Tara Weatherholt

Research Education Analyst

Tara Weatherholt


  • PhD, Experimental Psychology-Cognitive Development, University of Louisville
  • MA, Psychology, University of Louisville
  • BA, Psychology, University of Louisville

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Tara Weatherholt is an early childhood development specialist with RTI’s International Education division. Dr. Weatherholt’s expertise focuses on the assessment of early learning and child development. Her work at RTI contributes to global advocacy for quality early childhood education in low- and middle-income countries.

Dr. Weatherholt is a leader in early childhood development measurement and education research in international contexts. Working with the Measuring Early Learning Quality and Outcomes (MELQO) consortium organized by the Brookings Institution, UNESCO, UNICEF and the World Bank, she is currently leading the adaptation and implementation of a global school readiness tool for use in Tanzania. This tool will establish the national baseline status of early learning and development of pre-primary aged children and the quality of the school environment in Tanzania.

Dr. Weatherholt is also the co-Principal Investigator for research examining the impact of pre-primary education access on repetition rates and over-enrollment of pupils in early grades in Uganda. Additionally, she supports the USAID-funded Tusome Pamoja project in Tanzania, which aims to improve pupils’ literacy and numeracy skills in the early grades, by developing the pre-primary assessment for the project evaluation.

Dr. Weatherholt joined RTI in 2016. Previously, she held social science research positions at iNNOVATION Research and Training and the Duke University Center for Child and Family Policy, where she led evaluations in education, public health, and community development. She has served as Managing Editor for the National Head Start Association Dialog from the Field journal, and has experience in classroom teaching and as a trainer of early intervention professionals.