John K Holton

PhD Strategy Advisor

John Kingsley Holton, PhD, is a visiting research professor at Jane Addams College of Social Work, University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) where he serves as the Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Jane Addams Center for Social Policy and Research. Dr. Holton uses his substantial background in human services, long-term care, governance, and leadership to achieve initiatives that support the mission of the Jane Addams College of Social Work.

Before joining the faculty at UIC, Dr. Holton was a Visiting Associate Professor and Director for the Center for Gerontology at Concordia University Chicago. In this position, he worked with CUC’s Center for Gerontology’s mission of providing applications of research and knowledge translation for students and faculty serving older adults locally and globally.

Prior to this position, Dr. Holton served as the state director of the Illinois Department of Aging at Chicago, Illinois. He has served as the Director for the Illinois Department of Aging since 2011. In this role, he is a member of the Governor’s Cabinet and an ambassador for the more than two million aging people in Illinois. He oversees 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. Dr. Holton was the Associate Director for Transformation before becoming the Director of the Department of Aging within Illinois State’s government.

Previously, 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