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Lenay Dunn

Lenay Dunn serves as Deputy Director of the Regional Educational Laboratory West (REL West). In this role she supports the director in leading REL West’s portfolio of applied research and analytic assistance to state education agencies, districts, and schools in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah. She also serves as a partnership lead for REL West’s Arizona Literacy Partnership to analyze data, use evidence-based decision-making approaches, and demonstrate inquiry processes to strengthen K–3 literacy outcomes in Arizona and co-leads REL West’s cross-REL leadership area, Using Evidence in Education.

Across her projects at WestEd, she provides leadership and consultation to research, evaluation, strategic planning, and technical assistance projects for states, districts, and other stakeholders to guide implementation and improve the effectiveness of programs and initiatives to ensure access and outcomes for all students.

In previous work at WestEd, Dunn served as Associate Director for the Center on School Turnaround, a federal comprehensive center that provided technical assistance to state education agencies to build their capacity to identify, adopt, and sustain research-based practices for systemic school improvement. She also led a multi-year implementation study of Arizona’s K–3 reading retention policy and was a co-author of Evidence Based Improvement: A Guide for States to Strengthen Their Frameworks and Supports Aligned to the Evidence Requirements of ESSA.

Prior to joining WestEd, Dunn served as the Director of Research and Evaluation for a unit at Arizona State University where she led a team of researchers and a portfolio of mixed-methods projects to improve the effectiveness of programs and initiatives. She previously served as a Research Analyst at the American Institutes for Research (AIR). Dunn entered the education field as a teacher; after teaching she spent several years leading education programs focused on students and schools in low-income communities.

Dunn earned her MA in education from Stanford University and her PhD in education policy from Arizona State University.