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Nitya Venkateswaran

Nitya Venkateswaran

Senior Manager, Equity Capacity Building Hub


PhD, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, University of Washington
MEd, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, University of Washington
BA, Political Science, University of California, Berkeley


Nitya Venkateswaran is a Senior Manager in RTI's Transformative Research Unit for Equity (TRUE). She leads the Equity Capacity Building Hub that facilitates leadership in equity-centered and culturally responsive methods by transforming research and community engagement practices through training and mentorship. She is an expert in equity-centered and culturally responsive methodologies to understand transformative change needed in educational systems to achieve educational equity. 

Dr. Venkateswaran has more than 10 years of experience researching and evaluating educational initiatives and programs using qualitative methods. Her work aims to dismantle systems to improve post-secondary access and persistence for students furthest from educational justice and increase equitable community-family-school partnerships for student success. She has worked with a wide range of clients, including non-profit, state, and foundation partners to support continuous improvement in order to make systems more equitable.

Within TRUE, Dr. Venkateswaran builds RTI's capacity to implement culturally responsive and equitable evaluation methods across the institute. She leads TRUE's Equity Training, developing and implementing professional development for RTI staff to use an equity lens in their research work. She provides consultation with various RTI staff on projects and proposals to embed an equity perspective. 

Additionally, she currently directs the evaluation of STEM Opportunities in Prison Settings.  It is a National Science Foundation-funded program in partnership with Education Development Center,  From Prison Cells to PhDs,  Princeton University, Operation Restoration, The Initiative for Race Research and Justice at Peabody College–Vanderbilt University, and more with the goal of enacting systems of change, so that all persons impacted by the carceral systems are able and encouraged to pursue a culturally responsive and equitable STEM education and career.

Dr. Venkateswaran is a member of the American Evaluation Association.

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