Research Associate

Pennington joined MDRC in 2006. She currently serves as project manager and lead quantitative researcher for Generation Work, a systems-change initiative funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation focused on increasing economic opportunity for young adults by supporting demand-driven and positive youth development strategies that prepare them for and connect them to work. She also serves as data manager for two multisite evaluations: the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Employment and Training Evaluation (a national study of programs designed to help SNAP recipients improve their economic outcomes and reduce their reliance on public assistance) and WorkAdvance (a four-site test of a sector-based employment, training, and advancement program). As a data manager she manages the acquisition, security, verification, processing, and analysis of quantitative data used for the evaluation.

In addition to being a member of the data team for the Employment Retention and Advancement evaluation and the Work Advancement and Support Center demonstration, Pennington has also been involved in many aspects of MDRC’s research, including program start-up, survey development, implementation and impact analyses, and report writing. She is an experienced SAS programmer and helps train technical staff members in the processing of surveys, administrative records, and program-tracking data. Her research interests are focused on improving the available evidence on the effects of workforce development and prisoner reentry programs. Pennington holds a BA in economics, with mathematics as a second major, from the University of Notre Dame. She also holds a master’s degree in public policy from Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy, where she concentrated in educational, social, and family policy.