As Executive Director, Erin sets strategic direction for the research partnership and guides the work of creating useful, timely, high-quality and practice-focused research. Most recently, she served as a strategy and policy consultant for state leaders, school districts, and nonprofit organizations. Prior to that, O'Hara created and led the division of Data and Research as an Assistant Commissioner at the Tennessee Department of Education and managed the department’s work in accountability, assessment, data quality, and research. She also served as a policy advisor to then-Governor Phil Bredesen, working as a lead on the state’s Race to the Top application and later at the Department of Education managing initial Race to the Top implementation. O'Hara spent four years at the Tennessee Higher Education Commission working on college access and financial aid policy. Erin has a Master of Public Policy from Peabody College and completed a Bachelor of Government and African/African American Studies at the University of Virginia.