Staff Profile: Emma Rackstraw

What do you do at J-PAL? As a Policy Associate, I help ensure that US public policies are informed by research and encourage the production of rigorous evidence to inform those emma_rackstrawpolicies. I facilitate collaborations between policymakers at the state and local level and J-PAL affiliated researchers to design, implement, and learn from randomized evaluations, for example through the State and Local Innovation Initiative and the Health Care Delivery Initiative.

What drew you to want to work at J-PAL? Coming from the public sector, I know just how important it is for policymakers to have access to rigorous and relevant evidence on the policy issues that they care most about. I came to J-PAL North America because I want to help build the evidence base on US anti-poverty programs so that policymakers can make informed decisions about how best to improve the lives of their constituents.

What is your favorite place in the world that you have been? Tie between Ljubljana, Slovenia and Cape Town, South Africa.

If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be? Either Mozart– he’s not my favorite composer but he might be the among the more interesting composers to dine with– or John Green.

If you could buy one material thing, and money was not an issue, what would you buy? One of the incredibly beautiful historic homes in Somerville.

Read Emma’s bio on the J-PAL North America website.

Author: J-PAL North America

J-PAL North America seeks to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence. We do this through research, outreach, and training. We collaborate with decision-makers to generate clear, scientific evidence on which approaches work and why. We catalyze and support randomized evaluations, communicate evidence to help translate research into action, and build policymakers’ capacity to create and use evidence.

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