Lauren Cates
Operating Director, Policy Research and Evaluation Department
Operating Director, Youth Development, Criminal Justice, and Employment

Cates has over ten years of experience in public policy research and project management. She currently serves as the resource manager for the Enhanced Services for the Hard-to-Employ Demonstration and Evaluation Project and the TANF/SSI Disability Transition Project. In this role, she works with the project directors and task leaders on the day-to-day management of the projects and serves as a key liaison to funding agencies, subcontractors, and other outside partners. As the lead resource manager for the Health and Barriers to Employment policy area, she manages day-to-day policy area and project activities, such as developing, maintaining, and monitoring work plans, expenditures, and budgets; communicating with key partners and funders in the area’s project work; and supporting the development of the area’s new projects. Cates also played a substantive role on the Employment Retention and Advancement Evaluation, assisting with random assignment processes, conducting field research, analyzing qualitative and program participation data, and developing memos, interim reports, and other project deliverables. In addition, Cates has developed MDRC-specific trainings and procedure manuals for the coordination and production of reports and competitive proposals. She received a bachelor of arts degree in sociology from Drew University.