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Lenay Dunn

As a Project Director and Senior Researcher with WestEd’s Research-Practice Partnerships team, Lenay Dunn provides leadership to research, evaluation, and technical assistance projects to help states, districts, and other stakeholders use evidence to improve systems and outcomes.

She currently serves as Deputy Director of the Regional Educational Laboratory West (REL West). In this role, she provides leadership to REL West’s portfolio of applied research and analytic technical assistance to state education agencies, districts, and schools in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah. She also serves as a partnership lead for REL West’s Arizona Literacy Partnership and co-leads REL West’s cross-REL leadership area, Using Evidence in Education.

In previous work at WestEd, Dunn was Associate Director for the Center on School Turnaround, a federal comprehensive center that provided technical assistance to state education agencies to build their capacity to identify, adopt, and sustain research-based practices for systemic school improvement. In this role, she coauthored the Four Domains for Rapid School Improvement, a widely used framework to inform systemic improvement efforts. She also led a multiyear implementation study of Arizona’s K–3 reading retention policy and coauthored Evidence Based Improvement: A Guide for States to Strengthen Their Frameworks and Supports Aligned to the Evidence Requirements of ESSA.

Prior to joining WestEd, Dunn was the Director of Research and Evaluation for a unit at Arizona State University and was a Research Analyst at the American Institutes for Research (AIR). Dunn entered the education field as a teacher and spent several years leading programs focused on effective and equitable learning opportunities.

Dunn earned her MA in education from Stanford University and her PhD in education policy from Arizona State University.