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We are delighted to announce that Judith M. Gueron of
MDRC has been selected to receive the 2008 Peter H. Rossi Award
for Contributions to the Theory or Practice of Program Evaluation. (To read her acceptance
remarks, please click here.)
Judith Gueron is an Independent Scholar in Residence and President Emerita at MDRC, formerly the Manpower
Demonstration Research Corporation. Gueron joined MDRC as Research Director at
its founding in 1974 and served as its President from 1986 through August 2004.
At MDRC, Gueron directed many of the largest federal and state evaluations ever undertaken
of interventions for low-income adults, youth, and families. She was a pioneer in developing
research methods that have made it possible to base social programs on rigorous evidence of
effectiveness. As President, she also guided the organization’s expansion into such areas as
supports for the working poor, education reforms, child development, and community-based
Photo by Rich Schmitt
Gueron is a widely published, nationally recognized expert on employment and training, poverty, and
family assistance, and is the author of From Welfare to Work. She is past President of
the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management, has served on several National
Academy of Sciences committees and federal advisory panels, and has frequently testified
before Congress. In 1988, Gueron was awarded the American Evaluation Association’s Myrdal
Prize for Evaluation Practice in recognition of high-quality studies of employment issues.
In 2005, she received the inaugural Richard E. Neustadt Award from the John F. Kennedy
School of Government at Harvard University.
As one of Gueron’s nominators concluded: “Judy, more than anybody else, has been instrumental
in promoting appreciation for and acceptance of randomized controlled trials among the
practitioner community, has educated policy makers on the credibility and applicability of the findings,
and has mentored so many individuals and organizations in the conduct of such studies with uncompromising
Another nominator said: “It's easy to forget that randomized field experiments that test promising
policy initiatives have a relatively short history. Their prevalence and acceptability in many
quarters today is due in no small part to the pioneering work done at MDRC which demonstrated
both their feasibility and value. As the President of MDRC during this germinal period, Judy
played a critical and active role in these events.”
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