Our Advisors


Jennifer Brooks


Jennifer Brooks is an independent consultant, providing advice and support to philanthropy, non-profits, and governments on using evaluation, metrics, and evidence-based practice to strengthen the impact of programs for children and families. Most recently, Dr. Brooks served as Senior Program Officer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, helping to shape the foundation’s strategic investments in high quality public early learning programs. Prior to joining the foundation, Dr. Brooks had experience at the National Governors Association – managing technical assistance to states on human services, workforce, and economic development programs – and leading Governor Hickenlooper’s NGA Chair’s Initiative Delivering Results. Dr. Brooks has also worked in government, where she led a research and evaluation portfolio for the federal Head Start program, and in think tanks. She has served on a National Academic of Sciences panel evaluating methods for promoting better use of economic evidence in social programs for children. Dr. Brooks received her Ph.D. and M.Sc. in human development and family studies from Penn State University and a M.A. in public policy from the University of Chicago.


Dennis Culhane

Co-Principal Investigator
Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy, University of Pennsylvania

Dennis Culhane is the Dana and Andrew Stone Professor of Social Policy at the School of Social Policy and Practice at The University of Pennsylvania, a Senior Research Associate at the Center for Population Studies, and served as the Director of Research for the National Center on Homelessness among Veterans at the United States Department of Veterans Affairs from 2009 – 2018. Culhane was also named Faculty co-Director for the Cartographic Modeling Lab (CML) after his involvement in the Early Warning Information System (EWIS) for New York City in 1996.

Culhane is a nationally recognized social science researcher with primary expertise in the field of homelessness. His homelessness work has positioned him as an early innovator in the use of administrative data for research and policy analysis, particularly for populations and program impacts which are difficult to assess and track. Culhane’s work has resulted in federal legislation requiring all cities and states to develop administrative data systems for tracking homeless services in order to receive HUD funding. His work has also been instrumental in a national shift in how cities address chronic homelessness and family homelessness. Culhane’s recent research includes studies of vulnerable youth and young adults, including those transitioning from foster care, juvenile justice, and residential treatment services.


Lynn Karoly

Senior Economist
Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School,
RAND Corporation

Lynn Karoly is a senior economist at the RAND Corporation and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Her research has examined human capital investments, social welfare policy, child and family well-being, and labor markets. Much of her recent child policy research has focused on early care and education (ECE) programs with studies of their use and quality, publicly subsidized programs such as Head Start, professional development for the ECE workforce, and quality rating and improvement systems. She is currently leading an evaluation of recent reforms to CalWORKs, California's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. Related work includes an assessment of causal impacts of the major U.S. means-tested cash, in-kind, and human capital investment programs and a comprehensive synthesis of the welfare reforms of the 1990s. In other work, she has applied benefit-cost analysis and related tools to evaluate social programs including early childhood interventions and youth development programs. Other research has focused on self-employment and retirement among older workers; the future of the workforce and workplace in the United States; and human capital, labor market, and demographic policies in the Middle East. Karoly served as director of RAND's Office of Research Quality Assurance from 2004 to 2014 and director of RAND Labor and Population from 1995 to 2003. Her professional service includes serving as the 2017 president of the Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis and prior editorial roles for the Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis and The Journal of Human Resources. Karoly received her Ph.D. in economics from Yale University.


Rebecca Maynard

University Trustee Professor of Education and Social Policy,
Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Maynard is a leading expert in the design and conduct of randomized controlled trials in the areas of education and social policy. She has conducted influential methodological research, including co-developing PowerUP! to support efficient sample designs for causal inference studies, and she has been influential in advancing the development and application of research synthesis methods. In 2016 she will step down from a 12-year tenure as director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Predoctoral Training Program in Interdisciplinary Methods for Field-based Education Research, which has served more than 75 Ph.D. students from Arts and Sciences, Business, and Education

