Kate Callahan

Interim Executive Director & 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


As Chief Research Officer, Dr. Kate Callahan provides leadership and strategic direction in all facets of research operations, execution, professional development, hiring, and development at RFA. In addition, Callahan has particular expertise in designing and conducting mixed-methods research and evaluation studies. Since joining RFA in 2010, Callahan has directed a range of complex, multi-site and multi-methods research projects examining state-level postsecondary policies focused on improved access, retention and equity. Currently, Callahan is leading RFA’s research on College Promise Programs in four states, which includes documenting cross-state variation in Promise program design and implementation, as well as in-depth analysis of institutional responses and impacts on students. Callahan is a nationally recognized expert on College Promise and Outcomes-Based Funding policies and regularly responds to information requests from individual state and system leaders as well as national membership organizations. Callahan has served as an invited panelist for the Bipartisan Policy Center, Kentucky’s Pritchard Committee, the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities, and HCM Strategists’ Strategy Labs Peer Learning Opportunity. Callahan has been interviewed by national news media including National Public Radio, the Washington Post, and Inside Higher Education. In addition, Callahan has presented RFA’s research at the annual meetings of the State Higher Education Executive Officers, the Association for the Study of Higher Education, the Association for Education Finance and Policy, and the American Educational Research Association.