Professor of Sociology & Chair, Division of Social Sciences
Sweet Briar College

Areas of Expertise
Health, Human Rights, Post 2015 Development Agenda, Poverty and Inequality, United Nations

Dr. Brent M. Shea is Professor and Chair, Division of Social Sciences, Sweet Briar College, a women’s residential liberal arts college in Virginia, where he teaches courses in social stratification, social organization, social research methods,
social psychiatry, medical Sociology, and criminology. He holds a doctorate in sociology from the State University of New York at Binghamton, where he was both an undergraduate and a member of the faculty. He was a National Institute of Mental health Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institution for Social and Policy Studies at Yale University and held a visiting appointment in the Sociology Department at Yale.

Dr. Shea is a co-Editor of Social Psychiatry across Cultures: Studies from North America, Asia, Europe, and Africa. He has reported results of analyses of data from the Epidemiologic Catchment Area (ECA) community mental health survey at meetings of social scientists, psychiatrists, and epidemiologists throughout Western Europe, and in the United States and Japan. He is author or co-author of journal articles and conference papers, book chapters and reviews, and encyclopedia and reference book entries. He has served as editorial, peer, and proposal reviewer for professional associations, academic publishers, and research grants agencies.

Dr. Shea was Vice President of the Executive Board of the International Sociological Association Mental Health and Illness Research Committee. He has been a member of the American Sociological Association (ASA) Task Force on the Postdoctorate. He was chair of the Committee on Governance of Colleges and Universities of the Virginia Conference of the American Association of University Professors. Since 2005, Dr. Shea has been the Main Representative at UN headquarters in Ius Primi Viri, a Rome-based international human rights education NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations. In 2011, Dr. Shea chaired the “Women and Development” side event of the High-Level Segment of the Annual Substantive Session of ECOSOC in Geneva. During 2016, he participated as an NGO representative with written and oral interventions in the 54th Session of the UN Commission on Social Development and the General Debate of the ECOSOC High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development at UN Headquarters.

Recent Publications

“ECOSOC and Social Justice” in Sherwood Thompson (ed.), Encyclopedia of Diversity and Social Justice. Rowman & Littlefield, 2014.

“Socioeconomic Status and Stress” in William C. Cockerham, Robert Dingwall, and Stella R. Quah (eds.), Encyclopedia of Health, Illness, Behavior, and Society. Wiley-Blackwell, 2014.

“Social Causation” and “Social Class and Mental Illness” in Andrew Scull and J. Geoffrey Golson (eds.), Cultural Sociology of Mental Illness. Sage, 2014.

Recent ACUNS Activity

“ECOSOC and Social Justice: Aspirations as Accomplishments”, Panel I, “The UN and the Promotion of Global Justice”, 2015 ACUNS Annual Meeting, The Hague.

Updated February 2017