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Meredith
Kelsey, Ph.D.

Principal Associate/Client Account Lead, Social & Economic Policy

Meredith Kelsey has more than 20 years of experience in research on—and the evaluation of—programs and social policies for youth, including: teen pregnancy prevention, relationship education, programs, and services for pregnant or parenting teens, home visiting programs, and child welfare. At Abt, she is responsible for the strategic direction and management of a large portfolio of research, evaluation, and technical assistance projects within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and with state and foundation clients. She has extensive project management experience, particularly with complex, large-scale studies, as well as skills in research design, qualitative and quantitative methods, and policy analysis.

Kelsey directs an implementation study of the Pregnancy Assistance Fund (PAF) program for the Office of Population Affairs (OPA) within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). She is the Principal Investigator on OPA’s Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) Local Evaluation Support Project, which is providing evaluation technical assistance and dissemination support to adolescent pregnancy prevention program grantees. She also serves as a senior advisor for a cross-grantee implementation study of OPA’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) Program for Fiscal Years (FY) 2020 and 2021. She is a member of Abt’s Institutional Review Board (IRB).

Kelsey previously directed a rigorous large-scale replication study of widely used evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs for HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE). She also was 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. Additionally, she was part of the National Evaluation of Investing in Innovation (i3) team, providing evaluation technical assistance to local evaluators aimed at improving the design and implementation of their evaluations. 

Earlier in her career, Kelsey served as a senior research and policy analyst at ASPE.

Expertise

  • Child and family well-being
  • Youth development/adolescent pregnancy prevention
  • Child welfare
  • Evidence-based programming
  • Program and policy assessment
  • Quantitative and qualitative evaluation design and methods
  • Performance measurement
  • Evaluation technical assistance
  • Project leadership and communication

Key Projects

  • Lessons Learned from the Pregnancy Assistance Fund, Office of Population Affairs
  • Teen Pregnancy Prevention Quantitative Synthesis, Office of Population Affairs, Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, and Administration for Children and Families
  • 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

Selected Reports, Publications and Presentations

  • Kelsey, M. (2021). Implementing the Safer Sex Intervention (SSI): Lessons from the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Replication Study. Presented at the Society for Research on Adolescence Virtual Meeting March 2021.
  • Kelsey, M., Layzer, J., Layzer, C., Francis, K., Blocklin, M. Teen Pregnancy Prevention Replication Study: Reducing the Risk Implementation Report. Cambridge, MA: Abt Associates Inc., June 2019.
  • Kelsey, M., Layzer, J., Francis, K., and Layzer, C. Teen Pregnancy Prevention Replication Study: Safer Sex Intervention Implementation Report. Cambridge, MA: Abt Associates Inc., June 2019.
  • Kelsey, M., Layzer, J., Price, C., and Francis, K. (2018). “Safer Sex Intervention Final Impact Report: Findings from the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Replication Study”. Cambridge, MA: Abt Associates Inc., October 2018. This document is available at https://aspe.hhs.gov/system/files/pdf/260076/SSI_Final_Impact_Report.pdf
  • Kelsey, M., Blocklin, M., Layzer, J., Price, C., Juras, R. and Freiman, L. Replicating Reducing the Risk: 12-Month Impacts of a Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial. American Journal of Public Health: September 2016, Vol. 106, No. S1, pp. S45-S52.
  • Kelsey, M., Walker, J.T., Layzer, J., Price, C. and Juras, R.  Replicating the Safer Sex Intervention: 9-Month Impact Findings of a Randomized Controlled Trial. American Journal of Public Health: September 2016, Vol. 106, No. S1, pp. S53-S59.
Meredith Kelsey