CHICAGO, May 2, 2011—NORC at the University of Chicago today announced the appointment of Sheila Nataraj Kirby as Senior Fellow in NORC’s Education and Child Development Studies department.
"We are thrilled and honored to have Sheila Kirby join the NORC team," said Bronwyn Nichols Lodato, Senior Vice President of Education and Child Development Studies at NORC. "Sheila brings with her an outstanding track record in education evaluation and policy that complements the Education department’s core strengths, while expanding the team’s capacity to conduct rigorous education evaluation studies. Further, Sheila’s experience in and commitment to quality assurance and research dissemination align seamlessly with NORC’s focus in these areas."
With expertise in education and economics, and extensive leadership and direct research experience, Sheila Kirby’s considerable skills will be a valuable addition to the multi-disciplinary work done at NORC. Kirby has led a number of important education studies, including investigations for the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, the U.S. Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE). She has also served as a senior advisor to a project examining the effects of programs launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to increase interest in science and mathematics among middle school and high school students. Her education work has encompassed analyses of teacher education reform, teacher merit pay, student and school performance using both student-level and school-level data, analyses of teacher supply and demand, teachers of children at risk for educational failure, nontraditional recruits to mathematics and science teaching, comprehensive school reform, and school choice. Most recently, she completed a Congressionally-mandated study of diversity and representation among military service academy entrants and graduates that was briefed to Congress in June 2010.
"NORC has a tradition of outstanding scholarship in education research" noted Dan Gaylin, Executive Vice President of Research Programs at NORC. "This tradition stems from the work of an important and talented cadre of researchers dating back to the 1950s. We are delighted that Sheila has joined NORC to extend and expand this legacy of educational scholarship."
Sheila Kirby was a Senior Economist at the RAND Corporation, where she served in various senior positions, including Acting and Associate Director of the RAND Washington office and Associate Director of Quality Assurance for the RAND Education unit. In that role, she developed and implemented a rigorous quality assurance process for RAND Education publications, and worked on dissemination activities including writing policy briefs for Congress, state policy makers, and researchers. She has published extensively in the areas of education and military manpower and is the author and co-author of several RAND monographs, research briefs, and journal articles on these subjects. She was also an adjunct professor of economics and public policy at The George Washington University, where she taught graduate classes for the last 25 years.
In addition to her position as Senior Fellow at NORC, Kirby is a Senior Scholar at the Council on Graduate Schools where she is working on issues related to graduate education and factors affecting successful completion of master’s and doctoral degree programs.
Sheila Nataraj Kirby was awarded her Ph.D. and her M.Phil. in Economics from George Washington University, Washington, DC. She earned an M.A. in Economics from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. She also holds an M.A. in Economics from Kanpur University, Kanpur, India and a B.A. in Economics, English Literature, and History from Loreto Convent College, India.
About NORC at the University of Chicago
NORC at the University of Chicago is an independent research organization headquartered in downtown Chicago with additional offices on the University of Chicago's campus and in the DC Metro area. NORC also supports a nationwide field staff as well as international research operations. With clients throughout the world, NORC collaborates with government agencies, foundations, educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, and businesses to provide data and analysis that supports informed decision making in key areas including health, education, economics, crime, justice, energy, security, and the environment. NORC’s 70 years of leadership and experience in data collection, analysis, and dissemination—coupled with deep subject matter expertise—provides the foundation for effective solutions.