About AIR: Mission Focused, Evidence Driven

We Never Stop Digging To Find What Works

The American Institutes for Research® (AIR) is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance to solve some of the most urgent challenges in the U.S. and around the world. We do this work because when we look to the future, we see opportunities to close gaps that are rooted in injustice. At AIR, we know that equity begins with systems that work for everyone, so we lead with expertise, follow the evidence, and never stop drawing new connections to build a better, more equitable world.

Boy with kite
Two graduates hugging

Our Mission

AIR's mission is to generate and use rigorous evidence that contributes to a better, more equitable world.

Our mission is more than just a statement—it is the foundation of our organization. It inspires our people, informs our work, and drives how we partner with others to improve lives.


Our Vision, Culture, & Values

At AIR, we are collaborative, inquisitive, and visionary – we support one another, and work nimbly and collaboratively to make a greater impact. We believe that intellectual diversity and respect for the contributions of each individual is central to our success.



Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Our commitment to diversity goes beyond compliance. It is integrated into our strategy, operations, and work environment. It is reflected in our efforts to recruit, develop, and engage the diverse staff we need to achieve mission and serve our clients and communities.



AIR Equity Initiative

In addition to serving our mission through client-driven work, AIR invests its own talent and resources to tackle seemingly intractable, long-standing problems that prevent too many people from having access to good health care, education, and pathways to employment.


Our Leadership

“I believe in the power of behavioral and social science to reveal root causes of disparities and injustice, and to search for and identify solutions to foster greater equity in systems and society.”

- Jessica Heppen, President and CEO

Leading a meeting

Our Clients

AIR works with government agencies, organizations, institutions, and communities across the U.S. and around the world to develop and use evidence to improve outcomes. Our clients include:

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
George Kaiser Family Foundation 
Illinois State Board of Education
Millennium Challenge Corporation
National Science Foundation
Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute
State of California

Texas Education Agency 
U.S. Agency for International Development
U.S. Department of Agriculture
U.S. Department of Education
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 
U.S. Department of Justice
U.S. Department of Labor
United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund

Our History

Founded in 1946 as a not-for-profit organization, we conduct our work with strict independence, objectivity, and non-partisanship.

Partner With Us

Our mission driven staff are ready to help you address any challenge.

Diverse group of colleagues laughing

Working with AIR

Girl in school hallway


Child and parent holding hands

Corporate Social Responsibility

AIR interns

Build a Career at AIR