Senior Program Officer, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Jennifer Brooks is a senior program officer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation working on the foundation’s early learning strategy. Brooks has expertise applying research evidence and data to public programs for children and family. She has worked on this issue as the director of economic, human services, and workforce programs at the National Governors Association’s Center for Best Practices, where she oversaw an initiative bringing greater focus on data and evidence in state policymaking. Brooks also managed the research portfolio for the federal Head Start program at the US Department of Health and Human Services, playing a key role helping translate research into policy. She served on an Institute of Medicine panel on enhancing the use of economic evidence in social programs for children and families, and has written several blogs on the topic of enhancing the use of data in social programs. Brooks received her Ph.D. and master’s degree in human development and family studies from Penn State University, and a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Chicago.