Holly Heard, Director of Data and Analytics

Holly joined Texas 2036 after nine years at the Houston Education Research Consortium, a research-practice partnership dedicated to educational equity that is located at Rice University. She served in various roles at HERC, including Senior Research Scientist, Manager of Research and Data Operations, and Associate Director. There, Holly led the team that created a longitudinal database of administrative school district data, covering more than 600,000 students and up to 27 years of data. Holly’s team co-maintained the secure data infrastructure and co-created data governance policies for more than 20 researchers and staff. She also led and managed multiple education research projects with Houston Independent School District, including the Study on Social and Emotional Skills, an international survey sponsored by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Holly is passionate about data policy and educational equity; she has offered trainings on data infrastructure through the National Network of Education Research-Practice Partnerships, consulted several research organizations on their data systems, and served on advisory groups for Children at Risk, ESCAPE Family Resource Center, and Data Quality Campaign. Prior to HERC, she taught on the sociology faculty at Rice University and Arizona State University. Holly received her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, her M.A. from Penn State University, and her B.A. from the University of Notre Dame. She lives in Houston, and in her spare time can be found biking, crocheting, and baking with her family.

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