Krista O'Connell is passionate about reducing social and educational inequalities and expanding opportunities for youth in need. At Mathematica, she supports qualitative research, national randomized controlled trails, and implementation studies for a variety of education and youth development projects.
Krista has supported numerous projects for the U.S. Department of Education on topics such as out-of-school time, social and emotional learning, and teacher preparation. O’Connell has served in multiple roles on the National Study to Inform the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program, including as a recruiter, data collector, implementation monitor, researcher, and writer. This project is testing an intervention meant to improve students’ social and emotional learning skills and afterschool staffs’ practices. She has also assisted with instrument development and co-leads the interviewing task for the Study of Teacher Residency Programs. O’Connell is also passionate about reviewing and synthesizing research for education practitioners; she is the deputy project director for A Literature Review to Promote Learning and Development in K-12 Out-of-School Time Settings for Low-Income and Marginalized Youth, a certified What Works Clearinghouse reviewer for group and single-case design, and a Regional Education Laboratory peer reviewer.
O’Connell obtained a Master of Public Policy from the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University and a B.A. from the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Virginia. Before graduate school, she worked in a number of roles advocating for and serving youth in need, primarily English Learners-- an experience which is the foundation of her work at Mathematica. In addition to her project work at Mathematica, she is the treasurer of Mathematica’s Charitable Giving Committee. Outside of Mathematica, she volunteers with and mentors justice-involved youth.