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Drew Allen Joins HGSE Faculty

He will begin his appointment as senior lecturer this month, and will join the Provost's Office as associate provost for institutional research
Drew Allen

Photo: Jill Anderson

Dean Bridget Long has announced that Drew Allen will join the faculty at the Harvard Graduate School of Education as a senior lecturer of education. He will begin his position at HGSE this month. He will also hold an appointment as associate provost for institutional research in the Provost's Office.

“I am thrilled to welcome Drew Allen to HGSE as a senior lecturer. His unique combination of administrative leadership, institutional research, and teaching experience will be a great asset to our students,” says Long. “We are especially drawn to his expertise in the use of data to improve decision-making across a range of different institutions, which will surely benefit our students in class, and more broadly, ongoing work across HGSE. We are excited to collaborate with him in the years to come.”

For the past two years, Allen has served as associate vice president of institutional data analytics at Georgetown University. In this role, Allen led the Office of Assessment and Decision Support, leveraging his expertise in data analysis and quantitative research to further innovation and development in higher education. Allen has also taught and conducted research in higher education policy at NYU Steinhardt in his role as a fellow for the past seven years. 

Prior to his work at Georgetown and NYU, Allen was the executive director of the Initiative for Data-Driven Social Science at Princeton University. At Princeton, he combined his academic research with valuable contributions to the institution’s internal operations, helping to launch a consulting group for internal analytics, IDEAS for Higher Ed. In a previous role at the City University of New York (CUNY), Allen established an office devoted to integrated research, access to education, program evaluation, and academic support.

Allen’s new position at HGSE will bridge multiple applications of his work — research functioning directly to evaluate and develop the institution itself, and to support current HGSE students’ learning in the classroom.

“I look forward to learning from the students and faculty at HGSE and applying what I learn in my work both as an instructor and as associate provost for institutional research,” says Allen. “Ideas emerging from classroom discussions about the role of evidence in decision-making, for instance, have the potential to directly inform how the Office of Institutional Research supports university-wide planning and decision-making. I am eager to explore the benefits and opportunities of this unique dual role.”

He will teach two courses per year at HGSE: one will focus on topics related to institutional research in higher education, and the other will be a part of the Evidence Foundation. The design of these courses, Allen says, will be informed by his experience in a wide range of higher education settings. 

“Throughout my career, I have worked with higher education institutions — ranging from community colleges to highly-selective elite universities — to support and facilitate the effective use of data and evidence. I am excited to draw upon this experience in my teaching and course design at HGSE,” says Allen. “For example, I hope to design a course about enrollment management that explores the theory, policy, and data at the core of college recruitment, admissions, and financial aid operations.”

Allen’s research has appeared in several publications, including Research in Higher Education and New Directions for Higher Education. His work focuses on higher education policy, the relationship between higher ed and local and regional development, and equitable access to higher education, particularly regarding financial barriers and related implications for racial and ethnic diversity. His research reflects a dedication to the pursuit of evidence-based solutions to long-standing inequities in higher education through the use of quantitative analysis and data science. 

Allen earned his Ph.D. in higher and postsecondary education at New York University and an M.A. in quantitative methods in the social sciences from Columbia University.