M. Elena Lopez, Ph.D., is a co-director at Global Family Research Project. Her applied research focuses on the relationships among families, schools, and communities as they relate to children’s learning and development. She has used her research and numerous publications to inform major policy and program initiatives, including the Office of Head Start’s National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement; United Way Worldwide’s Family Engagement for High School Success; and a partnership with the Public Library Association on Libraries for the 21st Century: It’s a Family Thing. Her professional experiences include evaluating public and philanthropic initiatives to promote children’s well-being, managing education and health grants for a philanthropic foundation, and serving on national advisory and governing boards. She received her doctorate in social anthropology from Harvard University and also held the position of Associate Director at Harvard Family Research Project. She is proud to have two wonderful adult children who are in the education field.