Roseanna Ander serves as the founding Executive Director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab (since 2008) and the University of Chicago Education Lab (since 2011) with offices in Chicago and New York, which work to design, test, and scale data-driven programs and practices that improve the public sector’s approach to public safety and education. Since their inception, Ander has led the Crime Lab and Education Lab’s efforts on violence prevention, criminal justice reform, and improved educational outcomes in Chicago, New York, and around the nation. Ander also helped launch the University of Chicago Urban Labs network, with the creation of three new, independently run labs focused on poverty, health, and the environment.
Early initiatives Ander spearheaded at the Crime Lab include an evaluation of Youth Guidance’s Becoming a Man program and an evaluation of a cognitive-behavioral therapy program delivered in the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center. Recently, Ms. Ander has helped move forward the Crime Lab and Education Lab’s evaluation of Children’s Home & Aid’s and Youth Advocate Programs, Inc.’s Choose to Change program, an innovative effort that engages youth heavily impacted by violence and trauma and connects them with intensive advocate and wraparound supports along with trauma-informed therapy. Ander was also instrumental in helping launch the Rapid Employment and Development Initiative (READI), a program that connects men most at risk for violence involvement and victimization with cognitive-behavioral therapy, jobs, and wraparound supports.
Ander has worked intensively on the Education Lab’s efforts to support Chicago Public Schools on personalized learning and other innovative ways to improve educational outcomes for all children.
Ander was also key to navigating police training and reform efforts within the Chicago Police Department (CPD), including the Crime Lab’s study of CPD’s Officer Support System: a first-of-its-kind, data-driven early intervention system that flags officer at risk for adverse events and provides training and support to help avert tragic incidents between police and residents before they occur. Ander also was instrumental in the production and release of the City of Chicago’s Violence Reduction Dashboard, a tool for non-profit organizations, the media, and the general public, which provides near-real-time data and visualizations of violence trends.
During her time at the Crime Lab and Education Lab, Ms. Ander has also served on the public safety transition teams for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, and Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner.
Prior to joining the University of Chicago, Ander oversaw the Joyce Foundation’s gun violence program, which included helping provide seed funding for the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS), a state-based reporting system, and a seminal report on Firearm Violence for the National Academy of Sciences in 2005. Ander also led Joyce’s grantmaking in early childhood education. Before Joyce Foundation, Ander was a Soros Justice Fellow with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office and worked for the Harvard Injury Control Center and the Harvard Project on Schooling and Children. Ander holds an M.S. from the Harvard School of Public Health.