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Kelsey, Ph.D.

Principal Associate, Social & Economic Policy

Meredith Kelsey has more than 15 years of experience specializing in the prevention of youth risk behaviors, teen pregnancy prevention, programs and services for pregnant or parenting teens, state and national indicators of children’s well-being, research related to positive youth development, and the implications of welfare and other social policies for youth. Kelsey has extensive project management experience, along with research design and policy analysis skills.

Kelsey directs the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Replication Study, which is a set of nine rigorous experimental evaluations of widely used teen pregnancy programs. She is a member of the project team for an evaluation of a school-based youth development program for the Hennepin County, MN Research Planning and Development Department. Kelsey is also part of the National Evaluation of Investing in Innovation (i3) team, working to provide technical assistance to local evaluators aimed at improving the design and implementation of the evaluations and reviewing the evaluations to determine the degree to which they are well-designed and well-implemented. She is a member of Abt’s Institutional Review Board (IRB).

Earlier in her career, Kelsey served as a senior research and policy analyst with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, where she oversaw two large-scale multimillion dollar longitudinal evaluation efforts of the effectiveness of abstinence education and other approaches to preventing teen pregnancy.


  • Welfare and low-income assistance/family support
  • Youth development
  • Disadvantaged youth
  • Youth risk behaviors/pregnancy prevention
  • Policy assessment/ analysis
  • Program assessments
  • Evaluation design and data collection (including survey design and management)
  • Performance measurement
  • Technical assistance
  • Data analysis

Key Projects

  • Teen Pregnancy Prevention Replication Study, Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) and Office of the Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
  • Impact Evaluation of the Hennepin County “It’s Your Future” Project to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, County of Hennepin, Minnesota
  • Evaluation of the Teen PEP Pregnancy Prevention Grant, Center  for Supportive Schools
  • State of the Science and Practice in Parenting Interventions Across Childhood, Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) within HHS

Selected Publications/Presentations

  • Kelsey, M. and Layzer, J. (2014). “Implementing three evidence-based program models: Early lessons from the teen pregnancy prevention replication study.” Implementing Evidence-based Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs: Legislation to Practice. March supplement of the Journal of Adolescent Health.
  • Kelsey, M. (2013).Challenges in Implementing Evidence-Based Programs for Teen Pregnancy Prevention. Presentation at the Society for Prevention Research Annual Meeting. San Francisco, CA: May, 2013.
  • Kelsey, M. (2013).Evaluating Multiple Replications: The Federal Replication Study of the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program. Annual Meeting of the American Evaluation Association. Washington, DC: October, 2013.
  • Kelsey, M. (2012). Two DHHS Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program Evaluations: Programs Working with Marginalized Youth. Presentation at the Healthy Teen Network Annual Conference. Minneapolis, MN: October, 2012.
  • (with Jean Layzer and Randall Juras) Teen Pregnancy Prevention Replication Study: Impact Design Report. Abt Associates Inc. (November 2012).
  • (with Jean Layzer) Teen Pregnancy Prevention Replication Study: Implementation Study Design Report. Abt Associates Inc. (November 2012).
  • (with Jean Layzer) Literature Review and Synthesis: State of the Science and Practice in Parenting Interventions across Childhood. Abt Associates Inc. (January 2011).
  • (with Jean Layzer and Catherine Willemin) Final Implementation Report: Exploration of Approaches to Preventing Sexual Risk Behaviors Among High School Students. Cambridge, MA: Abt Associates Inc. (August 2010).