Professor of Social Policy and Social Work

Director, China Center for Social Policy

Member, Committee on Global Thought

Qin Gao is Professor of Social Policy and Social Work at Columbia University’s School of Social Work and Director of Columbia University’s China Center for Social Policy. She is a faculty member of the Columbia Population Research Center, Committee on Global Thought, and Weatherhead East Asian Institute and a member of the Faculty Steering Committee for the Columbia Global Centers | Beijing. She is also an Academic Board Member of the China Institute for Income Distribution at Beijing Normal University and a Public Intellectual Fellow of the National Committee on United States-China Relations.

Dr. Gao’s research focuses on the Chinese welfare state in transition; welfare, work, and poverty in China; social protection for rural-to-urban migrants in China and Asian American immigrants; and cross-national comparative social policies and programs. Dr. Gao’s book, Welfare, Work, and Poverty: Social Assistance in China (Oxford University Press, 2017) presents a systematic evaluation of the world’s largest social welfare program, Dibao.

At the School of Social Work, Dr. Gao is the Chair of the Policy Division in the Master’s of Social Work (MSW) program. Dr. Gao teaches Global Social Policy and Advanced Research Methods and Statistics for Policy Practice at the master’s level and an Advanced Seminar on Inequality, Poverty, and Public Policy at the doctoral level.

Curriculum Vitae


Recent Publications

  • Yixuan Wang, Fuhua Zhai, Qin Gao & Fei Pei (2020) Cultural orientations and parental distress among Chinese immigrants in the United States: the mediating role of parent–child acculturation conflict, Asia Pacific Journal of Social Work and Development, DOI: 10.1080/02185385.2020.1845229
  • Sam Han & Qin Gao (2020) Does poverty alleviation help enhance social investment? The case of South Korea, Journal of Asian Public Policy, DOI: 10.1080/17516234.2020.1840955


Interviews by the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs; the Council on Foreign Relations; and SupChina’s Sinica Podcast.


  • Ph.D., Social Policy, Columbia University
  • M.A., Sociology and Social Work, Peking University
  • B.A., Social Work, China Youth University of Political Studies