Virginia Knox became President of MDRC in October 2019. Prior to being named president, Knox served as vice president and as leader of the organization’s Families and Children Policy Area. She brings 25 years of leadership in developing, evaluating, and improving social programs and contributing to new directions in research that can strengthen evidence-based policymaking. Throughout her career, Knox has designed evaluations that address questions of central interest to policymakers and practitioners and provide them with actionable conclusions. Much of her work has focused on how increased access to assistance for low-income parents — including child support, financial supports for work, and interventions to strengthen parental well-being, family relationships, and parenting — can improve the lives of both parents and children.
Studies she has led or co-led include the Guilford Readiness of Children for School (ROCS) Study, the Building Bridges and Bonds evaluation, the Mother and Infant Home Visiting Program Evaluation (MIHOPE), MIHOPE-Strong Start, the Supporting Healthy Marriage project, the Next Generation project, the evaluation of the Minnesota Family Investment Program, and the Parents’ Fair Share demonstration. Knox has direct experience with welfare systems, having been special assistant to the executive deputy commissioner for income maintenance in New York City’s Human Resources Administration, where her responsibilities included estimating the costs of welfare-reform programs. The author of numerous reports and papers, Knox has a doctorate in public policy from Harvard University.