Menbere Shiferaw is an applied policy researcher who works primarily in the areas of education and employment. She works with school districts, state and federal agencies, and community-based organizations to conduct impact evaluations, form research–practice partnerships, and provide evaluation technical assistance.
Shiferaw works on a range of projects in the areas of education, labor, and family support that use quantitative analysis to understand what makes schools, leaders, and youth thrive, and how to best support them. She played a key role in the evaluation of the U.S. Department of Labor–funded Youth Career Connect programs, helping lead an experimental and quasi-experimental study of the program’s impact on secondary, postsecondary, and employment outcomes. She is also an evaluator of the Youth At-Risk of Homelessness multi-year program, which supports youth and young adults with foster care history make a successful transition to independent adult life. Working closely with school districts and state education agencies, she plays key roles in the U.S. Department of Education’s Regional Educational Laboratory Mid-Atlantic, including serving as a co-principal investigator for a study that examines the role of staff surveys in principal evaluations. Shiferaw is a certified reviewer for the What Works Clearinghouse and helps rate the rigor of studies that evaluate the effectiveness of educational programs.
Shiferaw has extensive experience providing coaching and evaluation technical assistance to community-based organizations, nonprofits, school districts, and state agencies. In much of this work, she aims to build strong research–practice partnerships and build the capacity of decision makers to conduct evaluations and transform data into actionable information. For example, as part of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Middle Years Math portfolio, Shiferaw provides technical assistance to multiple grantees to support the creation of evidence to strengthen program design, implementation, and evaluation.
Shiferaw holds a Ph.D. in public administration from New York University. She has been published in Educational Researcher, Maternal and Child Health Journal, and the Journal of Disability Policy Studies. She previously worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.