American Institutes for Research Welcomes New Board Members

Alicia Harkness and Kim Pattillo Brownson provide expertise in health and education sectors

Arlington, Va. – The American Institutes for Research (AIR) has added two members to its Board of Directors with deep expertise in the areas of the health and education. Alicia Harkness, a national leader in the public health sector, and Kim Pattillo Brownson, an education policy expert and lawyer, joined the Board earlier this year.

“We are pleased to welcome Alicia Harkness and Kim Pattillo Brownson to the AIR Board. The fields of public health and education are undergoing major challenges and changes right now, and their knowledge and expertise in these areas will help guide AIR’s mission-focused work today and into the future,” said Patricia B. Gurin, chair of the AIR Board of Directors.

“Kim and Alicia are leaders in their fields and understand the importance of using science and evidence to improve outcomes,” said David E. Myers, CEO and president of AIR. “They will provide valuable insight to the Board and to the leadership of AIR, as we seek to deepen and grow our work in the education and health sectors and beyond.”

The Board of Directors works with AIR’s leadership to set a strategic direction for the organization and ensure its work is making a difference in people’s lives around the world.

About Alicia Harkness

Image of Alicia HarknessHarkness is a founding partner of Guidehouse, a consulting firm where she leads the Health practice, specializing in providing strategy, management and technology services for the Public Health, Commercial Payer, Provider, and Life Sciences markets. She also co-leads Guidehouse’s diversity efforts. Over the course of her career, Harkness has consulted with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, U.S. Military Health System, U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Agency for International Development, state and local governments, for-profit education organizations, public and private colleges and universities, academic medical centers, retail health organizations, and commercial health care payers and providers.

She holds a Bachelor of Science in business management from Lehigh University, and she attended INSEAD’s executive education program, “Understanding Business’ Strategic Agenda.” She is a certified health care financial professional and certified change management professional. She is a proud recipient of the 2018 Women in Leadership Leading for Impact Federal Health IT Award.

About Kim Pattillo Brownson

Image of Kim Pattillo BrownPattillo Brownson is director of policy and strategy for the Ballmer Group and in 2019 was appointed to be a member of the California State Board of Education. From 2016 through earlier this year, she was the vice president for policy and strategy at First 5 LA, which funds and advocates for early childhood education programs in Los Angeles. At First 5 LA, she oversaw the organization’s relationships with local, state and federal policy makers and worked to ensure that its strategic partnerships, public policy and government affairs, and communications and marketing efforts were integrated to drive better outcomes for the highest number of children and families in L.A. County.

Pattillo Brownson previously served as the managing director of policy and advocacy at the Advancement Project, a civil rights organization engaged in policy and systems change to foster upward mobility in communities most affected by economic and racial injustice. She has also served as an education attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California. She earned a Doctor of Law degree from Yale Law School and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Studies.

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

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