Louisa Tarullo

Louisa Tarullo

Area Leader
Areas of Expertise
  • Education evaluations
  • Large, complex, multisite evaluations
  • Early Childhood
  • Child Development
  • Quality Measurement
  • Systematic Evidence Reviews
  • Early Childhood Systems
About Louisa

Louisa Tarullo has more than 25 years of experience in early childhood research, focusing on children at risk. An expert in programs and policies to support optimal development and learning in children from birth through the early school years, she serves as Mathematica’s area leader for early care and education policy.

Currently, Tarullo leads an initiative to develop and test professional development tools for infant-toddler caregivers, based on a new measure of caregiver-child interaction. As principal investigator for the multi-cohort Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES), Tarullo brings in-depth knowledge of what factors in home, school, and neighborhood environments contribute to children’s healthy cognitive and social-emotional development. She also directs a project carrying out specialized secondary analyses and providing technical assistance on federally funded early childhood data sets.

Tarullo previously directed a design project exploring the relationships between child outcomes and quality in early care settings, as well as a project that produced a toolkit of materials to support programs in the use of developmentally appropriate assessment practices. She has had key roles on an impact analysis of preschool curricula, studies of Early Head Start programs, and a synthesis of evidence-based practices in Head Start.

Tarullo joined Mathematica in 2004 after 15 years as a researcher at the National Institutes of Health and the Administration for Children and Families. An active member of the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD), she was selected as a member of its Policy and Communications Committee, with oversight for its policy fellowship program. She has published in SRCD Monographs, Developmental Psychology, Early Education and Development, the Handbook of Clinical Child Psychology, and the Blackwell Handbook of Early Childhood Development. She holds an Ed.D. in human development and psychology from Harvard University.

Key Projects
  • Head Start: The Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES)

    Mathematica conducted five-year studies of the 2006 and 2009 FACES cohorts, and, for the most recent study (2014-2018), redesigned FACES to provide key data more rapidly and with greater frequency and to help researchers examine more complex issues and topics in greater detail and efficiency.