Fall Research Conference


2018 Special Events


Evidence for Action:
Encouraging Innovation and Improvement

November 8 10, 2018  | Washington Marriott Wardman Park |  Washington, DC

The APPAM Fall Research Conference is a multi-disciplinary annual research conference that attracts the highest quality research on a wide variety of important current and emerging policy and management issues. The conference is comprised of panels, roundtables, and poster presentations and is designed to encourage substantive interaction among participants.

Wednesday, November 7

Pre-Conference Workshop

Research to Policy Boot Camp: A Communications Toolkit for Researchers

Wednesday, 11:00 am 4:30 pm
Salon 1 - Lobby Level; breakouts will be held in Marriott Balcony A and B 

To make a difference in today’s policy ecosystem, scholars must think beyond the academic journal. With funding often contingent on real-world influence, many academics and organizations know they must modernize but don’t know how.

The Urban Institute is pioneering new ways to communicate and share what we’ve learned in a research to policy boot camp. This workshop teaches researchers how to navigate the fragmented media and policy landscape by making their insights accessible to diverse audiences, forming a narrative, developing an outreach plan, and putting it into action. Each session of the workshop focuses on a different communication strategy: data visualization, presentation skills, social media, blog writing, interacting with reporters, and developing a cohesive communication strategy. Speakers—each of whom is an expert in his or her field—share their strategies to help attendees gain the skills and tools they need to communicate in modern, sophisticated ways.

Registration for this workshop is separate from the full conference registration. The cost for this workshop is $50 for APPAM members and $65 for non-members. To attend, select the Pre-Conference Workshop as an add-on during regular conference registration.

Thursday, November 8

Wellness Workout: Fun Run & Walk (NEW)

Thursday, 6:30 am 7:30 am 
Meet in the hotel main lobby

There will be three course leaders that will run/walk at various paces to accommodate participants of all levels. Course maps will also be provided for those that prefer to run on their own. The full course is three miles through Rock Creek Park, but participants are welcome to do as much or as little as they’d like.

RSVP here.

PhD Program Directors Meeting

Thursday, 8:30 am 10:00 am 
8223 - Lobby Level

Please join us for the 3rd policy PhD Program Directors meeting to take place during the 2018 Fall Research Conference. This meeting will provide an opportunity to connect with others in the field who are facing similar challenges to identify and discuss helpful solutions to some of today's most pressing challenges as a program director.
All attendees are welcome at the meeting; however discussion will focus on the topics such as comprehensive and qualifying exam formats, required/core courses, professional development opportunities & recruitment, and how to better prepare PhD students for the academic job market.

Super Session: Values in Education: Implications for Policy and Practice (NEW)

Thursday, 8:30 am  10:00 am 
Lincoln 4 - Exhibit Level

Moderators:  Helen Ladd, Duke University
Speakers:  Susanna Loeb, Stanford University, Carolyn J. Heinrich, Vanderbilt University, Rebecca Jacobsen, Michigan State University and Jay P. Greene, University of Arkansas

Standardized test scores have been the driving force in U.S. education for more than two decades. Such an approach has had obvious appeal to policy makers, largely because of its appearance of objectivity and precision and general agreement that schools should be in the business of raising student achievement in core subjects. But across the country parents concerned about the physic toll of high stakes testing on their children are “opting out” of testing programs, and teachers complain that testing reduces the time for instruction and distorts the curriculum.  Clearly Americans expect our education system to do more for children than to turn them into successful test takers.  Hence, it’s time for a change.  The question is how. The purpose of this super session is to elaborate the new concepts, and importantly, to discuss what this broader perspective might imply for accountability. 

Opening Luncheon

Thursday, 12:00 pm 1:30 pm 
Thurgood Marshall Southwest - Mezz Level

Join your fellow members for an opening luncheon to kick off the conference. This is the perfect opportunity to catch up with colleagues or schedule time to get to know someone new.

The Future of Public Policy Education: Three top policy school deans will discuss the state of public policy education, what issues the field is grappling with, job prospects for graduates, and what the future holds for APPAM member schools. 

  •     Moderator: Matthew Stagner, Vice President, Director of Human Services, Mathematica Policy Research
  •     Michael Barr, Dean, The Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan
  •     Doug Elmendorf, Dean, Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University
  •     Cecilia Rouse, Dean, The Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University

Tickets may be purchased during the registration process and onsite at the Registration Desk for $38.

