David Simpson

Chair of Social Work


David Simpson

Status:Working Remotely

  • Professional
  • Biography

Additional Titles/Roles

  • Associate Professor of Social Work


  • Ph.D., Social Work, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2011
  • M.S.S.A [M.S.W.], Master of Science in Social Administration, Case Western Reserve University, 1999
  • B.B.A., Business Administration, University of Toledo, 1996

Areas of Emphasis or Expertise

  • Child/Adolescent Mental Health
  • Social Work with Children and Families
  • Research Methods


Dr. David Simpson is Associate Professor of Social Work and Chair of the Department of Social Work at Pacific Lutheran University. He arrives at PLU in 2016 from the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Institute for Juvenile Research (IJR), Department of Psychiatry, where he was Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Social Work. At IJR, he was the Clinic and Research Coordinator of the Pediatric Stress and Anxiety Disorders Clinic. As a clinician, he used Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy to treat individuals across the life-span with anxiety disorders, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Particularly, Dr. Simpson developed specific expertise in treating clients with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. In order to maximize treatment gains, he worked closely with families and schools to ensure these systems were addressing issues related to his clients’ symptoms. Additionally, he remains Co-Primary Investigator of a risk and protective factors research study designed to look at correlates associated with anxiety symptoms in youth. While at UIC, Dr. Simpson was the Program Evaluator for the Urban Youth Trauma Center (UYTC), a Treatment Services Adaptation Center within the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) that aims to improve the lives of youth and families affected by community violence who are experiencing traumatic stress and co-occurring conditions, including substance abuse and disruptive behavior problems. Dr. Simpson was an Adjunct Professor at the Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago where he taught mental health practice and research classes to students in the mental health concentration.