Director of the Institute of Educational Sciences: Who Is Ruth Curran Neild?

Saturday, January 14, 2017
Ruth Curran Neild

Ruth Curran Neild, a researcher with an expertise in secondary education, served as director of the Institute of Educational Sciences (IES) from July 2015 to January 2017.


Curran Neild attended Bryn Mawr College, graduating in 1989 with a B.A. in history and sociology. In 1999, she earned a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania.

After graduating from Penn, Curran Neild was a researcher for the Center for Social Organization of Schools at Johns Hopkins University. In 2001, she assumed an assistant professorship at Penn and continued some of the research she began as a grad student, which focused on a group of Philadelphia eighth-graders. Curran Neild returned to Johns Hopkins in 2006 as a researcher.


Some of Curran Neild’s significant work involved the link between students’ success in ninth grade and their likelihood of graduating from high school.


Curran Neild joined the IES in 2011 as associate commissioner and in 2012 was named commissioner of the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance. In 2015, she was named deputy director for policy and research, with the duties of director delegated to her.


In January 2017, Curran Neild announced she was leaving the Education Department for the nonprofit Research for Action, an educational research organization. She’s going to lead its Philadelphia Education Research Consortium.


Curran Neild and her husband, Steve Neild, have a son.

-Steve Straehley


To Learn More:

Dr. Ruth Neild to Join Research for Action (Research for Action)


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