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Headshot of Daniela Pineda smiling against a blue background

Daniela Pineda

Senior Director, Center for Equity and Social Justice Research


PhD, Public Policy and Sociology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
MA, Sociology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
BA, Sociology, Pomona College

Dr. Daniela Pineda leads RTI’s Center for Equity and Social Justice Research (CESJR) within the Transformative Research Unit for Equity (TRUE). In her role as Center Director, Dr. Pineda is charged with setting the strategic direction for the Center’s four research programs: 1) Environmental Justice & Infrastructure Equity, 2) Health Equity, 3) Community Safety and Healing, and 4) Education Systems reform. The CESJR conducts research and evaluation, delivers technical assistance, and provides strategic advising services to a diverse set of clients. Dr. Pineda’s work in environmental justice focuses on forming partnerships with community-based organizations to ensure that local knowledge informs science and that communities benefit from their participation in research. Dr. Pineda’s research in the science of community engagement is focused on building evidence for effective strategies to integrate community members as partners in research endeavors.

Dr. Pineda brings over two decades of experience designing and implementing research and evaluation projects across a variety of topics, including postsecondary education systems change, public sector innovation, early childcare and education systems alignment, and place-based multisectoral transformation. Her work includes advising organizations on ways they can strategically embed equity in their operations, programs, and policies. Her work in health equity focuses on aligning public systems to better serve underserved and disadvantaged communities. Her evaluation work has focused on exploring the impact of complex systems change, place-based interventions. Dr. Pineda has served in leadership roles in private foundations and public grantmaking organizations. She has developed national-level funding strategies, commissioned research and evaluation funding portfolios, and supported organizational development efforts – including strategic planning, change management, and enterprise-level redesign initiatives.

Dr. Pineda is a trained in Facilitation for Social Change, and a member of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation - Alumni Network. She is fluent in Spanish.

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