American Institutes for Research Fellow Jennifer O’Day Elected to National Academy of Education

Arlington, VA - Jennifer O’Day, an Institute Fellow at the American Institutes for Research (AIR), has been elected to the National Academy of Education, an honorific society of researchers and educators who have made outstanding contributions to improving education. O’Day was one of 17 people elected to membership this year.

Jennifer O'Day

“I am more than honored to be invited into such a renowned group of national and international researchers and leaders, each of whom has made a difference in education through their scholarship and contributions to educational policy and practice,” she said. “I look forward to working together to improve opportunities and outcomes for all students, and particularly for those who have been too long marginalized and underserved, both by our schools and by society at large.”

The mission of the National Academy of Education is to advance the development of high-quality education research and its use in policy and practice. As a member of the Academy, O’Day will have the opportunity to serve on expert study panels that address pressing issues in education and engage in the Academy’s professional development fellowship programs.

“Jennifer O’Day’s election to the National Academy of Education is an acknowledgement of the important, groundbreaking work she has done throughout her career to create a more equitable world for students,” said David Myers, AIR President and CEO. “The Academy and the field, at large, will benefit from O’Day’s experience, expertise and commitment to improving education.”

O’Day joined AIR in 2002 and has carried out research, advised national and state policy makers, and written extensively in the areas of systemic standards-based reform, educational equity, accountability, and capacity-building and continuous improvement strategies. For the past 15 years, much of O’Day’s work has focused on system change at the local level and, more particularly, on the role that school districts can play as initiators and implementers of systemic improvement and transformation. As part of that effort, she is the founder of the California Collaborative on District Reform, which brings together researchers, district practitioners, state policy makers, advocates and funders to improve instruction, increase opportunity and access for traditionally underserved students, and eliminate outcome gaps.

In 2019, the Harvard Educational Press released Opportunity for All: A Framework for Quality and Equality in Education, co-authored by O’Day and Marshall S. Smith. Based on decades of research, policy and practice, the book outlines a strategy for improving educational quality and equity by balancing pressure and support from three sources: government and administrative policy, professional accountability and networking, and the collective engagement of parents and other stakeholders.

About AIR
Established in 1946, 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 education, health and the workforce. AIR’s work is driven by its mission to generate and use rigorous evidence that contributes to a better, more equitable world. With headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, AIR has offices across the U.S. and abroad. For more information, visit

Media Contact

Dana Tofig

Managing Director, Corporate Communications