Super Session: Systematic Reviews: The Next Step in Evidence-Based Policy Analysis (NEW)

Thursday, 10:15 am  11:45 am 
Lincoln 4 - Exhibit Level

Moderators:  Douglas Besharov, University of Maryland, College Park
Speakers:  Howard White, Campbell Collaboration, Rebecca Maynard, University of Pennsylvania, T'Pring Westbrook, Annie E. Casey Foundation and Jon Baron, Laura and John Arnold Foundation

As evidence-based approaches gain broader application, many ask whether there is a need for more scientifically nuanced approaches to policy making and funding decisions, and whether a re-tooled and streamlined version of systematic research reviews might provide a useful framework. Examining this question will be a panel with broad experience conducting and using systematic reviews in evidence-based environments.

Super Session: 40 Years of Evidence for Action at APPAM and in the Field (NEW)

Thursday, 1:45 pm - 3:15 pm
Location: Lincoln 4 - Exhibit Level

Moderators:  Matthew Stagner, Mathematica Policy Research
Speakers:  Kathleen Flanagan, Abt Associates, Inc., Avi Benus, IMPAQ International, LLC, Gordon Berlin, MDRC, Sarah Wartell, Urban Institute and Paul decker, Mathematica Policy Research

As institutional sponsors, several leading research organizations, including Abt Associates, Impaq International, Mathematica Policy Research, MDRC, and Urban Institute have partnered with APPAM to highlight innovative approaches to generating evidence and putting it into action. In this special super session, APPAM president-elect Matt Stagner will moderate a roundtable discussion with industry CEOs who are working to apply insights from our modern data revolution to social science questions and challenges that have spanned generations.  Panelists will share the most important lessons from their work to advance evidence-based policy, as well as the critical challenges and emerging trends in policy analysis and program improvement

Poster Happy Hour (NEW)

Thursday, 3:30 pm 5:00 pm 
Exhibit Hall

In lieu of concurrent sessions on Thursday afternoon, join us for a new poster happy hour. This session serves as one of the conference’s three judged poster events and will feature hors d’oeuvres, beer, and wine. This happy hour will flow directly into the Welcome Reception with heavy appetizers and a full bar. All attendees are welcome to attend both.

Equity & Inclusion Fellow Meetup  (NEW)

Thursday, 4:00 pm 6:00 pm 
Lincoln 1 - Exhibit Level

Exclusive to the fellowship recipients, this new event offers another opportunity for fellows to meet and network.

Mentor Matching Program Meetup

Thursday, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Designated space in Exhibit Hall C - Exhibit Level

Participants in the 2018 mentoring program are invited to connect at this meetup. Enjoy food and drink from the Welcome Reception, network with fellow participants, and meet your mentor/mentee in person.

Welcome Reception

Thursday, 5:00 pm 7:00 pm
Exhibit Hall C - Exhibit Level

Attendees are invited to enjoy hors d’oeuvres and cocktails for the evening. The year's reception will include carving and action stations for a variety of hearty food options as you mingle with fellow attendees.


Friday, November 9

Wellness Workout: HIIT (NEW)

Friday, 7:00 am 7:30 am 
Thurgood Marshall North - Mezz Level

Join us for a high intensity circuit workout! Define and strengthen your body in this muscle conditioning class combining cardio and strength exercises. Be prepared to work a multitude of muscle groups through a series of exercises in this 30-minute class. All fitness levels are welcome.

RSVP here.

Membership and Awards Breakfast (NEW)

Friday, 7:30 am 8:30 am
Thurgood Marshall Southwest - Mezz Level

This new breakfast serves as the annual APPAM membership meeting. An overview of what has been going on at APPAM, a presentation of the slate of candidates for the APPAM Policy Council and a discussion of the future of APPAM will be presented. Awards being presented during this breakfast include the Raymond Vernon Memorial Award, PhD Dissertation Award, and the 40 for 40 Fellowship recipients.

The following food will be provided:  
  • Fresh seasonal fruit
  • Croissants, muffins, and cream cheese-filled bagel bites
  • Egg, spinach, and tomato frittatas
  • Grilled chicken sausage
  • Peppercorn bacon
  • Corn beef hash with poached eggs and hollandaise sauce
  • Irish oatmeal with caramelized apples, brown sugar, butter, and toasted almonds
  • Tropical fruit and strawberry banana smoothies
  • Espresso bar
  • Coffee and tea service

If you have not yet registered for the conference, you may add the breakfast as part of the registration process. If you have already registered for the conference and did not add the breakfast, RSVP here. Please use the same email address from your conference registration.

