Dr. Kelly Fisher is the Executive Director of the Science of Learning Institute. She is also an Assistant Research Scientist in the Department of Cognitive Science. Kelly develops and oversees the strategic planning and operations of the Institute, with the goal of fostering innovative, interdisciplinary science of learning research and building meaningful connections between research, practice, and policy.
Kelly's career has been driven by her strong commitment to use science to address the learning needs of our society. Drawing on her background in developmental science, industrial-organizational psychology, education, and public policy, she works with community organizations, businesses, and government to translate science of learning research into evidence-informed practices and policies. Dr. Fisher also works with community partners to facilitate education program improvement through needs assessment and program evaluation research, program planning, and system alignment processes. Over the last decade she has worked with preschools, elementary schools, children's museums, rehabilitation hospitals, professional societies, and family service providers.
Prior to her position at the Institute, Kelly served as an Executive Branch Science and Technology Fellow in Washington, DC, a fellowship sponsored by the Society for Research and Child Development (SRCD) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). As a SRCD/AAAS fellow, she initiated and supervised new federal research projects aimed at improving organizational capacity and data-driven decision making in Head Start early childhood education programs. Her projects included the examination of how program leaders use data to inform goals and continuous quality improvement, how teachers use data to individualize instructional practices, and how programs use technology to improve learning outcomes. Kelly is also the Vice President and Director of Research for the Global Abilities Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps individuals with disabilities become independent, productive members of society. Kelly received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Temple University and her M.S. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from Missouri State University.