Rita Karam is a policy researcher at the RAND Corporation and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Her research focuses on educational policies, organizations, equity, and program improvement. Since 2002, Karam has investigated educational decentralization policies, school monitoring, and accountability systems in the U.S., Qatar, and Indonesia where she has examined the implementation of such policies and their effects on school restructuring and student learning. Currently, Karam is co-leading two educational projects that measure the performance of a technology-based STEM program and a technology-based professional development program for science teachers.
In addition to her work in education, Karam examines the effects of social, economic, and political policies on youth's socio-emotional well-being and engagement in risky behaviors. She has received an award to study the effectiveness of the Cash Transfer Program designed to improve the health and education of youth in the Middle East. Karam earned her masters in sociology from California State University and her Ph.D. in education from the University of California, Riverside.