Colleen L. Barry, Inaugural Dean of the Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy, has joined the board of directors for Sandy Hook Promise, one of the nation’s leading gun violence prevention and school safety organizations.
Barry is a nationally and internationally recognized research scholar, educator, and leader in health policy and policy communication. Since 2013, she has led the bi-annual Johns Hopkins National Gun Policy Tracking Survey, a major public opinion survey research project to inform strategies for reducing gun violence. This initiative began with a widely cited research study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy on strategies to reduce gun violence with wide public support, including among gun owners. Since then, Barry and her research team have published over 20 peer-reviewed studies in leading medicine and public health journals to better understand public attitudes about gun violence prevention and communicated the findings to policymakers and public. Barry has also led research examining how the role of guns has evolved in political advertising over the last decade.
“I am honored to join the governing board of Sandy Hook Promise,” Barry said. “As an educator and a parent, I am inspired by Sandy Hook Promise’s commitment to preventing tragedies before they can happen. As a researcher, I am deeply impressed by their dedication to using evidence to inform holistic approaches in schools, homes, and communities to protecting children from gun violence.”
Sandy Hook Promise is a national nonprofit organization founded and led by several family members whose loved ones were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. The organization’s mission is educating and empowering youth and adults to prevent violence in schools, homes, and communities.
“Colleen Barry’s experience and expertise will be a huge asset to our work,” said Nicole Hockley co-founder and CEO of Sandy Hook Promise and mother of Dylan, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. “She has a deep understanding of how to communicate with the public and with policy makers so that we can stop school shootings, teen suicides, and countless other acts of violence.”
Sandy Hook Promise has successfully passed bipartisan legislation under every U.S. president since its founding in 2013, along with supporting more than a dozen bipartisan gun safety laws at the state level. Sandy Hook Promise also helped craft the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, a gun safety package that addresses the rising rates of gun violence nationwide. President Biden signed it into law on June 25.
“Much has been accomplished by Sandy Hook Promise over the last decade since the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. But, as appalling headlines remind us far too frequently, there is much yet to be done,” Barry said.