Portilla is a research associate in the Family Well-Being and Child Development policy area at MDRC. She is currently working on the implementation research and impact analyses for the Mother and Infant Home Visiting Program Evaluation (MIHOPE), a large-scale national evaluation of home visiting programs that intend to prevent child maltreatment and improve maternal and child health, parenting skills, and child development outcomes. She is also involved in the MIHOPE long-term follow-up study, which aims to provide design options for how to assess long-term impacts on families and children who participated in MIHOPE.
Before her graduate studies, Portilla worked on several projects in MDRC’s early childhood portfolio: Head Start CARES, Foundations of Learning, and two early-childhood-focused programs in the Enhanced Services for the Hard-to-Employ Demonstration and Evaluation Project: Kansas/Missouri Early Head Start and the Rhode Island Child Add-On. Her research in graduate school focused on early childhood development, social inequality, stress reactivity, and child and maternal executive functioning, in both domestic and international settings such as Pakistan and Colombia. Portilla earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from New York University and a PhD in developmental and psychological sciences from Stanford University.