Stephanie J. Walsh

Stephanie J. Walsh
Policy Analyst
Pittsburgh Office


M.P.P. in public policy, Duke University; MED in secondary education, University of New Hampshire; B.S. in environmental conservation, University of New Hampshire


Stephanie Walsh (she/her) is a senior policy analyst at RAND with expertise in program review, stakeholder engagement, and cost-benefit analysis. Research experience includes identifying procedural and technical solutions to improve background check procedures for federal personnel vetting; estimating the cost of quality early childhood care and education in Oklahoma; developing and implementing the American School Districts Panel; and conducting local economic impact studies with regards to the STEM and film industries in the Pittsburgh region. Prior to joining RAND, Walsh was a budget analyst for the Colorado General Assembly, where she maintained oversight of the Judicial Branch (including state courts and specialty courts, probation, parole, and guardians ad litem), the environmental agencies within the Department of Public Health and Environment, the Department of Regulatory Affairs, and the State Office of Economic Development. She analyzed proposed legislation for fiscal and policy impacts, gained expertise in multiple program areas, and assessed budget proposals based on regulatory requirements, best practices, and benchmarking research. She regularly presented before the legislature, the press, and the public, and was ultimately responsible for making annual funding recommendations totaling over $400 million to state legislators. Later, as a public policy consultant, developed strategies to improve business and community outcomes for public sector clients by conducting situational assessments, extensive internal reviews, and best practices research.  She used her findings to create detailed, practical reports for non-technical audiences that included recommendations, implementation plans, tools, and data visualizations.

Research Focus

Previous Positions

Senior Policy Analyst; Public Works, LLC; 2009-2018; Pittsburgh, PA; Principal Legislative Analyst; Colorado General Assembly, Joint Budget Committee; 2001-2008; Denver, CO; Environmental Analyst; EC/R Incorporated; 2000-2001; Chapel Hill, NC; 7th Grade Science Teacher; Durham School of the Arts; 1996-1998; Durham, NC; 7th Grade Science Teacher; Sanborn Regional Middle School; 1995-1996; Sanborn, NH

Recent Projects

  • The Science- and Technology-Focused Workforce Ecosystem: An Analysis of the Pittsburgh Region
  • American School District Panel: A Longitudinal Survey of School District Superintendents
  • The Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency's Mission to Secure Criminal History Records Information: Identifying Challenges and Strategies for Improvement
  • FEMA's Environmental and Historic Preservation Grant Review Process
  • Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Trusted Workforce Initiatives

Selected Publications

Zaber, Melanie A., Linnea Warren May, Tobias Sytsma, Brian Phillips, Stephanie J. Walsh, Rosemary Li, Elizabeth D. Steiner, Jeffrey B. Wenger, Éder M. Sousa, and Jessica Arana, Assessing Pittsburgh's Science- and Technology-Focused Workforce Ecosystem, RAND Corporation (RR-A1882-1), 2023

Grant, David, Stephanie J. Walsh, Claude Messan Setodji, Heather L. Schwartz, Melissa Kay Diliberti, and Lisa Wagner, RAND American School District Panel: Creation and Technical Description, RAND Corporation (RR-A956-10), 2022

Ligor, Douglas C., Shawn D. Bushway, Maria McCollester, Richard H. Donohue, Devon Hill, Marylou Gilbert, Heather Gomez-Bendaña, Daniel Kim, Annie Brothers, Melissa Bauman, Barbara Bicksler, Rick Penn-Kraus, and Stephanie J. Walsh, Criminal History Record Information Sharing with the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency: Education and Training Materials for State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Partners, RAND Corporation (RR-A846-1), 2022

Karoly, Lynn A., Stephanie J. Walsh, Estimating the Cost of Quality Early Childhood Care and Education in Oklahoma, RAND Corporation (RR-A280-1), 2020