Renee Ryberg

Senior Research Scientist I

Research Focus

Education & certification

BA, Johns Hopkins University, MA, University of North Carolina, PhD, University of North Carolina

Renee Ryberg

Senior Research Scientist I, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Renee Ryberg, PhD, is a senior research scientist in the education research area at Child Trends. Trained as a sociologist and demographer, Dr. Ryberg’s work aims to create equitable environments to help children and youth thrive throughout their education and into adulthood.

At Child Trends, Dr. Ryberg’s work focuses on the intersection of poverty and education. She strives to dismantle the barriers that children and families with low incomes face in accessing education and navigating what lies beyond. Her recent work has focused on child poverty, its drivers and consequences, and policy solutions. Most recently, she has identified the factors behind a historic decline in child poverty over the past quarter-century and explored the drivers of child poverty in the Latino community. Dr. Ryberg also leads Child Trends’ higher education work, with a focus on equity and highlighting the experiences of “today’s students,” including first-generation college students and parenting students. Her recent reports examine how colleges and universities can support parenting students with accessible and equitable environments and services, including the use of navigation services to connect students with existing resources in the community.

Dr. Ryberg takes a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach to her work. By partnering with psychologists, economists, policy experts, and youth with relevant lived experience, she addresses complex research questions from multiple angles to develop solutions to challenges facing today’s youth. Dr. Ryberg leads mixed-methods teams of researchers of all levels who complement her extensive quantitative skills, which include experimental and quasi-experimental design and advanced statistical analysis (such as measurement modeling, structural equation modeling, sequence analysis, and advanced regression techniques).

Dr. Ryberg earned her PhD in sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has published in several interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journals, including Prevention Science and the Journal of Postsecondary Student Success, but focuses primarily on creating research products that use accessible language to reach policymakers and practitioners, often presenting her work directly to policy-making audiences and the media.