Paul Decker

Paul Decker

President and Chief Executive Officer
About Paul

Paul Decker is a nationally recognized expert in policy research, data analytics, education, and labor policy. For three decades, he has been working to improve public well-being through the use of evidence to improve programs and policy. As president and CEO of Mathematica, Decker sets the company’s vision and strategy, oversees its operation and management, and shapes its values and standards. During his tenure as CEO, Decker has expanded and diversified the company’s operations and maintained its commitment to rigor and objectivity in new and evolving areas of research and analysis. Under his leadership, the company has:  

  • Grown to include twelve locations nationwide, with more than 1,400 employees, more than $300 million in annual revenue, and $1 billion in work backlog.
  • Integrated data analytics throughout the organization to better support effective policy and program development decisions through sophisticated data management and analytics, data mining, and predictive models.
  • Launched an International Business Unit to provide high quality and objective research to funders and policymakers tackling today’s most pressing development challenges in countries throughout Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, and Latin America.
  • Expanded its expertise and scope of work to include behavioral insights to improve program design and new methodological strategies, such as the application of Bayesian statistical methods to social program evaluations.

Decker is Associate Editor for the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management and a past president of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management, where he also co-chaired the organization’s strategic planning committee and served on the policy council. He serves as a trustee and chair for the Committee for Economic Development’s Subcommittee on Workforce Issues. Decker writes and speaks regularly on trends in the policy research field, chairs the government relations committee of CEO Connection, and has testified before Congress, served as an expert adviser to both the U.S. and Canadian governments, and published widely in peer-reviewed journals.

Decker holds a Ph.D. in economics from the Johns Hopkins University and serves as chair of development on the board of advisers of the Thomas Jefferson Public Policy Program at the College of William and Mary, his undergraduate alma mater.

Key Projects
  • National Evaluation of Teach For America

    Our national evaluation of Teach For America (TFA) examined the impact of TFA teachers on student learning, finding that students of TFA teachers made larger gains in math than students of other teachers, while holding their own in reading.

Latest News
  • Helping governments use data and evidence to inform decision making
    Helping Governments Use Data and Evidence to Inform Decision Making

    As a member of the data sharing and evidence building community, I’m pleased to share a copy of a letter I penned to the Advisory Committee on Data for Evidence Building. Within the letter, my Mathematica colleagues and I walk through the challenges and opportunities inherent in using data and evidence...

Related Case Studies
  • three ies studies graphic
    Building the Knowledge Base on Teacher Preparation and Effectiveness

    Mathematica designed and conducted three large-scale studies on the relationship between teacher preparation and effectiveness, using the most rigorous approach possible—random assignment of students to teachers from different kinds of programs—and compared student test scores to gauge teacher effectiveness.

Related Videos
  • APPAM Presidential Address

    In his presidential address before the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) fall research conference in early November, Mathematica CEO Paul Decker explored the nexus between policymaking, public management, and evidence-based research.