Virginia Knox Named President of MDRC

Virginia Knox newsmaker headshot; woman with short hair and glasses smiling


Virginia Knox

Virginia Knox will be the new president of MDRC. The announcement was made by the board chair, Mary Jo Bane, in September.

Knox’s appointment to lead the nonprofit, nonpartisan education and social policy research organization comes as no surprise to those within it. She has been with MDRC as the head of its Families and Children Policy Area for 15 years; responsible for developing, implementing and ensuring the efficacy of large scale projects, particularly support services for low-income parents.

Currently, Knox is the project director for MDRC’s Building Bridges and Bonds program, which evaluates and reports on new and innovative responsible fatherhood programs. She also co-directs the Mother and Infant Home Visiting Program Evaluation (MIHOPE), assessing the federal program’s efficacy, and MIHOPE-Strong Start, which examines the effects of home visiting on birth outcomes and maternal and infant health care use.

Past projects she spearheaded include Supporting Healthy Marriage, Next Generation, the Minnesota Family Investment Program and the Parents’ Fair Share program.

Knox’s detailed knowledge of child welfare systems is informed partly by her time in New York City’s Human Resources Administration, where she was directly responsible for calculating and estimating budgets of the city’s welfare reform initiatives.

Also adding to her depth and breadth of knowledge in the sector is her extensive education, which culminated in earning a doctorate in public policy from Harvard University.

Mary Jo Bane, chair of the MDRC board of directors recognized all that Knox brings to the organization in a statement on behalf of the board of directors: “We are delighted that [Knox] has agreed to assume the leadership of MDRC at a crucial time in its illustrious history. 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…”

Virginia Knox assumes her role at the head of MDRC and succeeds 15-year president, Gordon Berlin, effective Oct. 15, 2019.


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