Rob Olsen

Associate Director

Rob Olsen, Ph.D., is an Associate Director for Education Studies and Westat’s lead for impact evaluation science. In those roles, he focuses on Westat’s contributions to its clients and the field through high-quality evaluation research. Dr. Olsen has led major evaluations of education programs, particularly ones focused on college access and completion. He specializes in randomized controlled trials (RCTs), systematic reviews of evidence using rigorous standards (e.g., the What Works Clearinghouse), and research on evaluation methods. His current research focuses on the external validity of evidence from impact evaluations.

Dr. Olsen has published in leading journals, including the Journal of Public Policy Analysis, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, the Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, and Educational Researcher.


Ph.D., Labor Economics, Cornell University
M.S., Labor Economics, Cornell University
B.A., Economics, Williams College

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