William T. Grant Foundation Welcomes Two New Members to Program Staff

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

The William T. Grant Foundation is pleased to announce two new additions to its program team:  Fabienne Doucet, Program Officer; and Richard Murnane, Senior Program Associate, effective January 1, 2019.

Both Doucet and Murnane will serve as key members of the Foundation’s Senior Program Team, which reviews proposals, monitors grants, and develops strategies and tactics to support the Foundation’s funding initiatives on reducing inequality and improving the use of research evidence in policy and practice.

Doucet has taken a leave of absence from her position as Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education and Urban Education in the Department of Teaching and Learning at the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. She was also an affiliated faculty member with the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, the Institute for Human Development and Social Change, and the Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools. Her research focuses on African American, Caribbean immigrant, and Latinx students within our country’s urban education systems.  A critical ethnographer, Doucet has studied how beliefs, practices, and values in the U.S. educational system position linguistically, culturally, and socioeconomically diverse children and families at a disadvantage.  Her research further seeks active solutions for meeting their educational needs. In addition to her extensive scholarly publications, she is finalizing a book to guide practitioners in developing strong relationships with immigrant families, as well as an edited volume that highlights research on family-school partnerships within diverse ethnocultural communities. Doucet has a Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies from UNC-Greensboro, was a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and has received fellowships from the National Science Foundation and the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation. 

Murnane, an economist, is the Thompson Research Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Over the last 40 years, Murnane has studied relationships between the U.S. economy and the U.S. educational system.  His numerous books include The Impact of School Resources on the Learning of Inner City Children (Ballinger, 1975), Who Will Teach?(Harvard University Press, 1991), Teaching the New Basic Skills (Free Press), The New Division of Labor(Princeton University Press, 2004), and Methods Matter (Oxford U. Press, 2011). Most recently, Murnane and economist Greg Duncan, a William T. Grant Foundation Trustee, co-led a large research project examining the respects in which growth in family income inequality in the U.S. has affected educational opportunities for children from low-income families and the effectiveness of alternative strategies for improving life chances for these children. Products of this project included the 2011 edited volume, Whither Opportunity (Russell Sage), and the 2014 book, Restoring Opportunity (Harvard Education Press and Russell Sage). Murnane is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Education and is a Fellow of the Society of Labor Economists.

“We are delighted that Fabienne and Dick are joining our team at the Foundation,” said William T. Grant Foundation President Adam Gamoran. “Each brings a unique perspective that complements the expertise of other staff members at the Foundation.  Maintaining an interdisciplinary team is critical to our efforts to support research on reducing inequality in youth outcomes and improving the use of research evidence in decisions that affect young people.” 

As a program officer, Doucet fills a role formerly held by Vivian Louie, now a professor of urban policy and planning at Hunter College.  Murnane succeeds Tim Smeeding, an economist and professor of public affairs at Wisconsin whose four-year term as a senior program associate with the Foundation ended on December 31.  “We are so fortunate to have had the contributions of Vivian and Tim over the past four years,” Gamoran commented.  “Fabienne and Dick are worthy successors.”

The William T. Grant Foundation supports research to improve the lives of young people ages 5-25 in the United States. Throughout its 80 year history, the Foundation has awarded grants to prominent researchers yielding research that has been pivotal in improving outcomes for youth and the systems in which they develop. The Foundation is currently focused on funding research that has the potential to reduce inequality in youth outcomes, and to improve the use of research evidence in ways that benefit young people.


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