Gabriel Piña

Research Scientist II

Gabriel Piña headshot

Research Focus

Education & certification

PhD, Indiana University

Gabriel Piña

Research Scientist II, Bethesda, MD

Gabriel Piña is a research scientist II in the youth development and early childhood research areas at Child Trends, where he applies his expertise to the evaluation of policies and programs in the housing, child development, youth economic mobility, and child welfare fields.

Dr. Piña is the principal investigator on a project that examines the effects of emergency rental assistance programs on child food security among Black and Latino families, and on a project that provides affordable housing to families involved in the child welfare system. He has also led the design and analysis of a randomized control trial evaluation in an informal STEM education project, analyzing whether state policies—such as Child Tax Credits and minimum wage laws—can prevent child maltreatment for infants and toddlers; explored how young adults from disadvantaged backgrounds achieve employment and economic stability; and led the development of the Social Genome Model, a microsimulation model to forecast the potential impacts of interventions for children and youth. Gabriel has received funding for his work from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Institute for Education Sciences.

Gabriel has extensive experience in quantitative analysis, particularly econometrics; quasi-experimental methods; impact evaluation; cost-benefit analysis; and mixed methods. At Child Trends, he has led design and analysis on four randomized control trials and several quasi-experimental evaluations. He is also currently leading a cost analysis for the development of a program designed to provide high-quality child care for infants and toddlers.

Gabriel has been published in journals such as Housing Policy Debate; Psychology, Public Policy, and Law; Child Indicators Research; and the Journal of Children and Media. He holds a PhD in Public Affairs from Indiana University and a Master of Public Policy from the University of Minnesota.