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Criminal networks, transnational illicit enterprises, human trafficking, evaluation of community corrections and re-entry programs.
Sheldon Zhang has more than two decades of experience as a field researcher in criminology and justice studies. He is internationally known for his work on transnational organized crime such as human smuggling and drug trafficking involving Chinese nationals, and in recent years on human trafficking activities. He has led and co-led several projects that examine the different aspects of human trafficking in U.S and abroad. He was twice invited to the White House for national anti-trafficking gatherings and strategic planning. He is currently serving as an expert consultant to several international organizations such as the International Labor Organization, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Freedom Fund, and Walk Free Foundation. He is also known for his long time collaborative efforts with correctional agencies in California to evaluate various offender reentry and recidivism reduction programs. Working with criminal justice. social service, and community-based agencies. Zhang has led numerous projects involving complex evaluative designs, randomized controlled trails, as well as ethnographic fieldwork that resulted in empirically grounded and policy relevant scholarship. Zhang has authored/co-authored 7 books and edited volumes in premier academic outlets, such as Stanford University Press and New York University Press. He has also published 52 scholarly journal articles, 30 book chapters/invited articles, and 21 technical reports. His work appeared in top journals in the field, including Criminology, British Journal of Criminology, Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency. His publications also appeared in general political and sociological journals such as the ANNALS of American Academy of Social and Political Science. Zhang has served as Principal Investigator in excess of $8 million worth of externally funded projects. Over his entire career. Zhang has served as Principal Investigator, Co-Principal Investigator, or major co-investigator in projects worth in excess of more than $15 million. Zhang received his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Southern California, and previously served as Sociology Department Chair at the San Diego State University.