Lisa Shimmel is the co-deputy director of the Midwest Comprehensive Center (MWCC) and a principal policy analyst at the American Institutes for Research (AIR). As co-deputy director of the Midwest Comprehensive Center, she focuses on managing technical assistance for the state education agencies in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.
In addition to her role on MWCC, Shimmel is the project director for the College Completion Network Lead, where she manages the coordination and collaboration of five research teams evaluating college completion interventions and communicating about their findings with policymakers and practitioners. Shimmel also serves as deputy director for the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) Statistics, Website, and Training contract. The WWC provide educators with the information they need to make evidence-based decisions. As the deputy director, she oversees improvements to the WWC website and communication products to increase the accessibility of the WWC for practitioners and policymakers with the goal of giving them the tools and information they need to use evidence in making decisions about policy and practice changes and implementation.
Previously, Shimmel led Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest’s communication and engagement activities, which included the development of the REL Midwest website, social media accounts, interactive mapping applications, events, blogs, videos, data visualization, and other collateral. Prior to joining AIR, Shimmel worked for Los Angeles Universal Preschool, where she gained experience in preschool supply and demand and program quality. In each of these roles, Shimmel has provided support to policymakers and other education stakeholders regarding the use of evidence-based practices and the need for research to inform policy change.
Shimmel also has two years of teaching experience at the high school level and volunteered for a year with AmeriCorps VISTA as a community outreach coordinator for “I Have a Dream” - East Palo Alto. She earned a master's degree in public policy at the University of Southern California and a master's degree in secondary education at the University of Michigan.