American Institutes for Research and Education Sector Join Forces

Washington, D.C. – The American Institutes for Research (AIR), a leader in education research, evaluation and technical assistance, and Education Sector, an independent organization known for innovative ideas that address education challenges, have joined forces to better help policymakers and practitioners use evidence in decision-making.

“This is a natural fit,” said David Myers, President and CEO of AIR. “AIR and Ed Sector have expertise that complements each other, along with a shared goal of conducting and applying the best behavioral and social science research and evaluation toward improving the quality of education, especially for the disadvantaged.”

Ed Sector will be under the direction of Gina Burkhardt, Executive Vice President of AIR and Director of the Education Program. “This union strengthens AIR’s ability to inform federal, state, and local policy and practice with scientific research. The aim is also to help deepen the public’s understanding of vexing issues that might be less politically divisive if posed with Americans’ practical concerns in mind,” Burkhardt said.

Peter W. Cookson, Jr., Managing Director of Ed Sector, said: “We are extremely proud of the success and impact Ed Sector has had on education in this country. Joining AIR creates a solid footing that ensures these accomplishments will continue.”

Ed Sector was founded in 2005 by Andrew J. Rotherham and Thomas Toch as a nonprofit, nonpartisan institution that combined the methodological rigor of research with the communications excellence of journalism and the real-world impact of policy analysis.

AIR was established in 1946 as a not-for-profit, nonpartisan behavioral and social science research organization by John C. Flanagan, a noted psychologist and pioneer in aviation and education research. AIR’s work supports educators and students, as well as national, state, and community leaders addressing the needs of all students – from preschool and K-12 to higher education and adult learners.

About AIR
Established in 1946, with headquarters in Washington, D.C., the American Institutes for Research (AIR) is a nonpartisan not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance both domestically and internationally in the areas of health, education and workforce productivity. For more information, visit


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