Katharine Strunk, President
Michigan State University

Full bio

Katharine O. Strunk is a professor of education policy and, by courtesy, economics, and the Clifford E. Erickson Distinguished Chair in Education and the faculty director of the Michigan State University Education Policy Innovation Collaborative (EPIC). Rooted in the fields of economics and public policy, Katharine’s work centers on structures that are central to district operations and policy and the ways these structures affect policymakers’ decisions and outcomes. Her current research through EPIC is focused on working with local and state education agencies on studies that will help them inform policy and practice. In addition, she studies three areas under the broad umbrella of K-12 education governance: teachers’ unions and the collective bargaining agreements they negotiate with school districts, teacher labor markets, and accountability policies.

Patrice Iatarola, Past President
Florida State University

Full bio

Patrice Iatarola is an Associate Professor of Education Policy and Evaluation in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Florida State University. A member of AEFP since 1997, she has served on the AEFP Board (2006-2009) and was a recipient of the Jean Flanigan Outstanding Dissertation award (2003). In her research has explored how district, state and federal policies and incentives have shaped school and student outcomes and how they may exacerbate or alleviate inequities. Her research has been published in leading journals in education policy, such as Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Education Finance and Policy, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, and American Educational Research Journal.

Jason Grissom, President-Elect
Vanderbilt University

Full bios

Jason A. Grissom is Patricia and Rodes Hart Professor of Public Policy and Education at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College. He also serves as Faculty Director of the Tennessee Education Research Alliance (TERA), a research-policy-practice partnership between Vanderbilt and the Tennessee Department of Education that conducts, communicates, and engages stakeholders with research to inform Tennessee’s school improvement efforts. Dr. Grissom has published extensively at the intersection of K-12 education leadership and policy, with research spanning principal evaluation, principal preparation, the measurement of principal effects, the distribution of leadership quality across schools, the strategic management practices of effective principals, and the impacts of a racially and ethnically diverse principal workforce, among other topics. He also studies mobility among educators, including teachers, principals, and superintendents, and has coauthored a stream of studies on racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in access to gifted programs. His research has been supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, the Wallace Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Dr. Grissom is past editor of Educational Researcher and currently serves as associate editor and policy brief editor for Education Finance and Policy. He holds a Master’s degree in Education and a PhD in Political Economics from Stanford University.

Richard Bowman, Finance Officer

Lydia Ross, Executive Director

Board of Directors

Terms Expiring at the close of the 2022 Conference

Brooks Bowden
University of Pennsylvania

Cassandra Hart
University of California, Davis

Full bios

Cassandra Hart is an associate professor of education policy at the University of California, Davis. She evaluates the effects of school, state and national education programs, policies, and practices on overall student achievement, and on the equity of student outcomes. Hart’s work has focused on online education in both K-12 schools and community colleges, school choice programs, school accountability policies, and effects on students of exposure to demographically similar teachers. Hart received her PhD from the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University in 2011.

Steven Hemelt
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Full bios

Steven Hemelt is an Associate Professor of Public Policy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Hemelt is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), a Senior Researcher at the National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research (CALDER), and serves as an Associate Editor of Education Finance and Policy. His current work focuses on transitions to life after high school, skill demand, college costs, and student success in higher education—especially for first-generation students and those from low-income backgrounds. Hemelt holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), along with undergraduate degrees in economics and Spanish. Prior to graduate school, he was a high school teacher in Maryland.

Katherine Kurjakovic
United Federation of Teachers in New York City

Full bios

Katherine Kurjakovic is assistant to the vice president for education and English language learner specialist for the United Federation of Teachers in New York City. She provides support in the areas of multilingual learners, curriculum and professional learning. Prior to her current position, Katie taught English as a new language for 25 years in a K-6 school in Queens, NY. She serves on the Professional Standards and Practices Board for the New York State Education Department and the ELL Cadre of the American Federation of Teachers. Katie has served on and chaired the Board of Governors for the Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock in Manhasset, NY. She received her B.A. in American Studies from Barnard College and her M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from Hunter College.

