Iheoma U. Iruka, Ph.D., is a research professor in the Department of Public Policy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is also a Fellow at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute (FPG) and the Founding Director of the Equity Research Action Coalition at FPG.
Dr. Iruka is engaged in projects and initiatives focused on how evidence-informed policies, systems, and practices in early education can support the optimal development and experiences of children from low-income and ethnic minority households. These policies, systems, and practices include family engagement and support, quality rating and improvement systems, and early care and education systems and programs.
Dr. Iruka has been engaged in addressing how best to ensure excellence for young diverse learners, especially Black children, such as through development of a classroom observation measure, examination of non-traditional pedagogical approaches, public policies, and publications geared towards early education practitioners and policymakers.
Dr. Iruka has served or serves on numerous national boards and committee, including the Brady Education Foundation and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine committees on Supporting Parents of Young Children, and Applying Neurobiological and Socio-behavioral Sciences from Prenatal through Early Childhood Development: A Health Equity Approach.
Newly appointed, Dr. Iruka joins the US Census Bureau, National Advisory Council (NAC). As a council member, this 3-year appointment and the goal of the NAC is to provide strategic perspective and advice to the Census Bureau on the full range of economic, housing, demographic, socioeconomic, linguistic, technological, methodological, geographic, behavioral and operational variables.
Dr. Iruka has a B.A. in psychology from Temple University, M.A. in psychology from Boston University, and Ph.D. in applied developmental psychology from the University of Miami, Florida.