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John Holton, Ph.D., currently serves as Associate Professor of Gerontology and Director of the Center for Gerontology at Concordia University Chicago. Prior to this position, Dr. Holton served as the Director of the Illinois Department on Aging. In this role, he was a member of the Governor’s Cabinet and an ambassador for more than two million older people in Illinois. He oversaw a staff of 160 individuals and a budget of almost $900 million. The delivery of services administered by the Illinois Department on Aging is privatized through senior centers and other social service agencies. The funding is coordinated by 13 Area Agencies on Aging, including 12 not-for-profit corporations and the City of Chicago. Prior to this role, Dr. Holton was the Associate Director for Transformation within Illinois State’s government.

Prior to working with the State of Illinois, Dr. Holton served for more than eight years at the Prevent Child Abuse America (PCA) as its vice president for research. He is a social psychologist who has specialized in urban education, juvenile delinquency, infant mortality, and child abuse. He formerly served as the site director for the Harvard School of Public Health’s “Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods.”

As the site director for the Harvard School of Public Health, Dr. Holton managed an interdisciplinary longitudinal study of child and adolescent development concomitantly exploring the onset, resistance, and persistence of social competence and antisocial behavior from infancy to young adulthood. Prior to Harvard, he worked for the National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse (now PCA America) as the executive director of the Greater Chicago Council for Prevention of Child Abuse, the Westside Association for Community Action, the Better Boys Foundation, and the Cook County Juvenile Court.

Dr. Holton is the author of articles on culture and its relationship to child abuse and has lectured for parents, practitioners, and researchers throughout the U.S., Europe and the Third World, including Brazil, China, Barbados, Ghana, Kenya and the Ivory Coast. A native of Philadelphia, Dr. Holton attended Howard University where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and the University of Hartford where he received a Master’s degree in Education. He completed his doctorate in the College of Human Development at The Pennsylvania State University.

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