Laura Hawkinson was a visiting fellow at New York University through the Institute of Education Sciences Pre-Doctoral Fellowshop, and she is a Ph.D. candidate in the Education Policy program at the University of Pennsylvania. As a visiting fellow, Ms. Hawkinson is working with Dr. Pamela Morris on a new research institute at MDRC that will test the most promising early childhood education interventions in New York City preschools. Ms. Hawkinson’s research interests are focused on the effectiveness of early childhood education programs and policies, particularly for disadvantaged children. Her dissertation research investigates the effects of child care subsidies on child development. Previously, Ms. Hawkinson conducted research on state-funded pre-kindergarten programs at the National Institute for Early Education Research, and worked on several Head Start studies as an analyst at Mathematica Policy Research. She has also taught in an early education program for homeless children, and worked as a long-term volunteer in a Head Start classroom. She holds an M.P.A. from Columbia University with specialization in social policy.