From 2010 through 2012, Dr. Maynard served as Commissioner of the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance at the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). As Commissioner, she oversaw the Institute’s evaluation initiatives, the What Works Clearinghouse, the Regional Education Laboratories, and the National Library of Education (including ERIC). Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania in 1993, she was Senior Vice President at Mathematica Policy Research, Inc


Brian Scholl

Principal Economic Advisor and Senior Economist,
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

Dr. Brian Scholl is Principal Economic Advisor and Senior Economist of the Office of the Investor Advocate (OIAD). He directs economic research for OIAD and advises on economic and financial market policy. A prominent advocate for evidence-based policymaking, Dr. Scholl designed and launched the SEC’s new investor-testing research initiative POSITIER (Policy-Oriented Stakeholder and Investor Testing for Innovative and Effective Regulation), which provides an array of rapidly deployable, investor-focused data collection capacities to inform investor research and rulemaking. POSITIER has ongoing research streams in the areas of improving investor experience through more effective disclosure, as well as on investor perceptions and behavior.

Prior to his appointment with the SEC, Dr. Scholl served as Chief Economist of the U.S. Senate Budget Committee. At the Senate, he managed the Committee’s Economics Unit, advised members on economic developments, organized hearings, and participated in international congressional delegations. He helped to develop a broad range of economic policies to aid recovery from the Great Recession with particular attention to issues in labor, macroeconomic policy, household finance, international finance and financial markets. Previously, Dr. Scholl worked to improve the statistical foundations of the FDIC’s stress test, and conducted economic and policy research with the Federal Reserve.

Dr. Scholl completed his M.A. in Statistics and his Ph.D. in Economics at the University of California at Berkeley


Lauren Supplee

Deputy Chief Operating Officer & Senior Program Area Director,
Early Childhood Development,
Child Trends

Lauren H. Supplee is deputy chief operating officer for Child Trends and a senior program area director for early childhood research. Dr. Supplee has devoted her professional career to working on research and evaluation with the goal of applying the knowledge to policy and practice. She is committed to conducting research and evaluation that can contribute to program improvement and improved outcomes for children and families. Her research has focused on evidence-based policy, social-emotional development in early childhood, parenting, prevention and intervention programs for children at-risk, and implementation research.

Prior to joining Child Trends, Lauren worked for the federal Administration for Children and Families in the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation for ten years, with the last four of those as the director of the Division of Family Strengthening. She began her career as a research associate at the University of Pittsburgh. Lauren received her Ph.D. from Indiana University in educational psychology with a specialization in family-focused early intervention services.


Fred Wulczyn

Senior Research Fellow & Director of the Center for State Child Welfare Data,
Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago

Dr. Fred Wulczyn is a Senior Research Fellow and the Director of the Center for State Child Welfare Data. The work of the Data Center is organized around the use of research evidence in public and private child welfare agencies. A core asset of the Data Center is the Multistate Foster Care Data Archive, which for more than 25 years has been an important source of research evidence used by public and private child welfare agencies to manage their programs.

The Data Center provides support to more than 20 states across the US and touches broadly on the problem of increasing research evidence use: building opportunity, creating capacity, and increasing motivation. Wulczyn’s work has focused on how states respond to children who are unable to live at home. He brings a multidisciplinary perspective to this work, drawing inspiration from disciplines such as mathematics, population biology, human development, sociology, system dynamics, and social work. His contributions to research evidence use focuses on the evidence needed to operate complex systems. In addition, his current work on human capital formation in New York City addresses the way policymakers think about child well-being and public investment in children.

After helping to launch Chapin Hall in 1985, Wulczyn spent a decade working for the New York State Department of Social Services. During his tenure there, he developed two waiver programs. The Child Assistance Program changed how the state provided financial support to single mothers. The Home Rebuilders Program lead to the National Waiver Program, used by more than 30 states to promote innovation.

Wulczyn received a PhD from the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago, a Master of Social Work from Marywood University, and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Sociology from Juniata College.