Dr. Ringwalt is a Senior Research Scientist at the Chapel Hill Center of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE), as well as a Senior Evaluator at the University of North Carolina’s CDC-funded Injury Prevention Research Center (IPRC). He has 25 years of experience in the design, development, analysis, and reporting of epidemiological, etiological, and evaluation studies relating to public health issues.
His research interests have focused primarily on the prevention of adolescent and adult risk behaviors, particularly alcohol, tobacco, and other drug (ATOD) use. He has directed evaluations of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) Program for the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), and is currently conducting an evaluation of the program that is supported by D.A.R.E America.
He has also investigated the prevalence of ATOD use and other risk behaviors among runaway and homeless youth, with support from both the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and from NIDA. He has conducted, for the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP), a study of North Carolina’s ATOD prevention needs and has also served as the evaluator for the South Carolina State Incentive Grant (SIG).
He has also studied the development of ethnic identity in African-American male adolescents (for CDC), adolescent dating violence (for the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, or ASPE), and drug prevention in managed care settings (for CSAP). He also served as the Senior Evaluator for the Southeast Center for the Application of Prevention Technology (SECAPT).
He recently completed two NIDA-funded grants, one pertaining to school-based drug prevention programs, and the other concerning strategies designed to enhance teacher fidelity to evidence-based drug prevention curricula. He served as the Senior Evaluator for the Southeast Center for the Application of Prevention Technology (SECAPT). He also has recently completed large randomized controlled trials of Projects SUCCESS and ALERT with support from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and also evaluated Project Success for the Chicago Public Schools.
Dr. Ringwalt has served as Chair of the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Section of the American Public Health Association (APHA), and as Secretary to the Board of the Society of Prevention Research. He served in a five year term as Director of PIREs Chapel Hill Center and as Chair of PIREs Center Directors. He was a permanent member of the NIDA-F Study Section until its demise in 2009, and continues to serve as an ad hoc member of a number of NIH Study Sections, including NIDA-E (Center Grant reviews).
He has also evaluated the effects on health of a project designed to bring clean water to rural communities in Swaziland, and is evaluating a second project designed to stimulate economic opportunities for young people in Kenya. He has a part appointment as the Eternal Evaluator for UNCs NIH-funded Clinical and Translational Science Award. Recently, Dr. Ringwalt was appointed as the editor of the Journal of Primary Prevention.