Elizabeth Cooner appointed Executive Director of New Jersey Policy Lab

November 10, 2021

Dr. Elizabeth Cooner was recently appointed as the Executive Director of the New Jersey Policy Lab (NJPL), which conducts rigorous, nonpartisan research and analysis of policy issues facing the state with an eye towards equity and social justice.  

Stuart Shapiro, professor and principal investigator for NJPL said, “We are very excited to have Dr. Cooner on board and expect that her hiring will allow us to take on an array of additional projects.” 

With more than twenty years of professional experience, Dr. Cooner has worked in higher education, survey research, and management consulting.  As the Vice President of Social and Public Policy at The Harris Poll, she focused on policy issues related to health, well-being, and access to care.  Her work was often reported in the media, and she appeared on national television and radio and at The National Press Club.   

“I am honored to have this opportunity to serve alongside very smart and caring professionals at Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration and the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy as we collaborate to study issues affecting the State of New Jersey,” Dr. Cooner said. “I am also grateful to New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and the Office of the Secretary for Higher Education for providing funding to launch the New Jersey Policy Lab.”  

Dr. Cooner also served as the Executive Director of Institutional Research at Union County College for more than six years and managed the Grants Department and the Community College Opportunity Grant on an interim basis. Relying on data to guide strategic planning, improve outcomes, and increase institutional effectiveness throughout her career, Dr. Cooner also worked at other educational institutions and research firms.   

She has a doctorate in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania, a master’s degree in Public Policy Analysis from Georgetown University, and a bachelor’s degree in Humanities from Villanova University. When she’s not working, Dr. Cooner enjoys spending time with her family and friends and can be found biking or running in the early morning hours near her home in New Jersey.   

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