Ruth Curran Neild’s interests are in bridging education research and practice for the benefit and advancement of both. She is Director of the Philadelphia Education Research Consortium (PERC), a research-practice partnership that works alongside Philadelphia’s public education sectors to conduct practical, rigorous, independent research on locally prioritized education questions. PERC makes its home at Research for Action, the Philadelphia-based nonprofit education research organization.

From 2011-2017, Dr. Neild served in senior leadership positions at the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES). As Associate Commissioner and, later, Commissioner of the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (NCEE), she championed research of practical and scholarly value, clear and creative communication of research findings, and development of tools and strategies for supporting educators to access research and consider its implications for practice and policy. As Delegated Director of IES from 2015-2017, she emphasized the unique role of IES in providing critical national infrastructure for education statistics, research, and evaluation.

Dr. Neild’s scholarly work has focused on predictors of and interventions for keeping students on track to high school graduation, teacher qualifications and assignment, and high school choice.  She has been a Research Scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Social Organization of Schools and a member of the standing faculty at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. She earned a PhD in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania.