Rebecca Johnson MA

Rebecca Johnson is visiting as a Data Scientist at The Lab @ DC, working on projects at the intersection of education, housing, and health. She is also finishing her PhD in Sociology, Social Policy, and Demography at Princeton University, where she is a Graduate Prize Fellow with the Center for Human Values. She is starting as an Assistant Professor in Quantitative Social Science at Dartmouth College in fall 2020.

Rebecca’s research studies how social service bureaucracies prioritize amidst limited resources. Her dissertation research examines prioritization in school districts. It shows how districts facing budget pressure use discretion to decide that fewer students fall into prioritized categories and uses computational text analysis of legal cases to show how parents reduce this discretion. Her newer research studies and aids government agencies in using large-scale data and predictive modeling for more equitable prioritization. As a 2018 Summer Fellow with Data Science for Social Good, she and team members collaborated with the NYC Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit to develop a predictive model to prioritize outreach to rental tenants at risk of landlord harassment.

Before arriving at Princeton, Rebecca received a B.A. in psychology and M.A. focused on political theory from Stanford, and spent two years as a pre-doctoral fellow at the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Department of Bioethics.

Rebecca lives in Montgomery County and in her spare time, enjoys running, reading about ethics, and searching for strong espresso (not necessarily in that order).

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