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Theresa Anderson
Principal Research Associate
Income and Benefits Policy Center
  • Profile
  • Outside Affiliations
  • I came into public policy work with a goal of furthering social justice. I think quality research and informed decisionmaking are critical to advancing equity.

    Theresa Anderson is a principal research associate at the Urban Institute. She is a member of the Building America’s Workforce cross-center initiative in the Income and Benefits Policy Center and is affiliated with the Center on Education Data and Policy. She leads teams in conducting in-depth, mixed-methods research on evaluations of workforce, education, and social safety net programs and policies. She is particularly interested in improving access to and success in education throughout the life course, from early childhood to adulthood. Her work has focused on student parents, low-income families, opportunity youth, adult education students, underprepared college students, high school students from historically underserved populations, and public housing residents.

    Her demonstrated skills include evaluation design, intervention theory and logic model development, descriptive quantitative research, quantitative impact analyses, implementation research, survey development and administration, and cost-benefit and return-on-investment analysis of social interventions. Her work has been both summative, in which she helps determine the value of a social intervention, and formative, in which she helps program administrators and policymakers engage in a process of continuous improvement.

    Anderson received a BA from Hampshire College in Massachusetts and an MPP and a PhD in public policy and public administration, both from George Washington University. She occasionally teaches courses as a visiting lecturer or adjunct faculty member at George Washington University.

    Research Areas
    Wealth and financial well-being
    Social safety net
    Beyond high school: education and training
    Job markets and labor force
    Technology and future of learning and training
    Student parents

    Outside Affiliations
    George Washington University, Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration
    Adjunct Faculty
    University of Michigan
    Twink Frey Visiting Social Activist

    Urban experts are permitted and empowered to work and affiliate with outside organizations, whether serving on boards, volunteering their time, or providing advice and counsel. And Urban welcomes visiting scholars, nonresident or affiliated fellows who work for other organizations. These outside affiliations enrich our perspectives and our learning environment. We also require all paid and unpaid experts to disclose their affiliations to Urban leadership and follow rules governing their engagement to ensure transparency for audiences and independence of experts.