Debra Joy Pérez Named Vice President for Research, Evaluation and Learning

Posted July 15, 2013
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Newsrelease debrajoyperezhired 2013

The Annie E. Casey Foun­da­tion is pleased to announce the appoint­ment of Debra Joy Pérez as vice pres­i­dent for Research, Eval­u­a­tion and Learn­ing. Pérez comes to Casey from the Robert Wood John­son Foun­da­tion (RWJF) in Prince­ton, N.J., where she built a strong record of achieve­ment there begin­ning 16 years ago and most recent­ly served as inter­im vice pres­i­dent for the foundation’s Research and Eval­u­a­tion Unit.

As a mem­ber of the lead­er­ship team, Pérez pro­vid­ed vision and strat­e­gy for RWJF’s research and pro­gram­mat­ic activ­i­ties, help­ing to devel­op the foundation’s research pol­i­cy, vision, strate­gic plan­ning, cost-effec­tive grant mak­ing and best-prac­tice method­olo­gies. She rep­re­sent­ed research and eval­u­a­tion activ­i­ties to exter­nal orga­ni­za­tions, gov­ern­ment agen­cies, part­ner insti­tu­tions and grantees. She had served as assis­tant vice pres­i­dent of the Research and Eval­u­a­tion Unit from 2010 until her appoint­ment as inter­im vice pres­i­dent last year.

At Casey, Pérez will report direct­ly to Pres­i­dent and CEO Patrick McCarthy. She will be direct­ly respon­si­ble for man­ag­ing sev­er­al aspects of the Foundation’s work, includ­ing mea­sur­ing pro­gram per­for­mance; craft­ing thought­ful and con­sis­tent eval­u­a­tion process­es; lead­ing data devel­op­ment and imple­men­ta­tion to inform the Foundation’s work; deliv­er­ing improved knowl­edge man­age­ment resources; build­ing orga­ni­za­tion­al learn­ing; and guid­ing pol­i­cy research in a man­ner that reflects Casey’s focus on fam­i­ly eco­nom­ic suc­cess, com­mu­ni­ty change and sys­tem reform.

In Debra Joy Pérez, we have found an accom­plished pro­fes­sion­al who has the vision, cre­ativ­i­ty and expe­ri­ence need­ed to lead such an impor­tant part of our Foun­da­tion and serve on the lead­er­ship team,” McCarthy said. Our Research, Eval­u­a­tion and Learn­ing unit shapes our strate­gies for improv­ing the lives of chil­dren and fam­i­lies and helps us assess our efforts so that we con­tin­ue to build strong evi­dence of what works.”

Ear­ly in her career, Pérez was spe­cial assis­tant to the pres­i­dent of the Gov­ern­ment Nation­al Mort­gage Asso­ci­a­tion as part of the Nation­al Urban and Rur­al Fel­lows Pro­gram of the U.S. Depart­ment of Hous­ing and Urban Devel­op­ment. Her rela­tion­ship with RWJF extends to 1997, when she began a three-year stint as deputy direc­tor for the Foundation’s New Jer­sey Health Ini­tia­tives, where she orga­nized and con­duct­ed appli­cant out­reach and sup­port. She was a research fel­low at the foun­da­tion before being named a research and teach­ing fel­low at the Har­vard School of Pub­lic Health.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in com­mu­ni­ca­tion at the Rut­gers Uni­ver­si­ty; a master’s degree in social sci­ence at Uni­ver­si­ty of Kent in Can­ter­bury, Eng­land; a mas­ter of pub­lic admin­is­tra­tion degree at Baruch Col­lege at the City Uni­ver­si­ty of New York; and a Ph.D. in health pol­i­cy at Har­vard University.

Pérez will begin her new posi­tion on Sept. 9.

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