Thursday, October 13, 2016

An APPAM/MDRC Institutional Member Forum: The Future of Applying Behavioral Science to Social Policy

MDRC’s Center for Applied Behavioral Science (CABS) and APPAM are hosting a forum on December 13, 2016 which will explore the future of behavioral science research, practice, and policy. This event brings together distinguished experts from MDRC, academia, and the government to share their work and provide insight on next steps for research, practice, and policy.


APPAM Members Elect New Representatives to the Policy Council

APPAM has completed its member elections for the next cohort to serve on the Policy Council. In addition to the election of a practitioner and two academic representatives on the board, APPAM members elected a new Vice President and re-elected its Secretary to a two-year term.  Institutional members elected an institutional representative to the Board for a four-year term.    Finally, a student representative was appointed to the Policy Council for a two-year term and a President-Elect was appointed to the Policy Council for a one-year term.  Click here for a description of Officer Positions on the APPAM Policy Council.

The full list of newly appointed and elected leadership and council members is below. Policy Council members will serve through 2019. The new Vice President, Secretary and student rep will serve through 2017.  The President-Elect will serve a one-year term and will automatically become APPAM President at the conclusion of the 2016 APPAM Fall Conference. For a full list of current Policy Council members, click here.

APPAM Leadership

Heinrich,114x160Carolyn Heinrich will serve as APPAM President-Elect. Carolyn is a Professor of Public Policy and Education in the Department of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations at the Peabody College and a Professor of Economics in the College of Arts and Sciences at Vanderbilt University. Her research focuses on education, workforce development, social welfare policy, program evaluation, and public management and performance management. She works directly with federal, state and local governments in her research to improve policy design and program effectiveness and also collaborates with nongovernmental organizations (such as the World Bank, UNICEF and others) to improve the impacts of economic and social investments in middle-income and developing countries. She received the David N. Kershaw Award for distinguished contributions to the field of public policy analysis and management in 2004 and was elected to the National Academy of Public Administration in 2011. Carolyn was the chair of the APPAM Institutional Reps from 2010 - 2012 and has been an active APPAM member for 15 years.

Barry,106x160Colleen Barry will serve as one of APPAM’s two vice presidents; she will join Mark Long from the University of Washington's Evans School.   Colleen is an Associate Professor and Associate Chair for Research and Practice in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She conducts policy analysis and political communication research with a focus on vulnerable populations and often-stigmatized health conditions including mental illness, substance use and obesity. Much of her current research involves examining the implications of various aspects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on persons with mental illness or substance use disorders. She has also led studies examining public opinion and political persuasion in the context of childhood obesity, mental illness and gun policy. Colleen has been on the APPAM Policy Council since 2013 and has been an active APPAM member for 5 years.


Stagner,_160x160Matthew Stagner will serve as APPAM’s Secretary for a second term. Matt directs human services research in Mathematica Policy Research's Chicago office. He is a nationally known expert on youth development and risk behaviors, child welfare, evaluation design and methods and the role of research in policymaking. His work focuses on policies and programs for vulnerable youth, such as those transitioning out of foster care or into employment and postsecondary education.

Prior to joining Mathematica, Stagner served as executive director of Chapin Hall and as a senior lecturer at the Irving B. Harris School of Public Policy Studies, both housed at the University of Chicago. Stagner also served as director of the Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population at the Urban Institute and director of the Division of Children and Youth Policy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Matt has been on the APPAM Board since 2013 and has been an active APPAM member for 7 years.

APPAM Policy Council

Owens,_160x128Jenni Owen will serve as one of two academic representatives on the Policy Council for a four-year term.  Jenni is the Director of Policy Initiatives at Duke University’s Center for Child and Family Policy and on the faculty of the Sanford School of Public Policy. Her research is focused on enhancing interaction among research, policy, and practice. She works with government, non-profit, and university stakeholders to enhance the use of research to inform and impact policy and practice for positive impact on disadvantaged and vulnerable children and families. In addition to teaching and advising undergraduates and graduate students, Jenni directs the North Carolina Family Impact Seminar, a legislative education initiative, and co-directs the Duke University School Research Partnership. From 2008-2014, she was the director of the University-Based Child and Family Policy Consortium. Jenni is new to the APPAM board but has been an active APPAM member since 2005. 

