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M. Elena Lopez is an Associate Director at Harvard Family Research Project (HFRP), where she has been part of the team since 1990. Her research focuses on the relationships between families, schools and communities as they relate to children’s development and education. Additionally, she is a cofounder of the Family Involvement Network of Educators (FINE).

As an important member of the family involvement team, Elena seeks to increase the usability of research in practice and teacher education. With colleagues from HFRP, she has team-taught courses on family, school, and community educational engagement at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her other professional experiences include evaluating public and philanthropic initiatives to promote children’s well-being, managing education and health grants for a philanthropic foundation, and serving on national advisory and governing boards. She was a governing board member of both the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Parent Services Project. Her publications include Paths to School Readiness, Early Childhood Reform in Seven Communities, Preparing Educators to Engage Families, and numerous articles on family engagement in education.

Elena received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from Harvard University.

To read publications by M. Elena Lopez, navigate to our Publications & Resources page and search by author.

Email M. Elena Lopez at

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