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REL Appalachia

Meet the Director

Director, REL Appalachia, Dr. Deborah Jones

Dr. Deborah Jonas's research expertise is in strengthening transitions across the education pipeline—from early childhood to elementary and from high school to college and careers. Her research has informed changes to community college placement policy, high school graduation policy, definitions of college and career readiness, and preschool program expansion.

Jonas also has expertise in establishing longitudinal data systems and the governance programs to support appropriate data use for research while prioritizing individual privacy. Through diverse methods such as demonstration projects, focus groups, one-on-one interviews, facilitated meetings, and requirements gathering, Jonas has helped program leaders and policymakers understand the benefits of integrating administrative data, develop focused and relevant state research agendas, establish data governance policies, and carry out research that informs policy and practice. Jonas tailors her technical assistance based on state priorities, privacy laws, infrastructure, and experiences.

Jonas earned a B.A. degree in psychology from the University of Maryland, an M.S. degree in experimental psychology from Lehigh University, and a Ph.D. in experimental psychology from Duke University.