Private research firms are increasingly used by governments to provide research, evaluation, technical assistance, and other consultancy services. Some of these firms have grown to employ thousands of highly trained individuals providing services to governments and non-governmental organizations around the world. Panelists will describe the types of services their firms provide, the challenges they face operating in an international environment, the job opportunities at their firms, and the skills they look for in prospective employees.
Anu Rangarajan has nearly 30 years of experience conducting impact evaluations and cost-benefit analyses, and has taught program evaluation at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University for many years. As Managing Director of the International Research Division, Dr. Rangarajan oversees all of Mathematica’s development research projects including in education, agriculture, public health and nutrition, and coordinates and guides researchers conducting evaluations in Asia, Africa, and Central and South America. Dr. Rangarajan recently completed the Gates Foundation-funded evaluation of the Ananya program, a large-scale program to improve maternal and child health outcomes in Bihar, India. She is a co-director for the evaluation of the MasterCard Foundation’s Scholar’s Program which spans evaluations in many African nations. She is a senior advisor for the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s evaluations on agricultural improvements in Senegal and on maternal and child nutrition in Indonesia. Dr. Rangarajan has previously led evaluations related to agriculture, water sanitation and hygiene, and infrastructure. Before conducting evaluations in the development context, she led several evaluations of programs in the United States in education, labor market and welfare policy, nutrition, disability, and other areas.
David Myers, a nationally recognized education researcher, became president and chief executive officer of AIR in January 2011, after serving as AIR’s senior vice president and director of the Education, Human Development and the Workforce Division from 2006-2010. Prior to joining AIR, he served as senior vice president and chief strategy officer at Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
He is a leading authority on the design, implementation and analysis of experimental studies of education programs. During his career, he has played a major role in some of the largest randomized control trials on education conducted in the United States. He has directed policy analyses of elementary, secondary, postsecondary, and adult education issues, including such diverse topics as the effects of compensatory education programs and school vouchers on student achievement, the impact of high school achievement on college enrollment of black and white youth, and differences in learning trajectories of children as they progress through elementary school. He also led an impact study of adult literacy programs.