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Jennifer McCombs

Chief of Research

Jennifer McCombs is Chief of Research at the Learning Policy Institute. In this role, she oversees LPI’s research teams and manages and mentors research and project staff, providing direction and ensuring the rigor and quality of all work.

Prior to joining LPI, McCombs worked for 25 years at the RAND Corporation, most recently as the Director of the Behavioral and Policy Sciences Department. Her research focuses on understanding whether and how policies and programs create equitable outcomes for children and youth facing disadvantage. She enjoys working with policymakers and practitioners to support the implementation of research-based practice. Over the course of her career, she has studied expanded learning opportunities, teacher education and professional development, school improvement, and accountability policies. McCombs is a frequent advisor on summer and after school programs. She served as a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Committee on Summertime Experiences and is member of the National Center on Afterschool and Summer Enrichment (NCASE) Technical Work Group and the National Summer Learning Association Research Advisory Committee.

McCombs holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy from George Washington University and a B.A. in East Asian Studies from the College of William and Mary.