To help foster more supportive spaces within AEFP, we are creating member community groups. We hope these groups will help to build community, create networks, and share professional resources. Each group will also work to design their own goals for the year. For the inaugural year, we will have the following community groups: 

First-generation Scholars


Sue Dynarski, Harvard University

Full bio

Susan Dynarski is a professor at Harvard University, where she holds an appointment at the Graduate School of Education. She recently moved from the University of Michigan, where she held appointments in the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, School of Education, Department of Economics and Institute for Social Research. At Michigan, she was co-director of the Education Policy Initiative and the Michigan Education Data Center and  a University Professor of Diversity and Social Transformation. She is a faculty research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Dynarski earned an AB in Social Studies from Harvard, a Master of Public Policy from Harvard and a PhD in Economics from MIT.

Dynarski was selected as a Carnegie Fellow in 2020. The Association for Public Policy and Management awarded her the Spencer Foundation Award for excellence in research in 2017. The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators awarded her the Robert P. Huff Golden Quill Award for excellence in research on student aid. The Chronicle of Higher Education named her a “Top Ten Influencer” in 2015. She writes frequently for the New York Times
Dynarski has been a visiting fellow at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and Princeton University. She has served on the board of editors of the American Economic Journal/Economic Policy,The Journal of Labor Economics and Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis. She has served on the board of the Association for Public Policy and Management. She is past president of the Association for Education Finance and Policy and Midwest Economics Association.

Emileigh Harrison, University of Chicago

Full bio

Hello! I’m a PhD student studying Public Policy at the University of Chicago. My research focuses on examining ways to reduce inequality and eliminate barriers to education; particularly for women, first-generation college students, and other historically disadvantaged groups. Currently, I am studying the effects of statewide higher education policies on the academic outcomes of community college students, as well as changes in gender and racial representation in children’s books over time.

I am a Pre-Doctoral Fellow at the Inclusive Economy Lab as well as a Doctoral Fellow at the Center for Data and Computing and a Committee on Education Fellow at UChicago.

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LGBTQ+ Scholars


Michael Gottfried, University of Pennsylvania

Full bio

Michael Gottfried, PhD, is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Education Policy Division in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. An applied economist by training, Professor Gottfried focuses on the economics of education and education policy, with an interest in absenteeism, career and technical education, and students with disabilities.

Adam Kho, University of Southern California

Full bio

Dr. Adam Kho is an Assistant Professor of Education in K-12 Policy and Leadership at the University of Southern California. His research focuses on using quantitative methods to examine the intended and unintended effects of various school reforms, including school turnaround, school choice, and school improvement. Kho received his Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University . Prior, he served as an instructional coach and mathematics teacher at an alternative high school in Atlanta. He currently lives in Los Angeles with his husband and two dogs.

Beth Schueler, University of Virginia

Full bio

Beth Schueler is an Assistant Professor of Education and Public Policy at the University of Virginia. She studies education policy, politics, and inequality with a focus on efforts to improve low-performing K-12 schools and districts. She uses both quantitative and qualitative methods to learn which policies are most effective at improving educational organizations and what makes these policies more or less politically viable. Her work in these areas has been published in journals such as Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Education Finance and Policy, and Public Opinion Quarterly, and has been covered by media outlets such as the New York Times, Boston Globe, and Education Week. Prior to joining the faculty at UVA, she was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Schueler holds a doctorate in education policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, holds a master’s degree in politics and education from Columbia University’s Teachers College, has taught on the politics of education at Brown University, and previously worked on legislative affairs at the New York City Council.

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Carrie Conaway, Harvard University

Full bio

Carrie Conaway is a senior lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Until June 2019, she was the chief strategy and research officer for the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and led the agency’s Office of Planning and Research, which strengthens planning, data and resource use, and the focus on evidence in the agency and the field to improve outcomes for Massachusetts students.

She served as DESE’s principal investigator on numerous evaluations of state education programs and has published two peer-reviewed articles on connecting research to practice. Her team also managed the agency’s strategic planning process and built tools that help districts benchmark their performance and deploy their resources more effectively. She led the development of DESE’s top-scoring, $250 million Race to the Top proposal and managed its implementation, as well as winning several other grants to support state research, evaluation, and data use initiatives. Previously she was the deputy director of the New England Public Policy Center at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and an associate editor of the Bank’s flagship publication, Regional Review. She also served as the president of the Association for Education Finance and Policy in 2018-19.

She has nearly 20 years of experience in integrating research and practice to improve public policy. She holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Oberlin College; a master’s degree in policy analysis and labor policy from the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota; and a master’s degree in sociology and social policy from Harvard University.

Krystafer Redden, Rhode Island Department of Education

Full bio

Krystafer Redden currently serves as the Associate Chief of Staff for System Transformation at the Rhode Island Department of Education. Previously, he served the students of Rhode Island as a classroom teacher, teacher leader, and district administrator in Providence Public Schools, as well as an education policy fellow to Gov. Gina M. Raimondo. Prior to moving to Rhode Island, Krystafer worked in the Texas Legislature and served a gubernatorial appointment at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. A fifth-generation Texan from a family of public educators, and raised by his single mother and sister, he currently lives in Providence, RI and enjoys all the history, shoreline, and proximity that New England has to offer.

