Dr. Lawrence M. Berger is the 12th director of the venerable Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a professor and chair of the Ph.D. program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Social Work and a brilliant researcher. Lonnie, as he prefers to be called, is also a dear friend. We entered the doctoral program at Columbia University School of Social Work together in 1997 and graduated together in 2002. Lonnie earned his M.S.W. degree at Hunter College School of Social Work and now has the responsibility of leading the oldest of three federally-supported institutes for research on poverty. The IRP was created at UW-M in 1966 by the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) to provide research on the War on Poverty Programs. The 44-year old scholar took over the helm of the IRP last year when the previous director, Dr. Maria Cancian, was nominated to become Assistant Secretary for the Administration for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). I had the opportunity to catch up with Lonnie recently and he graciously answered a few questions.