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Officers and Directors

Jon Baron

President | CEO | Chairman

Jon is a government reformer who has played a pivotal role in advancing evidence-based policymaking throughout government for over 20 years. He recently relaunched the Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy – the nonpartisan organization he founded and led from 2001-2015 – and serves as the Coalition’s President, CEO, and Chairman.


From 2015-2021, Jon served as Vice President of Evidence-Based Policy at the Laura and John Arnold Foundation (now Arnold Ventures), where he designed and led a major research funding portfolio that has successfully grown the body of proven-effective social programs. He left Arnold Ventures in 2021 and was a candidate for Maryland governor in the 2022 election.


Jon was twice nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate to serve on the National
Board for Education Sciences (2004-2011), and was the Board’s chairman during the last year of his term. He has also served on the National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on Capitalizing on Science, Technology, and Innovation; and is an Honorary Fellow of the Academy of Experimental Criminology, and a
recipient of the Society for Prevention Research’s Public Service Award.


Jon's work has been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, and many other news outlets and academic publications. He has been described – 

  • In the New York Times as “a national leader in this movement” to increase government effectiveness through evidence about what works. 

  • In the Huffington Post as “the most effective advocate for the use of evidence in policy making outside government. His Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy has been a major force behind the evidence movement in all issue areas ….”

  • In Education Week as head of a nonprofit organization that was “a major mover in the Obama administration's push to use more experimental evidence in policy.”

 

Jon has a law degree from Yale, a master’s degree from Princeton, and a bachelor’s degree from Rice.

David Yokum

Director | Treasurer

David is Director of The Policy Lab at Brown University, where he leads a wide portfolio of work leveraging scientific methods to improve public policy and operations. He is also North Carolina's Chief Scientist within the Office of State Budget and Management. David provides expert support for the Coalition’s work to advance evidence-based policymaking in state and local government, and its reviews and dissemination of research findings.

 

David was previously the founding director of The Lab @ DC in the D.C. Mayor’s Office and, before that, a founding member of the White House’s Social & Behavioral Sciences Team and director of its scientific delivery unit housed at the U.S. General Services Administration. President Obama institutionalized the latter work in Executive Order 13707, “Using Behavioral Science Insights to Better Serve the American People.” All three ventures were exemplars of building internal-to-government scientific capacity and partnerships with universities, which have since inspired replications across the world.

 

David’s work – from the world’s largest field experiment of a police body-worn camera program, to building algorithms that predict the location of rats, to a Form-a-Palooza initiative systematically re-designing all government forms – has been published in diverse outlets (e.g. Nature Human Behavior, PNAS, Health Affairs, Governing Magazine), received widespread media coverage (New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, etc.), and impacted individuals and communities across the country. Upwards of 100 field experiments have now been completed under The Policy Lab, The Lab @ DC, and the Office of Evaluation Sciences.


David earned a J.D. and Ph.D. (psychology: cognition and neural systems) from the University of
Arizona, a Master’s degree in Bioethics &
 Medical Humanities from the University of South Florida,
and a B.S. in Biology from Birmingham-Southern College.

Howard Rolston

Director | Secretary

Howard is an independent consultant with over 40 years of experience in the design and implementation of social policy experiments. Previously he was a Principal Associate at Abt Associates where he served as Principal Investigator on several large-scale randomized trials. Prior to joining Abt, Howard had a 28-year career at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where he served as the Director of Planning, Research and Evaluation in the Administration for Children and Families. Reflecting that experience, he co-authored Fighting for Reliable Evidence with Judith Gueron, a book on welfare-to-work experiments.

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