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


NewsNovember 16, 2020
LBJ School teams with Dell Med to train future physician leaders

Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin is focused on training what it calls "future physician leaders" — doctors who are as comfortable taking on systemic challenges in health as they are caring for individual patients. With that goal in mind, UT Austin will begin offering Dell Med students the opportunity to earn a dual degree in public affairs and medicine — a combination that's a rarity among medical schools — beginning in fall 2021. The interdisciplinary dual degree program will allow students to earn both a Master of Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs and a medical degree from Dell Med in approximately four years.

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NewsNovember 10, 2020
LBJ School at UT COVID-19 Conference

The pandemic has presented us with some of the biggest problems of our generation, and scientists, data analysts, disease modelers, communicators and humanists are working overtime to understand and solve it. Today, The University of Texas at Austin kicked off a first-of-its-kind two-day conference, showcasing groundbreaking COVID-19 work from researchers from across campus. The virtual event includes keynote speakers, panels, lightning talks and networking opportunities and will cover topics ranging from mental health and the future of education to drug therapeutics, among many others. 

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October 28, 2020
Closing the Education Gap

On this week's LBJ In the Arena, the LBJ School welcomeed John B. King, the president and CEO of The Education Trust and the former U.S. Secretary of Education under President Barack Obama. King discussed his career in education and the work he's doing to close opportunity gaps for historically underserved populations. The conversation was led by the LBJ School's Dr. Cynthia Osborne, associate dean for academic strategies and the director of the Child and Family Research Partnership and the Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center.

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