Jean Knab
Human Services

Jean Knab

Principal Researcher  

Jean Knab has expertise in program evaluation, evaluation technical assistance, and systematic reviews. Her recent work focuses on the field of adolescent sexual and reproductive health, and she has worked in the fields of education, early childhood, child welfare, and support for low-income families.

Knab has directed more than $30 million in contracts for the Office of Population Affairs (OPA); the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation; the Family and Youth Services Bureau; and the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She has overseen evaluation technical assistance provided to hundreds of grantees and local evaluators conducting rigorous impact evaluations; conducting formative, descriptive, and process studies; and using data to develop and strengthen their programs. She currently directs a five-year evaluation technical assistance contract for OPA. She also directs the Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) Evidence Review, which reviews research to examine study quality and assess whether program models have demonstrated positive impacts on sexual risk behavior and sexual health outcomes. In addition, Knab directs a large-scale, descriptive study for the Components Evaluation of REAL Essentials to help OPA identify the components that matter most for promoting positive health behaviors and outcomes among adolescents. The study will examine program, implementation, and contextual components to determine which ones most influence participant outcomes.

Knab’s work has included overseeing the development or adaptation of several curricula: a facilitator training to improve key skills, an online sexual health curriculum for parents and caregivers of youth in foster care, and online safety lessons for youth with intellectual disabilities. She has overseen several TPP-related systematic reviews; led an impact evaluation of a TPP program; oversaw the design and execution of a cross-site process study of TPP grantees; oversaw the process of coding state child welfare policies and definitions to create a public use data file; and oversaw training and certification for the What Works Clearinghouse.

Before joining Mathematica, Knab served as the study director for the Fragile Families and Child Well-Being Study, a longitudinal study of a birth cohort of youth, focused largely on understanding the effects of being born to unmarried parents. She also worked at MDRC on numerous welfare-to-work evaluations. Knab’s work has been published in journals such as the American Journal of Public Health, Evaluation Review, Maternal and Child Health, and the Journal of Marriage and Family. She holds a Ph.D. in sociology with a concentration in demography from Princeton University.

  • Evaluation technical assistance
  • Systematic reviews
  • Program evaluation
  • Adolescent sexual and reproductive health
Focus Area Topics
  • Family Support
  • Youth Development
  • Strengthening Families and Responsible Fatherhood
  • Human Services

See Clearly. Act Quickly.

From local to global challenges in health, human services, and international development, we’re here to improve public well-being and make progress together. Learn more about becoming a Mathematica client or partner.

Work With Us