Dr. Andrew Epstein is Senior Education and Evaluation Technical Specialist for Social Impact. He specializes in qualitative research on education and youth in conflict and crisis affected communities. He is currently leading evaluations in Ghana, Malawi, and the West Bank. He is also Director of the Middle East Education, Research, Training, and Support (MEERS) project. MEERs is a four-year initiative to provide the Middle East Bureau at USAID with ongoing data collection on education indicators and needs relating to the crises in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, as well as on-demand research, data analysis, and training for USAID Missions across the MENA region.
Over the last 12 years, he has evaluated projects for USAID, USDA, DFID, AusAid, UNICEF, Save the Children, CARE International, and the Open Society Foundation. He has worked in Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, West Bank/Palestine, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Vanuatu.
Dr. Epstein has throughout his career been drawn to some of the most marginalized communities in the US and around the world, driven to find new ways of teaching and learning for those whom the traditional school mold poorly serves. He worked with high school-age factory workers in rural, upstate New York, inner-city gang members in southwest Seattle, homeless youth and meth addicts in rural Iowa, and refugee children in Kenya and South Sudan.
Since beginning his career in international monitoring and evaluation, Dr. Epstein has lead studies of reading culture in Pakistan, gender equity in education in Somalia and South Sudan, technical and vocational education and training in post-typhoon Vanuatu, school-based health and hygiene services in Sudan, education reform in Darfur, child rights advocacy in Tanzania, early grade reading in Kenya, teacher professional development and placement in Ethiopia, and agricultural training and production in Bangladesh and South Sudan.
Dr. Epstein has an MEd from the University of Washington in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in International and Comparative Education and Cultural Anthropology. Prior to his international evaluation work, Dr. Epstein worked in public education in the US for 15 years as a high school English teacher and principal in upstate New York, Seattle, and rural Iowa.
Dr. Epstein has numerous academic and creative writing publications, is a regular presenter at the annual conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, and is a professional musician. Most of his time, however, is spent raising two teenagers.