Ruth López Turley Appointed Director of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University in Houston

Ruth López Turley, an education researcher, professor of sociology, and director of Rice University’s Houston Education Research Consortium (HERC), has been selected as the next director of the university’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research.

The Kinder Institute for Urban Research is a multidisciplinary think-and-do tank housed at Rice University in central Houston, focusing on urban issues in Houston, the American Sun Belt, and around the world. Through informed research, data and policy analysis, the Kinder Institute hopes to engage civic and political leaders to implement solutions to critical urban issues, including education, governance, housing, mobility and transportation, resilience, and demographics. Created in 2010, the Kinder Institute was endowed with a $15 million gift from Houston philanthropists Richard and Nancy Kinder.

Dr. Turley has been serving as associate director for the Kinder Institute. She has been at Rice since 2010. Raised on the U.S.-Mexico border, she experienced firsthand the hardships caused by educational inequities. That inspired her academic work and led her to found HERC, which brings researchers and school district leaders together to improve educational opportunities for all students. She is also the founder of the National Network of Education Research-Practice Partnerships, which develops and connects partnerships like HERC across the nation.

“I am extremely honored to step into this role,” Professor Turley said. “Together with the institute’s talented staff, we will continue to advance the institute’s mission to build better cities and improve people’s lives through data, research, engagement and action.”

Dr. Turley is a graduate of Stanford University and received her master’s degree and Ph.D. in sociology from Harvard University

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