Anthony A. Braga

Dr. Anthony A. Braga has been appointed Director of the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities at Northeastern University; Dr. Braga will begin this new post on July 1, 2016.

Prior to this appointment Dr. Braga served as the Don M. Gottfredson Professor of Evidence-Based Criminology in the School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University and Senior Research Fellow in the Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management at Harvard Kennedy School. He is also a member of the University of Chicago Crime Lab and a Past President and an elected Fellow of the Academy of Experimental Criminology. He received his Master in Public Administration (MPA) from Harvard University and his Doctorate (PhD) in Criminal Justice from Rutgers University.

Research, Projects, and Recognition

Dr. Braga’s research involves collaborating with criminal justice, social service, and community-based organizations to address illegal access to firearms, reduce gang and group-involved violence, and control crime hot spots. Since 1995, Braga has worked closely with criminal justice practitioners in Boston to reduce youth gun violence. He was a member of the Boston Gun Project working group that implemented the well-known Operation Ceasefire gang violence reduction strategy that was associated with a 63% reduction in youth homicides in Boston during the mid to late 1990s. Between 2007 and 2013, Braga served as the Chief Policy Advisor to Commissioner Edward F. Davis of the Boston Police Department. In this role, Braga worked with Boston Police command staff and officers to implement the Compstat management accountability system, reinvigorate the Operation Ceasefire strategy, and develop the Safe Street Team program which uses community problem solving techniques to control violent crime hot spots. His work with the Boston Police Department on its Safe Street Teams program was recently recognized by the International Association of Chiefs of Police with its Community Policing Award (2011) and Excellence in Law Enforcement Research Award (2011).

Dr. Braga has served as a consultant on controlling and preventing violent crime problems to many Federal, State, and local criminal justice agencies including the U.S. Department of Justice; U.S. Department of Justice; U.S. Department of the Treasury; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security; Massachusetts State Police; Baltimore Police Department; New York Police Department; Los Angeles Police Department; Milwaukee Police Department; Oakland Police Department; San Francisco Police Department; and many others.

Dr. Braga’s work on controlling and preventing violent crime has received numerous awards. Braga was a recipient of the U.S. Attorney General’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Community Partnerships for Public Safety(2009) and the U.S. Department of Justice Project Safe Neighborhoods' Distinguished Service by a Research Partner Award(2010).

Anthony Braga is the recipient of the 2014 Joan McCord Award from the Academy of Experimental Criminology (AEC) and the American Society of Criminology’s Division of Experimental Criminology (DEC),which recognizes distinguished experimental contributions to criminology and criminal justice. Award recipients must have conducted significant experimental research that in the tradition of Joan McCord has important implications for policy and practice. The award can be given to a specific randomized controlled trial or a group of experiments leading to significant policy outcomes. Past winners include Larry Sherman, Joan Petersilia, David Farrington, Denise Gottfredson, Doris MacKenzie, and David Weisburd.


Dr. Braga has published numerous scholarly papers and his work has been published in top criminology and criminal justice journals such as Criminology, Journal of Quantitative Criminology, Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, and Criminology & Public Policy. His work has also appeared in top medical and public health journals such as New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, and the American Journal of Public Health.

With colleagues, he has authored and edited several books such as Policing Problem Places: Crime Hot Spots and Effective Prevention(Oxford University Press, 2010), Problem-Oriented Policing and Crime Prevention (Criminal Justice Press, 2008), Legitimacy and Criminal Justice: A Comparative Perspective(Russell Sage Foundation Press, 2007), and Police Innovation: Contrasting Perspectives(Cambridge University Press, 2006).

Contact Information

Anthony A. Braga, Senior Research Fellow

Dr. Braga's published research includes:

  • Embedded Criminologists in Police Departments
  • Reducing Gun Violence in America - Informing Policy with Evidence and Analysis (Gun Policy Summit)
  • Social Networks and the Risk of Gunshot Injury
  • The Effects of Hot Spots Policing on Crime: An Updated Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
  • Serious Youth Violence and Innovative Prevention: On the Emerging Link between Public Health and Criminology
  • Can ‘Disciplined Passion’ Overcome the Cynical View? An Empirical Inquiry of Evaluator Influence on Police Crime Prevention Program Outcomes

Speaking Engagements

American Society of Criminology 2014:
Dr. Braga served on panels as well as presented at the 70th Annual Meeting of the ASC.

Gun Policy Summit 2013:
Dr. Braga discussed the topic of Making Gun Laws Enforceable at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Summit on Reducing Gun Violence in America: Informing Policy with Evidence and Analysis.

His presentation, Enforcing federal laws against firearms traffickers: Raising operational effectiveness by lowering enforcement obstaclesand corresponding paper has been published in a compliation from this event and is entitled, Reducing Gun Violence in America - Informing Policy with Evidence and Analysis.

Watch the video of Dr. Braga's and other presentations from this event.

Smart Policing Initiative 2011:
Dr. Braga was a guest speaker at the SPI National Meeting where he addressed the topic of controlling violent crime in hot spots.