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McGill-Wilkinson, Ph.D.

Senior Associate

Dr. Rebecca McGill-Wilkinson is an education researcher with two decades of experience designing and implementing evaluation and research projects. She has extensive expertise in a broad range of impact and implementation evaluation approaches, including quasi-experimental designs, randomized control trials, survey design and analysis methods, systematic evidence reviews, and measure development. Her work includes evaluations of federal education policies, including the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA). With a background in developmental psychology, she has contributed to systematic evidence reviews for both the Administration of Children and Families and the U.S. Department of Education. McGill-Wilkinson is the author of numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on a range of topics, including the role of racial identity and peer relationships in socio-emotional outcomes and academic achievement for adolescents. She has delivered over 40 conference presentations and invited talks in academic and practice settings and is a prolific blog author.

In her current role, McGill-Wilkinson manages the implementation evaluation of Title IV, Part A under ESSA. The evaluation conducted a nationally representative survey of 930 districts that received Title IV-A funding from the federal government, as well as a survey of all 50 states. For this project, she helped develop a survey for state coordinators regarding their distribution of BSCA grant funds and is leading the analysis of those survey responses. McGill-Wilkinson also serves as the content area lead for two practice guides on K-3 language and literacy interventions for the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Science (IES) What Works Clearinghouse, providing expertise on literacy-related programs and interventions to a team of over 30 staff. As an evaluation technical assistance liaison, she supports external evaluators in developing and implementing rigorous research designs for the U.S. Department of Education’s Education Innovation and Research grants. She also serves as the project quality reviewer for the New Orleans Supporting Effective Educations Development grant, ensuring all products and deliverables are clear and accessible.

Prior to Abt, McGill-Wilkinson served as the coordinator of program evaluation at the Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) in Maryland. In this role, she provided support and resources to other BCPS offices regarding program evaluation, data, and research. She developed, administered, and analyzed data from system-wide surveys, including the annual Stakeholder Climate Survey, which collects responses from more than 80,000 students, staff, parents, and community members. Before working at BPCS, McGill-Wilkinson was a program officer at IES, where she oversaw the reading and writing portfolio, and the Research and Development Centers on Knowledge Utilization. In this role, she provided research and evaluation technical assistance to hundreds of grant applicants and grantees.


  • Impact and implementation evaluation design and analysis
  • Technical assistance in evaluating programs to improve educational and social-emotional outcomes 
  • Survey design, implementation, and analysis
  • K-12 literacy
  • Federal education policy

Key Projects:

  • What Works Clearinghouse Preschool-to-Postsecondary Evidence Synthesis Task Orders (WWC-PESTO) Task Order 4: English Language and Literacy Interventions in Kindergarten to Grade 3
  • Study of Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants (Title IV, Part A)
  • Evaluation Technical Assistance for Education Innovation and Research (EIR)
  • Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse


  • Gupta, T., Way, N., McGill, R.K., Hughes, D., Santos, C.E., Jia, T…. & Lu, Z. (2013). Gender-typed behavior in friendships and wellbeing: A cross-cultural study of boys. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 23, 57-68. 
  • McGill, R.K., Hughes, D.L., Alicea, S., & Way, N. (2012). Academic adjustment across middle school: The role of public regard and parenting. Developmental Psychology, 48, 1003-1018. 
  • McGill, R.K., Way, N., & Hughes, D.L. (2012). Intra- and interracial best friendships during middle school: Links to social and emotional wellbeing. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 22, 722-738.
  • Hughes, D., McGill, R.K., Ford, K.R., & Tubbs, C. (2011). Black youths’ academic success: The contribution of racial socialization from parents, peers, and schools (pp.95-125). In: N.E. Hill, T.L. Mann, & H.E. Fitzgerald (Eds.). African American children’s mental health: Development and context. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.
  • Harmon, M., Weinraub, M.W., & McGill, R.K. (2008). Engaging early readers through the One Book, Every Young Child program: An evaluation of the second year. Philadelphia, PA.: Temple University, Family and Children’s Policy Collaborative.
Rebecca McGill-Wilkinson, Ph.D.