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Jennifer W. Owen, Lecturer, Senior of Sanford School of Public Policy and Affiliate of Center for Child and Family Policy  

Office Location: Room 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

Education:
M.A., Harvard University, 1996
A.B., Harvard University, 1989
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.

Representative Publications   (More Publications)

  1. M Hughes and J Owen. "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. JW Owen. "Evidence-based Policy: Strategies for improviing outcomes and accountability." manual (2009). [pdf]
  4. JW Owen. "Dropout Prevention: Strategies for improving high school graduation rates." manual (2008). [pdf]
  5. JW Owen. "Juvenile or Adult? Adolescent Offenders and the Line Between the Juvenile and Criminal Justice Systems." manual (2007). [pdf]
  6. JW Owen. "Children’s Mental Health: Strategies for establishing high quality and cost-effective care." manual (2006). [pdf]
  7. JW Owen. "Medicaid Cost Containment Strategies in North Carolina and Other States." manual (2005). [pdf]

Highlight:

Jenni Owen is the Director of Policy Engagement and on the faculty of the Sanford School of Public Policy where she focuses on enhancing interaction among research, policy, and practice.  

She works with government, non-profit, and university stakeholders to enhance the use of research to inform and positively affect policy and practice, particularly on issues concerning disadvantaged and vulnerable children and families. In addition to teaching and advising undergraduates and graduate students, she directs the North Carolina Family Impact Seminar, a legislative education initiative, and co-directs the Duke University School Research Partnership. From 2008-2014, she was the director of the University-Based Child and Family Policy Consortium. Jenni is the principal investigator for an Oak Foundation-funded effort focused on non-profit capacity building and a John Rex Endowment project on children’s positive mental health. From 2003-2008, she was the PI for the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation’s Professional Development Initiative. She has served as a consultant to the University of North Carolina system, the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, and the North Carolina Network of Grantmakers. In 2007 she was awarded an Eisenhower Fellowship to South Africa and in 2010 launched DukeEngage Durban (South Africa), an annual immersive service program for undergraduates.

Before coming to Duke, 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 has served on public and non-profit boards and in other civic engagement roles. She is a commissioner on the North Carolina Indigent Defense Services Commission, a member of the policy council of the Association of Public Policy and Management and was a member of the North Carolina Institute of Medicine’s Task Force on Early Childhood Obesity Prevention.

Jennifer W. Owen