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Richard Light Full Biography

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Richard J. Light
Professor of Education and Public Policy
Harvard University
Phone: (6l7) 495-1183
Fax: (617) 496-3783

Richard J. Light teaches statistics and program evaluation at Harvard, with special focus on programs in education. His work emphasizes how to collect and analyze information to improve program management. Mr. Light received his Ph.D. in statistics from Harvard in l969, and was appointed a professor in l974. He has authored or co-authored six books. His book By Design (co-authored with Judy Singer and John Willett), published in l990 by the Harvard University Press, presents modern methods for assessing the effectiveness of educational initiatives.

At Harvard, Mr. Light is currently Director of the Seminar on Assessment. This is a consortium initiated by former President Derek Bok that brings together faculty and senior administrators from twenty-four colleges and universities to carry out research on college effectiveness. Now in its eighth year, this Seminar continues with the support of President Neil Rudenstine. It especially encourages innovations to strengthen teaching, learning and the overall college experience for students. Two formal reports have now been issued, one in l990 and the other in l992. Mr. Light also teaches in the Kennedy School's Executive Program for Senior Managers in State and Local Government.

Outside of the university, Mr. Light has been president of the American Evaluation Association, an organization of scholars, scientists and managers working to improve public sector services. He has chaired the Panel on Programs for Youth for the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, and serves on the National Advisory Board for the Program Evaluation Division of the U.S. General Accounting Office, the research wing of the Congress.

Recently Mr. Light was honored with the Paul Lazarsfeld Award for distinguished contributions to scientific practice. He also has been elected to the National Board of the American Association for Higher Education, appointed to the National Board of the Fund for Improvement of Postsecondary Education, and named by Vanderbilt University's Chancellor's Lecture Series as one of America's great teachers. In Fall, l998, Mr. Light was elected A Trustee of Wellesley College, and elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Mr. Light lives in Belmont, Massachusetts with wife Patricia and two daughters.

 
 
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