Virginia Knox Assumes Presidency of MDRC, Announces New Leadership Roles


On October 15, Virginia Knox became the fifth president of MDRC in its 45-year history. Knox, a former MDRC vice president, has led the organization’s Families and Children Policy Area since 2004. She brings 25 years of leadership in developing, evaluating, and improving social programs. Throughout her career, Knox has created large-scale projects that combine technical program assistance with implementation and impact research to draw lessons for future policy and practice.

“We are delighted that Ginger has assumed the leadership of MDRC at a crucial time in its illustrious history,” said Mary Jo Bane, Chair of the MDRC Board of Directors. “She brings a life-long commitment to the mission of improving the lives of low-income families and children, deep understanding of the challenges facing social and education policy, on-the-ground expertise in bringing evidence to bear to solve problems, and an engaging and forward-thinking leadership style that will benefit the organization and its partners.”

On her first day as president, Knox announced two new leadership roles for current staff members:

  • JoAnn Hsueh, who joined MDRC in 2004, will become director of the Family Well-Being and Children’s Development Policy Area. Hsueh previously served as deputy director of the policy area. Hsueh received her Ph.D. in developmental and community psychology from New York University.

  • Charles Michalopoulos, MDRC’s chief economist, will be director of the Youth Development, Criminal Justice, and Employment Policy Area. Prior to coming to MDRC in 1997, Michalopoulos earned a doctorate in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was an assistant professor in the Department of Economics at Virginia Tech from 1992-1997.

MDRC Vice President Dan Bloom will play an expanded role in the organization directing the Policy Research and Evaluation Department (PRED), which houses MDRC’s five policy areas and two centers. Bloom, who joined MDRC in 1988, previously headed up the Youth Development, Criminal Justice, and Employment Policy Area and co-directed PRED. He holds a master’s in public policy from the Kennedy School at Harvard.

“I am pleased to announce broader leadership roles for these widely respected researchers and valued colleagues,” said Knox. “I look forward to working with them — and all of the talented MDRC staff — as we continue our mission to improve the policies and programs that serve low-income people in the United States.”