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Scholars of color


Kalena Cortes, Texas A&M University

Full bio

Kalena Cortes is the Verlin and Howard Kruse ’52 Founders Associate Professor in the Department of Public Service and Administration at Texas A&M’s Bush School. Kalena is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) in the Economics of Education program, a Research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), and a Scholar in the Mindset Scholars Network. Most recently, she was named Texas A&M’s 2020 Presidential Impact Fellow. Kalena’s research interest is in the area of the economics of education. Her research focuses on issues of equity and access, in particular, identifying educational policies that help disadvantaged students at the PK-12 and postsecondary levels. She has worked on three key areas: improving academic performance of urban students, increasing access to postsecondary education, and raising educational attainment of immigrant students. Kalena has also been a visiting scholar at both Stanford and Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, the National Bureau of Economic Research, and Princeton University. She earned a PhD in economics from the University of California at Berkeley and a BA in Economics from the University of California at San Diego.

Ayesha K. Hashim, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Full bio

Ayesha K. Hashim is an Assistant Professor of Educational Policy and Leadership at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. Her research focuses on district-level school reforms aimed at improving student achievement in underserved communities, including popular initiatives to (1) modernize instruction with technology, (2) expand school choice for students, and (3) improve teacher quality through performance evaluation and coaching. A mixed-methods researcher, Dr. Hashim draws on theories from economics, sociology, and organizational change to study the impacts of reforms on teacher and student outcomes along with leadership, organizational, and implementation conditions that shape these results. Dr. Hashim’s work has been published in Education Finance and Policy, Economics of Education Review, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Computers and Education, and Peabody Journal of Education. She received the New Scholar Award in 2017 from the Association for Education Finance and Policy. Ayesha received her B.A. from Scripps College, Master’s in Public Policy and M.A. in Economics from the University of Southern California (USC), and her Ph.D. in Urban Education Policy from the Rossier School of Education at USC.

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Scholars of education in developing countries


Alex Eble, Columbia University

Full bio

Alex Eble is an Assistant Professor of Economics and Education at Columbia University’s graduate school of education, Teachers College. His research focuses primarily on two key themes: the economics of education in low-income contexts, and the economics of beliefs and information applied to education and inequality. His work draws on insights from fieldwork in China, The Gambia, Guinea Bissau, and India, and experience as a development practitioner. He received his PhD in economics from Brown University.

Alejandro Ganimian, New York University

Full bio

I am an Assistant Professor of Applied Psychology and Economics at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. My research focuses on how school systems in developing countries can ensure all children acquire basic skills by improving children’s preparation for school, supporting teachers to cater to heterogeneous student groups, and helping principals use data to inform management practices. I pursue this agenda through randomized field trials in Latin America and South Asia. I leverage my training in economics to estimate the impact of interventions and in psychometrics to develop measures of academic and social-emotional development. I hold a doctorate in Quantitative Policy Analysis in Education from Harvard University, where I was a fellow in the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality and Social Policy; a master’s in Educational Research from the University of Cambridge, where I was a Gates Scholar; and a bachelor’s in International Politics from Georgetown University. I was also a post-doctoral fellow at the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL). I am a Non-Resident Fellow at the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution; a Special Invitee of the regional office of J-PAL for Latin America and the Caribbean; and a member of the Advisory Board of the Organization of Ibero-American States for Education, Science, and Culture (OEI). I have worked as a consultant for multiple international organizations, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, and Innovations for Poverty Action, among others.

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Doctoral Students


Mark Chin, Harvard University

Full bio

I am a Ph.D. candidate in Education at Harvard University. I am currently on the job market and expect to graduate in May 2022. I study how public education in the U.S. can help combat racial and socioeconomic inequality. In my research, I use rigorous quantitative methodology to identify the causal impacts of different policies, programs, and interventions in schools on students’ outcomes. My current projects focus on school integration, school choice, and how schools affect students’ racial attitudes/bias, prosocial behaviors, and sociopolitical preferences. In the past, I have also studied school turnaround and teacher quality.

Amy Cummings, Michigan State University

Full bio

Amy Cummings is a doctoral student studying education policy at Michigan State University (MSU) and a graduate research assistant at the Education Policy Innovation Collaborative. Her research interests include instructional policies, and her work at EPIC focuses on evaluating the effectiveness and implementation of Michigan’s third-grade reading law. Prior to beginning her studies at MSU, Amy worked as a research associate in education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute and as a high school social studies teacher in Columbia, Missouri. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Missouri and a master’s in cognitive science in education from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Valerie Michelman, University of Chicago

Full bio

Valerie is PhD candidate at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy. She applies the tools of labor and public economics to education policy, as well as to topics in gender and inequality. Her current work includes papers on the design of teacher pay schedules and the role of old boys’ clubs in the returns to elite universities. Prior to graduate school, she worked on questions such as the efficacy of online learning as a research analyst at the Consortium on Chicago School Research.

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View our calendar for upcoming community group meetings!