Iheoma U. Iruka, Ph.D

Iheoma U. Iruka, PhD

Research Professor, Department of Public Policy; Fellow, FPG Child Development Institute; Director, Early Childhood Health and Racial Equity Program at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Iheoma U. Iruka, Ph.D., is a Research Professor in the Department of Public Policy and Fellow at FPG Child Development Institute at UNC-CH after her 3-plus years as Chief Research Innovation Officer and Director of The Center for Early Education Research and Evaluation at HighScope Educational Research Foundation. Dr. Iruka is engaged in projects and initiatives focused on how evidence-informed policies, systems, and practices in early education can support the optimal development and experiences of children from low-income and ethnic minority households, such as through family engagement and support, quality rating and improvement systems, and early care and education systems and programs. She has been engaged in addressing how best to ensure excellence for young diverse learners, especially Black children, such as through development of a classroom observation measure, examination of non-traditional pedagogical approaches, public policies, and publications geared towards early education practitioners and policymakers. Dr. Iruka has served or serves on numerous national boards and committees, including the Brady Education Foundation and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine committees on Supporting Parents of Young Children, and Applying Neurobiological and Socio-behavioral Sciences from Prenatal through Early Childhood Development: A Health Equity Approach. Dr. Iruka has a B.A. in psychology from Temple University, M.A. in psychology from Boston University, and Ph.D. in applied developmental psychology from the University of Miami, Florida.

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