Mari Strand Cary, PhD

VP of Research & Evaluation


(864) 287-8063 Ext. 712

Dr. Mari Strand Cary (she/her) empowers organizations and communities to identify what works, for whom, and under what contexts. She helps improve programs and policies supporting early childhood development by grounding her work in developmental psychology and evidence-based, qualitative and quantitative evaluation approaches and by involving a wide array of stakeholders. Mari leads the Research and Evaluation team in their work with early childhood care and service providers, educators, community members and philanthropic funders.

In her previous role as Senior Research Associate at the Center on Teaching and Learning at the University of Oregon, Mari directed multi-million-dollar federal development and evaluation projects. Most recently, in collaboration with industry professionals, teachers, and her design and evaluation research team, she developed the KinderTEK® iPad early math program and evaluated its effectiveness for preschool through grade 3 students, their teachers, and parents. The U.S. Department of Education-funded KinderTEK program has been used by thousands of students across the nation.

Mari regularly speaks to – and writes for – academic and practitioner audiences including other evaluators and researchers; continues to collaborate with education industry professionals; and serves as a board member on Kidsports, a non-profit, youth-sports organization in Eugene, Oregon. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Carnegie Mellon University, received her PhD and MA in Child Psychology from the University of Minnesota and received her BS in Biology from the University of Puget Sound.


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