Meredith Dank is a senior research associate in the Justice Policy Center at the Urban Institute, where her areas of focus include the commercial sex economy, human trafficking, teen dating violence, LGBTQ issues, and victimization. She served as principal investigator on two studies overseen by the US Department of Justice: one estimated the size and structure of the underground commercial sex economy in the United States, and the other examined the experiences of LGBTQ youth and young men who have sex with men engaged in the commercial sex market.
An expert in human trafficking, Dank has conducted research in eight countries and took part in a White House stakeholder meeting on victim services for survivors. She has worked to identify challenges in the investigation and prosecution of state and local human trafficking cases, and to assess the evaluability of anti-trafficking programs in Cambodia, Sierra Leone, and the Philippines. She served as coprincipal investigator on three studies overseen by the US State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, as well as a DOJ project that examines the organization of forced labor trafficking and stages of victimization. Dank was also a coprincipal investigator in a National Institute of Justice study that looked at how young people use technology and social media to perpetrate dating violence, stalking, and sexual harassment.
Dank is the author of The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children and has published numerous journal articles and reports. She holds a PhD in criminal justice from John Jay College.