Pennington joined MDRC in 2006. She has been involved in many aspects of MDRC’s research, including program start-up, survey development, data management, implementation and impact analyses, report writing, and technical assistance with data. Her research interests are focused on improving evidence on the effects of human services programs through better awareness of, access to, and use of quality data.
She is an experienced quantitative researcher, working primarily on experimental evaluations of workforce-development programs. As a data manager for three multisite evaluations (the evaluation of the TechHire and Supporting Working Families Initiative grant programs, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment and Training Evaluation, and WorkAdvance) she was responsible for the acquisition, security, verification, processing, and analysis of quantitative data used for these studies. She also served as a data team member for the Employment Retention and Advancement evaluation and the Work Advancement and Support Center demonstration. During her time on these projects, she worked extensively with survey data, administrative records, and program-tracking data.
She currently serves as deputy project director for a federal project that is assessing the feasibility of using administrative data to evaluate long-term outcomes. In addition, she is providing on-site technical assistance with administrative data for the federal government.
Pennington earned 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.