News Release

Russ Whitehurst Named Director of the Brown Center on Education

Grover J. “Russ” Whitehurst is joining the Brookings Institution as senior fellow in Governance Studies and director of the Brown Center on Education, Brookings President Strobe Talbott announced today.

Dr. Whitehurst is currently director of the Institute of Education Sciences in the U.S. Department of Education. Whitehurst was confirmed as assistant secretary for educational research and improvement in the U.S. Department of Education in 2001 and became the founding director of the Institute of Education Sciences in 2002. In that position, he directs an organization with 200 employees and an annual budget of $600 million that has been praised for its transforming influence on the quality of education research.

Whitehurst will join Brookings in January 2009, succeeding Tom Loveless, who will remain a senior fellow. Loveless has served as director of the Brown Center since 1999.

“Education is one of our top priorities and the Brown Center is a prominent component of education policy research at Brookings,” Talbott said. “Russ is a first-rate expert in education research and under his leadership we plan to expand the scope of the center’s work—providing insight into how education can better contribute to national prosperity.”

“I intend for the Brown Center to become an important part of the process of transforming education into an evidence-based field,” Whitehurst said. “Too often there is a gulf between the research and policy communities that can prevent policy-makers from finding and implementing research discoveries,” he added. “Brookings is poised to serve an influential role in translating education research to practice with the goal of helping the nation provide every student with a good education at an affordable price.”

Whitehurst holds a Ph.D. in Experimental Child Psychology from the University of Illinois. He has previously been a member of the faculty of the University of New South Wales and the academic vice president of the Merrill-Palmer Institute. Prior to beginning his government service, he served for many years in the Department of Psychology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook where he was the department chair and leading professor of psychology and pediatrics.

Whitehurst’s main research contributions are in the areas of learning and instruction, program evaluation, and school readiness for low-income children. He is the author of over 100 research papers and books and has served as editor of two leading scholarly journals. As a sign of his outstanding reputation, Russ has been awarded the Peter H. Rossi prize for program evaluation from the Association of Public Policy Analysis and Management and Microsoft’s Innovators in Higher Education Award. He has testified numerous times before Congress, undertaken many media interviews, and earned grants from leading government agencies and private foundations.

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