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Who We Are: Clarissa McKithen, MA

Lead Research Associate
Clarissa McKithen

“Every child deserves an educational experience that values who they are as individuals and prepares them to be happy, well-rounded community members. Our experiences should allow us to be authentic and to perform at our highest potential.”


About Clarissa McKithen


Clarissa supports the Region 14 Comprehensive Center in the areas of talent management, strategic compensation, teacher leadership, and educator effectiveness. Clarissa is also integral to the evaluation efforts of our Center. She conducts interviews and focus groups with clients and project leads, analyzes data, and drafts key findings to report to the U.S. Department of Education and continually improve our services.

Clarissa has over a decade of experience collecting and analyzing qualitative data related to pre-K-12 education policy and reform. She has provided monitoring support and technical assistance to several federally funded grant programs and grantees, giving her a breadth of experience to help our Center deliver the most value to our clients.  


Career Highlights

  • Within the National Comprehensive Center (NCC), Clarissa leads the Designing for Equity portfolio of work. She contributes intellectual leadership to the design and implementation of equity-focused trainings and manages collaborative development of products for dissemination—including a 50-state equity policy scan in partnership with the Education Commission of the States.

  • As an NCC outreach liaison, Clarissa facilitates communication and relationship building with five Regional Comprehensive Centers (RCCs). She disseminates information and capacity-building resources and gathers feedback from RCCs about needs and areas for additional support.

  • Before joining Westat, Clarissa was a research apprentice in the Department of Education Policy at the University of Maryland, College Park, and was an executive assistant and project lead for a childhood obesity project at the National Urban League Policy Institute.

Areas of Expertise

  • Qualitative Analysis
  • Project Management
  • Technical Assistance
  • Compliance Monitoring
  • Quality Assurance
  • Relationship Management
  • Product Development
  • Report Writing


  • MA, Education Policy and Leadership Studies, University of Maryland College Park
  • BA, Spanish Language and Literature, University of Maryland College Park

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