Professor Ridgeway’s research involves the development of statistical, computational, and analytical methods to improve our understanding of crime and the functioning of the justice system. At the same time he has great interest in putting those methods into practice. His methods have been put into place in police departments, including Cincinnati, Los Angeles, and New York City, in Federal Public Defender Organizations, and in drug treatment program evaluations.
Dr. Ridgeway’s leadership experience in running research organizations in the public and private sectors is well suited for teaching and mentoring students with career aspirations in public service, research organizations, or academia.
Prior to coming to Penn, Prof. Ridgeway was the Acting Director of the National Institute of Justice, and as such, a member of the Senior Executive Service, the highest leadership position in the federal government's civil service. NIJ is the Justice Department’s science agency with 80 employees and a budget of $250M and charged with strengthening the social, physical, and forensic sciences in order to improve our understanding of crime and advance justice. While leading NIJ, Prof. Ridgeway implemented many reforms to clarify the scientific focus of the institute and implemented initiatives including a $75M school safety research program.
Previously, Prof. Ridgeway was Director of the RAND Safety and Justice Program and the RAND Center on Quality Policing where he worked with numerous criminal justice organizations around the world. Dr. Ridgeway is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association, a distinction he received for being one of the world’s foremost statisticians engaged in crime research. He is the inventor on seven awarded US patents.