Iheoma Iruka, Ph.D. Director of Research and Evaluation, Buffett Early Childhood Institute
Iheoma Iruka’s research focuses on determining how family and education environments impact low-income and ethnic minority children’s development (birth to 8 years), including their school readiness and academic and social competence. She has extensive experience conducting national, state, and local evaluations and research using a mixed methods approach, including analyses of national datasets. As an investigator and consultant on various projects, she is particularly interested in initiatives which strengthen family engagement to improve the school readiness of disadvantaged and diverse children (e.g., Educare, home visiting).
Iruka has published extensively on early education and family engagement, highlighting their multi-dimensional and culturally relevant constructs. She has also published a textbook and short format book geared towards strengthening family engagement for diverse populations. Iruka has been invited as a speaker for various events, including as a panelist at the inaugural White House for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation family engagement summit. She serves on numerous national boards and committee, including the White House African American Educational Excellence workgroup and the Institute of Medicine/National Research Council committee on supporting parents of young children.