Meet our Director
George Gotto, IV, Ph.D., is director of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Institute for Human Development (UMKC IHD).
George joined UMKC IHD, Missouri’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), in 2009 and was named Associate Director of Research in 2016. He holds a joint appointment as Research Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical and Health Informatics, UMKC School of Medicine. He also serves as director of the Interdisciplinary Leadership in Disability Studies certificate at UMKC.
George works throughout the state of Missouri to conduct community-based research and training projects primarily related to health and wellness for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). He is a founding member of the Missouri Self-Determination Association (MO-SDA). He is immediate past president and remains on the board of the Missouri Chapter of the American Association of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (MOAAIDD).
Over the past 18 years, George has served as principal investigator or co-investigator on 24 federal, state, and foundation grants and contracts primarily focusing on health and disability in the United States and Mexico. He has published peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, reports, and curricula in areas related to self-determination, community-based research methods, and health and wellness for people with disabilities.
George received his Ph.D. in 2007 from the University of Kansas in medical anthropology with an emphasis in community-based research and cross-cultural perspectives on health and disability. He spent his early career at Northern Arizona University (AZ-UCEDD) and the University of Kansas Beach Center on Disability.
In 2018, George replaced retired director Carl F. Calkins, Ph.D., who helped establish and lead the UCEDD beginning in 1977.
For over 43 years, the UMKC Institute for Human Development has provided leadership within UMKC and the state of Missouri in research, education and service to advance the cause and improve the lives of adults and children with disabilities and their families.