Dara Zeehandelaar Shaw, Ph.D.

National Research Director

Dara Zeehandelaar Shaw was the national research director at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, where she oversaw Fordham’s research pipeline, designs and executed new studies, managed ongoing projects, and conducted quantitative and qualitative research until the beginning of 2017. Her areas of study include education governance and school boards; finance and teacher pensions; policy design and implementation (especially related to the Common Core mathematics standards); and teacher unions. She earned her Ph.D. in Urban Education Policy at the University of Southern California, and previously worked as a high school mathematics teacher and summer-school coordinator in Washington D.C. public schools. A Los Angeles native and Washington D.C. resident, she also holds a M.S. in astrophysics from the University of Maryland and a bachelor's in astronomy from Cornell.