We've launched a new site so please go to People & Research for current information on our faculty and staff.

Jenni W. Owen, Lecturer in Public Policy; Director of Policy Initiatives, Center for Child and Family Policy  

Office Location: 232 Rubenstein Hall
Office Phone: (919) 613-9271
Duke Box: 90545
Email Address: jwowen@duke.edu

Areas of Expertise

  • Crime and Criminal Justice
  • Social Policy, Economic Inequality and Poverty

M.P.A., Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government

Research Description:

Jenni Owen’s work focuses on the intersection between research and policy. She develops and implements strategies to increase and enhance interaction between the two. Her interests include identifying ways to institutionalize valuable interaction between researchers and policymakers for positive impact on disadvantaged and vulnerable children and families. Owen works with legislators, legislative staff, executive branch policy experts and representatives of Duke and other universities to use research to inform policy. One such effort includes the North Carolina Family Impact Seminar, which Owen directs.

Owen serves as the part-time director of the University-Based Child and Family Policy Consortium and is the co-director of the Duke School Research Partnership Office. She teaches the course, Making Social Policy.

Owen was the principal investigator of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation’s five-year Professional Development Initiative to enhance North Carolina's system of professional development for teachers. Her current work includes a focus on school suspension and a foundation-funded project to assist the funder's grantees with capacity building. Owen has served as a consultant to universities, foundations and non-profit organizations. She directs DukeEngage Durban and is a 2007 Eisenhower Fellow to South Africa where she focused on poverty alleviation strategies.

Prior to joining the Center, Owen was a senior policy advisor to Governor James B. Hunt Jr. and the planning director for the Hunt Institute for Educational Leadership and Policy. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Harvard University.

Teaching (Fall 2015):

  • Pubpol 563s.01, Making social policy Synopsis
    Rubenstein 149, TuTh 11:45 AM-01:00 PM

Representative Publications   (More Publications)

  1. Hughes, M., & Owen, J.. "What does "evidence-based" mean for you?." Common Ground (A publication of the N.C. Center for Nonprofits) XVIII.3 (Summer, 2009).
  2. Owen, J.W.; Wettach, J. & Hoffman, K.C.. "Instead of Suspension: Alternative Strategies for Effective School Discipline."  Duke Center for Child and Family Policy and Duke Law School, February, 2015 [pdf]  [abs]
  3. "Evidence-based Policy: Strategies for improviing outcomes and accountability." (2009). [pdf]
  4. "Dropout Prevention: Strategies for improving high school graduation rates." (2008). [pdf]
  5. "Juvenile or Adult? Adolescent Offenders and the Line Between the Juvenile and Criminal Justice Systems." (2007). [pdf]
  6. "Children's Mental Health: Strategies for establishing high quality and cost-effective care." (2006). [pdf]
  7. "Medicaid Cost Containment Strategies in North Carolina and Other States." (2005). [pdf]

Jenni W. Owen