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Iheoma Iruka

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Research Professor, Fellow, Director
Iheoma U. Iruka, Ph.D., is a Research Professor in the Department of Public Policy and Director of the
Early Childhood Health and Racial Equity program at FPG Child Development Institute at UNC-CH after
her 3-plus years as Chief Research Innovation Officer at HighScope Educational Research Foundation.
Dr. Iruka is engaged in projects and initiatives focused on how evidence-informed policies, systems, and
practices in early education can support the optimal development and experiences of children from low-
income and ethnic minority households, such as through family engagement and support, quality rating
and improvement systems, and early care and education systems and programs. She has been engaged in
addressing how best to ensure excellence for young diverse learners, especially Black children, such as
through development of a classroom observation measure, examination of non-traditional pedagogical
approaches, public policies, and publications geared towards early education practitioners and

Dr. Iruka has served or serves on numerous national boards and committees, including the Brady
Education Foundation and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine committees
on Supporting Parents of Young Children, and Applying Neurobiological and Socio-behavioral Sciences
from Prenatal through Early Childhood Development: A Health Equity Approach.