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Dr. Heather Weiss is the Founder and Director of the Harvard Family Research Project (HFRP) and is a Senior Research Associate and Lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. From its beginning in 1983, HFRP’s mission has been to support the creation of more effective practices, interventions and policies to promote children’s successful development from birth to adulthood.  A key emphasis of HFRP’s work is the promotion, documentation and assessment of complementary learning—strategies that support children’s learning and development in nonschool as well as school contexts.

Dr. Weiss and her colleagues are well known for their work building the demand for and use of evaluation as a cornerstone of social change, to which end HFRP also provides strategic planning and evaluation services for foundations and communities. Their current evaluation portfolio includes evaluations of national foundation efforts to scale up universal prekindergarten services and extended learning opportunities.

Dr. Weiss writes, speaks and advises on programs and policies for children and families and serves on the advisory boards of many public and private organizations. Her recent publications focus on reframing research and evaluation to support continuous improvement and democratic decision making, examining the case for complementary learning from a research and policy perspective, and assessing new ways of providing and evaluating professional development. She is a consultant and advisor to numerous foundations on strategic grantmaking and evaluation. She received her doctorate in Education and Social Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and she was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Yale Bush Center in Child Development and Social Policy.

To read publications by Heather Weiss, navigate to our Publications & Resources page and search by author.

Email Heather Weiss at

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