Dara Zeehandelaar Shaw
Maryland State Department of Education

Full bios

Dara Zeehandelaar Shaw is the founding Executive Director for Research and Strategic Data Use at the Maryland State Department of Education. The office leads the Department’s empirical research, data analysis, program evaluation, and evidence-based decision-making work and promotes a data-driven culture throughout the agency and the state. Previously, she was the National Research Director at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, an education policy think tank. Dara also previously worked as a high school mathematics teacher and summer-school coordinator in Washington D.C. public schools. She earned a Ph.D. in Urban Education Policy from the University of Southern California and she also holds a M.S. in astrophysics from the University of Maryland and a bachelor’s degree in astronomy from Cornell University. Dara grew up in Los Angeles and currently lives in Baltimore.

Terms Expiring at the close of the 2023 Conference

Dominique Baker
Southern Methodist University

Full bios

Dominique Baker is an Assistant Professor of Education Policy in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development at Southern Methodist University. Her research focuses on the way that education policy affects and shapes the access and success of minoritized students in higher education. She primarily investigates student financial aid, affirmative action and admissions policies, and policies that influence the ability to create an inclusive & equitable campus climate. Her work and expertise have been highlighted by the Atlantic, the New York Times, the Washington Post, National Public Radio, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and Inside Higher Ed, among others. Dr. Baker earned her Ph.D. in education policy from Vanderbilt University and her M.Ed. and B.A. from the University of Virginia.

Lisa Barrow
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Full bios

Lisa Barrow is currently working as a senior economist for the Council of Economic Advisors where she is involved in work on education issues from early childcare and education through postsecondary schooling. She is on loan from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago where she is a senior economist and economic advisor. She is also an affiliated researcher at the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research. Barrow’s research focuses on a variety of education issues, including the impact of attending a selective high school on student outcomes, a randomized evaluation of computer-aided algebra instruction in large urban school districts, and evaluations of performance-based scholarship impacts on academic outcomes and student time use at the college level. Barrow received a B.A. in economics from Carleton College and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in economics from Princeton University.

Brian Jacob
University of Michigan

Full bios

Brian A. Jacob is the Walter H. Annenberg Professor of Education Policy and Professor of Economics in the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. His primary fields of interest are labor economics, program evaluation, and the economics of education. Jacob’s research on education covers a wide variety of topics from school choice to teacher labor markets to standards and accountability. His work has appeared in top economics journals including the American Economic Review, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, and the Review of Economics and Statistics. Earlier in his career, he served as a policy analyst in the NYC Mayor’s Office and taught middle school in East Harlem. He is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a member of the editorial boards of the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, Education Finance and Policy and the Review of Economics and Statistics. Jacob received his BA from Harvard College and his PhD from the University of Chicago. In 2008 he was awarded APPAM’s David N. Kershaw Prize for Distinguished Contributions to Public Policy by Age 40.

Andrew McEachin

Full bios

I am the Director of the Collaborative for Student Growth at NWEA. I am also a Co-Editor of Educational Researcher, a member of the Board of Directors for the Association for Education Finance and Policy, and on the editorial boards American Educational Research Journal, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, and Education Finance and Policy. I also teach courses on statistics and the economics of education at the USC Price School of Public Policy. The unifying goal of my research is to help policy-makers and educators make informed decisions about the design and implementation of educational policies and programs. My research agenda focuses on better understanding determinants of persistent educational inequities and inequalities, as well as evaluating policies and programs aimed at mitigating these inequities and inequalities. Current examples of these include school choice initiatives, student discipline policies, and curricular intensification.

