LaToya Owens, Ph.D. is the Director for the UNCF Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute, her work largely focuses on strengthening institutional career placement and student persistence outcomes as well as institutional effectiveness and strategic planning at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and other Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs).
Dr. Owens is a visionary leader skilled in strategic and data-informed design and decision-making, and organizational development and solutions-based work in education and nonprofit spaces. She is an experienced thought leader on topics ranging from inclusive research practices to K-16 career and guided pathways, design-thinking, and culturally informed evaluation and assessment. Dr. Owens has developed a number of innovative experiences to impact curriculum development, ensure equitable educational policies, and develop culturally competent evaluation frameworks and tools for diverse communities.
Prior to her work at UNCF, Dr. Owens was a higher education and research policy fellow at the Southern Education Foundation, where she responsible for researching and organizing data for various higher education division initiatives related to improving access and completion rates for low-income students of color. In her role she also served as a research analyst and report writer for several briefs on performance funding, predominantly black institutions, institutional effectiveness at HBCUs, and developmental education, among others. She has also worked as an instructor of research, measurement, and statistics in the College of Education and Human Development at Georgia State University.
Dr. Owens earned her B.S. in Public Relations and an MPA from Florida A&M University, an M.A. in Educational Leadership, Politics, and Advocacy from New York University, and Ph.D. in Educational Policy from Georgia State University.