REKHA BALU, PH.D.

Reka Balu

Rekha is a Senior Research Associate at MDRC and Director of MDRC's Center for Applied Behavioral Science. She brings a decade of experience in rigorous impact evaluation and designing solutions in partnership with government agencies and education organizations. In 2019, Rekha also served as a Fellow with the U.S. Office of Evaluation Sciences, where she worked with federal agencies to design behavioral interventions and test whether they improve outcomes for agency staff and clients.

She is a principal investigator on foundation- and government-funded studies tackling challenges in K-12 education, child welfare, and parenting, many of which are testing technology-driven solutions such as apps, text-message campaigns, and online information and support tools. She partners with social service and education institutions around the country to help them base their decisions on data, incorporate predictive analytics, design interventions to solve process challenges, and test those interventions in randomized field trials or other rigorous research designs.

Rekha earned her PhD in Economics of Education from Stanford University School of Education, MA in Economics from Stanford University, Ed.M from Harvard Graduate School of Education, and Bachelor of Science from Northwestern University.