Karen Kavanaugh directs the home visiting project. She heads Pew’s work with legislators and other leaders to promote smart state and federal policies and investments in quality, home-based family support and coaching programs for new and expectant families.
As the project lead, Kavanaugh oversees Pew’s endeavor to increase state and federal investments in home visiting family support programs and help states improve the accountability and performance of their home visiting systems. Through the Home Visiting Data for Performance Initiative, states are enhancing their data collection to ensure that their home visiting efforts are resulting in meaningful outcomes for participating families and children and a solid return on investment for taxpayers.
Previously, she was the manager of the project, responsible for guiding the state policy and advocacy work. She also was the director of public policy at the Southwest Detroit Business Association, a senior policy analyst with the Michigan House of Representatives’ majority floor leader, and a federal policy adviser to then-Governor Jennifer Granholm. She has extensive experience in building and sustaining coalitions to move public policy agendas.
She holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Michigan.