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Robert M. La Follette
School of Public Affairs
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Madison, WI 53706

Telephone:  608.262.3581
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La Follette School Alumni Profiles


McCoy-Roth uses communications, research skills to study child development

Marci McCoy-Roth brings experience with nonprofit and state government work to her position as senior director for public policy and communications with Child Trends, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research center that studies children at all stages of development.

Child Trends has a long history of studying and evaluating children's issues to improve public policies,” McCoy-Roth says. “I’m excited to be helping to facilitate their translation and communication efforts as we share the research results with policymakers. Plus, it’s a great group of people, and I feel very lucky to be joining their public policy and communications team. I’m also happy to be living in the greater DC metro area with my husband/best friend and our two young children.”

McCoy-Roth graduated from the La Follette School in 1997 with a master’s degree in public affairs and policy analysis. Her experience gave her a solid base for her career, she says. “Studying at La Follette was a terrific beginning in policy for me, and I'm grateful for the outstanding education I received there, particularly the classes on policy analysis and program evaluation,” she says. “Among the many things I learned was how to prepare succinct summaries of complicated public programs for busy government officials, which has been a tool that I've utilized again and again over the years.”

Prior to joining Child Trends in 2010, McCoy-Roth managed her own consulting business, preparing research briefs and communication strategies for non-profit organizations that included Health and Disability Advocates, Fox Chase Cancer Center, and Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania Policy Lab. She assisted these non-profits with their communications, research and advocacy efforts.

Before starting McCoy-Roth Strategies, McCoy-Roth managed a portfolio of grantees for The Pew Charitable Trusts and developed new projects. She co-directed Pew's Kids Are Waiting campaign, and was responsible for overseeing the policy research and communications activities. Kids Are Waiting was a national campaign dedicated to ensuring that all children in foster care have the safe, permanent families they deserve by reforming the federal financing structure that governs the foster care system. McCoy-Roth directed the production of eight reports and briefs for the campaign, developed online and written materials for policy outreach and advocacy, and oversaw the work of 10 grantees.

Before she joined Pew in 2005, McCoy-Roth worked in state and national disability policy reform efforts. As a research and policy analyst for the National Consortium for Health Systems Development, McCoy-Roth provided strategic planning expertise and technical assistance in utilizing research to improve systems. For the state of Wisconsin’s Department of Health and Family Services, she managed an external evaluation of the state’s long-term care program and developed and oversaw a state-sponsored evaluation of a new Medicaid disability employment program.

After graduation from La Follette, McCoy-Roth worked for the Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau for two years. McCoy-Roth interned at the White House in 1996 during the summer between her two years at La Follette and served with the Reinventing Government Task Force. She earned a second master’s degree in communications from the University of Pennsylvania, where she is working on her doctorate.

— posted October 11, 2010