Anita Ravishankar ABD

Anita is a volunteer with The Lab @ DC. She formerly served as research scientist on the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) team. In this capacity, she managed several research initiatives for MPD, including the evaluation of a new training program that equips officers with knowledge of the historical and cultural context of policing in DC. Anita also oversaw The Lab’s first project: a body-worn camera (BWC) randomized controlled trial (RCT), one of the largest of its kind in the country. Anita led data collection efforts and supported the design, implementation, and public rollout of the BWC RCT.

Anita has a background in policy-relevant research and program evaluation. While at CNA’s Institute for Public Research, she served as a primary evaluator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Exercise Program, a contract team lead for multiple strategic requirements planning efforts for the Department of Homeland Security, and a researcher on regional catastrophic planning efforts. Over the course of these assignments, Anita worked on efforts requiring coordination across multiple federal departments and agencies and at multiple levels of government.

Anita holds her Ph.D in political science and public policy at the University of Michigan. Her research addresses political trust and state legitimacy, public safety and policing, and civilian attitudinal and behavioral responses to state violence. Her work takes a multi-method approach, combining analyses of administrative data with survey experiments. She also holds a B.S. in Foreign Service in Science, Technology, and International Security from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.

Born and raised in the DC area, Anita now lives in Ward 6 with her husband, Clarence, and son, Dhilan. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, traveling, and testing out new recipes on willing family and friends.

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