Debra Strong

Debra Strong

Principal Researcher
  • Mixed-methods studies
  • Multimode data collection
  • Technical assistance
  • Substance abuse issues
  • Family support
Focus Areas
  • Family Support
  • Strengthening Families and Responsible Fatherhood
  • TANF and Employment Issues
  • Human Services
About Debra

Debra Strong is an experienced project leader with in-depth knowledge of the child welfare system with extensive experience conducting and managing complex, multisite evaluations using mixed methods; coordinating multimode data collections; and collaborating with diverse stakeholders and communities, including those serving victims of trauma and abuse.

Strong’s research includes broad experience in child well-being and welfare, substance abuse issues, evidence-based programs, and technical assistance provision. She leads a national cross-site evaluation of the Regional Partnership Grants, which fund evidence-based services and programs designed to increase the well-being and enhance the safety of children who are in or at risk of out-of-home placements as a result of a parent or caretaker’s substance abuse. Strong served as principal investigator for an evaluation of 14 state domestic violence prevention coalitions funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She also provided technical assistance to states, community-based and nonprofit organizations, and public agencies exploring or implementing programs designed to improve relationships and increase rates of marriage and permanence among couples who had children born out-of-wedlock. Strong’s work as a task leader and site coordinator for Mathematica’s large-scale Building Strong Families (BSF) evaluation included developing program models, recruiting evaluation locations and sites, providing technical assistance, and planning and conducting site visits. BSF interventions provided marriage and relationship skills and education, along with family supports, to unwed expectant couples to strengthen their relationships and improve child well-being.

Strong, who joined Mathematica in 2000, is a member of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management and the American Evaluation Association. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, including Health Affairs, the American Journal of Evaluation, and The Foundation Review. She holds an M.Ph. in public policy analysis from RAND Graduate School and a master’s in economics from California State University.

Key Projects