AEFP 46th Annual Conference

Promoting Equity and Opportunity Through Education Policy Research

Held Virtually from March 17-19, 2021

AEFP 46th Annual Conference - Candidates for Board of Directors

President Elect

Jason Grissom
Jason 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.

At-Large Candidates

Anjali Adukia
Anjali Adukia (she/they) 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. Her work has been supported with funding from the Institute of Education Sciences, William T. Grant Foundation, National Academy of Education, and Spencer Foundation. She holds a doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a faculty affiliate of the University of Chicago Education Lab, and a member of the editorial board of Education Finance and Policy.

Chris Candelaria
Chris Candelaria is an Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Education at Vanderbilt University's Peabody College of Education and Human Development. His research primarily focuses on topics related to education finance and teacher labor markets. Current projects include examining how school principals allocate financial resources and assessing the relationship between state-level finance reforms and the distribution of teacher quality. Candelaria currently serves on the editorial board of Educational Researcher. He earned his PhD in Education with concentrations in the economics of education and education policy from Stanford University. He has been a member of AEFP since 2012.

Li Feng
Li Feng is an Associate Professor in the Department of Finance and Economics at Texas State University. Her research interests include the economics of education and education policy. Currently, she is leading a multi-institution and multidisciplinary team to conduct both quantitative and qualitative research to investigate the impact of the Robert Noyce Scholarship on recruiting and retaining teachers in high-need school districts across the nation. Her previous work examines education policy issues related to teachers such as the impact of tuition reimbursement and loan forgiveness program on teacher retention, the relationship between teacher quality (value-added) and student outcomes, the nexus of school accountability and teacher labor market, the connection between classroom characteristics and teacher mobility, and the role of Collective Bargaining Agreements in the distribution of teachers across schools. She has published in both economics and education journals such as the Journal of Urban Economics, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Education Finance and Policy, Economics of Education Review, and Educational Policy.

Manuel S. Gonzalez Canche
I am an associate professor of higher education with affiliations in education policy and quantitative methods at the University of Pennsylvania’s GSE. My primary interests are on providing estimates of expected outcomes associated with a variety of decisions students make, effects of state- and federal-level policy changes, and spatial spillovers and outcome dependence. Examples include localized dependence and competition in non-resident tuition price setting, changes in Stafford loan limits on students’ debt accumulation, and sector effects of initial college enrollment on students’ loan debt accumulation. My cognates in economics, sociology, and biostatistics have deeply influenced the types of questions and methods I typically employ. These methods primarily deal with issues of selection based on observables and unobservables, lack of dependence given participants’ connections (either to one another or based on their common exposure to living in a given place). Accordingly, I have been using weighting methods, instrumental variables, network, and spatial statistical analyses along with data visualization techniques to address most of my research questions. Some outlets of this research have included Economics of Education Review, American Educational Research Journal, and higher education research journals such as the Journal of Higher Education, Research in Higher Education, and the Review of Higher Education. More recently, I have been working on neighborhood and school context effects on 3 to 8 mathematical proficiency relying of multilevel spatial interaction models. Finally, I have been designing an applied course titled “Spatial Socio-Econometric Modeling” that will be offered for the first time this coming fall semester at the University of Pennsylvania. Given that spatial analyses constitute an emerging set of tools with direct application to education finance and policy research, I am planning on opening this course to the AEFP community, which I am sure will enrich the class discussions and align with AEFP’s efforts to enriching the early careers of Ph.D. students and junior researchers. If interested please reach out at or @manu_canche.
Manuel S. Gonzalez Canche

Constance Lindsay
Constance A. Lindsay an assistant professor of education leadership in the School of Education at the UNC Chapel Hill. Lindsay earned a doctorate in human development and social policy from Northwestern University, where she was an Institute of Education Sciences’ predoctoral fellow. Since leaving Northwestern, Lindsay has worked in education policy in various contexts, applying her research training in traditional studies and in creating and evaluating new systems and policies regarding teachers. She is also affiliated with the Urban Institute. Lindsay’s areas of expertise include teacher quality and diversity, analyzing and closing racial achievement gaps, and adolescent development. Her work has been published in such journals as Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis and Social Science Research, and has been featured in the media outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Seattle Times, and Education Week. Lindsay received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Duke University and master’s degree in public policy from Georgetown University. Before doctoral study at Northwestern, she was a Presidential Management Fellow at the US Department of Education.

Richard Welsh
Richard O. Welsh is Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in the Department of Administration, Leadership, and Technology. He received his B.A. in Economics and an M.A in Latin American Studies from Stanford University. He holds an M.A. in Economics and Ph.D. in Urban Education Policy from the University of Southern California. Welsh’s areas of expertise include the economics of education and K-12 education policy analysis. He studies the efficacy, equity, and political dimensions of education reform in urban school districts, with a particular emphasis on school choice policies, student mobility, and school discipline. His research on student mobility provides empirical evidence on the patterns and effects of student mobility within urban school districts such as post-Katrina New Orleans. Welsh applies a mixed methods approach to scholarship on the politics of education and examines several dimensions of the politics of education surrounding market-based reforms as well as the changing nature of politics and advocacy in public education. His work on school discipline focuses on school and classroom contributors to discipline disparities, with a particular emphasis on the relationships and interactions among school leaders, teachers and support personnel. Welsh’s research has been published in Review of Educational Research, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Education Finance and Policy, and Urban Education. Prior to joining New York University, Welsh was Assistant Professor of Educational Administration and Policy at the University of Georgia. He also served as a district wide professor-in-residence for educational policy and equity in Clarke County School District in Georgia.

