Lynn Okagaki was appointed Commissioner of Education Research in the Institute of Education Sciences in December, 2005. She heads the National Center for Education Research, one of four centers within the Institute of Education Sciences at the U.S. Department of Education.
Okagaki joined the U.S. Department of Education in 2002 as senior counselor to the assistant secretary of the Office of Educational Research and Improvement. She subsequently served as the first Deputy Director for Science at the Institute of Education Sciences. In that role, she established the scientific peer review procedures for grant application reviews and created the peer review process for Institute reports.
Prior to joining the Department, Okagaki served as associate dean of the School of Consumer and Family Science and professor of Child Development and Family Studies at Purdue University. She has held appointments at Yale University, Cornell University, and the University of Houston. Okagaki served on the National Research Council's Committee on Early Childhood Pedagogy, on the editorial boards for the Early Childhood Research Quarterly and the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, and on review panels for the National Science Foundation.
Okagaki's research has focused on academic achievement as affected by culture and family values. She has authored numerous journal articles and chapters on minority students' achievement and on parenting and school achievement and was co-editor of three books.
Okagaki received her bachelor of science degree in applied behavioral sciences from the University of California at Davis and her doctoral degree in developmental psychology from Cornell University.