Kate Callahan

Chief Research Officer




B.A. in Sociology: Franklin and Marshall College
M.Ed. in Urban Education: Temple University
Ph.D. in Urban Education: Temple University


Dr. Kate Callahan is RFA’s Chief Research Officer. Since coming to RFA in 2010, Kate has directed multiple mixed-methods projects focused on postsecondary education and transition to college. In addition to her duties as CRO, Kate is currently leading a two-year qualitative study of how two- and four-year postsecondary institutions have responded to recent Outcomes Based Funding (OBF) policies in Tennessee, Ohio and Indiana, as well as a companion quantitative study designed to examine student outcomes in these same states. Kate is also the Project Director for a two-year study of New Hampshire’s implementation of extended learning opportunities (ELO) as a competency-based education initiative, as well as an evaluation of New Profit, Inc.’s work with six, high-capacity youth development organizations focused on college and career readiness as an intermediary of the federally-funded Social Innovation Fund (SIF). In addition to having taught in a variety of K-16 settings, Kate has more than 15 years of experience conducting mixed-methods research on issues of access and equity in higher education. Prior to RFA, Kate co-managed a research project funded by the Lumina Foundation on the ways in which different levels of funding in higher education affect the quality of education. Kate also worked for the Office of Research and Policy Analysis at American Education Services/Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (AES/PHEAA)–one of the largest full-service financial aid organizations in the nation–contributing to policy briefs on higher education debt burden, tuition forgiveness programs, and Pell and other need-based grants. She has a Ph.D. in Urban Education from Temple University.