Michael López, PhD, Named Vice President of the Education and Child Development Department at NORC at the University of Chicago
CHICAGO, July 31, 2018 — Michael López, PhD, a nationally recognized authority on early childhood research, with an emphasis on low-income or culturally and linguistically diverse populations, has joined NORC at the University of Chicago as vice president of the Education and Child Development department.
In this position, López will provide strategic oversight and direction for the growing portfolio of early childhood research at NORC. He has over 25 years of experience conducting applied policy research in the areas of early childhood care and education, children’s socio-emotional development, health and mental health, racial and ethnic disparities, cultural and linguistic diversity, and appropriate assessments for cultural and linguistically diverse dual language learners.
“Michael López’s extensive background conducting policy-relevant early childhood research at the national, state, and local levels, and his emphasis on advancing scientific knowledge about the growing diverse populations, positions him as a perfect fit for the work we do at NORC,” said Shazia Miller, senior vice president, Education and Child Development at NORC. “We are delighted to welcome Dr. López to NORC and look forward to his leadership and contributions to help expand our early childhood work.”
“Over the course of his career, López has developed and conducted numerous national, policy-relevant early childhood studies, such as the National Head Start Impact Study and the National Study of the Migrant and Seasonal Head Start program. His work has generated new research knowledge and influenced policy and programmatic decision-making to improve the services and outcomes for low-income children across the country,” said Miller.
López joins NORC from Abt Associates where he was a principal associate conducting and disseminating early childhood research spanning topics such as Head Start, state preschool, child care, and childhood obesity. Among his achievements, López has co-led the National Research Center on Hispanic Children and Families, a five-year, $5 million national center to conduct and disseminate research, informing Administration for Children and Families programs and policies supporting low-income Hispanic children and families. He also has served as co-principal investigator on the National Study of the Migrant and Seasonal Head Start (MSHS) program, where he oversaw the design of a nationally representative study describing the characteristics of children and families enrolled in MSHS, as well as MSHS program practices and services.
“Our country is at a pivotal moment with respect to the federal, state, and local emphasis on the importance of increased investments in critical early childhood programs and services supporting the health, education, and well-being of low-income children. I’m excited to be a part of NORC to generate high-quality research to support policy and programmatic decision-making for programs serving children and families across the country,” said López. “I’m also thrilled to join an organization that is so deeply rooted in leveraging insights and rigorous research evidence to help decision-makers at every level of society. I look forward to working closely with my new colleagues within the Education and Child Development team, and across the entire NORC organization, to contribute to this important work for the field.”
Earlier in his career, López directed the Child Outcomes Research and Evaluation team in the Administration for Children and Families, within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 1991 to 2005, where he developed and directed large-scale, national evaluation studies of federal programs—including the Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey and the National Head Start Impact Study, the largest, nationally representative, randomized study examining the impact of Head Start on children’s school readiness—among others.
López has written numerous peer-reviewed research articles, reports, and briefs on issues related to early childhood, Head Start, early care and education utilization, and cultural and linguistic diversity issues, including the psychometrics of language, literacy, and classroom observational measures for young dual language learners. López earned his undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and earned his master’s degree and PhD in child clinical psychology at Michigan State University. López currently serves as a board member of the Highscope Educational Research Foundation and the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute Executive Leadership Board. He is also a member of the advisory committee supporting the PNC Grow Up Great early childhood initiative.
“Michael López’s extensive background conducting policy-relevant early childhood research at the national, state, and local levels, and his emphasis on advancing scientific knowledge.”
About NORC at the University of Chicago
NORC at the University of Chicago conducts research and analysis that decision-makers trust. As a nonpartisan research organization and a pioneer in measuring and understanding the world, we have studied almost every aspect of the human experience and every major news event for more than eight decades. Today, we partner with government, corporate, and nonprofit clients around the world to provide the objectivity and expertise necessary to inform the critical decisions facing society.
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