Lara Hulsey

Lara Hulsey

Principal Researcher

Areas of Expertise:

  • Large-scale data collection and analysis
  • Early childhood, education, and nutrition programs
  • Evaluation design
Focus Areas
  • Early Childhood
  • Systematic Evidence Reviews
  • Education
  • School Reform
  • Nutrition
  • Food Security and Hunger
  • Nutrition and Food Assistance Programs
  • Human Services
About Lara

Lara Hulsey has more than 20 years of policy research experience and extensive expertise in conducting quantitative and qualitative evaluations of programs serving low-income families, including nutrition, education, and early childhood programs.

Much of Hulsey’s research has focused on evaluating child nutrition programs, such as the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP). She directs a project examining effects of directly certifying income-eligible Medicaid children on NSLP and SBP participation, costs, and other outcomes. For another project, she led state SNAP record data collection and synthesized quantitative and qualitative data collected through stakeholder interviews in five states to describe SNAP processes under modernization. She has also analyzed NSLP certification error, certification accuracy, and program access.

Hulsey was deputy project director for Mathematica’s study of schools receiving School Improvement Grants under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. More recently, she led case studies of five Promise Neighborhoods building a continuum of support for children from cradle to career, based on the Harlem Children’s Zone model.

Hulsey, who joined Mathematica in 1993, holds a master’s in economics from Temple University.

Key Projects
  • Promise Neighborhoods Case Studies

    Mathematica conducted in-depth, multi-method case studies that focused on five of the Promise Neighborhood grantees, which provided short-term formative input to efforts to improve the program.

  • Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP)

    To help reduce the risks of pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, and associated risk behaviors among teenagers, Congress authorized PREP as part of the 2010 ACA. Mathematica's evaluation is documenting how PREP-funded programs are operationalized and assessing selected programs’ effectiveness....