Skip to main content

Richard Brandon-Friedman

  • Ph.D., MSW, LCSW, LCAC
  • Assistant Professor
  • IU Indianapolis
Visit Website



Richard A. Brandon-Friedman (He/Him/His) is an Associate Professor within the Indiana University School of Social Work and an Associate Professor of Pediatrics within the Indiana University School of Medicine. Dr. Brandon-Friedman's current clinical work and research focus on the well-being of LGBTQ+ youth, with a specific focus on gender-diverse youth. His past social work practice experience with youth in the child welfare system and with sexual and/or gender minority youth guides his inquiry into how psychosocial experiences such as trauma, sexual education, sexual messaging, and societal messaging about sexual and/or gender minorities impact youths’ sexual and gender identity development. Through his work Dr. Brandon-Friedman aims to help service providers understand how to best assist youth in developing a positive sense of their gender identity, sexual identity, and sexual selfhood.

Dr. Brandon-Friedman has received several grants to evaluate the impact of gender-affirming care on the well-being of gender-diverse youth and to enhance service provision to transgender, nonbinary, and gender-diverse People of Color. In 2016 he helped to establish the Gender Health Program at Riley Hospital for Children and continues to conduct research within the Program. In addition to his continuing clinical work Richard serves as Chair of the Indiana Chapter of the NASW’s Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. Previously he served as a Councilor for the CSWE’s Council on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression for six years.



Emphasis/Major: Social Work
2019 - Indiana University

Dissertation: The Impact of Sexual Identity Development on the Sexual Health of Youth Formerly in the Foster Care System

Certificate in Drug and Alcohol Counseling

Emphasis/Major: Drug and alcohol counseling
2011 - Indiana University East

Master of Social Work

Emphasis/Major: Social Work
2011 - Indiana University


Emphasis/Major: Psychology
2005 - University of Notre Dame

Bachelor of Architecture

Emphasis/Major: Architecture
2004 - University of Notre Dame

Research Interests

Sexual identity, sexual health, sexual behavior, sexual orientation, gender identity, adolescent development, gender-diverse youth, sexual minority youth

Teaching Interests

Clinical practice, assessment and diagnosis, research, theory

Awards and Honors

  • National Institutes of Health Loan Repayment Program
    2023 - National Institutes of Health
  • Charles R Bantz Community Scholar Award
    2022 - IUPUI Center for Translating Research into Practice
  • Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression Scholarship Award
    2020 - Council on Social Work Education
  • Social Worker of the Year - Region 7
    2018 - Indiana Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers
  • John H. Edwards Fellowship
    2016 - Indiana University
  • Certificate of Excellence in Teaching
    2016 - Indiana University School of Social Work
  • Graduate Student Elite 50
    2016 - IUPUI Graduate and Professional Student Organization
  • Jerry Powers Esprit Award
    2015 - Indiana University School of Social Work
  • Graduate Student Elite 50
    2015 - IUPUI Graduate and Professional Student Organization
  • Edie Moore Travel Scholarship
    2015 - Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine
  • University Fellowship
    2013 - Indiana University