Debra Wright

Associate Vice President


Debra Wright is an Associate Vice President for Social Policy and Economics Research with 30 years of experience in research methods, measurement, data collection, and project management. She specializes in designing and implementing studies for groups that have been historically underserved and economically disadvantaged, such as families with low incomes, foster children, recipients of school and summer meals, Medicaid beneficiaries, and individuals with disabilities. She is an expert in implementation of multimode surveys, including telephone/face-to-face, mail/telephone, and web/telephone and qualitative data collection methods such as cognitive testing, focus groups, and in-depth interviews.

An experienced project director, Wright has led projects for HHS, USDA, DoD, HUD, ED, SSA, and other clients. She is currently the project director for the Fourth Access, Participation, Eligibility, and Certification (APEC IV) study. Data for this project are collected using a range of methods, including computer-assisted telephone interviews (CATI) of households applying for free or reduced-price school meals, in-person observation of school meal periods, and abstraction of data from School Food Authorities to measure national error rates and improper payments in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs.


  • PhD, Human Development and Family Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • BA, Psychology, Kalamazoo College

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