Director, Research and Learning

In her role, Dr. Gopalan collaborates with internal and external stakeholders to embed program data systems and formative and summative research in programs and services of the Trust and its partners. She ensures that these approaches are informed by current thinking while also resonating with the strengths, interests, and needs of service providers and families in Newark. She strives to ensure that her work is grounded in inclusive and authentic fieldwork and informs continuous improvement of on-the-ground initiatives.

Dr. Gopalan previously worked at FHI 360, New York University’s Marron Institute for Urban Management, the Academy for Education, and nonprofits and research centers in India, conducting research and evaluation supporting initiatives and programs in policy areas, including education and urban development. Her pro bono work focuses on the resettlement of Syrian and Afghan refugees in North Jersey. 

Dr. Gopalan holds a doctorate in Educational Anthropology and a master's degree in Communications from the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, she holds a certificate in Design Thinking from She has written and presented widely on educational issues.

She loves spending time with family and friends and traveling the world.