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, Engineering and Medicine Committee to Reduce Child Poverty by Half in 10 Years and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Committee Exploring the Opportunity Gap for Young Children From Birth to Age Eight.

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


Media MentionApril 12, 2021
What to expect with expansion of child tax credit

The trillion dollar COVID-19 relief package passed in March and it included an expansion of the child tax credit. Beyond the numbers, what changes and how will it benefit parents? Dr. Cynthia Osborne, Director of Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center at UT-Austin's LBJ School of Public Affairs, shares some insight.

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NewsApril 9, 2021
April 9: Faculty Research, Policy Engagement and News

10 features from the week 

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Media MentionApril 1, 2021
Developmental scientists gather virtually to present child development research

The Society for Research in Child Development will hold its Biennial Meeting virtually April 7–9, 2021. The meeting brings together thousands of developmental scientists from around the world to present and learn about the latest research in child development.

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