Clemencia Cosentino

Clemencia Cosentino

Senior Fellow and Director of STEM Research
Areas of Expertise
  • Mixed-methods and quasi-experimental evaluations
  • Monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) frameworks
  • Access to STEM education for women, minorities, and other underrepresented or disadvantaged groups
  • Secondary and Higher Education
  • Education in developing countries
  • Education
  • STEM
  • International Research
  • Human Services
About Clemencia

Clemencia Cosentino’s research focuses on education practice and policy to increase access to educational opportunity. She has extensively studied the underrepresentation and advancement of U.S. minorities and women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education as well as in the workforce. Her work has also focused on efforts to improve access to and outcomes in secondary and higher education for youth in developing countries.

Prior to joining Mathematica in 2010, Cosentino was the director of the Program for Evaluation and Equity Research of the Urban Institute where she conducted extensive research on STEM programs, which she continues today. She has worked on high-profile studies, such as the quasi-experimental evaluations of the Congressionally mandated National Science Foundation (NSF) Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation Program (LSAMP), the LSAMP Bridge to the Doctorate (BD) and, at present, the NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program. She has also led the design of program evaluations (the NSF Gender in Science and Engineering Program) and portfolio evaluations (of higher education projects supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration), as well as the impact, mixed-methods evaluation of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation summer math and science enrichment program for disadvantaged and minority college students interested in attending medical or dental school.

In addition to her work in the U.S., Cosentino developed a similar portfolio of work to improve educational outcomes for disadvantaged youth in developing countries. She led the design of the monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) frame work for the Partnership to Strengthen Innovation and Practice in Secondary Education, a collaborative of private foundations that supports innovative approaches to addressing complex problems affecting access to and quality of secondary education in developing countries, especially in Africa and Asia. She is also the principal investigator of MEL efforts for The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program, an initiative designed to develop the next generation of transformative leaders by supporting more than 15,000 academically promising but economically disadvantaged students from sub-Saharan Africa and other parts of the developing world. Currently, she is also collaborating on a policy study of issues and potential solutions to low educational attainment and skills acquisition among youth across Latin American nations.

She has been invited by public and private foundations, international organizations, professional societies, and universities to give lectures and keynote speeches on evaluation and MEL design, findings, uses, and policy implications. These include the National Science Foundation, the National Academies, the Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering, UNICEF, the Lumina Foundation for Education, the American Society for Engineering Education, Harvard University, Fermilab, and others.

Cosentino has a Ph.D. in sociology (with concentrations in education and international development) from Princeton University. 

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