Kate Kennedy

Kate Kennedy
Associate Policy Researcher; Professor of Policy Analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School


Ph.D. in urban education policy, University of Southern California; Ed.M. in education leadership, Teachers College, Columbia University; M.A. in elementary education, Loyola Marymount University; B.A. in women's studies, The Ohio State University


Kate Kennedy (she/her/hers) is an associate policy researcher at RAND and a professor of policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Kennedy is a K–12 education policy and leadership scholar, with expertise in organizational behavior, social-emotional well-being, school districts, and instruction and assessment. Kennedy uses qualitative methods to examine pressing education issues related to equity, politics, and change. Most recently, Kennedy was a researcher at the University of Southern California in Urban Education Policy. Prior to that, she was a middle school teacher in the Los Angeles Unified and Worthington City School Districts.

Selected Publications

Kennedy, K., "Centering Equity and Caring in Leadership for Social-Emotional Learning: Toward a Conceptual Framework for Diverse Learners," Journal of School Leadership, 29(6), 2019

Kennedy, K. & Walls, J., "How district leaders create caring organizations," Phi Delta Kappan, 103(5), 2022

Bridgeforth, J., Kennedy, K., Alonso, J., Enoch-Stevens, T., "Conceptions of Choice, Equity, & Rurality in Educational Research," The Rural Educator, 42(2), 2021

Marsh, J. & Kennedy, K., "Possibilities and Challenges: Conditions Shaping Educators’ Use of Social–Emotional Learning Indicators," Teachers College Record, 122(14), 2020