Dionne Barnes-Proby

Photo of Dionne Barnes-Proby
Social Policy Researcher; Faculty, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Santa Monica Office


D.P.A. in public administration - collaborative governance, University of La Verne; M.S.W. in policy, planning, and administration, Loma Linda University; B.A. in psychology and black studies, Pitzer College


Dionne Barnes-Proby is a social policy researcher at RAND and Pardee RAND Graduate School faculty member. She was a child welfare social worker for several years.

Her experience includes direct clinical practice with at-risk youth and families, as well as research on policy issues that impact a wide range of vulnerable populations. She managed a national evaluation of programs for children and women exposed to violence and led a case study of a job training and placement program for individuals on probation in California. In addition, her dissertation explored the relationship between the performance of an interorganizational network and foster youth outcomes.

Barnes-Proby has extensive experience providing technical assistance and designing and conducting implementation evaluations of juvenile justice, employment, correctional education, mental health, foster care, welfare reform, and substance use programs. Projects include two statewide evaluations of the California’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families programs (CalWORKs), an evaluation of a New York-based initiative to improve access to mental health services for low income residents, an evaluation of correctional education programs, an implementation and evaluation of Cognitive Behavioral Interventions for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) for youth in foster care, an assessment of juvenile justice programs in Los Angeles County, and an assessment of young homeless women transitioning into adulthood.

Barnes-Proby has expertise in qualitative methods including conducting case studies; developing and assessing process measures; creating data collection instruments and protocols; conducting in-depth field and phone interviews; facilitating focus groups; coding, analyzing, and synthesizing data; and managing field operations.

Recent Projects

  • National Evaluation of Safe Start Promising Approaches
  • Addressing Inequalities Faced by Workers with Criminal Records
  • CBITS for Youth in Foster Care
  • Evaluation and Research Services Relating to the Connections to Care Initiative
  • Evaluation of SB 1041 Reforms to California's CalWORKs Program

Honors & Awards

  • Alumni Impact Fund Awardee, RAND
  • Bronze Medal Award, RAND
  • Impact Award, RAND


  • Dionne Barnes-Proby in Tongva Park in Santa Monica, California, photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND Corporation

    A Champion for Children and Practitioners: Q&A with Dionne Barnes-Proby

    Dionne Barnes-Proby started her career as a child welfare social worker and is now a social policy researcher at RAND. She brings the voices of clients and practitioners to the conversation, so that policies will reflect an understanding of the needs of the populations they're intended to improve.

    Apr 29, 2019