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Shannon Nelson

Pronouns: She/Her

Senior Research Director
Shannon is a resourceful project director specializing in the design and execution of multi-mode data collections and interviewer training programs.

Shannon is a senior research director in the Economics, Justice & Society department. She manages all aspects of data collection for complex field studies for government, academic, and non-profit institutions, including project design, instrument development, technical specifications, data delivery and reporting. She is focused on what data collection will look like in the post-COVID period and how project teams need to adapt to new realities.

Shannon specializes in coordinating and executing multi-mode, longitudinal efforts to collect data from vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations, particularly youth. These efforts include working with a variety of institutions including non-profit organizations, public health departments, school districts and elementary and secondary schools.

Shannon is currently part of the leadership team for the 2022 round of the Survey of Consumer Finances, the country’s preeminent data source on the financial situations of US households; manages data collection for the Head Start Connects Descriptive Study; and leads efforts to test the FDIC’s 2023 National Survey of Households and develop a national database on police use of force for the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.   



University of Illinois at Chicago


Aurora University

Project Contributions

Developing a National Database on Police Use of Force

The nation’s first police database that combines police data across multiple cities


The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

Head Start-to-Kindergarten Transitions Project

The first rigorous, system-level study of the factors that drive successful kindergarten transitions


Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families