Gabriella C. Gonzalez

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Ph.D. in sociology, Harvard University

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

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Gabriella C. Gonzalez is a sociologist at the RAND Corporation. Her main interests are school-to-work transitions, inequality, workforce development and dynamics, educational attainment of youth, and human capital development. Gonzalez has more than twelve years of experience in program evaluation, case study analysis, designing and analyzing surveys, and conducting and analyzing data from interviews and focus groups with key informants and industry leaders. She currently leads a project to evaluate recent K-12 education reforms in New Haven Public Schools; a study on the alignment of education and training with workforce needs in the energy sector in West Virginia and Pennsylvania; and an evaluation of Department of Defense programs to support the employment and education of military spouses. Her previous work includes analysis of school leadership, an evaluation of The Pittsburgh Promise (a postsecondary scholarship system for high school graduates), and decisionmaking of minority and women Air Force Academy cadets. Her 2005 book, Educational Attainment in Immigrant Families: Community Context and Family Background, examined the educational attainment of children of immigrants in the United States, comparing the relative effects of neighborhood context and family background. Gonzalez's international work includes a study on the demographic challenges facing Abu Dhabi and an analysis of skills mismatch problems and education and labor market reforms in Arab Gulf countries. She assisted with the design and implementation of the Qatar Student Assessment System from 2003 to 2005. She was based in Qatar from 2003 to 2007. Gonzalez earned her Ph.D. in sociology from Harvard University.

Recent Projects

  • Evaluating the Military Spouse Education and Career Opportunity (SECO) programs
  • Evaluating the early progress of New Haven Public School reforms and the New Haven Promise
  • Investigating the alignment between education, training, and employment in the energy sector in West Virginia and the Pittsburgh region
  • Evaluating the early progress of the Pittsburgh Promise post-secondary education scholarship system
  • Describing the human capital challenges facing four countries in the Middle East

Selected Publications

Lynn Karoly and Gabriella Gonzalez, "Early Care and Education for Children in Immigrant Families," Future of Children, 21(1):71-101, 2011

Gabriella C. Gonzalez, Robert Bozick, Shannah Tharp-Taylor, Andrea Phillips, Fulfilling The Pittsburgh Promise®: Early Progress of Pittsburgh's Postsecondary Scholarship Program, RAND (MG-MG-1139-TPP), 2011

Constant, L., C. Goldman, G. Zellman, C. Augustine, T. Galama, G. Gonzalez., C.A. Guarino, R. Karam, G. Ryan, H. Salem, "Promoting Quality and Variety Through the Public Financing of Privately Operated Schools in Qatar," Journal of School Choice, 4(4):450-473, 2010

Catherine H. Augustine, Gabriella Gonzalez, Gina Schuyler Ikemoto, Jennifer Russell, Gail L. Zellman, Louay Constant, Jane Armstrong, Jacob W. Dembosky, Improving School Leadership: The Promise of Cohesive Leadership Systems, RAND (MG-885-WF), 2009

Gabriella Gonzalez, Lynn A. Karoly, Louay Constant, Hanine Salem, Charles A. Goldman, Facing human capital challenges of the 21st century : education and labor market initiatives in Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates, RAND (MG-786), 2008

Santibañez, L., G. Gonzalez, P. Morrison, and S. Carroll, "Methods for Gauging the Target Populations that Community Colleges Serve," Population Research and Policy Review, 26(1):51-67, 2006

Gabriella Gonzalez, Educational Attainment of Immigrant Families: Community Context and Family Background, LFB Scholarly Publishing, 2005

Recent Media Appearances

Commentary: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


  • Detainees sleep in a holding cell at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility, June 18, 2014

    With Child Migrants Set to Become Students, Educators Must Prepare

    Between 70,000 and 90,000 unaccompanied children are expected to cross the U.S.-Mexico border by year's end. Lost in an intensifying debate over U.S. immigration policy is the possibility that this wave will spill from shelters to schools. To best respond to this reality, policymakers and educators should consider what research says about educating migrant children.

    Jul 14, 2014 The RAND Blog

  • multiple choice standardized test answer sheet

    Are High-Stakes Tests Counterproductive?

    If we want testing to exert beneficial effects on teaching and learning, we need to advocate for higher-quality tests and for evaluation and accountability systems that use multiple measures and do not rely exclusively on test scores, write Laura Hamilton and Gabriella C. Gonzalez.

    Apr 22, 2013 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette