Jill S. Cannon

Senior Policy Researcher; Faculty Member, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in public administration, University of Southern California; M.P.P. in public policy, University of California, Los Angeles; B.A. in political science, University of California, Los Angeles


Jill Cannon is a senior policy researcher at the RAND Corporation and a faculty member at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Her work focuses on examining the relationship between early childhood programs and policies and child outcomes. She was previously a policy fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, and prior to that she served as the associate director of child policy at RAND, as well as associate director of the Promising Practices Network on Children, Families, and Communities.

Cannon has led multiple studies, and her research includes studies of early care and education quality rating and improvement systems, home visiting programs, pre-kindergarten experiences of children of immigrants, early grade retention, school entry age policy, and the effectiveness of full-day kindergarten. She also has coauthored publications on cost and outcome analysis of early childhood interventions.

Her current and recent projects include a synthesis of early childhood intervention research and estimates of economic returns; a randomized field trial to evaluate the effectiveness of a home visiting program for new parents in New Mexico; and evaluations of California's Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Quality Rating and Improvement System and a PreK-3 initiative in San Mateo County, California.

Cannon received her Ph.D. in public administration from the University of Southern California.

Recent Projects

  • New Mexico Home Visiting Randomized Trial Evaluation
  • Evaluation of The Big Lift PreK-3 Initiative in San Mateo County, CA
  • Early Childhood Investments and Long-Term Health
  • Evaluation of California's Race to the Top, Early Learning Challenge Quality Rating Improvement System
  • Preparing to Run Effective Prevention (PREP)