Karen Christianson

Karen Christianson
Policy Analyst
Off Site Office


B.A. in philosophy and economics, Carleton College; M.S. in public policy and management, Carnegie Mellon University


Karen Christianson (she/her) is a policy analyst at the RAND Corporation. Her research interests include the design, implementation, and evaluation of educational programs and policies. She is particularly interested in efforts to eliminate racial and socioeconomic opportunity gaps in education. Christianson has expertise in managing projects, qualitative data collection and analysis, and clearly reporting project findings to help policymakers make informed decisions.

Prior to joining RAND, Christianson taught algebra for five years and ran the math department at a Title I school in Houston, Texas. Christianson received her B.A. in economics and philosophy from Carleton College and her M.S. in public policy and management from the Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University. 

Recent Projects

  • NSI Summative Evaluation: Networks and Intermediaries
  • Partnerships for Social and Emotional Learning Initiative
  • Louisiana STEM Micro-Credential Project
  • Libraries for Health

Selected Publications

Christianson, Karen, Celia J. Gomez, Catherine H. Augustine, and Heather L. Schwartz, Learning to Focus on Adult Social and Emotional Learning First in Tulsa: One of Six Case Studies of Schools and Out-of-School-Time Program Partners (Volume 2, Part 7), RAND Corporation (RR-A379-10), 2022

Huguet, Alice, Christopher Joseph Doss, Benjamin K. Master, Fatih Unlu, Jessica L. Sousa, Karen Christianson, and Garrett Baker, Widening the Pathway: Implementation and Impacts of Alternative Teacher Preparation Programs Across Three Contexts, RAND Corporation (RR-A281-1), 2021

Posard, Marek N., Gabriella C. Gonzalez, Luke J. Matthews, Karen Christianson, Jamie Ryan, Shirley M. Ross, and Irineo Cabreros, Evaluation of the Military Spouse Employment Partnership Program: Report on the Second Stage of Analysis, RAND Corporation (RR-A531-1), 2021

Augustine, Catherine H., John Engberg, Geoffrey E. Grimm, Emma Lee, Elaine Lin Wang, Karen Christianson, and Andrea A. Joseph, Can Restorative Practices Improve School Climate and Curb Suspensions? An Evaluation of the Impact of Restorative Practices in a Mid-Sized Urban School District, RAND Corporation (RR-2840-DOJ), 2018

Honors & Awards

  • Spotlight Award, 2021, RAND Corporation
  • Spotlight Award, 2020, RAND Corporation