Barbara Devaney

Barbara Devaney

Senior Fellow
Areas of Expertise
  • Maternal and child health
  • Nutrition
  • Risk-reduction programs for youth
  • Family Support
  • Nutrition
  • Food Security and Hunger
  • Food Purchases, Intakes, and Dietary Quality
  • Nutrition and Food Assistance Programs
  • Strengthening and Disseminating Research
  • Youth Development
About Barbara

Barbara Devaney is a nationally recognized expert in maternal and child health, nutrition, and risk-reduction programs for youth, she has played a leading role in many of Mathematica’s studies of family formation, children’s nutrition, and public health programs.

Devaney co-directed Mathematica’s Building Strong Families study and served as principal investigator for the firm’s evaluation of abstinence education programs, which received the 2009 Outstanding Evaluation Award from the American Evaluation Association. She also oversaw Mathematica’s 2002 Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study, which provided detailed information on the food and nutrient intakes of U.S. infants and toddlers. Other evaluations in which she has played a key role have focused on the school lunch and breakfast programs; the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); and the Food Stamp Program.

A long-term employee of the firm, she was previously an assistant professor at Duke University and the Johns Hopkins University. Devaney has served on scientific committees convened by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, and on the policy council of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management. She has published widely in peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Journal of the American Dietetic Association, and the American Journal of Public Health. She also presents findings at conferences of researchers, policymakers, and practitioners. She has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan.

Key Projects
  • College students sitting on steps
    Evaluation of Abstinence Education Programs

    Mathematica was commissioned to conduct a congressionally mandated evaluation of the effectiveness of abstinence education programs. Programs receiving these funds taught abstinence from sexual activity outside of marriage as the expected standard for school-age children and could not endorse or promote...

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