Christopher Carey, Ph.D., J.D.

Christopher Carey, Ph.D., J.D.

Associate Professor

Criminology and Criminal Justice - Urban & Public Affairs

Office Room

Dr. Chris Carey is an Associate Professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, and affiliated with The School of Community Health and the University Studies Program. Dr. Carey is an expert in law with an emphasis on human rights, environmental advocacy, and community engagement in local governance. He has worked for more than 15 years in research projects and community engagement programs in the United States, Asia, and Mexico including projects supported by the U.S. State Department and USAID.

A former Deputy District Attorney with a wide range of criminal and civil experience including prosecuting environmental crimes, Dr. Carey has worked in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Mexico, and several Pacific Island nations and U.S. Territories on rule of law, human trafficking, governance, and community health issues. His research centers on social impacts on vulnerable groups and indigenous peoples, including issues of migration, human trafficking, environmental activism, and community engagement in these processes. Dr. Carey, who has had a specific environmental expertise in river communities and environmental advocacy, has worked with the Madrone Wall Preservation Committee, the River Network, and supported the Deschutes River Alliance. He is also a recognized expert on human trafficking both locally and globally.

He has published and taught widely on the local governance dimensions of issues such as human trafficking, environmental conservation, migration, and community health. Most recently he partnered with the US Attorneys’ office and co-authored a study on commercial sexual exploitation of children in Portland that received national attention. He has previously taught a yearlong first-year seminar on globalization and other courses around health law, policy, and human rights for the School of Community Health. His current partnerships include the US Attorneys Office, The Department of Human Services, Mercy Corps, and The Oregon Advocacy Commission.

Students in Dr. Carey’s prior classes note the following about his teaching: 

“Dr. Carey is amazingly knowledgeable in his field! 2nd class I’ve taken. Loved it!”

“Dr. Carey is a reminder why Portland State has the reputation it does. He is easily someone who, based on his reputation, could go and work for a University which charges an insane amount for the same level of education as PSU. Yet, time and time again he has shown that he is more passionate about his work than about the high reputation that he has produced for himself.”

“Dr. Carey held really engaging classes, made students put deeper meaning into each assignment, always had the entire class participating in the lecture, and was easily available for questions outside of class.”


  • Ph.D., Communication Studies, Arizona State University
  • J.D., Law, Southern Illinois University