Matthew Desmond is Maurice P. During Professor of Sociology and Principal Investigator of The Eviction Lab. After receiving his Ph.D. in 2010 from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, he joined the Harvard Society of Fellows as a Junior Fellow. His primary teaching and research interests include urban sociology, poverty, race and ethnicity, organizations and work, social theory, and ethnography.  

Desmond is the author of four books: On the Fireline: Living and Dying with WIldland Firefighters (2007), Race in America (with Mustafa Emirbayer, 2015), The Racial Order (with Mustafa Emirbayer, 2015), and Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City (2016).  He also is the editor of the inaugural issue of RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, Volumes 1 & 2: Severe Deprivation in America (2015). 

Desmond has written essays on educational inequality, dangerous work, political ideology, race and social theory, and the inner-city housing market.  Recently, he has published on the prevalence and consequences of eviction and the low-income rental market, network-based survival strategies among the urban poor, and the consequences of new crime control policies on inner-city women in the American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, Social Forces, and Demography.

In 2015, Desmond was awarded a MacArthur “Genius” grant.