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#2021APPAM Spotlight: MDRC


The #2021APPAM Fall Research Conference will feature some fantastic sponsors from across the policy research spectrum. Today we're shining a spotlight on MDRC.


What is the mission of your organization?

MDRC is committed to finding solutions to some of the most difficult problems facing the nation. We aim to reduce poverty and bolster economic mobility; improve early child development, public education, and pathways from high school to college completion and careers; and reduce inequities in the criminal justice system.

What are your strongest areas of work?

We design promising new interventions, evaluate existing programs using the highest research standards, and provide technical assistance to build better programs and deliver effective interventions at scale. We work as an intermediary, bringing together public and private funders to test new policy-relevant ideas, and communicate what we learn to policymakers and practitioners—all with the goal of improving the lives of low-income individuals, families, and children.

In the past year, what has been the most influential work from your researchers?

As the nation confronted the pandemic, the resulting economic devastation, and a renewed focus on continuing racism and inequity, MDRC and its many program partners focused our attention on developing COVID-19 resources for policymakers and practitioners, evidence-backed policy options for newly elected federal and state officials, and resources for promoting equity, inclusiveness, and cultural responsiveness in research and technical assistance. We believe this work has supported the development of more effective recovery responses, highlighted the inspiring efforts of programs responding to unprecedented challenges, and offered useful guidance to our field about making our practices more equitable and relevant to the people we serve.

If you are hiring, what makes your organization a great place to work?

We are a mission-driven organization full of smart, collegial, and caring people from varied life and professional experiences—all devoted to making a difference for individuals and families with low incomes. At MDRC, we combine cutting-edge social policy research methods with deep, hands-on experience with programs and practitioners. We are dedicated to making sure that the evidence we develop isn’t filed away in a drawer but is used by practitioners and policymakers. And we like to have fun, too!

How many early career professionals do you employ?

20-30 on an annual basis

What is your employee breakdown in terms of highest degree achieved (Undergraduate, Masters, Doctorate)?

  • Undergraduate: 37%
  • Master’s: 39%
  • Doctorate or Juris Doctor: 15%
  • Certifications (non-degree related): 9%

‚ÄčWhat is an interesting, unique, or fun fact about your organization?

We’ll be celebrating our 50th anniversary in 2024!

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