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Taryn Morrissey

Professor of Public Administration and Policy, American University School of Public Affairs

Taryn Morrissey is a policy researcher whose work aims to examine and improve public policies for children and families. She is a professor of public policy at American University, a non-resident fellow at the Urban Institute, and a Commissioner on the Washington, DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education’s Healthy Youth & Schools Commission. In 2020 and 2021, she was a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. Her ongoing research examines early care and education policy, family economic instability, and neighborhood poverty. Her work has been published in journals including "Pediatrics," "Child Development," "Developmental Psychology" and the "Journal of Marriage and Family."

Morrissey has taken leave from American University to work in senior policy positions in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, most recently at the Office of Child Care (2022) and previously in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE; 2013-2014). Prior to joining the American University faculty in 2010, Morrissey served as a Health Policy Advisor on the staff of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, first for Senator Edward Kennedy and then for Senator Tom Harkin. Morrissey worked primarily on federal health reform legislation, particularly child and maternal health and workforce issues. She began her career in policy as an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) / Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) Congressional Fellow.


  • –present
    Associate Professor of Public Administration and Policy, American University