Christina Weiland
University of Michigan

Full bios

Christina Weiland is an associate professor at the School of Education at the University of Michigan and the Ford School of Public Policy (by courtesy). She co-directs the Education Policy Initiative (with Dr. Kevin Stange) and direct the University of Michigan’s Predoctoral Training Program. Her research focuses on the effects of early childhood interventions and public policies on children’s development, especially on children from families with low incomes. Her work is characterized by strong, long-standing research collaborations with practitioners, particularly the Boston Public Schools Department of Early Childhood. She holds an EdD (quantitative policy analysis in education) and a M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a BA from Dartmouth College.

Terms Expiring at the close of the 2024 Conference

Anjali Adukia
University of Chicago

Full bios

Anjali Adukia is an assistant professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and the College. In her work, she is interested in understanding how to reduce inequalities such that children from historically disadvantaged backgrounds have equal opportunities to fully develop their potential. Her research is focused on understanding factors that motivate and shape behavior, preferences, attitudes, and educational decision-making, with a particular focus on early-life influences. She examines how the provision of basic needs—such as safety, health, justice, and representation—can increase school participation and improve child outcomes in developing contexts.

Li Feng
Texas State University 

Full bios

Li Feng is a Professor of Economics in the Department of Finance and Economics at Texas State University. She is also currently a faculty research fellow with the LBJ Institute for STEM Education and Research. During 2016-2017, she served as a Visiting Scholar in the Center for Education Policy Analysis at Stanford University and a Visiting Fellow in the Brown Center on Education Policy Program at the Brookings Institution. She also worked on several different research projects as an adjunct economist with the RAND Corporation and an affiliated researcher with the National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Institute of Education Sciences, the American Educational Research Association, and the National Academy of Sciences. She received her B.A. in International Economic Cooperation from Xi’an Foreign Language University in China, and her Ph.D. in Economics and Education Specialist in Education (Ed.S.) from Florida State University.

Jane Friesen
Simon Fraser University 

Full bios

Jane Friesen is a Professor of Economics at Simon Fraser University. She has published numerous academic articles, evaluation reports and policy reports related to Canadian labour market and education policy issues. As Director of SFU’s Centre for Education Research and Policy , she coordinates a multidisciplinary research group investigating policy issues in K-12 education. She has recently co-authored studies in the area of school choice policies, education peer effects, public information about school quality, and strategies for improving educational outcomes among Aboriginal students. She is a former Associate Editor of Canadian Public Policy and member of the Advisory Board of the Canadian Journal of Economics.

Constance Lindsay
University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill 

Shanna Ricketts
Gwinnet County Public Schools 

Designees of Sustaining Members

Kyle Arnone
American Federation of Teachers

Full bios

Kyle J. Arnone directs the Center for Collective Bargaining at the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). He and his team provide financial analysis of school districts, hospitals universities, and state and local governments and strategic insights in support of AFT state and local affiliates across the country. Prior to this role, he was the National Research Coordinator for the Kaiser Permanente labor-management partnership, where he provided research and negotiations in support of a national agreement that covered 130,000 healthcare workers, at the time one of the largest private-sector labor agreements in the world. He is an appointed member of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) for his survey work at the AFT examining the impact of teacher working conditions on stress, well-being, and retention. He lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his wife and two children.

Tina Collins
United Federation of Teachers

Full bios

Dr. Christina Collins is Director of Research and Policy at the United Federation of Teachers’ Teacher Center. The UFT represents approximately 200,000 public school educators and other professionals in New York City, and the Teacher Center coordinates professional development for educators across the city. Dr. Collins holds a joint Ph.D. in History and Education and a graduate certificate in Urban Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, and has received fellowships from the Spencer Foundation, the Institute on Ethnicity, Culture and the Modern Experience at Rutgers University, and the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her book on the history of the impact of institutional racism on ethnic and racial diversity among NYC teachers, Ethnically Qualified: Race, Merit, and the Selection of Urban Teachers, 1920-1980, was published by Teachers College Press in 2011. At the UFT, she has worked on issues such as school funding, school diversity and integration, charter schools, teacher leadership, evaluation, and professional learning, and state standards.