Simon,114x160Kosali Simon will serve as one of two academic representatives on the Policy Council for a four-year term.  Kosali joined Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) as a professor in 2010, following nine years on the faculty at Cornell University. She is a nationally-known health economist who specializes in applying economic analysis in the context of health insurance and health care policy and has recently conducted some of the seminal research on the impact of the Affordable Care Act. She is also active in national leadership roles in her profession, serving on several boards and in editorial positions.

Simon is a research associate of the National Bureau for Economic Research, a group with which she has been affiliated since 2002. She serves as a board member of the American Society of Health Economists since 2009, and a board member of the American Economic Association (AEA)'s Committee on the Status of Women in Economics (CSWEP) since 2014, and is currently directing the national mentoring program for female assistant professors in economics. She is also serving a three-year term with the nation's largest health philanthropy, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). In 2013, she was selected to the National Advisory Committee of RWJF Health Policy Scholars Program. Kosali is new to the APPAM board but has been a very active APPAM member, particularly on the Program Committee for the Fall Research Conference, for 5 years.

Bell,145x167Stephen Bell will serve as a practitioner representative to the Policy Council for a four-year term.  Stephen is the Vice President of Social and Economic Policy for Abt Associates. He specializes in econometric impact evaluations of programs that assist the nation’s most vulnerable workers and families. He provided scientific leadership to the National Head Start Impact Study, a landmark evaluation of early childhood development assistance as an anti-poverty strategy, and to studies of employment strategies for people receiving disability benefits in the United States and in Britain. He currently heads evaluation for six major social experiments, including the nine-year $130 million Social Security Disability Insurance Benefit Offset National Demonstration. 

During the 1980s and early 1990s, Dr. Bell’s contribution to the National Job Training Partnership Act Study helped reshape federal employment training policy and set the standard for rigorous evidence on program effectiveness in the federal government. Stephen is new to APPAM's Policy Council but has been an APPAM member since 2001.  He has also served as Abt Associates institutional rep on the APPAM Committee of Institutional Representatives.  

Myers,_160x114Samuel Myers will serve as an institutional representative to the Policy Council for a four-year term. Sam is the Roy Wilkins Professor of Human Relations and Social Justice and directs the Roy Wilkins Center for Human Relations and Social Justice at the Humphrey School at the University of Minnesota. He specializes in the impacts of social policies on the poor. Myers is a pioneer in the use of applied econometric techniques to examine racial disparities in crime, detect illegal discrimination in credit markets, assess the impacts of welfare on family stability, evaluate the effectiveness of government transfers in reducing poverty, determine the impacts of food pricing on low-income communities and detect disparities and discrimination in government contracting.  He is a national authority on the methodology of conducting disparity studies and has served as an expert witness in the groundbreaking federal case of GEOD vs New Jersey Transit (3rd Circuit Court of Appeals). He is a co-founder of the Colorado Minnesota Disparity Study Consortium, which regularly provides technical assistance to state transportation departments, airport authorities, and local transit agencies.

Among many other accolades, Sam is a past APPAM president (2000 - 2001).  He has also served as the Chair of the APPAM Committee of Institutional Representatives.

APPAM Student Representative

Morar_headshotDavid Morar will serve as one of two student representatives on the APPAM Policy Council. David is a fourth-year doctoral student at George Mason University's School of Policy, Government and International Affairs. His research interests include Internet policy, global governance, tech and private governance, emerging technologies, innovation, social media and the policy environment, both nationally and internationally. He joins Ayla Bonfiglio, Maaastricht University, as the other student representative on the Policy Council.

Previously a research fellow at The Future of Privacy Forum, David was also awarded a prestigious GMU Presidential Fellowship in 2012. A native of Bucharest, Romania, he holds a Masters degree in International Affairs from the Pennsylvania State University, and he received his undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Bucharest. David served as the Chair of APPAM's Student Advisory Committee (SAC) in 2015. Among the work done by the Student Advisory Committee, under his chairmanship, the SAC created the APPAM Student Lounge and the Meet the Experts series, and provided programming for all the student sessions at the 2015 APPAM Fall Conference. The committee created the Student Brown Bag series; these are events held across the DC area that examine a policy issue from the perspective of academics, researchers and practitioners. Two such events have already taken place in 2015, tackling big data research and healthcare policy.


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