Ruth Neild
Human Services

Ruth Neild

Senior Fellow

Ruth Neild is a nationally known education leader with a wide range of expertise in both research and practice. Across a diverse set of research and leadership roles in universities, nonprofits, and government, she has emphasized rigorous, useful, and clearly communicated research designed to answer the important questions that arise from practice.

Neild joined Mathematica after serving as the director of the Philadelphia Education Research Consortium, a research–practice partnership with the K–12 public education sector in the city. Previously, she held leadership roles at the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, including as delegated director from 2015 to 2017. During her time at the institute, she led the Regional Educational Laboratory program’s pivot to research–practice partnership work and supported improvements to the What Works Clearinghouse and ERIC, including the implementation of new data architectures that increased their flexibility and ease of use. Across all of the institute’s knowledge utilization programs, Neild championed plain writing and a wider array of research products and dissemination strategies.

Neild’s field leadership includes coauthoring the Common Guidelines for Education Research and Development, a roadmap for coordinating federal education research investments, published by the Institute of Education Sciences and the National Science Foundation. Currently, she serves as president of the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness.

Neild received her B.A. from Bryn Mawr College and her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania, where she served on the faculty of the Graduate School of Education. She has published extensively on the importance of recruiting and retaining high quality teachers, early warning systems for high school dropout, career and technical education, and small schools.

  • Descriptive and experimental research
  • Communicating research to broad audiences
  • Research-practice partnerships
Focus Area Topics
  • Human Services
  • Education
  • Effective Data Use
  • Strengthening and Disseminating Research
  • Teacher and Principal Effectiveness

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