Sarah Ryan, research scientist, studies how policy and practice can more effectively support historically underserved youth, particularly during young adulthood. She is especially recognized for her expertise in postsecondary access and trajectories and in supporting multilingual learners. She also leads research to develop measures that reliably capture youth experiences, for example with competency-based education and social capital.

Ryan oversees all research for REL Northeast & Islands at EDC, including a portfolio of multi-year studies, ranging from district- and state-level descriptive analyses to statewide randomized control trials. In this role, she blends expertise in advanced research methods with a long-standing commitment to authentic researcher-practitioner collaboration. As a former educator, she is especially interested in identifying improved strategies for connecting research to practice.  

Ryan is certified under the current What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) Group Design Standards. She regularly serves as a WWC reviewer, evaluating the extent to which studies provide robust evidence of effectiveness.

Ryan holds a BA in Education and Spanish, an MS in Curriculum and Instruction, and a PhD in Education Policy.