International Candidates

Tommaso Agasisti
I am Full Professor at Politecnico di Milano School of Management, where I teach Public Management. I hold a Master of Science in Economics from Alma Mater University of Bologna and a PhD in Management Engineering from Politecnico di Milano (PoliMi). For the period 2020-22, I have been elected as a faculty member in the PoliMi’s Board of Governors. Since 2020, I serve as Associate Dean for International Relations, Quality & Services at MIP Politecnico di Milano Graduate School of Business; also at MIP, from 2014 to 2019 I was the Delegate for the area Institutions & Public Administrations. I am the co-director of three Executive Masters: Management of Schools (Master MES), Management of Universities (Master SUM), Management of Digital Innovation in Schools (Master MIDIS). My research activity is focused on Public Economics, Finance and Management, and the mainstream is in the field of economics and management of educational services. My main research interests are about the efficiency and performance of public organizations, with special reference to educational institutions (universities and schools) but also applying the techniques to other organizations like municipalities and hospitals. Recently, part of my effort turned to exploring the role of digital learning in innovating educational process, and the effects of online programs on educational results. I have been (and currently am) the Principal Investigator in various national and international research projects, funded by public and private institutions. I am the Associate Editor of the academic journal Higher Education Quarterly; moreover, I serve in the Editorial Board of other three journals: Educational Researcher, Tertiary Education and Management, International Journal of Educational Management.

Jane Friesen
Jane Friesen is a Professor of Economics at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver Canada. She currently works in the economics of education, with particular interest in school choice, peer effects and private schools. She has previously worked on special education programs and Indigenous education. All of these projects use administrative data from the British Columbia Ministry of Education. In addition to academic publications in a variety of international journals, including the Journal of Public Economics, the Review of Economics and Statistics, Education Finance and Policy and Labour Economics, her work has been published regularly both in Canadian academic journals and Canadian policy outlets. In 2012, she led a pan-Canadian review of the availability and potential for using quantitative data to improve the outcomes of Canadian aboriginal students for the Council of Ministers of Education of Canada. She has served as an editorial advisor to the Canadian Journal of Economics and as Associate Editor of Canadian Public Policy, as well as several terms on the Board of the Canadian Economics Association. She currently serves as the Academic Director of the Simon Fraser University Statistics Canada Research Data Centre and on the Academic Council of the Canadian Research Data Centre Network.

Government Candidates

Bart Liguori
Bart Liguori is the director of the research division in the Office of Education Accountability (OEA) within the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission (LRC). The OEA research division is tasked with implementing the research agenda for the Education Assessment and Accountability Review Subcommittee within Kentucky's General Assembly. Among other topics, the OEA study agendas have included topics in career and technical education; preschool and full-day kindergarten; state funding to higher poverty schools; homeschooling; and school attendance. Since 2017, OEA publications have been awarded four Notable Document Awards from the National Conference of State Legislatures and one Certificate of Impact. Prior to joining LRC in 2016, Dr. Liguori was a senior research analyst in the office of strategic planning and research (OSR) at the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE). The OSR, which is housed in the office of the commissioner, is charged with assuring that KDE is making adequate progress toward its strategic priorities using project management and data analysis to drive decisions. At KDE, Dr. Liguori oversaw several KDE research initiatives, including measuring Teacher Effectiveness and how to best close the achievement gap among students at all grade levels. He was brought to KDE through the Strategic Data Project Fellowship at Harvard University. Dr. Liguori received his Ph.D. in Sociology at Cornell, where he conducted research on the role of high stakes testing on teacher behavior. Prior to earning his doctorate, Dr. Liguori was a physics and chemistry teacher in the New York City Public Schools.

Shanna Ricketts
Shanna Ricketts is Director of Enterprise Analytics within the Data Governance group at Gwinnett County Public Schools. Shanna leads a team of developers, business analysts, and data scientists to provide data-driven dashboards and reports for both school-based and district-based users. Shanna previously held the position of Director of Data Analytics within the Research & Evaluation group, where she provided research and analytical support to leaders in the district. Prior to joining Gwinnett County Public Schools, Shanna was a Strategic Data Project Fellow with the Delaware Department of Education working on educator effectiveness initiatives. She also spent a year with Atlanta Public Schools in their assessment group. Shanna holds a B.A. in Economics from Harvard University, an MBA from INSEAD, and a Ph.D. in Educational Studies from Emory University.