Osborne, Cynthia | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin
  • Ph.D. in Demography and Public Affairs, Princeton University, 2003
  • MPP, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, 1999
  • M.A. in Education, Claremont Graduate University, 1995
  • B.A. in Economics and Psychology, Claremont McKenna College, 1991
Research Areas
  • Family Demography
  • Child and Family Wellbeing
  • Social Policy
Teaching Areas
  • Research and Empirical Methods
  • Social Policy

Cynthia Osborne is the associate dean for academic strategies and director of the Center for Health and Social Policy (CHASP) at the LBJ School. She is also the founder and director of the Child and Family Research Partnership (CFRP), a group that conducts rigorous research on policy issues related to young children, adolescents and their parents. She most recently launched the new national Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center at CFRP, a resource for state leaders for the evidence on policies that strengthen outcomes for infants and toddlers.

Dr. Osborne holds a Ph.D. in demography and public affairs from Princeton University, a Master in Public Policy degree from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, and a Master of Arts in education from Claremont Graduate University. Her teaching and research interests include social policy issues, poverty and inequality, family and child well-being, early childhood, fatherhood and family demography. She is an appointed member of the National Academies of Sciences Committee to Reduce Child Poverty by Half in 10 Years.

Dr. Osborne has extensive experience leading long-term evaluations of state and national programs, with the aim of helping organizations understand what works, and how to ensure sustainable implementation of effective policies. Her work includes evaluations of one of the largest home visiting programs in the country (Texas) and many critical state-level child welfare and child support programs. She previously was director of the Project on Education Effectiveness and Quality, an initiative that measured state educator preparation programs' influence on student achievement.

Media Expertise
  • Family and Child Welfare
  • Welfare
  • Family demography
  • Early childhood
  • Inequality
  • Marriage
  • Politics
  • Social policy


NewsSeptember 15, 2020
New policy guide to help state leaders strengthen health of infants and toddlers

A first-of-its-kind state policy road map for children prenatal-to-3 will soon help guide state leaders as they develop and implement the most effective policies to strengthen their state’s early childhood system of care.

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Media MentionJune 12, 2020
Pre-to-3: New 'data playground' a destination for info on young children

Tthe new Early Childhood Data Dashboard — what the developers are calling a "data playground" — can answer for every county in the nation. "I love the focus on [early childhood]," said Cynthia Osborne, who directs the Child and Family Research Partnership and the Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center at the University of Texas at Austin. The dashboard, she said, is similar to the long-running Kids Count project and County Health Ratings and Rankings.

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NewsOctober 30, 2019
National prenatal-to-three policy initiative established at UT-Austin’s LBJ School of Public Affairs

A new prenatal-to-three policy initiative in the Child and Family Research Partnership (CFRP) at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin will be a resource for state leaders as they develop and implement evidence-informed policies that improve outcomes for all infants, toddlers and their families.

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