Cynthia Osborne, Ph.D.

Cynthia Osborne


Cynthia Osborne is the Founder and Director of the Child and Family Research Partnership (CFRP) and leads its national Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center, home of the Prenatal-to-3 State Policy Roadmap (2020) for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. She joined the faculty of LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin in 2005 and has served as the associate dean for academic strategies for the last 3-1/2 years. In January 2022, Osborne will be joining the faculty of the Peabody College of Education and Human Development at Vanderbilt University. The Policy Impact Center will be moving with her, transitioning over the spring of 2022. (Click here to see the announcement.) 

Osborne was an appointed member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) Committee to Reduce Child Poverty by Half in Ten Years and is currently serving on another NASEM committee, Exploring the Opportunity Gap for Young Children Birth through Age 8. She is the elected Vice President of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) Policy Council, the leadership team responsible for setting policy and strategy for the association. She also leads The University of Texas at Austin’s institutional membership of SRCD’s University-Based Child Family Policy Consortium. Osborne previously served as director of the Project on Education Effectiveness and Quality, an initiative at the LBJ School of Public Affairs that measured state educator preparation programs’ influence on student achievement. She also served as the Chair of the Responsible Fatherhood working group for the Fatherhood Research and Practice Network (FRPN), a long-term project of the federal Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation.

Osborne's teaching and research interests are in the areas of social policy, poverty and inequality, family and child wellbeing, and family demography. She has extensive experience leading long-term evaluations of state and national programs, with the aim of helping organizations understand what works, and how to ensure sustainable implementation of effective policies. Her work includes evaluations of one of the largest home visiting programs in the country (Texas) and many critical state-level child welfare and child support programs.

Osborne holds a Ph.D. in Demography and Public Affairs from Princeton University, a Master in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and a Master of Arts in Education from Claremont Graduate University. Previously, Dr. Osborne taught middle school in a low-income community in California. 

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Mailing address:

P.O. Box Y
Austin, Texas 78713