time of Obama.  Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2016.


PhD, M.Phil. M.A. Columbia University




Recent Op-Eds

2020    “To End Homelessness, Follow the Science.”

2020    “Thinking outside the ballot box — why not online voting?” The Hill (18 August). 

2020    “Cancel Culture and Social Exclusion.” The Hill (29 August)


Robert and Helen Lynd Award for Distinguished Lifetime-Career Achievement, 2016.

Member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton; Academic Visitor at Nuffield College, Oxford; Fulbright Scholar to France, Germany, and Israel

Classes Taught

PPPA 6085.80 Homelessness