Institutional Representative Meeting

Friday, 8:30 am 9:30 am 
Thurgood Marshall East- Mezz Level

RSVP to Tara Sheehan, tsheehan@appam.org, by October 31st. A formal agenda will follow.
Super Session: The Future in Fair Housing (NEW)

Friday, 8:30 am  10:00 am 
Lincoln 4 - Exhibit Level

Moderators:  Katherine ORegan, New York University
Speakers:  Raphael Bostic, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Anna Maria Farías, Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Gustavo Velasquez, Urban Institute and Megan Haberle, Poverty and Race Research Action Council

The year 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Fair Housing Act.   On the occasion of this important anniversary, this roundtable will explore the future of fair housing in the United States.  The panel will start by discussing how fair housing challenges have changed over this 50-year period.  The panelists will explore the challenges of detecting and combatting new forms of discrimination such as that which occurs on on-line platforms.  They will discuss whether expanded use of credit scores and background checks in tenant selection have a disparate impact on protected classes and will consider emerging issues in lending and access to credit.  The panelists will also consider whether there is a need for new protected classes, such as by source of income.

In addition to banning multiple forms of discrimination, the Fair Housing Act also charged HUD with the duty to affirmatively further integration.   The panel will consider how this challenge has changed over the past half-century.  When the Fair Housing Act was passed, urban areas were igniting in riots and many white households were fleeing to the suburbs.  Today, gentrification is viewed as a larger threat in many cities.  The panelists will debate the significance of gentrification and its implications for efforts to affirmatively further integration. 

Super Session: Is the War on Poverty Over? (NEW)

Friday, 10:15 am  11:45 am 
Lincoln 4 - Exhibit Level

Moderators:  David Johnson, University of Michigan
Speakers:  Richard Burkhauser, Cornell University, Bruce Meyer, University of Chicago, Tim Smeeding, University of Wisconsin and Jane Waldfogel, Columbia University

Recent reports from the Census Bureau show that the official poverty rate in the U.S. was 12.7 percent in 2016.  A companion, the Supplemental Poverty measure, shows that the poverty rate was 13.9 percent in 2016.  A recent report from the Council of Economic Advisors focuses on a consumption measure of poverty and states:  “…our War on Poverty is largely over and a success.”  All of these measures use a different measure of poverty.  But what does it mean to be poor in the U.S., how do we measure it, and how has it changed since the War on Poverty began?  This session brings together experts on the measurement of income and poverty who have not only written extensively, but have advocated for alternative measures.  They also have a variety of views on the appropriate measure of poverty and how it has changed.

Equity & Inclusion Fellowship Luncheon

Friday, 12:00 pm 1:15 pm
Thurgood Marshall South - Mezz Level

The recipients of the 2018 APPAM Equity & Inclusion Fellowship are invited to formally network with each other and members of the Policy Council during this luncheon. Recipients will be recognized for their accomplishments and bright futures.

John_KingThe program will start with a welcome from APPAM President, David Johnson, University of Michigan, followed by the presentation of awards by APPAM Diversity Committee Chair, John Martinez, MDRC. John B. King, Jr., President and CEO of The Education Trust, and previously secretary of education for President Barack Obama, will deliver the keynote address for all attendees. The event is by invite only.

The Equity & Inclusion Fellowship was created in an effort to encourage participation by underrepresented students in APPAM and its activities. The goal of this fellowship program is to introduce recipients to the world of public policy and APPAM, and foster a lifelong affiliation and engagement with both.

Thank you to our luncheon sponsors:


AnchorPhD Program Fair

Friday, 12:00 pm 1:15 pm
Thurgood Marshall North - Mezz Level

The PhD Program Fair is a great opportunity for individuals interested in a PhD degree to make connections with institutions offering PhD programs. Select APPAM Institutional Members who offer a PhD program will be onsite to discuss the benefits of their programs with the registered attendees.

A light lunch will be available at this fair. While this event is free to attend, tickets for this event must be reserved through the registration process. The 2018 PhD Program Fair is open only to students not currently enrolled in a PhD program and professionals who do not hold a PhD.

Peter H. Rossi Super Session (NEW)
Roiling the Waters: Controversy over the First Longitudinal Randomized Study of a State Pre-K Program

Friday, 1:30 pm 3:00 pm
Lincoln 4 - Exhibit Level

Professor Mark W. Lipsey of Vanderbilt University, the 2018 Peter H. Rossi Award recipient, will deliver a short talk entitled 'Roiling the Waters: Controversy over the First Longitudinal Randomized Study of a State Pre-K Program'. The initial results of the Tennessee Pre-K study, showing positive effects on a range of school readiness outcomes at the end of the pre-k year, were not controversial. It was the follow-up that stirred up pre-k advocates and researchers. By end of kindergarten, the pre-k advantage was gone and the control group had caught up on every outcome.

