ljun Lai
Human Services

Ijun Lai

Name Pronunciation Yi-jen
Pronouns she/her/hers

Ijun Lai has extensive experience designing and conducting evaluations of education-related policies, practices, and supports aimed at understanding and addressing inequities, particularly among students of color and those from low-income households.

Lai currently directs a project, co-designed with The Writing Revolution, to study the impact of their teacher professional development series, which includes 47 schools across six districts. She serves in key roles on studies for the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences. She is the analytic lead of both the State and Local Implementation of the Individuals of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the Full-Service Community Schools projects. Since joining Mathematica in 2020, she has also worked with state and nonprofit clients to help answer policy-relevant research questions in a timely manner and played a major role on program implementation and evaluation projects centered on building more equitable outcomes for children and youth, across both academic and behavioral outcomes.

Lai has published in leading education and policy journals, including Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, and Educational Researcher. She holds a Ph.D. in human development and social policy from Northwestern University.

  • Evaluation design and analysis
  • Education policy
  • Youth development
Focus Area Topics
  • Disability
  • Education
  • Justice
  • State Health Policy
  • Human Services
  • Health

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