Founder and Principal
Dr. Irvine has more than 25 years of experience in education and social policy. Raised in Santa Cruz County, CA, Dr. Irvine earned her BA from UC Berkeley in 1988, her secondary teaching credential from St. Mary’s College of California in 1989, and her PhD in sociology from Northwestern University in 2002 while simultaneously serving as a National Science Fellow (NSF) in public policy and program evaluation. Dr. Irvine spent eight years running Ceres Policy Research from 2002 through 2010, four years as research director at the National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD), and two years as a Vice President at Impact Justice. She has studied housing, education, health, and criminal justice policy. She has served as the principal investigator of a national study of youth deincarceration; a national study of lesbian, gay, bisexual, questioning, gender nonconforming and transgender (LGBQ/GNCT) young people in the youth justice system; a project to improve permanency for LGBT youth and youth of color within the criminal justice and youth justice systems; a survey of every detention hall, ranch, and camp in California to understand statewide pathways into the youth justice system for LGBT young people; and a National Institute of Justice researcher-practitioner partnership grant in Santa Cruz County to determine whether structured decision-making instruments used by adult probation departments can lead to more equitable probation outcomes for Latinos and women. While at the National Council on Crime and Delinquency and Impact Justice, Dr. Irvine raised over $3 million for research and public policy projects. In 2017, she returned to Ceres to leverage her experience at national policy research companies to support the expanded influence of grass-roots organizations.