Megan Gallagher is a senior research associate in the Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center and the Center on Education Data and Policy at the Urban Institute. Her research focuses on efforts to improve housing and educational opportunities for children in low-income families. She studies how housing and neighborhood initiatives affect schools and how schools and education policies affect neighborhoods. Her current projects include a pilot demonstration to improve low-income parents' information about their children’s educational opportunities and an analysis of school- and neighborhood-level predictors of school closures.
Gallagher also provides research and technical support for place-based initiatives that seek to improve educational outcomes. In DC's Kenilworth-Parkside neighborhood, she provides research support to a federal Promise Neighborhoods grantee that is building a school-centered, neighborhood-based, cradle-to-career continuum for children and families. In Prince George's County, Maryland, Gallagher is providing research and analytic support to TNI@Schools initiative, a collaborative effort between the school district and the county that provides wraparound services for students in school.
Before joining Urban in 2005, Gallagher studied the impacts of welfare programs on adult, child, and family well-being at Child Trends. While there, she cowrote several publications on child well-being and employment among low-income mothers. She holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and social welfare from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and a master's degree in public policy from Georgetown University.