Susan Bush-Mecenas

Photo of Susan Bush-Mecenas
Associate Policy Researcher
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in urban education policy, University of Southern California; MA in policy, organization, & leadership studies, Stanford University; BM in music education w/ ca teaching credential, University of Southern California


Susan Bush-Mecenas is an associate policy researcher at the RAND Corporation. Her research examines the enactment and implementation of PreK–12 education policy in urban school systems using rigorous, innovative qualitative methods. She has studied a wide variety of education policy topics, including continuous improvement, equity-focused reforms, teacher evaluation, instructional coherence, administrator coaching, and district portfolio management, often drawing upon perspectives from organizational theory, sociology, and political science to understand these phenomena. Bush-Mecenas holds a Ph.D. in Urban Education Policy from the University of Southern California and an MA in Policy, Organization, and Leadership Studies from Stanford University.  Prior to joining RAND, she was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Northwestern University School of Education and Social Policy. Over the past decade, she has worked on high-profile, mixed-methods evaluations funded by federal Investing in Innovation (i3) and Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) grants, as well as robust qualitative studies funded by the Heising-Simons, Stuart, Bechtel, and Arnold foundations. Her research has appeared in journals including Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Educational Administration Quarterly, Education Finance and Policy, and Educational Policy.