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Demetra Smith Nightingale

Demetra Smith Nightingale

Institute Fellow


Demetra Nightingale is an Institute fellow at the Urban Institute, where her research focuses on social, economic, and labor policy issues. She was the chief evaluation officer at the US Department of Labor from 2011 to 2016, where she developed what is recognized as one of the premier evaluation units in the federal government. Before joining the Department of Labor, Nightingale was at the Urban Institute for three decades, conducting research and evaluations on employment, labor, welfare, and other social and economic policies and programs, and at the Johns Hopkins University for seven years, where she taught graduate courses in social policy and program evaluation. She is also a professorial lecturer at the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at the George Washington University, teaching graduate courses in program evaluation, integrating evaluation, and performance management in the context of evidence-based policymaking.

Nightingale is the author or coauthor of five books and numerous articles. Among her books are Repairing the US Social Safety Net (with Martha Burt) and Reshaping the American Workforce in a Changing Economy (with Harry Holzer). She is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and serves on many task forces and advisory panels. She received her doctorate in public policy from the George Washington University.

Centers & Initiatives

Building America’s Workforce