Carol Emig


Education & certification

M.P.P., John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Carol Emig

President, Bethesda, MD

Carol Emig, Child Trends’ president since 2006, has spent her career at the intersection of public policy, programs, and research related to children and youth. Carol’s focus is on impact, ensuring that research and evidence are central to public policy and programmatic decisions. Her work at the national and state levels over four decades has strengthened policies related to child poverty, early childhood development, child welfare, and education. 

Child Trends is the nation’s largest research center focused exclusively on improving the lives and prospects of children and youth. The organization’s research portfolio spans every stage of child and youth development, from early childhood to the transition to adulthood, and includes all the major public systems that serve children and families. Under Carol’s leadership, Child Trends added robust research areas in child welfare, poverty, and trauma; launched the Child Trends Hispanic Institute, now the nation’s leading research center on Latino children; expanded its capacity to support policymakers with data and research; grew its communications functions; and redoubled the organization’s commitment to promoting equity. Child Trends has also quadrupled its number of staff, from 50 to more than 200. 

From 2002 to 2006, Carol was executive director of the Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care, a blue-ribbon panel of child welfare experts. Many of the Commission’s recommendations were enacted by Congress or adopted by state agencies and state Supreme Courts. Her other professional experiences include deputy director of the National Commission on Children, a bipartisan Congressional-Presidential panel; senior associate at the Center for the Study of Social Policy; director of a state children’s advocacy organization; and, early in her career, research assistant to First Lady Rosalynn Carter.  

Carol chairs the Board of Directors of Raising a Reader and serves on the Board of the Children’s Chorus of Washington. She is also an advisor to the Board of Directors of Venture Philanthropy Partners. In the past, Carol has served on the boards of the Stoneleigh Foundation and Reach Out and Read. 

Carol has an undergraduate degree in international relations from Georgetown University and a Master’s degree in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.