Reactions will follow from Eric A. Hanushek, Stanford University, Rebecca A. Maynard, University of Pennsylvania, and Larry L. Orr, Johns Hopkins University.

David N. Kershaw Super Session (NEW)
What Does Education Do?

Friday, 3:15 pm 4:45 pm
Lincoln 4 - Exhibit Level

The 2018 recipient of the David N. Kershaw award, David Deming of Harvard University, will deliver an address entitled 'What Does Education Do?'. One of the most robust findings in social science is that education pays. Hundreds of studies have demonstrated the impact of education on earnings, health, family formation, civic participation, happiness and other life outcomes. This has led researchers and policymakers to call for a renewal and expansion of public investment in higher education, for example through “free college” plans proposed in many U.S. states.

Yet despite the demonstrated economic value of education, we have varying ideas about why education is so important. This talk will review what is known about the returns to education, and argue that the workhorse “human capital model” is an incomplete description of the value of education for social mobility and human welfare. Understanding what education does is necessary for important policy questions such as who will gain the most from investments in education, which policy levers are most effective, and how we should design educational systems for the future of work in the 21st century.

Presidential Address & APPAM Awards 

Friday, 5:00 pm 6:30 pm
Thurgood Marshall Southwest - Mezz Level

The Friday evening address will feature presentations of the David N. Kershaw Award and the Peter H. Rossi Award, as well as the Presidential Address delivered by APPAM President David Johnson.  His address is entitled Measurement Matters: Policy in Federal Statistics and Data. The format will change a bit this year, with drinks available during the event and continuing into the following reception.

Presidential Reception

Friday, 6:30 pm 8:00 pm
Thurgood Marshall Northeast - Mezz Level

All conference attendees are invited to enjoy food and drinks with peers and congratulate the 2018 award winners during the evening reception.


Friday, 7:45 pm 9:15 pm
Jefferson - Mezz Level

As research on issues facing the LGBTQI communities has increased, APPAM has been consistent in supporting related sessions at the Fall Research Conference to ensure this important work is being heard.

For the first time ever, the 2018 conference features a formal LGBTQI Mixer directly following the Presidential Reception. Relax and mingle with fellow members of the LGBTQI communities as well as scholars working on these topics. Wine, beer, and hors d’oeuvres will be provided. Attendance is not limited to conference attendees.

RSVP here.

Student Mixer

Friday, 7:45 pm 9:15 pm
Stone's Throw Restaurant - Lobby Level

Students and recent graduates are encouraged to attend the annual APPAM Student Mixer. The event will be an informal opportunity to network and collaborate with other student attendees. Wine, beer, and hors d'oeuvres will be provided. All student conference attendees, senior scholars, exhibitors and organizations interviewing at the Fall Research Conference are invited to attend.

Saturday, November 10

Wellness Workout: Flow Yoga (NEW)

Saturday, 6:30 am 7:15 am 
Thurgood Marshall Foyer - Mezz Level

Start the final day of the conference with 45 minutes of relaxation during the morning’s flow yoga class. Mats will be provided and all levels are welcome.

RSVP here.

Super Session: Census 2020: Protecting and Maintaining a Fair and Accurate Census (NEW)

Saturday, 10:15 am  11:45 am 
Lincoln 4 - Exhibit Level

Moderators:  William O'Hare, O’Hare Data and Demographic Services LLC
Speakers:  Indivar Dutta-Gupta, Georgetown University, Kathy Pettit, Census Scientific Advisory Committee and Arturo Vargas, National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund

The 2020 Census is likely to undercount men 18-29 years old, children under the age of five, people who live in sparsely populated areas and communities of color—in particular black, Hispanic, American Indians and Native Alaskan. The undercount has critical implications for the distribution of $800 billion in federal resources, political representation at all levels of government and local planning for healthcare, education and transportation.  An inaccurate census counts affects business decisions, distorts government planning and reduces the ability of advocates to hold officials accountable for serving those in need.  It also compromises the data that are fundamental for researchers who study social and economic conditions.  This panel of researchers and advocates who use Census data and are working to protect and maintain its integrity in the face of underfunding and politicization will describe what you can do to help make the 2020 Census fair and accurate.

Poster Luncheon

Saturday, 12:00 pm 1:30 pm 
Exhibit Hall

This poster luncheon is free to all conference attendees, but a ticket will be required to pick up a lunch. Tickets, which will be limited, can be obtained from any of the presenting authors during the session.