Gregory Austin serves as Senior Program Advisor of WestEd’s Health & Justice Program, which works with schools, families, and communities to promote positive youth development, academic achievement, health, and well-being.
Austin directs the California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS) project, designed to provide assistance to every California school district in collecting and using data on health-risk behavior and youth assets. This California Department of Education-funded survey has led to a better understanding of the relationship between students’ health behaviors and academic performance, and is frequently cited by state policymakers and in the media.
Austin cowrote WestEd’s Ensuring That No Child Is Left Behind: How Are Student Health Risks & Resilience Related to the Academic Progress of Schools? Based on CHKS data, this report underscores the importance to academic achievement of key risk and youth development factors.
In 2000, Austin and his CHKS staff received the WestEd Paul D. Hood Award for Distinguished Contribution to the Profession.
While at WestEd, Austin has directed California biennial state student risk-behavior surveys, California state surveys of school dropouts and youth at risk of academic failure, and numerous local school surveys.
Austin has extensive experience in the study of alcohol and other drug use as a historian, epidemiologist, and prevention specialist. He has written and edited research articles, resource tools, and prevention guides, and frequently presents at conferences nationwide.
He received a BA and an MA in history from the University of California, Riverside, and a PhD in history from the University of California, Los Angeles.