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Dymnicki, Ph.D.

Principal Associate, Social & Economic Policy

Allison Dymnicki has 19 years of experience in designing, directing, and conducting research, evaluation, and technical assistance projects aimed at promoting youth development, behavioral health, and wellbeing, with a particular focus on school, community, and out-of-school settings. She is deeply committed to promoting positive outcomes for all youth, particularly populations who have been historically underserved or are under-resourced. She has partnered with federal agencies like the National Institute of Justice, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, and the Department of Education, as well as foundations, state and local educational agencies, and non-profit organizations. Much of her work focuses on developing researcher practitioner partnerships intended to elevate diverse perspectives, practitioner viewpoints, and youth voices. 

Dymnicki is passionate about promoting equity and addressing inequities in our education, healthcare, and human service systems. She is currently leading two federal projects, one for the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) focused on promoting racial equity in local communities who are preventing, responding to, and treating opioid and other substance use, and a second project for the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) designed to understand systems drivers, systems change, and how to promote health equity in early childhood systems work. Dymnicki is also leading efforts, in partnership with SeriousFun Children’s Network and American Camp Association, dedicated to monitoring diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, and promoting character in counselor-in-training programs. 

Dymnicki conducted systematic reviews of evidence-based programs in health and human service sectors and K-12 settings. She is currently involved in the Institute of Education Sciences What Works Clearinghouse-Preschool-to-Postsecondary Evidence Synthesis Task Orders (WWC PESTO), helping to develop practice guides focused on low intensity interventions designed to promote positive student behavior, ensuring the translation of research to practice. 

She comes to Abt after 12 years at American Institutes for Research, where she worked on more than 20 single-site, multi-site, and longitudinal research, evaluation, and technical assistance projects. Prior to that, she spent five years at the Collaborative for Academic Social and Emotional Learning where she co-authored a meta-analysis about the impacts of social-emotional-learning that has been cited by more than 10,000 articles. 


  • Implementation and impact evaluation design, analysis, and reporting
  • Technical assistance to improve social-emotional, educational, and health/wellbeing outcomes
  • Social and emotional learning, youth development, and mental & behavioral health systems and programs
  • Systematic reviews, core components, and meta-analysis

Key Projects:

  • BJA Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Use Program Data Use, Evaluation & Research Training and Technical Assistance Center
  • HRSA Maternal Child Health Bureau Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems Evaluation
  • American Camp Association and Serious Fun Children’s Network Character in Camp Counselors-in-Training Program
  • Department of Education WWC PESTO


  • Fitzgerald, M., Shipman, K., Pauletic, M., Ellesworth, K., & Dymnicki, A. (2022). Promoting Educator Social Emotional Competence, Well-Being, and Student-Educator Relationships: A Pilot Study. Mental Health & Prevention, 26, doi: 10.1016/j.mhp.2022.200234
  • Dymnicki, A. B., Arredondo Mattson, S., Spier, E., Argamaso, S., & Kingston, B. (2021) Assessing readiness, implementation, and effects associated with a comprehensive framework designed to reduce school violence: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of School Violence. 20 (4), 458-470, doi: 10.1080/15388220.2021.1952078
  • Dymnicki, A. B., Neiman, S., Joshi, A., Johnson, T., & Hodgman, S. (2021). Development and Validation of a Measure of Organizational Capacity for Implementing Youth Development Programs. Evaluation and Program Planning. 86, doi: 10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2021.101916
  • Dymnicki, A. B., Trivits, L., Hoffman, C., & Osher, D. (2020). Advancing the Use of Core Components of Effective Programs: Suggestions for Researchers Publishing Evaluation Results. Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 
  • Durlak, J. A., Weissberg, R. P., Dymnicki, A. B., Taylor, R. D., & Schellinger, K. B. (2011). The impact of enhancing students’ social and emotional learning: A meta-analysis of school based universal interventions. Child Development, 82, 405-432. doi: 10.1111/j.1467- 8624.2010.01564.x
Allison Dymnicki, Ph.D.