Program Evaluation, Public Policy


Dr. Kate Callahan is Executive Director of Research for Action. She provides strategic oversight and leadership across all facets for RFA’s research and administrative enterprises. 

Prior to being appointed Executive Director in October 2021, Callahan served in leadership roles throughout RFA, as Interim Executive Director, Chief Research Officer, Director of Quantitative Research, and earlier in her career, as a mixed-methods researcher and project director on many national research projects, particularly examining issues of equity, access, and success in the K-16 educational pipeline. For over ten years, Callahan has taught research and evaluation courses for the Department of Education Policy and Leadership at Cabrini University and more recently for Temple University’s Master of Public Policy program. Prior to joining RFA, she worked as a teacher in the School District of Philadelphia, served as an Associate Director of the A Better Chance, Inc. program in Lower Merion, Pennsylvania, and provided professional support to teachers in a community-based education, health, and wellness center in La Paz, Bolivia. 

Throughout her career, Callahan has demonstrated a commitment to field-building through effective research dissemination. She has served as an invited panelist for the Bipartisan Policy Center, IPEDS Technical Review Panel, Kentucky’s Pritchard Committee, the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities, and HCM Strategists’ Strategy Labs Peer Learning Opportunity. She has been interviewed by national news media including National Public Radio, the Washington Post, and Inside Higher Education, and frequently presents at the annual meetings of the State Higher Education Executive Officers, the Association for the Study of Higher Education, the Association for Education Finance and Policy, and the American Educational Research Association. Dr. Callahan has a Ph.D. in Urban Education from Temple University.

Courses Taught

  • GUS 5165 Community Based Program Evaluation