Since joining RFA, Kelly has led qualitative research for several projects, including a study about the childcare needs of Pennsylvanians who work nonstandard hours and the evaluation of the City of Philadelphia’s Community Schools initiative. She is the co-project director of RFA’s evaluation of federally funded 21st Century Community Learning Center afterschool programs. Kelly also leads research on the implementation of student and family support services for Say Yes to Education, Cleveland. She previously provided research support for a study about the implementation of the National Science Foundation-funded Ongoing Assessment Project (OGAP) in the School District of Philadelphia.
Before joining RFA, Kelly worked as a consultant for Branch Associates and Metis Associates for education, youth, and workforce development program evaluations. She also served as a public policy researcher for the Hughes Center at Stockton University, where her work centered on economic inequality in the state of New Jersey. Kelly holds a BA in American Studies from Penn State University and an MA in American Studies from the University of New Mexico, where she concentrated in critical race, ethnicity, and class studies. She earned her Ph.D. in Geography and Urban Studies at Temple University, where her dissertation focused on the racial and political dynamics of educational reform policy and discourse in Washington, DC.